Exodus: Gods and Kings
2014 film directed by Ridley Scott
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a 2014 epic biblical adventure drama film inspired by the biblical episode of the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt led by Moses and related in the Book of Exodus.
- Directed by Ridley Scott. Written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine, Steven Zaillian
- Rhamses: That wasn't an admission. He simply did not want her arm lopped off.
- Rhamses: You sleep well because you know that you're loved. I've never slept that well.
- Rhamses: You say that you didn't... cause all this. You say this is not your fault. So let's just see who's more effective at killing: You or me.
- High Priestess: [reading fowl entrails] In the battle a leader will be saved, and his savior will someday lead.
- Moses: [laughs] Then the entrails should also say that we will abandon reason and be guided by omens.
- Hegep: Let me tell you something about about Hebrews. They are a conniving, combative people. Do you know what 'Israelite' means in their own language? 'He who fights with God.'
- Moses: 'He who wrestles with God.' There is a difference.
- Zippora: Who makes you happy?
- Moses: You do.
- Zipporah: What's the most important thing in your life?
- Moses: You are.
- Zipporah: Where would you rather to be?
- Moses: Nowhere.
- Zipporah: And when will you leave me?
- Moses: Never.
- Zipporah: Proceed.
- Zipporah: Is it so wrong for him to grow up believing in God?
- Moses: Is it so wrong for him to grow up believing in himself?
- Moses: Who are you?
- Malak: Who are YOU?
- Moses: I'm a shepherd.
- Malak: I thought you were a general. I need a general.
- Moses: Why?
- Malak: To fight. Why else?
- Moses: Fight who? For what?
- Malak: I think you know. I think you should go and see what's happening to your people now. You won't be at peace until you do. Are they not people in your opinion?
- Moses: Who are you?
- Malak: I am.
- Moses: Where have you been?
- Malak: Watching you fail.
- Moses: Wars of attrition take time.
- Malak: At this rate, it will take years. A generation.
- Moses: I am prepared to fight for that long.
- Malak: I'm not.
- Moses: I thought we were making progress. Now you're impatient after 400 years of slavery.
- Malak: Am I the only one sitting here who's done nothing about it until now?
- Moses: I do know a few things about military action. Still, if you are not going to listen to me, then why did you take me away from my family?
- Malak: I didn't. You did.
- Moses: You don't need me.
- Malak: Maybe not.
- Moses: So what do I do? Nothing?
- Malak: For now, you can watch.
- Malak: He's given you what you've asked?
- Moses: Not yet, but his own people are turning against him.
- Malak: And his army?
- Moses: It will.
- Malak: I disagree. Something worse has to happen.
- Moses: I disagree. Anything more would be...
- Malak: Would be what? What were you about to say? Cruel? Inhumane?
- Moses: It's not easy to see the people who I grew up with suffering this much.
- Malak: What about the people you didn't grow up with? What thought did you give to them? You still don't think of them as yours, do you? As long as Rhamses has an army behind him, nothing will change.
- Moses: Anything more is just revenge!
- Malak: Revenge? After 400 years of brutal subjugation! These pharoahs, who imagine they're living gods, they are nothing more than flesh and blood! I want to see them on their knees begging for it to stop!
- Moses: I'm tired of talking with a messenger!
- Malak: General! I have heard Rhamses' final threat. So let me tell you what's going to happen next.
- Moses: [after being told of God's plan to kill the firstborn of Egypt] No, no! You cannot do this! I want no part of this!
- Joshua: [cornered at the Red Sea] Do you even know where we are?
- Moses: Yes! We are at a point on the Earth where there is a sea ahead, and an army behind!
- Malak: What do you think of this?
- Moses: [carving the stone tablets] I wouldn't do it if I didn't agree.
- Malak: That's true. I've noticed that about you. You don't always agree with me.
- Moses: Nor you me, I've noticed.
- Malak: Yet here we are, still speaking. But not for much longer. A leader can falter, but stone will endure. These laws will guide them in your stead. If you disagree, you should put down the hammer.
- [Moses continues carving]
About Exodus: Gods and KingsEdit
- Q: On how close the film's portrayal of Moses is to the Bible's portrayal of him
- A: It's pretty far. [In the film,] he's really the leader of an insurgency of Hebrew slaves. Before the 10 plagues, he trains them to be archers, to attack the Egyptians. He also has a certain distance from God that the biblical Moses doesn't, which I thought was theologically interesting. When God is about to carry out the killing of the firstborn, Moses [in the film] says, "No, I'm not going there with you."
- Q: On the film giving Moses' wife, Zipporah, a more prominent role than she has in the Bible
- A: What the film does is legitimate in my view. You know, there's this old tradition of reworking the Bible that goes back to late antiquity that's called midrash, where the early rabbis filled in all those yawning gaps in the very terse biblical story and invented things. So, this is a kind of midrashic move, you know: What would Moses' wife be like? And of course, with the breathy voice, she's very sexy too, and why not?
- Q: On whether we know what ancient Egyptians and Israelites looked like
- A: Well, of course, we know something about what ancient Egyptians looked like because we have representations of them in visual art; and they were not black Africans, they were Caucasians — think of the statue of Nefertiti that everybody has seen in some reproduction. In the film, there are some black characters and they are servants, or probably slaves, and I suspect that that's historically realistic. Now, as far as the Israelites proper, we don't really have visual representations of them. I would guess that most of them were on the dark side of Caucasian. On the other hand, we're told about David that he was either ruddy or a redhead, which would mean that he might have been very fair.
- Robert Alter, “We Ask A Scholar: How Does Ridley Scott's 'Exodus' Compare With The Bible's?”, All Things Considered, NPR, (December 22, 2014).
- On getting ready to play Moses:
- Bale: I read the Torah, the Pentateuch, the stories that people recommended, one of them I enjoyed a great deal called Moses: A Life...and the Quran as well. Not all in one go. The big [discovery] for me, other than realizing I had no idea about the character of Moses at all and just how complex of a character he was, was the nature of God. That he equally was very peculiar... [Also] really fascinating to me is that there’s actually no mention of the afterlife. Especially in Egypt where there’s obsession with death, I was very surprised by that as well… There’s also no mention of the devil. God is described as the god of good and evil.
The very first film I rented immediately after a meeting with Ridley was [Monty Python's] Life of Brian. Anything where you’re approaching it from a very earnest point of view can unintentionally become Life of Brian. It was a guiding light for me… Immediately after that I rented Mel Brooks’ History of the World. You have to get it out of your system, and you have to understand what we can unintentionally make funny, and you have to have humor. As earnest and as heavy as this, you have to have an element of comedy at your everyday life during filming because otherwise it just becomes too exhausting.
- Christian Bale in Christian Bale’s Biggest Challenge in “Exodus: Gods and Kings”? Losing That “American Hustle” Fat“ by Tara Aquino, Complex, (Oct 01, 2014).
- With reference to the casting of white actors as Middle Eastern characters
- Scott: I can't mount a film of this budget where I have to rely on tax rebates from Spain and my lead actor's Mohammed so-and-so from such-and-such. I'm not going to get financed so the question doesn't even come up.
- If this estimable account of how God delivered His people out of Egypt feels like a movie for a decidedly secular age, its searching, non-doctrinaire approach arguably gets closer to penetrating the mystery of faith than a more fawning approach might have managed. Like “Noah,” the year’s other nonconformist Judeo-Christian blockbuster, this is an uncommonly intelligent, respectful but far-from-reverent outsider’s take on Scripture, although “Exodus” is less madly eccentric and more firmly grounded in the sword-and-sandal tradition than Darren Aronofsky’s film, and will almost certainly prove less polarizing among believers. Even with a hefty $140 million pricetag and a two-and-a-half-hour running time to overcome, Fox’s year-end release (opening Dec. 12 Stateside) should ride 3D ticket premiums and general curiosity to muscular returns worldwide, landing closer to “Gladiator” than “Kingdom of Heaven” territory in terms of audience satisfaction and commercial payoff.
- At once honoring and eclipsing the showmanship of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” (1956), the final hour of “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is a sensationally entertaining yet beautifully modulated stream of visual wonders that make it all but impossible to tear one’s eyes from the screen. In one of his boldest strokes, Scott dramatizes the 10 plagues in a seamless, vividly realistic domino-effect montage — the bloody despoiling of the Nile (which takes a surprising page from “Jaws”) naturally giving way to a proliferation of gnats and frogs, boils and locusts — that truly does seem to capture the intensity of God’s wrath in one furious, unrelenting deluge. In keeping with the momentum established by Billy Rich’s editing and the superb vfx work, this Moses does not return to Ramses day after day with fresh entreaties of “Let my people go,” but instead remains in hiding, watching ambivalently as the Lord does their fighting for them.
“You don’t always agree with me,” God says to Moses, effectively inviting all viewers, regardless of persuasion, to wrestle with their own conflicted impulses. Scott, a self-professed agnostic whose films have nonetheless betrayed a restless spiritual dimension (particularly “Prometheus”), seems to have been inspired by his distance from the material, placing his identification with a hero who never stops questioning himself or the God he follows. Not unlike Russell Crowe’s Noah, and rather unlike Charlton Heston’s iconic barn-stormer, Bale’s Moses emerges a painfully flawed, embattled leader whose direct line to the Almighty is as much burden as blessing — and who wearily recognizes that once the Israelites have cast off the shackles of slavery, the truly hard work of governance, progress, repentance and faithfulness will begin.
- Although long enough at 150 minutes, Scott’s epic is over an hour shorter than DeMille’s, and key events — including the Israelites’ descent into idol-worshipping chaos — have been skillfully elided, perhaps awaiting a “Kingdom of Heaven”-style director’s cut. The result feels less like a straightforward retread of the biblical narrative than an amped-up commentary on it: This “Exodus” comes at you in a heady and violent onrush of incident, propelled along by Alberto Iglesias’ vigorous score, teeming with large-scale crowd and battle sequences (which take on an especially rich, tactile quality in 3D), and packed with unexpectedly rousing martial episodes, including one where Moses attempts to train his people for battle.
Some may well desire a purer, fuller version of the story, one more faithful to the text and less clearly shaped by the demands of the Hollywood blockbuster. But on its own grand, imperfect terms, “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is undeniably transporting, marked by a free-flowing visual splendor that plays to its creator’s unique strengths: Given how many faith-based movies are content to tell their audiences what to think or feel, it’s satisfying to see one whose images alone are enough to compel awestruck belief.
- Justin Chang, “Film Review: ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’”, Variety, (Nov 29, 2014).
- “I never realized that this character (Moses, played by Christian Bale) had such a massive story. I didn’t know that he was a soldier, I didn’t know that he could have been, was rumored to be, close to the pharaoh Ramses,” played by Joel Edgerton.
- Scott credits Kane for bringing out the importance of Moses to Jews, Muslims and Christians. But “Jeffrey, I think, got tired, so I brought in Steven Zaillian.” Zaillian “looked at it, and said, fundamentally, 'I’m an atheist, I don’t think I’m the right person to even consider this,’ and … I said, 'On the contrary, Steve … you have the best qualifications to write this, revise this, clarify this, through your own mind being a nonbeliever. … Maybe you’ll become an agnostic by the time you finish the screenwriting.’”
- But Passover, when Hebrew children whose doors are painted with the blood of lambs are saved, while Egyptian children die, is left as an act of God.
“I couldn’t honestly devise anything else. I have to deal with it. I have to believe it,” said Scott. “I think it’s the first time I let it go into what you can put under the heading of real magic.”
Some biblical films, like “Noah,” have stirred objections from conservative Christians, but for “Exodus,” Scott said, “I think I’ve heard they really like it. I think they accept the interpretation.”
The one caveat is that “some are questioning the choice of the boy” as God speaking to Moses, he said. “I didn’t want to have beams from the sky and a voice,” said Scott. The late Orson Welles might have been able to do it, he said, “but you can’t do that today. You have to come from a different direction.”
- William Diem, “In hands of director Ridley Scott, tale of “Exodus” is given life” ‘’SFGate’’,
- Unlike the DeMille rendering, this one does not begin at the beginning but plunges us into the middle of the action, with Moses (Christian Bale) as an adult in the royal court. We eventually learn the backstory of how the Jewish child managed to find a home among the kings, but we’re introduced to him as a warrior and best friend of Ramses (Joel Edgerton). The first part of the movie cribs rather shamelessly from Gladiator, which began by sketching the rivalry between the emperor’s son and his favorite warrior. Here the aging Pharaoh, played by John Turturro, prefers his adopted son Moses to his own son Ramses. This tortured family drama was performed much more persuasively in Gladiator by Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix and Richard Harris. Despite an excess of mascara, Turturro is sympathetic, but he doesn’t fit all that comfortably into ancient Egypt.
- Stephen Farber, "'Exodus: Gods and Kings': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. (November 29, 2014).
- The New York Times' A.O. Scott, comparing "Exodus" to this year's earlier biblical blockbuster "Noah," says that the latter film "may have been too strange for some viewers. 'Exodus,' by contrast, crowded with well-known actors, is nowhere near strange enough. More than anything else, it recalls the wide-screen, Technicolor biblical pageants of the 1950s and early '60s, bland and solemn spectacles that invited moviegoers to marvel at their favorite stars in sandals and robes."
To be fair, he adds, "there is some good stuff here, too. Mr. Scott is a sinewy storyteller and a connoisseur of big effects. … But in the past, this director has also shown a knack for intimacy and intensity, for moments of feeling that stand out amid the fight-and-flight adrenaline rushes." Ultimately, "'Exodus' has the makings of a provocative study of power, rebellion and loyalty. To paraphrase a Passover song, that would have been enough. What we get instead is both woefully insufficient and much too much."
- USA Today's Claudia Puig writes, "Swarms of flies, oozing pustules, alligator attacks and gaggles of frogs are vividly rendered in three dimensions in 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.' And yet this biblical epic is still bland, overly long and otherwise forgettable. … Those seeking memorable performances and a fresh approach … will want to look elsewhere."
Puig adds that the "expensive-looking, massively staged spectacle, with elaborate costumes and ornate production design, feels bloated, by-the-book and lackluster, and is dotted with risible dialogue. … None of this feels new or fresh."
- The Washington Post's Stephanie Merry zeroes in on Scott's decision to portray God as "a bratty and terrifying pre-teen," played by 11-year-old Isaac Andrews. It's "but one absurd choice in this biblical action drama that feels excessive in every way imaginable, from running time (nearly 2 1/2 hours) to melodramatic acting to the conspicuous amount of computer generation."
Merry also writes, "Among the movie's myriad problems is its lack of character development. There are passing attempts at humanizing larger-than-life characters …. But there's a much greater emphasis on battles and apocalyptic images than on personal stories." All told, the movie "has much more in common with 'The Day After Tomorrow' and other examples of disaster porn than 'The Ten Commandments' or 'The Passion of the Christ' or even 'Noah' from earlier this year."
- In a slightly more favorable review, the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips calls the movie "Not great; not bad. Those anticipating a camp hoot will be disappointed. For all his reliance on digital effects, director Scott's sensibilities lean old-school, and he has sense enough to keep everybody on screen in the same movie, working hard and earnestly and with a seriousness of purpose. And now and then, some wit."
Phillips adds, "Momentous conversations periodically grind any retelling of the Moses story to a halt, but Scott keeps his head down, plows through and then gets out of the way while visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang and his slave army take it on home."
- Oliver Gettell, “'Exodus: Gods and Kings' hit by plague of ho-hum reviews”, (DEC 12, 2014).
- Ridley Scott is a director of extremes. He has made some extraordinary films, most notably Blade Runner, Alien and The Duellists, and he has made very ordinary ones too. Exodus: Gods And Kingsfalls well in the middle of the pack; its most obvious connection is to 2000's Gladiator, and there are some clear thematic echoes in this movie. It lacks Gladiator's full-on intensity and committed central performances, however; it's a mixture of the grand and the bland, and when it's not spectacular it's a little plodding.
- Scott gives the figure of Ramses time and space, and Edgerton embraces the role; it's not exactly a sympathetic portrait, but it's more rounded than you might expect. It's almost as if Scott and his four screenwriters (Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine and Steven Zaillian) have a better understanding of the character's trajectory than that of Moses. The drama of Egypt, in general, seems to inspire them more.
- Phillipa Hawker, "Exodus: Gods and Kings review: Ridley Scott's biblical epic is equally inspired and plagued". The Sydney Morning Herald, (December 5, 2014).
- The story of Moses rising up against the Pharaoh Ramses and leading hundreds of thousands of Hebrew slaves out of Egypt to freedom is one with which we’re all extremely familiar. It’s the entire point of Passover. Scott is not reinventing the wheel here. Rather, he’s invented the biggest, shiniest, noisiest wheel imaginable, then he runs over us with it rather than inviting us along for the ride.
- Certainly, there’s an allure to seeing this sort of old-fashioned, biblical epic on the big screen–and indeed, within this proliferation of pixels, there is undeniable craft and heft to the massive set pieces and behemoth battles. From the costumes to the weaponry to the interiors, it’s obvious that Scott’s team took great care in considering and creating every detail. But the film as a whole (with a script credited to Adam Cooper & Bill Collage and Jeffrey Caine and Steven Zaillian) feels overstuffed and over-glossed. Self-serious to a fault, it packs in more and more in terms of story and extravagant visuals while offering too little in terms of actual character development and engaging drama.
When he’s been at his absolute best in his lengthy career, directing films like “Blade Runner” and “Alien” and even "Thelma & Louise," Scott has established himself as a visionary and a master of creating imagery that would go on to be iconic. “Exodus” feels oddly impersonal. It’s hard to tell what Scott’s point is here, beyond making his Academy Award-winning “Gladiator” look like an independent film by comparison. Earlier this year, “Gladiator” star Russell Croweplayed the title character in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.” That was a biblical epic which also was massive in scope but at the same time beautiful and strange; it stayed true to its source material but found an intriguing and challenging tone. It actually evoked emotion.
- In “Exodus,” the plagues are fun, briefly, and that’s about it. At least, the prospect of the plagues presents the promise of fun: “Eww, gross, a massive pile of frogs,” or: “Aww, yeah, here come the locusts.” But like so much else in the film, these potentially thrilling sequences of havoc and terror evolve into enormous swarms digitally divorced from their effect on humanity. (The boils, though–they remain. And they’re nasty.)
It certainly doesn’t help that Christian Bale plays Moses in mostly stiff and detached fashion. (But hey, at least he’s more intelligible here than he is as a grumbling and tormented Batman). Here, he’s a quietly capable leader –a general among men, and in the eyes of the Pharaoh Seti (John Turturro), who raised Moses as his adopted son, clearly more capable to take over the kingdom than his own biological son, the preening and egotistical Ramses (Joel Edgerton). Despite the thick eyeliner, the shiny, bald pate and the radiant golden wardrobe, Edgerton is never quite flamboyant enough. He could have gone over the top with the role and helped breathe some life into this picture. He seems sadly uncomfortable.
- Christy Lemire, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”, Rogerebert.com, (December 11, 2014).
- Exodus: Gods and Kings comes to us courtesy of 20th Century Fox, which is distributing Ridley Scott’s $140 million would-be epic. The producers this time around are Chernin Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Babieka, and Volcano Films. The film opens wide in America on December 12th, 2014, and it has already opened in some overseas markets as of December 3rd. Over the next few months, it will of course attempt to play a two-sided game. On on hand, the film will be targeting the overtly religious moviegoers that have made quite a bit of noise this year. On the other hand, 20th Century Fox wants the general moviegoers worldwide who just want a major spectacle-filled blockbuster regardless of the film’s would-be religious dogma.
- Scott Mendelson "Review: 'Exodus' Is God-Awful". Forbes. (December 5, 2014).
- While the visuals can only be described using superlatives, some bits involving interpersonal relationships could have been more developed. However, scenes involving Moses and Ramses are often electrifying. So is the 'burning bush' sequence. The battles will take your breath away – crashing chariots, splintering spears, flaming arrows, metal against metal and more gore than you'd expect to see. Ramses's cold-blooded disregard for human life is shocking. But then the Ten Plagues unleashed on the Egyptians by God as punishment are unrelenting in their devastation. The Nile runs blood red, overflowing with dead fish. Masses of flies spread dread and disease. Clouds of locusts ravage crops and a sinister shadow of death creeps across the accursed land like a cold hand. Exodus: Gods and Kings is 'spectacle' with a capital 'S' and in more ways than one, definitely epic.
- Reagan Gavin Rasquinha, "Exodus: Gods and Kings". Times of India. Retrieved (December 7, 2014).
- Blood! Boils! Locusts! Humongous, ship-devouring Nile crocodiles! Great white sharks! Whoever thought overwrought biblical epics were dead deserves a face-full of locusts and will get one watching <i<>Exodus: Gods and Kings. Ridley Scott’s grand and goofy take on Cecil B. DeMille’s holiday chestnut, The Ten Commandments, is a scant two-and-a-half hours compared to Paramount Pictures’ 1954 three-hour-plus marathon, and while Exodus is not quite as much fun (the reflective properties of Yul Brynner’s pate are sorely missed), it is very much in the tradition of Fifties and Sixties-era Biblical epics – and much more entertaining than Darren Aronofsky’s recent Noah (2014 film).
- That’s not to say faith leaders are going to urge congregations to flock to the theatres, however. Scott offers a secular out for every instance of the legendarily miraculous. Thus, the burning bush and everything that follows can be attributed to Moses (Bale, well-cast with his glower dialed up to 11) getting conked on the head by a falling rock after he’s cast out of Egypt by Pharaoh Ramses (Edgerton, resplendent in gold and kohl). There’s a wonderfully droll scene in Ramses’ court as his physician (Bremner, Trainspotting’s Spud) attempts to explain the finer points of how one plague logically leads to the next, via what we now call “bacteria.”
Scott and his quartet of writers squeeze the Book of Exodus down to its most basic tenets, rendering it both a story of God-crossed pseudo-siblings and a thunderous series of generally awesome (as in “awe-inspiring”), CGI-assisted, action set-pieces. The parting of the Red Sea is preceded by a shot of Moses sleepily catching a glimpse of what appears to be a meteor crashing far out into the waves, which raises the question: Yahweh or tsunami? Or both? It doesn’t matter; the watery result is everything “epic” should be.
- Marc Savlov, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”, Austin Chronicle, (Dec 19, 2014).
- Banish all memories of a hambone, harrumphing Old Testament Charlton Heston as Moses in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, the 1956 campfest that TV shoves at us during religious holidays. DeMille’s once-thrilling parting of the Red Sea plays today like CG primitivism.
Director Ridley Scott (Gladiator) is determined not to make his Exodus: Gods and Kings old-hat. But he’s after way more than FX pow – although wait until you see that Red Sea heave in 3D and the damage done by those 10 deadly plagues, from crocodiles, frogs and locusts to the death of every first-born in Egypt.
- Peter Travers “Exodus: Gods and Kings”, Rolling Stone, (Dec 11, 2014).
- "Exodus: Gods and Kings" is one film where spoiler alerts aren't necessary. Both the Bible and the big screen have so prominently featured the story of fearless prophet Moses and hard-hearted Pharaoh's refusal to let his people go that the events depicted in this latest reenactment will not be news to anyone.
But that familiarity doesn't mean there aren't surprises to be had, and not always welcome ones. Gone, gone, gone is the traditional depiction of the Almighty as an unseen voice in the clouds: A snarky, querulous 11-year-old boy gets the call instead.
Even more unsettling, the Red Sea doesn't dramatically part the way we've gotten used to; it just kind of fades away, only to come roaring back when no one is expecting it. Some nerve.
- Making extensive use of computer-generated imagery as well as 3-D (which, frankly, takes some getting used to), "Exodus" is heavily into pharaonic color and pageantry, giving us charging chariots, seething crowds, warring armies, the whole nine yards, often viewed from a god's eye overhead perspective.
Despite the best efforts of all those writers, however, the dramatic side of "Exodus" alternates between being completely solemn and unintentionally silly, with lines of dialogue like a snarky Aaron telling his son, "This is your famous uncle Moses" being more the rule than the exception.
In this it is not as far as it thinks from the gold calf standard of biblical epics, "The Ten Commandments," a story that Cecil B. DeMille liked so much he filmed it twice. As with the DeMille ventures, enjoyment here involves managing expectations and not taking things too seriously.
- Kenneth Turan, "'Exodus' follows its own path", Los Angeles Times, (Dec 11, 2014).
- While Ridley Scott is rightly hailed as a master cinematic world-builder, Exodus' ancient Egypt sometimes feels small and CG-heavy despite the use of practical sets, locations and swooping camera moves meant to convey an “epic” feel. The grandeur and scale of Rome that Scott's Gladiator conveyed is missing in his depiction of Egypt.
More impressive, though, is his execution of the Ten Plagues, which are realized here as frightening elements worthy of a horror movie. As effective as the frogs and locusts sequences are it’s Scott’s depiction of the death of the first born that is especially frightening. But what should be the film’s most impressive and memorable set-piece, the parting of the Red Sea, feels rather underwhelming after the Ten Plagues. Perhaps you can't out-DeMille Cecil B. DeMille.
- Jim Vejvoda "Exodus: Gods and Kings Review". IGN, (December 3, 2014).
- Christian Bale as Moses – The adoptive son of Bithiah, the son of Amram and Jochebed, brother of Aaron and Miriam, the husband of Zipporah and father of Gershom, and the descendant of Levi (son of Jacob and Leah)
- Joel Edgerton as Ramses II – The son of Seti I and Queen Tuya, and the husband of Nefertari
- John Turturro as Seti I – The father of Ramesses II, the son of Ramesses I (Paramessu) and Queen Tuya's husband
- Aaron Paul as Joshua – The son of Nun, and a descendant of Joseph (a son of Jacob and Rachel) and his son Ephraim
- Ben Mendelsohn as Viceroy Hegep
- Sigourney Weaver as Tuya – the mother of Ramesses II and Seti I's wife
- Ben Kingsley as Nun (biblical figure) – Joshua's father, and a descendant of Joseph (a son of Jacob and Rachel) and his son Ephraim
- Maria Valderde as Zipporah – The wife of Moses and the mother of Gershom, and a daughter of Jethro
- Isaac Andrews as Malak – The mysterious little boy who serves as a manifestation of the God of Abraham.
- Hiam Abbass as Bithiah – The adoptive mother of Moses, Seti I's sister, Ramesses II's aunt, daughter of Ramesses I (Paramessu)
- Indira Varma as High Priestess
- Ewen Bremner as Expert
- Golshifteh Farahani as Nefertari – The wife of Ramesses II
- Ghassan Massoud as Paser, Ramesses II's Grand Vizier
- Tara Fitzgerald as Miriam – The sister of Moses and Aaron, only daughter of Amram and Jochebed, and a descendant of Levi
- Kevork Malikyan as Jethro – Zipporah's father, and Moses' father-in-law and Gershom's grandfather
- Anton Alexander as Dathan – The son of Eliab, and a descendant of Reuben (a son of Jacob and Leah)
- Dar Salim as Khyan