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Fragments of a better film put as a whole but none of them able to sustain or lift the final product
bob the moo28 July 2014
I was very much on the sidelines but even I noticed some back and forwards over the film Noah. Some seemed furious that it was not in line with Biblical teaching while others seemed to take glee in the religious objections to the film; for me I don't really have a dog in that fight so the fuss did not interest me and the film didn't seem like something I wanted to pay £10 a seat to go and see. That said, I was curious to watch it because I found it hard to believe that Darren Aronofsky would churn out a blockbuster without something of interest in it.

The film wastes no time with adding flesh to the basic bones of the story and, if you're looking to get upset by the presence of fallen angel rock monsters, then the film serves them up to you right at the front. I guess if you came to see a bible story then this may upset you since the bible does not mention these creatures, but for me coming to a film, I really don't care what characters it creates or devices it uses as long as they work. From here we find Noah living with his family separate from men, tending to a nature that the others exploit – again an environmental message of stewardship that (oddly) upset those that proclaim the bible as the truth. As per the story, the message comes of the destruction of man and Noah along with his family and rock monsters, get to building an ark for the animals which will be saved to repopulate the world. It is quite the story and, if you are honest, were it not for the fact that it is lifted from the bible, it is a story that would pretty much get laughed out of any pitch meeting.

So it is to the film's credit that, although it is inherently senseless, it makes a decent fist of telling it. Given the resources available, it does this primarily by throwing effects and scale at the viewer. This works to a point and it is a pretty good looking film with some particularly memorable scenes. The main thing for me that offered interest was that the central character of Noah is essentially a religious extremist who is dooming a world of men to death because of something god told him. The film disappoint though because it doesn't do enough with this. It plays it straight and sets it up and there are points where you are not sure who is the "good guy" here since Tubal-cain is really just trying to survive death, likewise the obsession of Noah of ending man's time on Earth and only leaving animals. It doesn't work though because it doesn't go harder on this and instead of drawing us into the madness of his obsession and the terrible things he therefore stands by and watches, the film actually feels plodding and not entirely sure of itself throughout these aspects. On the other side of this, the film never throws itself into the "epic effects blockbuster" camp either and, while noisy and large, the action sequences don't really work either.

It doesn't feel like an Aronofsky film; it doesn't feel like there was much here to challenge or to be explored – or rather it does feel like there is, but the film doesn't go for it. The cast play it straight and professionally but not always to the film's benefit. Crowe in particular is a straight bat and even when he is acting in extreme ways, you feel like he maybe doesn't "get it" since earnestness is his consistent approach throughout. Connelly and Watson are both more expressive and I guess the idea was that their performances would be our way to experience the darker side of Noah's steadfastness. Winstone gives out a good series of gowls when called upon but again his weaknesses are more to do with the film not exploring his character and Noah better (to be fair though, I am so sick of his floating head on the TV encouraging me to gamble with mockney geezerisms that I wasn't keen to be stuck with him again here).

Noah is not an awful film mainly because it is basically lots of fragments of better films put together. So the spectacle is good at times but never goes for it, while the character piece is hinted at but not given over to in a way that really works. Everyone plays it down the middle of these and there is not too much of interest beyond the moment – which is a shame for a film so long and filled with such talent.
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Some Cool Visuals But Lacking in Depth
PanamaVeggie11 August 2014
Just watched this on Pay-Per-View having missed a chance to see in theaters (dithered over whether or not to see it due to wildly mixed reviews). It was visually engaging enough to keep me watching till the end but as the credits began to roll, I found myself feeling dissatisfied.

Some of the scenery and shots featuring animals were really cool, I found myself wishing for more (that is, more time spent on animals...and a closer look at different species as imagined by the creators of this film).

Ray Winstone is a distinguished actor but I found his portrayal at times creepy, at times laughable, overall weak (how much of this was due to direction and/or other factors...not sure, when it comes to this film I didn't get a sense either way). Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly impressed me, I got a sense of quiet strength from their characters.

Russell Crowe, also one of my favorite actors (I thought his Robin Hood was masterful, a fresh new take), disappointed. Without giving anything away, there were some parts of this film that called for a more dramatic narrative...his timing and (at times) rushed speech took away from the grandeur of what was meant to be an epic film. You find yourself wishing he would deliver certain lines a bit more theatrically, like David Wenham in 300 or one of the greats of classic film (Charlton Heston, perhaps).

I didn't realize when I started watching that Anthony Hopkins was also in the film. When he popped up on screen I laughed and thought: 'Of course...can't make an epic film without Anthony Hopkins!' Probably just me but it seemed a bit tired as far as casting goes.

I might have enjoyed it more on the big screen but don't regret watching at home on my TV. Bottom line, entertaining enough to watch...just a bit of a let-down.
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No, no, Noah
genyus-368-93076515 April 2014
I've been an IMDb lurker for several years and this film was so poor that I felt motivated to write my first-ever review. It's bad on so many levels, I'm not even quite sure where to begin...

Storyline: This film probably represents the biggest rick-roll I've ever seen. Naturally, when people see a film about a great flood, titled Noah, the automatic assumption is that it's a re-telling of the biblical story. This film cynically exploits that expectation and then drops a hammer on the bewildered audience. I believe most people who watch this film will recognise that something is deeply "wrong" in it's portrayal, but they're less likely to realise that the fundamental reason is because the director has flooded (pun intended) his movie with imagery and references based not in Christian theology, but Gnostic mysticism. I'm not Christian, so I wasn't offended by this perspective on a theological level, but that didn't lessen my disappointment on a cinematic level at all.

Special effects: Wow. Just... Wow. The effects in this film wouldn't look out of place in Jason and the Argonauts, or The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. If you're not familiar with either of these (much better) movies, it's possibly because you weren't born when they were produced, way back in the 60's and 70's. In any case, it saddens me to know that in 2014, effects of this standard are deemed acceptable for general release. But as soon as I finish this review, I'll be dusting off my Magnavox for a quick game of Wipeout just to complete the sensation of time-travel.

Acting: This film sports a strong cast with some of my favourite actors and most of them discharge their duties as well as might be expected given the script they're stuck with. I did feel there was some overacting with some of the more emotionally loaded scenes, but overall, I'm more disappointed with the cast for accepting their roles than how they actually played them.

Conclusion: Dear reader, I implore you. Go for a walk. Read a book. Call that friend you haven't caught up with for ages. Do anything but watch this film. I didn't pay to watch this mockery, but I still feel cheated. My OH slept through most of it and I feel jealous. If you avoid it altogether after reading this and other reviews, then I can at least feel like I've done my good deed for the day.
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They should have called it something else
john-denny13 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Having watched the trailers, I was so looking forward to this film, and even took my friends. As the Bible account of Noah can fit into a page of A4, obviously the film makers had to add a lot of plot to fill it out to a feature length film. Indeed there is a lot of scope to do this: Noah's wife and his three daughters-in-law are hardly mentioned in the Bible, not even being named, so the film-makers had to develop their characters, and could create interesting sub-plots around the various relationships. In the film Noah has a series of dreams about the flood; now this is not mentioned in the Bible, but it is certainly one of the methods God uses to communicate with men, so it is an addition rather than a distortion, and adds a bit of excitement and gives them a chance to show off their skills with CGI.

But to call the film "Noah" surely requires that they leave the basic story-line intact. But they didn't. The angels who came to earth because they fancied the women were turned into bizarre stone men (very uncomfortable for the women, but they didn't go into that); as a consequence the Bible description of what happened to their offspring had to be abandoned. Instead of taking three daughters-in-law onto the ark, they took one girl-friend, who Noah thought was infertile. One of Noah's enemies managed to sneak onto the ark without Noah's knowledge. Perhaps the worst thing, in my opinion, was that God was left on the side-lines, and couldn't even make the decision himself to preserve humans or not, so left that decision to Noah.

So whether or not we agree with the personality they decided to give Noah is a matter of individual taste. Drugging the animals so they didn't interfere with the film may have been a cop-out, but we could have gone along with that. But playing fast-and-loose with the story just seems unnecessary. Who is the film aimed at?

All in all, very disappointing. Bring back Cecil B. DeMille!
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I honestly don't understand the hate on this one.
Allfacat6 August 2014
When putting on Noah I had heard a lot of negativity about this movie. I do not know if it is Christians not supporting this adaptation, or if it is atheists thinking it is way to much Christian propaganda. I am a atheist, and I like good stories on the screen. What I liked about this movie was that feeling of adventure the likes of LOTR and Star Wars, a movie adaptation of a biblical story that is up there with other science fiction and adventure films. It didn't make the story about Noah more plausible, but it was a great story, set in timeless environments. I have read the genesis story even though I'm not a Christian, and in my opinion this adaptation is quite accurate and true to the biblical story, with some tweaking here and there. A little gnostic view points here and there, but all in all something fresh made from a old and boring book, made a little bit more interesting. Have an open mind, and don't watch it with an preconceived notion. Watch it like you would with any other story made for the screen.
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Worst movie ever!
grayjay129 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Even though I had read a number of critical articles about Noah, I went anyway on opening day. I thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt. Even giving it that benefit, it was one of the worst movies I have seen. I was not expecting a completely Biblical account of the Noah story, and knew that additions to the story would have to be added, since the Bible version is quite brief. However, who would have thought that would mean weird talking Rock creatures, which looked like they came from a Transformer movie. And the area where Noah lived was totally barren rock....until he planted the seed Methuzalah gave him, and immediately an entire forest shoots up out of the ground, to supply wood to build the ark. When the "flood" came, instead of it starting to rain, huge columns of water were shooting up from the ground. What's with that?

I was especially looking forward to the animal scenes, since the Humane Society commended the director for not using any real animals in the filming. Well, that was more than obvious! Computer animation has come a long way over the years, but this movie apparently used one of the earliest versions of CG. It looked totally fake, and all occurred in about a minute.

The acting was terrible, including Russell Crowe. And the script was even worse. After a very climactic scene, where he almost killed the twin babies in a state of rage, he explains that "All I saw was love." I almost left at that point!

If one reads all the reader reviews, I think it will become apparent that most of the viewers agree with my comments. At the end of the movie, our audience spontaneously let out an audible groan. I have never heard such negative comments as people were walking up the aisle.

Save your money!
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A very ambitious effort from Darren Aronofsky but also an uneven one
TheLittleSongbird31 July 2014
Judging from the hate Noah has gotten on here I was expecting very little. Actually Noah was nowhere near as bad as heard, and while very flawed and by far the worst film of Darren Aronofsky(with his others ranging from very good to outstanding) it did have some impressive things. On the most part the film is brilliant visually, the barren apocalyptic landscapes and later more colourful ones were really striking and the cinematography has a sweeping yet somewhat surrealistic effect. The opening and creation sequences were beautifully done with the latter quite harrowing without being too heavy-handed, and the flood scene was intense and jaw-dropping in spectacle. Noah's dreams had a real creepiness too. Clint Mansell's music score swells thrillingly and has an epic sweep, enhancing crucial scenes and not drowning stuff out. The sound is thrilling in its authenticity too. There are some good performances, the best of which coming from Russell Crowe, who plays with real steel and a powerful charisma. Jennifer Connelly is a sympathetic and touching wife and mother figure, and has a scene in the last act that really does hit home and is not over-the-top. Some have disliked Emma Watson's performance but for me she brought genuine heart to a role that was more of a plot-device up until the last act, at that point she becomes the character you relate to the most. Anthony Hopkins does not have much to do but he is gleefully enjoyable in his role of Methusalah.

Noah did personally fall very short though, and actually the little relation to the Bible no matter how people carp on about it is the least of its problems. Douglas Booth is rather bland and too pretty-boy-model-like while Logan Lerman came across as wooden and forced, Ham could easily have been the character we related to but for that to happen I think the film could have expanded much more on his character arc and situation. Ray Winstone is the most disappointing, he's done some great performances but this is not one of them, he is saddled with a very clichéd villain role that has no development to him and he overdoes it in a way that feels straight out of another film entirely. The characters generally are underdeveloped, especially the villain and Ham's subplot had potential to be expanded much more but Ila's character has a lot of heart and effort is made to humanise Noah although some of his decision making comes across as rather sudden.

The special effects are a mixed bag, the flood effects are outstanding and the built-to-scale ark also looks incredible, both of which with much grandeur. But the Rock Monsters(or the Watchers) have a dated look, are written in a way that feels irrelevant to the story or in a way that doesn't gel with everything else going on and slightly like Transformers clones, and some of the animals(notably the snakes) look like computerised toys that don't blend within the scenery very well. The dialogue does often feel stilted and confused, especially in the first act, while taking an overwrought if well-intentioned turn in the last and coming across as a little heavy-handed in places. The story does have a number of bright spots and contains some powerful messaging, but does drag a fair bit and has some stuff that felt like filler, the film easily could have been half-an-hour shorter. The story is also a bit of a weird one, and one that leaves more questions than answers, in a sense that it does feel like it doesn't quite know what it wants to be, there's some sci-fi, some action-epic and some character-driven study(which takes up the last act), all three of which with uneven results. The ending is for my liking a bit too convenient as well. Aronofsky's direction is broad and is at home with the style of the film and the spectacle but he fails to make the story properly engage(which is unusual for Aronofsky). Overall, ambitious but uneven. Noah is nowhere near as bad as a lot of the negative reviews have said and the stick it gets for not being close to the Bible is on the unfair side- in all fairness though Noah was advertised in a way that was suggestive that it was an adaptation of the biblical story when really it is the bare bones- but it does have a lot of flaws and could have been better considering how much talent was on board. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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dsyk911 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
What an utter waste of time.

I am by no means a die hard advocate of direct adaptation of a book to the screen. So I entered the cinema expecting an enjoyable movie with solid cinematography, great storyline and good acting - to be expected with the director. Boy was I mistaken - granted the movie is extremely far fetched (next to no authenticity in relation to the book of the bible), what killed it for me was the serious inconsistencies with the character profiling, poor storyline and execution that made me want to leave the cinema midway. For example - Noah is portrayed as an earth loving greenie, protecting plants and life - point understood, but he easily kills people to protect another life? Further, later in the story he is battling internal turmoil as they hear the screams of the people of the earth? If his resolve lead him to kill humans without hesitation, why is his suddenly so challenged?

There was no clear cut message, no point to the movie and it seemed to drag on. If the director intended to slide off in a tangent, at least make it exciting to watch. Let me save you the waste of time and advise against watching it. Save your precious pennies and watching some worth your time.
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Let this Ship Sink
moviescoundrel15 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I can't believe this movie missed on so many levels. Forget about being a true adaptation to the account in Genesis, but even being a viable film sustaining itself and just being decent. There are so many missed opportunities, wrong roads traveled, plot holes, weird plot devices, etc. Arnofsky is a strange guy. If you've seen "Black Swan", or "The Fountain" you know he is no stranger to trippy adventures with his own style and dynamic. I personally am not a fan of this style. At one point he was attached to "The Wolverine" sequel, and luckily he didn't stay attached because I feel that would have been a blow Marvel may not have recovered from unless they maintained enough production control. The producers kept their hands in this movie as well which is why you can at least recognize the story and maybe they are to blame for the lameness or weird decisions. Crowe salvaged this for me from being a complete and utter disaster. The end result is just…pathetic.
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A Disappointing Tale
atlasmb8 April 2014
I am not a Bible thumper, but I would like to take a Bible and thump someone on the head with it--namely those who wrote this script. 'Noah" is an imagining of the biblical story (not a reimagining because the Bible really doesn't have much to say about the flood story that people really want to know--he mechanics of it).

My goal was to go into the theater considering this film to be separate work from the book (as I do with all films). If you pretend you know nothing of the original text, I am afraid this story does not stand well on its own.

First of all, you would expect that Noah would be the hero of the story. Actually, he was about the least likable character in the film.

Noah is a man who has what he takes to be revelatory dreams. Through them, he predicts future happenings and modifies his life accordingly. But he is a very bad "prophet", because he never seems sure he understood the messages. The most dramatic part of the film is when he tries to understand what the creator's intentions are for the race of man. He thinks he knows, and he makes bombastic speeches about it, but he obviously is not sure. Still, he acts on his best suspicions--or intends to act. When it comes down to it, he wavers. And a teenage girl has to explain to him the basics of free will.

If you were hoping for some interesting explanations about the mechanics of the ark and how all those animals were saved, you will be disappointed. The explanation we get is like saying that Santa Claus manages to visit all the homes around the world in an impossibly short time because he has magic reindeer. In the story, Noah has helpers that are no less magical. And the depiction of every species of animal that crawls, walks or flies (since this story does not consider evolution, none of the species could have evolved after the flood) is very lame. I don't know what I expected, but it was something more realistic.

I found the acting to be fine. The most enjoyable aspect of the film for me was Emma Watson's performance.

The special effects were okay. But not enough to make me forget the deficiencies in the story.
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Stunning, but for believers, some clarifications required... Warning: Spoilers
I found this movie absolutely stunning. Beautiful cinematography, outstanding acting, and astounding special effects.

Of course, there are a few things that fellow believers need to be aware of. The movie, 'Noah', is not told from an ultra-conservative point of view. There are multiple parts that can clash with your own beliefs. When creation is explained in the movie, it is portrayed in the fashion that God, or The Creator as He is referred to throughout the movie, used the Big Bang as His tool for the creation of the universe, and evolution for His creation of animals and of Man. Although I do not personally believe that is how He created everything, the movie tells creation beautifully and with God as the Creator, therefore I do not find it offensive.

One piece of information that will be helpful when seeing this movie is the background and origin of the Watchers. The Watchers are originally mentioned in the Book of Enoch, an ancient non-canonical book of the Jewish religion. The Watchers are, as stated in the movie, fallen angels, but after that, the production team took their creative license. Since it is in neither the Jewish Tanakh nor the Christian Bible, most viewers will think that the producers simply made up the Watchers.

Also, there are many gruesome and gut-wrenching scenes, for this movie reveals just how corrupt Mankind had become. There is no happy parade of animals arriving two-by-two, and Noah is not a happy old man with a long flowing beard In this film, Noah tries to follow exactly what the Creator commanded of him, taking himself past his breaking point. In this film, Mankind is scrambling for survival, taking what it wants and not caring for anyone else. In this film, the story of Noah is portrayed realistically.

I implore you to go see this movie, but you must watch it with an open mind.
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Mad Max meets Water World meets Transformers
kensuarez1 April 2014
I was stunned. There was no real reason to use the title "Noah." I expected this movie to be an attempt to make a new and edgy adaptation of the biblical story of Noah that reflects current social conflicts. Its not that. Its just a CGI action movie with all the standard trappings and devices you expect in a recent-vintage CGI action movie. Nothing more. This movie is so typical I was embarrassed for the director. Noah has been reduced to just another GI Joe Ninja Fighter. Further, the premises are ridiculous and the continuity is highly-questionable. Supposedly Cain's descendants created an "industrial" (The movie's word)civilization and ravaged the earth. The landscapes are utterly barren. Then suddenly when its time to board the Ark, there are millions of creatures. No explanation. There are a few attempts at insight, but these have very little relevance to the Bible story. A waste of money and time.
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worst movie ever
mendivil-david6 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Well I'm an atheist... but this movie made me pray on my knees to God to please stop my suffering and make me blind.

So Noah has visions, pretty short ones in my opinion and suddenly he know's what's going to happen?

Movie makers tried to add elements to the movie to add action, drama, romance, etc. Only to make a really crappy plot.

So Noah had an paranoid schizophrenia episode he must have been snorting "crocodile". ABSURD and then he goes sweet to the bottle?

Please don't waste your life or money on this movie.

Not even Emma Watson can save you from fleeing the theater.
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justimagine9331 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
When you go to the movies to expect a cool adaptation of the world's most common Bible story, you expect I guess a Passion of the Christ (version of the story of Jesus's crucifixion), although don't even expect that---unless you are a fan of giant rock monsters (angels) building the ark (or long box boat) with a deranged Noah.

At first you are like (okay okay so they are giving a dramatic interpretation I will let this slide) this attitude I kept up until the following things occurred: A) A psychopathic Noah is "God?" inspired to protect God's creation from man (translation: he is willing to kill anyone (anyone includes the people on the ark--yes his family) who gives mankind a surviving chance after the flood. The movie does TRY to touch on God's mercy, but God's mercy is not even a thing to notice when the characters are either crying out to God to listen to them or talking about being forsaken. B) Darren Aronofsky forsakes basic biblical information such as all of Noah's sons having wives, but Aronofsky gives only one of Noah's sons a wife, while the rest don't have time to "fetch" some before the flood strikes, which abandoned another aspect that this movie was trying to put across before contradicting that too: God will provide.

This is literally the weirdest movie adaptation I have ever laid eyes on. It is not a 'blasphemy' it's just plain ludicrous. This movie is true to its real meaning: There Is No God.
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Not the worst film ever made - because I haven't seen them all yet
TumnusFalls1 June 2015
So according to legend, God made the world from nothing. Other legends say God made the world from chaos.

This movie has done the opposite in taking an old story and turning it into chaos that means nothing.

It is simply drek with highly paid actors and expensive special effects.

It's incoherent.

I'm not saying we have to have Sunday School in our from-the-bible stories. I'm not worried about that.

This is just a big bag o' mess of a story. Portentious music at times when it is meaningless. The weirdest lighting. Emotions that make no sense.

And the ark - it's made of wood. It's bound up with ropes and tar. It's much longer than it is wide. But it doesn't flex, not at all. It's like a big hollow box of ebony.
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I am a Christian and I loved it. (The rare voice)
jesse-bowers5629 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It truly breaks my heart that this movie is so polarizing and that the opinions I so deeply disagree with are those of people who claim to be a part my own faith. For those who are reading their comments, please look at them with grace and understand that they are raising their VIEW of the Noah account above the beauty that this movie portrays. You will notice their arguments are usually the same: Noah was not dark, this is a movie about environmentalism, there were no rock creatures, God was not silent...

All of this is under girded by a belief that they must warn people against this movie. So to offset what is a perceived as the "opinion" of the Christian community here are several reasons why I believe this movie is beautiful.

1) Man went horribly wrong and dominated the world rather than living in harmony with it. This movie captures their depravity so well, that there was no regard for other humans or creation.

2) Noah was not chosen because he was righteous, but his righteousness was given to him by God. Noah was not God, he was fallen and subject to his own sins fleshed out later in the movie. But he obeyed God. His obedience before the ark was his care for creation. Then his obedience in building the ark. Followed by blessing man to be fruitful and multiply.

3) Creation was perfect, but then subjected to the curse. Noah was the exception to those who objectified creation and abused it. You can toil with nature and work with it without exploiting it.

4) God was communicative. He communicated himself in many different ways. At the beginning of the movie, He communicated himself as Creator, then Judge, then Merciful Savior of Creation.

5) It takes an understanding of the Trinity and of the Kingdom to understand that God is using man to care for the world. Creation is groaning, but will be restored and will eventually be renewed. There are men and women of the Kingdom who get that, who are being restored by Jesus, and through that, desire to care well for this world.

6) What was judgment for many was salvation for a few. The same waters that destroyed mankind also saved Noah and his family. Aronofsky beautifully displayed the difference between a judgment of fire and a judgment of water. This same "baptism" points to the salvation offered by Jesus.

So please. Do not lump all Christians into the same basket and think that they cannot find truth or beauty in this work. Aronofsky brings about beautiful truths in Tree of Life and The Fountain and builds on them with this gem. And to understand more about Jesus, Creation, and the renewal of all things, you should read the book of Colossians in the Bible.
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Intelligent movie
dhegelund30 March 2014
I don't understand all the hate that "Noah" (the movie) is getting. Personally, I think it is a GREAT movie. But maybe it's because I'm an artist, so I understand what art is and isn't supposed to be. Seems as if a lot of people -especially Christians– thought they were going to see a documentary or a theological disputation. I actually think it sticks very well to the Biblical account. Maybe people don't know their Bible as well as they think they do. --- If you don't like the story, how's that the movie's fault? Fallen angels, giants, genocide, etc. is all in the Bible. --- Yes, I'm talking about the actual Bible, not the version you were taught in Sunday school, when you were five years old.

Anyway, if you are at all philosophically inclined and don't mind movies that make you think about serious and even existential questions, ignore the haters; Go see "Noah"!

I haven't been so emotionally moved and intellectually stimulated from a movie for quite a while. It's not for the weak of heart. After all, it's a story about genocide. But it is beautifully made. And, in my opinion, stays true to the Biblical account.
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Peter Jackson Meets Peter Watkins Meets James Lovelock
Theo Robertson7 April 2014
I was really looking forward to this for one reason and one reason only . The director Darren Aronofsky is just about the most interesting director working today . He doesn't always hit the bullseye but he did direct REQUIEM FOR A DREAM one of the very few films I would describe as a masterpiece and he really upset an uninformed audience who went in to BLACK SWAN thinking it was going to be a high brow film featuring ballet as its theme . Indeed the only time I've seen audience members walk out in obvious disgust was during a screening of BLACK SWAN . With a title like NOAH one wondered Aronofsky might have the same effect on Christians . This is a film that promised to be controversial and as soon as preview audiences saw it there was a very sharp divide between love and hate . Interesting that it had an average rating of 8.8 then quickly started falling as people on this site gave it bad reviews . One can't help thinking there's a campaign by religious believers who seem angry at this film because it deviates from scripture . As an anti-theist my only reservations before seeing it were that the trailers looked like it was inspired by Peter Jackson's version of Tolkien

The bad news is that we've got Peter Jackson meets Peter Watkins meets Professor James Lovelock . NOAH is a heavily religious film as you might expect but not in the way you're expecting . From the outset we're told that the tribe of Cain have built " industrial cities " and it's this that has brought " the wrath of the creator " . It's not the religion of the Abrahamic cult but the cult of environmentalism and Gaia theory . The subtext is so obvious that it doesn't qualify as subtext because it's far too blatant . Noah and his family are all vegetarians who don't eat meat while the villain Tubal-Cain does because .... well he's the bad guy . Actually this is the major failing of the film . There's no one to root for because the screenplay is an absolute mess . Tubal Cain shows signs of Darwinian practicalities by eating animals in order to survive but there's no real in depth psychological analysis to the character . He wants the Ark because the story needs a villain and is so overdone you're surprised why the other characters can't see through him . . Noah isn't any better because he's an animal loving psychotic misanthrope . Can you think of any obvious society full of nature loving animal loving psychotic misanthropes ? I'll give you a clue . It was a Central European country built on Neo-Pagan ideals that used an ancient Sanskrit symbol and lasted from 1933 to 1945 . People should stop to consider who they should adopt as role models and when people treat environmentalism as a religion bad things will surely happen but we're ordered to take the side of environmentalism and not to question it

In the hands of a lesser director NOAH would have sunk at the box office but thankfully we are talking about Aronofsky . And the good news he's reigned in some the excesses that made me hate THE FOUNTAIN . Yes it owes a lot to Peter Jackson but Aronofsky recognises the strengths of Jackson when he made the LOTR trilogy . We see beautiful locations that captures the bleak brutal beauty of nature throughout the film and some of the cinematography is genuinely stunning . The cast are rather uneven which is hardly surprising considering the screenplay and an audience will find their performances divisive , none more so in Crowe . Connelly is rather bland , Winstone is rather one note and is ...well Ray Winstone .love him or loathe him . By far the best performance is by ,Emma Watson as Ila who might have been a mere cypher or plot device and yet manages to flesh out her role without being showy in any way .

In summary NOAH might just fall in to a" flawed masterpiece /interesting failure " camp . It's an extraordinarily beautiful looking film that I'll buy on DVD and one hopes it'll be up for Best Director , cinematography and score when the Oscars come around but since it's been released in the Spring the studio don't seem to have much ( Pardon the pun ) faith in it and it'll be quickly forgotten . While the visuals deliver it does have a very sententious , sombre confusing screenplay that feels the need to both shout at and talk down to the audience . Whatever the flaws of this film it still showcases the talents of Aronofsky and here's to the future and whatever it brings
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A Refreshing Film Based On Noah's Ark
Desertman8428 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Noah is a Biblical-inspired film based on the story of Noah's Ark.It stars Russell Crowe as Noah along with Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins.It was written and directed by Darren Aronofsky.

The story about a righteous man that he is singled out by God to save innocent life so the evil and corrupt can perish in a disastrous flood that will cover the earth.Encouraged by his grandfather Methuselah,Noah begins building an ark that will contain two of every beast and plant, as well as his family.His wife Naameh supports her husband and so does his two sons,Shem and Japheth.But his other son Ham isn't so sure due to the fact that he lacks a spouse similar unlike Shem,who has Ila. As birds, reptiles, and then mammals enter the ark, humans gather nearby, anxious for their own boarding passes. But they were tried to be stopped by an evil king Tubal-cain and his people,whose wickedness God intends stop.But once the waters rise, Noah faces new challenges.Among them is that he finds out that Ila is is pregnant and no longer barren and whether Noah wants to end humanity or not when they enter the new world.

There was definitely a lot of creative license taken in re-telling the story of Noah that some Christian may find confusing or absurd.Nevertheless,the recreation of the Old Testament story is definitely an epic.Some may find the changes in the story outlandish but others may find it a great way of updating this timeless tale into the 21st century audience.We get to see how the story of Noah is told on a human scale and deeply explore the personalities involved in the story.Give credit to the cast for their great acting particularly Russell Crowe,who does a magnificent job as Noah; together with his co-stars like Jennifer Connelly,who plays his troubled wife,Naameh and Emma Watson,who plays the complex Ila.There was great visuals in the movie especially from narration of Creation and the Great Flood itself.It was definitely a great visual extravaganza.It also presents challenges especially to some audience especially what they want to do if they find themselves in place of Noah's shoes as to whether to end humanity or not.The tension in their family particularly between Noah and his sons as well as Noah and his wife,Naameh about what the Creator wanted him to do emphasizes that.Atheists may fully appreciate this film especially when the theory of evolution is somewhat put in place when the story of Creation was being narrated and God is somewhat not a main character in the movie.But for Christians who want more about the moral,philosophical and theological implications of the story of Noah based on their religious beliefs,one may find it disappointing.Nevertheless,I would consider this film entertaining and fun to watch with an open mind and isn't looking to refresh Noah's story based from what is written in the Bible.
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Aronofsky's passion project is kind of a masterpiece.
ModelOmega1 April 2014
First off, you should not plan to see Noah because it is a biblical epic, nor should you plan to skip Noah precisely because it is a biblical epic. You should however, see Noah because it is an amazing film, using the basic story of Noah's ark to deliver a fantasy action/adventure and a psychological horror story and deliver a very relevant ecological message that's subtle. The visuals are out of this world, particularly one scene depicting the creation of the universe from the big bang to a scientifically accurate representation of what Darwinian evolution would look like sped up about a million times, the whole scene would feel right at home in an episode of Cosmos. (Yes, you read that right.) Special mention must be made to Russel Crowe, who delivers the complicated picture of a man that both saves the world but is also supposed to let it die, and all of the weight one must feel about it. I can't praise this movie enough, it's basically perfect, if you are even the least bit curious about going, do so! You won't regret it.
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More accurate than the Bible
dantheman200412 August 2014
I have read a sea of ignorant reviews and cannot take it anymore. People talk about this movie's "lack of realism" and difference from the "source material".... If you truly believe one man built a boat and put a pair OF EVERY KIND OF ANIMAL on it while god flooded the entire world(something impossible even today, much less thousands of years ago) then yes this movie is not for you. If you have half a brain then give this movie a shot. The CGI and acting is very well done and with a top notch director at the helm. This movie actually treats the bible with more respect than it deserves and for those with an open mind this is about the best possible telling of the nonsensical Noah story.
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Brilliant...yah I said it...tear me apart but this was truly outstanding
Robert_duder1 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
First of all let me make clear I don't care about any of the controversy. I don't care if you want to sit in front of me and trash talk the historical accuracy, the biblical aspects, or how much you hate Jesus and therefore this movie inevitably sucks. As one professional reviewer pointed out, controversy aside this is a good time at the movies! From the first trailer I was excited and my expectations only grew. I knew the potential for it being some bizarre anti-Christian piece was high but I was willing to try it and excited to do so. Simply expectations were met and exceeded and this is now the best film I have seen thus far in 2014. I am not fan of blatant CGI and I thought Noah used it near-brilliantly. The entire animal kingdom was CGI but it was so blatantly awful that you scoffed at it. Noah's heart and soul comes from its unique and liberal perspective of the story. I have great respect for them for looking at the tradition Christian story and saying, there are issues there but here is how this could have happened. They incorporated brilliant religious symbolism and characters, gave Noah a diverse character with incredible depth, an edge of your seat story of politics and the world as they know it. No one knows what the world was like one. We have snippets and conjecture and this is by far the most brilliant rendition of that time. They liberally create animals that may have been or the giants that the bible speaks of and the barren, nearly steam punk world that exists around them. I was floored.

I have always enjoyed Russell Crowe though I felt like he has hit some major speed bumps in his career. This role was perfect for him and he absolutely nailed it. He is dark brooding, full of faith and love for his family. He is driven and disgusted with the world and the scenes of his fighting with his faith are just gut wrenching and brilliant. Crowe is superb. Jennifer Connelly was good in her role as Noah's wife. Their chemistry is terrific but I felt like perhaps her character is very much in the background and doesn't get a lot of chance to shine. She has some good scenes but her performance lacks some of the power of the others in the film. Anthony Hopkins was terrific in a much more subtle way as Methuselah. Hopkins captures an undeniable strength and wisdom to his character. His scenes are immediately captivating and he doesn't really have that many but they are so important and so well performed. (Also I also want to address the many apparently slow IMDb forum trolls who were wondering about Hopkin's character performing "magic.") He was performing miracles via the creator as his faith was as strong as anyones. Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth were all very good as Noah's children. They each have a scene or more that was truly terrific and their chemistry together was really good as it was with Crowe as well. Ray Winstone was very good in his role...however...he was also the one major flaw in the film. He was used as the "big" villain and I think his character was unnecessary and the story of him getting inside the ark was unnecessary, clumsy and pointless. It was literally the one thing that made me feel like this was a 9 and not a 10 for me. I liked Winstone, he did a perfectly solid job in the role but the character was unnecessary.

I am not a Darren Aronofsky fan. I thought Black Swan was terrible, The Fountain was just way out there and The Wrestler was average. Well he has won me over with this because what he has created here is cinema masterpiece. The cinematography, the use of CGI, the world he creates. This is the key. You feel completely immersed in this world that we know nothing about. This isn't even truly a disaster film. This is a film about faith, love, family, God and yes there is some blatant messages about the direction of the world we live in now. This is the type of film, for me, that I can and will watch over and over again and get something different from it, notice something more or different or take something away from it. I cannot figure out why Christians would be angry and boycott this. This is easily the best example of Old Testament world ever created. It does take some liberties because it has to but there isn't anything here to squash the Christian faith or the traditional story. I absolutely LOVED the fallen angel giants (Nephilim for those of you wanting to look more into it.) Was the film completely scriptural? NO. But they also didn't ignore it and embraced the concepts. Visually stunning, brilliantly acted, and just an incredible experience. It won't get the accolades it deserves as far as I'm concerned. 9.5/10
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Will leave most people bewildered
martinrobertson30048216 April 2014
"Noah's Ark" is one of those age old stories that I'm surprised hasn't really been made into a movie before now. But when you see the final result of this dreary mess, maybe there's an actual serious reason that it hadn't been tackled before.

Most people (myself included) are only going to watch this flick for the infamous "flood scene." But the movie tries so hard to be "something different" it wouldn't off came as a surprise if that scene didn't even come. I really can't see this movie pleasing anyone who bothers to watch it. Neither the relgious folk, who it may offend, or the cinema going masses, who are simply looking for a couple of hours of explosive entertainment, are going to get much out of it. The original Noahs ark is such a short story, that it would have to be almost entirely changed for a movie. And it has been. In a bad way!

The "2 of every animal" stuff fills about 2 minutes of the flick, while the rest is like some tacky soap opera, crossed with a poor mans "Lord of the rings." Russell Crowe plays Noah, so that he can tick off another larger than life role from his check-book. But he does little but sport a varying collection of beards. While some of the other (though decent) actors, are stuck playing over-done characters.

Noah himself isn't the "nice-guy" he's suppose to be here. But nothings what its suppose to be is it? I mean, why are all the animals I wanted to see knocked out/not there for 95 percent of the movie? Why are there all these plot twists that no-one is interested in? What the hell are those rock monster things suppose to be? Why is the (seriously over expensive) Ark shaped like a giant match box? And Why do I feel like I'm drunk watching this thing?

What would of maybe worked better as a family movie with some sort of important lesson (Please don't sin kids/Be bad kids) has instead been turned into a dark fairy tale that attempts to please everyone. But will in actual fact, please no-one. The Stories a shambles, Crowes "bad-ass" Noah is dislikeable, and the films overall poor special effects and over the top "everything" will leave most people bewildered when its all done.
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From both a religious and cinematic perspective, Noah is a failure
Joe_Chadowski8 April 2014
Am I compromised? Is this review tainted because I'm a Catholic cinephile? If you've seen my star rating than you probably figured you can rule that out. I was excited, A film from Darren Aronofsky is an event for me akin to the Olympics. That is, many years pass between his films, and when they arrive, they're freaking awesome.

Within the first few minutes, all my pent-up affection leaked away. Despite Noah's fervent source material (and that's as religious as I'll get in this review, pipe down) the narrative is extraordinarily weak, and the plot feels empty, despite the 138 minute runtime. The acting is terrible, especially from Emma Watson. (it's time we stop considering her an actress and call her what she is; a model) Even the brilliant Jennifer Connelly uncomfortably shifts between hammy underacting and cringe-inducing overacting. There is no progression or cohesiveness, Noah is corrupted by a jumpiness that completely disconnects you from the film. And it uses it's largely, if 100%, CGI landscape as a crutch instead of a supplement.

But the real kicker, the REAL kicker, is that there is no evidence Darren Aronofsky had any part in this film. His trademark deep darkness isn't there, his infinitely interpretable script isn't there, and his quick-cut, close-up camera isn't there. You could've told me f*****g Brett Ratner directed this and I would've believed you.

It probably would've been more efficient for me to layout this review with bullet points. Noah's whole ethos counters what I stand for. It's the sort of blinged up executive express that takes a brilliant story in vain, and tries to pass as profound. I have nothing but contempt for this movie.
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Worst adaptation of a biblical story ever made
eitltd-115 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot believe this movie has a rating of 6.5. I gave it a one because that's the lowest you can enter. A zero would be more appropriate. Worst adaptation of a biblical story ever. The only thing thing the screenwriter had correct was that Noah had a wife and 3 sons, there was an Ark built, and there was a flood. The following might be interpreted as a spoiler, and that is why I checked the box, but honestly, nothing could spoil this movie, it is already a rotting corpse. You have rock people (possibly fallen angels, but it is not really clear) helping Noah build the ark and defend the ark. Nowhere does God ever talk to Noah. He just has some weird dreams that he misinterprets as being from God. One of these misinterpretations is that God wants everyone dead, even his own family. Then I am trying to figure out how Noah is going to build a rowboat, much less an Ark, because the whole world is desolate, having been ravaged by evil men. Then enters grandpa Methuselah with a magic bean left over from the Garden of Eden. Are you serious? Wait, it gets worse. This magic bean doesn't need overnight to grow, you get a whole old-growth forest in less than a minute. No water required because it creates its own river. As if it couldn't get any worse you have the villain who killed Noah's father who hacks his way through the wall of the Ark to become a stowaway. You have a raging flood and some guy hacks through the Ark, and the Ark takes on no water. Maybe, they were magic self-sealing timbers. Anyway, Noah's son and the stowaway are hiding down with the animals, eating the animals! Later he plots with Noah's son to murder him, while at the same time Noah is plotting to kill his grandchildren. If they had put any of this crazy stuff in the previews, they might not have half the ticket sales. Based on the previews, I thought it could be a good movie. Whoever wrote the screenplay had to be on some kind of drug. For the first time I felt like I should ask for a refund on my ticket.
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