Just in time to be too late for Christmas is "Son of God," Hollywood's latest attempt to reboot the Jesus franchise. Director Christopher Spencer tries to give a more family-friendly version of the life of Jesus than the torture-porn brutality of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."

If "Son of God" looks and feels a bit like a made-for-TV movie, that's because it is. Spencer is a lifelong TV director, and, along with producers Mark Burnett ("Survivor") and Roma Downey (who also plays Jesus's mother, Mary), has assembled the film using bits from the 10-hour History Channel miniseries "The Bible," with additional footage added — don't be expecting a "Life of Pi"-style CGI slam dunk when Jesus walks on water.

Seeking to avoid the controversy that greeted Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" back in 1988, "Son of God" was created with input from megachurch evangelical pastor Rick Warren, the Jewish activist Anti-Defamation League, and was also previewed at events like the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Christian child-sponsorship charity Compassion International and Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University alone spent $4.5 million buying up tickets before they went on sale, which these groups then gave away like so many fish and loaves.