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Religulous Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

...not going to convert anyone Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    56

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    By focusing so narrowly on religious fundamentalists and bigots while ignoring any spiritual dimension to religion, the film is not only being disingenuous but limits its audience to non-believers.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    For the most part Mr. Maher is an equal-opportunity denigrator, but it's worth noting that humor fails him when the subject is Muslim fundamentalism. It's hard to make light of what frightens us.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Those with a taste for irreverent humor and clear-eyed analysis will find it funny, enlightening and disturbing.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    You may very well hate it, but at least you've been informed. Perhaps you could enjoy the material about other religions, and tune out when yours is being discussed. That's only human nature.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    He's a bombs-away provocateur, and in Religulous, Maher's blasphemous detonation of all things holy and scriptural, he doesn't really pretend to play fair. He's like Lenny Bruce with an inquiring mind and a video camera.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Religulous reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Provocative comedy/documentary examines faith.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this provocative documentary about religion in the modern world is meant for adults. Star Bill Maher makes no claims to impartiality; he's unwavering in his belief that humans can't possibly know if there's a god and that religions are man-made power structures designed to absolve or encourage anti-social or immoral behavior. Maher looks at all faiths -- Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Scientology, and more -- and proceeds to articulate and analyze what he sees as their historical and logical failings. There's lots of strong language, some nudity (in film clips), and extensive discussion of hot-button issues involving sex, power, violence, and more.

  • Families can talk about the film's take on religion. Do you agree with Maher? Why or why not? Do you think the media is the appropriate place to discuss issues related to religion? What do you think Maher's intent was in making this movie? Does he succeed? Families can also discuss the film's uneasy mix of sociology and slapstick -- does the film gain an audience by being funny, at the risk of failing to make a real point?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The entire film is a discussion of religion in the modern world, with Bill Maher travelling the globe to talk with religious leaders of all faiths. Maher says he believes that "religion is detrimental to the progress of humanity." Maher examines religiously motivated violence, prejudice, and sexism, as well as abuses of power by religious authorities. The film also states Maher's belief (shared by authors like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris) that, in an age of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, the conflicts and commands driven by religious extremism are no longer something that "rational" people can allow to go unchallenged. Jokes are made about Catholic, Islamic, Mormon, Scientologist, and Jewish stereotypes and cultural ideas.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Violent images of suicide bombings, warfare, the 9-11 attacks, the explosion of the Hindenburg, and more; discussion of murders committed in the name of religion; armed marchers brandish guns and grenades; violent imagery (including extensive blood) as part of a theme park performance depicting the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Discussion of rape, weapons of mass destruction, torture, the Holocaust, Armageddon, and holy war. News images of a murder victim's body.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Discussion of Catholic Church sex scandals; discussion of prostitution; three brief clips from adult-themed films with implied sexuality and nude female breasts. Discussion of masturbation, birth control, sexual acts, marital and pre-marital sex, and homosexuality. An English landmark -- a cliff carving depicting a naked man -- is shown.

  • language false4

    Language: Very strong language throughout, including "s--t," "bulls--t," "blow job," "pissed," "f--k," "hell," "damn," "balls," "p---y," " vagina," "ass," "a--hole," and more.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Lots of clips from other films and TV shows are used for comedic or artistic effect or discussed for their cultural significance; the list includes Superbad, Scarface, Oprah, Planet of the Apes, Lawrence of Arabia, The Tonight Show, CNN, Fox News, The Flintstones, Hell Town, Star Wars: Episode I, Saturday Night Live, The Ten Commandments, Jason and the Argonauts, and many more. Brands mentioned include Starbucks, Craigslist, and more.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drug abuse is discussed, with "diet pills," "ludes," "speed," "crank," and others mentioned; Maher interviews a believer in "Cantheism," which involves using marijuana as a religious sacrament; marijuana is smoked on screen, with clear demonstrations of how it blunts mental acuity and memory.

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