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Rated PG-13

Doubt: the power of words

By Kevin_Rennie on 2/9/2009

  • Overall Rating: 8

Doubt comes in many forms in this film. When Sister Aloysius Beauvier reveals here inner turmoil at the end, “I have doubts. I have such doubts”, she is not referring to her “certainty” about Father Brendan Flynn’s abuse of children. It’s the worst sin of all: religious despair. For Sister James it’s a loss of innocence, doubt in her fellow religious. Many in the audience will have their doubts about organised religion reinforced. Both the film’s strengths and its weaknesses stem from its origin as a play. Most of the real action happens off-camera, reinforcing the mystery. The story is confined to the school and its immediate Bronx neighbourhood. The power is in the dialogue, with Sister Aloysius Beauvier as the focal point for most of the fiery exchanges. Despite her depiction as “the dragon”, Streep’s Sister Aloysius is too soft compared with the ghosts who haunt my educational childhood memories. Hoffman’s nice guy has us wondering throughout the movie why he became a priest. Aloysius asks him the same question for more sinister reasons. More at : Cinema Takes

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81 out of 157 people found this review helpful.

No doubt about whether to go see this one!

By Bett on 1/10/2009

  • Overall Rating: 9

While the movie concerns a time when many things were changing, not the least the Catholic church, it is relevant for all eras in its examination of people's willingness to either believe the easy thing or live with a less comfortable uncertainty. Doubt takes this examination off of the screen and into the audience as we consider Father Flynn's innocence or guilt. I find myself amazed by the number of people who insist he is guilty and am left with only the smallest grain of doubt about his innocence. It's certain that not one reason I have heard cited in any way proves he is guilty. In fact most of those arguments would tend to suggest the opposite, when you really unpack them, and that peoples' reasons for belief one way or the other are extremely self-revelatory. I hope everyone who sees this movie will deeply question why they do or do not believe in the priest's guilt in this story. I can't help thinking that reading the logical fallacies of informal logic would change many viewers' minds on the central points in the film. Probably ok for smart kids with thinking adult guidance.

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86 out of 165 people found this review helpful.

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