''Son of God,'' ''Noah,'' and more

By Sara VilkomersonJeff Labrecque and Jeff Jensen
January 10, 2014 at 05:00 AM EST

Son of God
Feb. 28
Son of God should look familiar to the millions who watched the Bible miniseries on History last year. Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey condensed five episodes and added footage — approximately a quarter of the film is new — to retell the story of Jesus (Diogo Morgado). “It’s a completely different experience to see it presented in this way,” says Downey, who also plays Jesus’ mother, Mary. “The [full] narrative of Jesus has not been seen on the big screen in almost 50 years. For a whole generation, these characters will be the faces when they close their eyes to imagine or pray.” —Jeff Labrecque

March 28
When it comes to large-scale disaster tales, the Book of Genesis was way ahead of Hollywood. “[Noah] is actually the first apocalypse story,” says director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan). Russell Crowe stars as the biblical ark-builder alongside Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Anthony Hopkins (as Noah’s long-lived grandfather Methuselah). The other star: the steel, wood, and foam ark, which took three months to build and stood over 50 feet tall and 500 feet long. But while the movie promises spectacular visual effects befitting the story’s climatic climax, Aronofsky says, “it also has a very intimate story of a family trying to survive.” Anything else to expect? “A lot of rain.” —Sara Vilkomerson

Dec. 12
Director Ridley Scott had an epiphany when he was offered Exodus, which tracks the history-shaping transformation of Moses (Christian Bale) from Egyptian prince to Jewish leader. “I guess I didn’t really pay attention in Sunday school,” he says. “There was so much I had forgotten. It’s a marvelous human story about change.” It’s also a tale with some weighty spiritual themes. “There are massive questions here,” he says. “You have to treat it with great respect.” —Jeff Jensen