In the Pride Lands of Africa, a lion rules over the animals as king. The birth of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi's son Simba creates envy and resentment in Mufasa's younger brother, Scar, who knows his nephew now replaces him as heir to the throne. After Simba has grown into a young cub, Mufasa gives him a tour of the Pride Lands, teaching him the responsibilities of being a king and the circle of life. Later that day, Scar tricks Simba and his best friend Nala into exploring a forbidden elephant graveyard, despite the protests of Mufasa's hornbill majordomo Zazu. At the graveyard, three spotted hyenas named Shenzi, Banzai and Ed attack the cubs before Mufasa, alerted by Zazu, rescues them and forgives Simba for his actions. That night, the hyenas, who are allied with Scar, plot with him to kill Mufasa and Simba.
The film opens in Gethsemane as Jesus prays and is tempted by Satan, while his disciples Peter, James and John (James' brother) sleep. Satan appears in Jesus' form, and tempts him by saying, "It's not right for one man to die for their sins." After Jesus' sweat becomes like blood and drips to the ground, a snake comes out from Satan. Jesus hears his disciples calling him, then he steps on the snake's head, and the Devil disappears. After receiving thirty pieces of silver, Judas, another of Jesus' disciples, approaches with the temple guards and betrays Jesus with a kiss on the cheek. As the guards move in to arrest Jesus, Peter cuts off the ear of Malchus, a servant of the high priest Caiaphas, but Jesus heals the ear. As the disciples flee, the temple guards arrest Jesus and beat him during the journey to the Sanhedrin. John tells Mary and Mary Magdalene of the arrest while Peter follows Jesus at a distance. Caiaphas holds trial over the objection of some of the other priests, who are expelled from the court. When questioned by Caiaphas whether he is the Son of God, Jesus replies "I am". Caiaphas is horrified and tears his robes, and Jesus is condemned to death for blasphemy. Peter, who is secretly watching, is confronted three times and denies three times, but then runs away sobbing after remembering that Jesus had foretold that. Meanwhile, the remorseful Judas attempts to return the money to have Jesus freed, but is refused by the priests. Tormented by Demons, he flees the city and hangs himself upon a tree with a rope he finds on a dead donkey.
As a young boy, Noah witnesses his father, Lamech, killed by a young Tubal-cain. Many years later an adult Noah is living with his wife Naameh and their sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After seeing a flower grow instantly from the ground and being haunted by dreams of a great flood, Noah takes them to visit his grandfather Methuselah.
In 1946, Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) of the United Nations War Crimes Commission is hunting for Nazi fugitive Franz Kindler (Orson Welles), a war criminal who has erased all evidence which might identify him, with no clue left to his identity except "a hobby that almost amounts to a mania—clocks."
In 1941, SS colonel Hans Landa, the "Jew Hunter", interrogates French dairy farmer Perrier LaPadite as to the whereabouts of the last unaccounted-for Jewish family in the neighborhood. Under threat of continued harassment from the Germans, LaPadite reveals that the Dreyfus family is hidden under the floor. Landa orders SS soldiers to shoot through the floorboards and kill the family. All are killed except Shosanna, who escapes and flees through the field. Landa watches her go, deciding not to shoot her at the last second.
In Kraków during World War II, the Germans had forced local Polish Jews into the overcrowded Kraków Ghetto. Oskar Schindler, an ethnic German, arrives in the city hoping to make his fortune. A member of the Nazi Party, Schindler lavishes bribes on Wehrmacht (German armed forces) and SS officials and acquires a factory to produce enamelware. To help him run the business, Schindler enlists the aid of Itzhak Stern, a local Jewish official who has contacts with black marketeers and the Jewish business community. Stern helps Schindler arrange loans to finance the factory. Schindler maintains friendly relations with the Nazis and enjoys wealth and status as "Herr Direktor", and Stern handles administration. Schindler hires Jewish workers because they cost less, while Stern ensures that as many people as possible are deemed essential to the German war effort, which saves them from being transported to concentration camps or killed.
In 1300 BC, Moses, a general and member of the royal family, prepares to attack the Hittite army with Prince Ramesses. A High Priestess of Sekhmet (the war goddess) divines a prophecy from animal intestines, which she relates to Ramesses' father, Seti I. He tells the two men of the prophecy, in which one (of Moses and Ramesses) will save the other and become a leader. During the attack on the Hittites, Moses saves Ramesses' life, leaving both men troubled. Later, Moses is sent to the city of Pithom to meet with the Viceroy Hegep, who oversees the Hebrew slaves. Upon his arrival, he encounters the slave Joshua, who is the descendant of Joseph, and Moses is appalled by the horrific conditions of the slaves. Shortly afterwards, Moses meets Nun, who informs him of his true lineage; he is the child of Hebrew parents who was sent by his sister Miriam to be raised by Pharaoh's daughter. Moses is stunned at the revelation and leaves angrily. However, two Hebrews also overhear Nun's story and report their discovery to Hegep.
Kazakh television personality Borat Sagdiyev leaves Kazakhstan for the "Greatest Country in the World", the "U, S and A" to make a documentary at the behest of the Kazakh Ministry of Information. He leaves behind his wife Oxana and other inhabitants of his village – including his "43-year-old" mother, "No. 4 prostitute in all of Kazakhstan" sister, "the town rapist", and "the town mechanic and abortionist" – bringing along his producer Azamat Bagatov and a pet chicken.
In 1939 Italy, Guido Orefice is a young Jewish man who is leaving his old life and going to work in the city where his uncle lives. Guido is comical and sharp, making the best from each situation he encounters. From the start he falls in love with a girl Dora. Later he sees her again in the city where she is a teacher. Dora is set to be engaged to a rich but arrogant man. He is a local government official with whom Guido has run-ins from the beginning. Guido is still in love with Dora and performs many stunts in order to see her. Guido sets up many "coincidental" incidents to show his interest. Finally Dora sees Guido's affection and promise and gives in against her better judgement. He steals her from her engagement party on a horse, humiliating her fiancé and mother. Soon they are married and have a son, Giosuè.
In Ancient Egypt, Yocheved and her two children, Miriam and Aaron, watch as newborn Hebrew boys are taken and ruthlessly killed as ordered by Pharaoh Seti I, who fears that an increase of Hebrew slaves could lead to rebellion. Fearing for her own newborn son's safety, Yocheved places him in a basket afloat on the Nile. Miriam follows the basket to the Pharaoh's palace and witnesses her baby brother safely adopted by Queen Tuya, who names him Moses.
Zohan Dvir (Adam Sandler) is a kind-hearted superhuman Israeli counter-terrorist and the finest and most respected soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. However, Zohan has become both disgusted and disenchanted by the constant fighting, secretly dreaming of moving to the USA and becoming a hairdresser. This reaches a breaking point when a barbecue he hosts is interrupted by the IDF sending Zohan on a mission to stop a Palestinian terrorist group being led by his personal arch-enemy, Fatoush "the Phantom" Hakbarah (John Turturro), another superhuman. Despite being upset over his ruined party, Zohan sees it as his long awaited chance to desert the IDF and move to America. During the pursuit he fakes his own death and smuggles himself onto a flight to New York City, cutting his own hair and taking the alias "Scrappy Coco" (the names of two dogs he shared the flight with) while claiming that he is "Half Australian, Half Mount Everest." Meanwhile, the Phantom becomes rich and famous for supposedly killing Zohan and starts his own fast-food business, "Muchentuchen".
Claude Verneuil, a Gaullist notary, and his wife Marie, a Catholic bourgeois from Chinon, are parents of four daughters: Isabelle, Odile, Ségolène, and Laure. The three eldest are already married to men, each one of a different religion and a different 'ethnic' origin: Isabelle married Rashid Ben Assem, a Muslim Arab, Odile married David Benichou, a Sephardi Jew, and Ségolène married Chao Ling, a Chinese man. The Verneuils pretend to accept their sons-in-laws but have had a hard time hiding their comfortability in accepting people into the family from outside the community. A family meeting is spoiled because of the awkwardness and clichés about race and religion, stated as much by the father as by the sons-in-laws who even exchange insulting communitarist views to and about each other.
Newly elected to Congress, former local television news reporter Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) leaves his hometown of Buffalo, New York and moves to suburban northern Virginia, where his congressional campaign declares that he will change the world. Evan prays to God (Morgan Freeman) to give him this opportunity. On the other hand, his wife, Joan (Lauren Graham), expresses her concern about the new location and prays that she, Evan, and their three sons (Jimmy Bennett, Graham Phillips, and Johnny Simmons) will be closer together as a family. On the first day of his job, Evan is given a prime office space, where he is accompanied by his three congressional staffers, Rita, Marty, and Eugene (Wanda Sykes, Jonah Hill, John Michael Higgins), and invited to co-sponsor the Public Land Act bill with his boss, Chuck Long (John Goodman).
In AD 26, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is a wealthy prince and merchant in Jerusalem, who lives with his mother, Miriam (Martha Scott); his sister, Tirzah (Cathy O'Donnell); their loyal slave, Simonides (Sam Jaffe); and his daughter, Esther (Haya Harareet), who loves Ben-Hur but is betrothed to another. His childhood friend, the Roman citizen Messala (Stephen Boyd), is now a tribune. After several years away from Jerusalem, Messala returns as the new commander of the Roman garrison. Messala believes in the glory of Rome and its imperial power, while Ben-Hur is devoted to his faith and the freedom of the Jewish people.