Doing a movie about Jesus would always be challenging as his portrayal walks the fine line between divine and human, not to mention the reaction of the Church if something doesn't match up with their views. The Young Messiah sidesteps this by focusing on Jesus when he's a boy.
Jesus is already using his miraculous powers at a young age. His family tries to keep him out of the attentions of Herod's hunting parties.
This Jesus is more humanized as he is shown to be willful and not always in control. He disobeys his parents when it came to using his abilities and he is still uncertain of his place in the world, leading him to ask a lot of questions. They gave him a small sense of humor as well, making sure that he experiences the ups and downs of being a child by interacting with other kids. While this Jesus is still a little too well behaved and nigh perfect, he is still a very good version of the Christ child.
The plot actually follows a certain phase in the bible but with a few added dimensions. Sean Bean's character as the centurion offers a perspective from the other side. Herod's hallucinations were new. The devil already causing major trouble compounded the danger. Some parts of the story such as Jesus' uncle's condition helps the plot while others like abused woman and the rebels just added an extra layer to the era.
The actors in the film are a fine looking bunch. They had accents, which I'm not certain is proper for their setting or not. The film is based on Anne Rice's novel and does admirably enough in creating a proper story arc, even a climax. The Young Messiah is a very clean interpretation of the Christ Child, a good product to show to schools, though they may ask about Mary being that young when she conceived Jesus.