Superb film, but it requires viewers to slown down, pay attention and think (by BrandtSponseller)
After Dominic Francesco Carnelutti , a priest who is one of the last of the Carolingian order, dies of an apparent suicide, the other two remaining Carolingians, Alex Bernier Heath Ledger and Thomas Garret Mark Addy , come to Rome to learn what happened. While there, they discover that something much more sinister is afoot.I can see why The Order would have difficulty being commercially successful. And that's too bad, because this is an excellent film. The "problem" leading to a commercial struggle is that writer/director Brian Helgeland created a very intelligent script <more>
that assumes the viewer does not need everything spelled out to them. This is a film that opens by placing us in the middle of a complex world, with a deep history, so that we have to pay attention and do a bit of detective work to get up to speed initially. The script is full of unexplained references to beliefs and traditions of the Catholic Church and "orders" such as Carolingians and Jesuits. It is densely packed with clever dialogue, subtle puns and other kinds of literary devices and references. It uses, and some understanding of the film depends on, occasional phrases in Latin, Aramaic, French and Italian although most of the important words and phrases are translated for us . This is not a light "popcorn" movie, and it is a slow burner. If you were not to fully pay attention and actively think about the film, you could easily become lost or confused.The performances are superb. Alex, Thomas, Mara Sinclair Shannyn Sossamon , William Eden Benno Furmann , and Driscoll Peter Weller all seem like real people with complex personalities and back stories. Visually, Helgeland creates and sustains an incredible eerie atmosphere throughout the film. It's so remarkable that a repeated viewing focusing only on the production design, cinematography and composition would be very rewarding. The music, by David Torn, one of my favorite modern composers and musicians, is exceptional. And the relatively sparse visual effects are beautiful, well placed and appropriately surreal.The story is captivating and becomes more so as it continues. It is wonderfully "gray" about its subject matter when it counts. This is a film that not only bears but demands repeated viewings, but you have to be able to slow down and think while viewing--don't expect action set pieces although there are a couple minor bits of action , a gorefest, or MTV-styled editing.The ending of The Order cries out for a sequel, but not because the ending is at all incomplete, or because there was a monster who just wouldn't die. However, given that the film only grossed a fraction of its 38 million dollar budget, those of us who are fans of this film will have to keep our fingers crossed.A 10 out of 10 from me.
Creative, thought-provoking and well-paced. Suffers from inaccurate marketing (by zerogirl42)
I can see how this movie might offend or bore people. The main characters aren't good or evil, they are complex. It's NOT an action film nor is it about demon hunting. It more questions what is power, what is eternal, and who decides what's best for people.*May contain mild spoilers* I was reluctant to see The Order because I hate horror and didn't want to see another Excorcist knock off, but this movie was everything I could have hoped for in a creative and intelligent film. The Order suffers from the same poor marketing that was given to The Village. Both were portrayed as <more>
horror/suspense/monster films when they were actually more like parable or mystery. I'm amazed that this film even got made considering the trend towards films to do anything to shock, scare and shake your emotions these days. This film is more for shaking your mind.I'm shocked that the film got such low ratings. I guess people are more interested in mindless entertainment. What I got out of the film was very deep. It questions if the Catholic church is the only way towards salvation. The main character is a Priest who's part of a renegade order. It's like a coming of age story in a lot of ways and questions how much control a person has towards the direction his life takes. Anyone who complains that some parts were predictable must not have been paying attention to the film. One of the points was the priests life being set up like dominos to fall in a certain order no pun intended . Even with the predictability, there are surprise twists and questions of freewill. The main characters are more symbolic of a persons psychological make-up if anything. It's a very complex film and kept my attention. It's not for people with ADHD.
Gripping and mystical must see for lovers of the occult (by richard-cattermoul)
Like the 'da Vinci Code' as soon as the dreaded word Catholicism becomes associated with the film, we get reviews that would have us believe that the plot has something to do with the Catholic Church. This movie is the perfect vehicle for the most incredible special effects that are not dissimilar in technical mastery to those seen in The Hollow Man starring Kevin Bacon. How the film makers do it is as big a mystery as the sinister undertones of the plot? The script of The Sin Eater is superb, not least because never once does the scriptwriter detract from the central theme which is <more>
the events following the mysterious murder of the most venerable of the rapidly declining members of the Order; this courtesy of The Sin Eater who literally sucks in the sins of his victims thereby securing the advantages of eternal life, but at a price - he doesn't have many friends. But unlike the Irishman who, when granted 2 wishes asks for 2 glasses of Guinness that never empty, this Sin Eater has got tired of living forever and wants out. His wish is granted, but the manner in which this unfolds is breathtaking and awe inspiring.If you rent it from Blockbusters, you will surely want to buy it afterwards.
There is a brilliant film trapped in here somewhere. (by effoex)
Although I really, really liked this movie, I must admit it's not for everyone, and here's why. The Order encompasses one or two intriguing ideas gone a bit awry.A priest played by Heath Ledger is called upon to investigate the apparent suicide of his mentor, and uncovers the mystery of an ancient being, the Sin Eater, who is able to absolve the sins of those unrepentant sinners, excommunicated persons, suicides a normal Catholic priest would be unable to forgive due to church dogma. The knowledge of this creature forces the priest to face his own conflicted feelings about the <more>
priesthood. Before he has even begun to sort out his confusion, the larger plot begins to unravel and he finds that he has been at the center of it for longer than he had ever realized.Well, it would have been excellent if left at that and fleshed out for the 100-minute duration, but it was not to be. The best bits of turmoil and conflict, of passion and temptation and surrender, were skimmed through so quickly it seemed as if someone thought they were the annoying-but-necessary bits when they should have been the real meat of the film. The rest was a clogged up mess of random and inexplicable demon children, a power-hungry cardinal, and worst of all: a love interest who had absolutely no chemistry with the main character, an accent that was completely out of place, a confusingly pointless back story, and who seemed incongruous with the setting and plot. Sadly, there were very few shots of the film's locations, only one wide shot of Rome in fact, which could have been used to set the tone much more effectively than all those shadows and candlelight.That all said, there were many redeeming features. The soundtrack was hit-and-miss, but more hit than miss and at least it was never distracting. The duo of Ledger and Mark Addy was charming and the chemistry between Ledger's character and "William Eden" played by Benno Fürmann was sizzling. That adversarial relationship should have been the focus of the film rather than a sort of easter egg hunt during bits of the second half, but it was more than enough for me to consider this movie an hour and a half well spent.
I think the movie was interesting and made you think. (by ras_girl_00)
I thought this was a good movie. The actors in this movie worked good together. I think the movie was interesting and made you think. It made you open your mind up to be more aware of what could happen and what people believe as true or untrue. It makes you look at the Catholic Religion in a different light. You also feel for the characters in this movie and you want to understand what they are trying to do and believe in. It was a very well done movie and Heath Legder has grown as an actor. Shannyn Sommason has grown as a actor too. They both have good chemistry as actors. I would recommend <more>
this movie to anyone who was willing to watch something different, and you enjoy B movies with good actors, as I do, I strongly recommend this movie to you.
Original premise and stellar performances (by Elswet)
Do not believe the reviews! This is an excellent addition to any horror collection! This is a dark, well-blended horror/thriller/suspense.The use of religiochristian dogma and theologies throughout the horror genre is common and proliferate, and surely nothing new. neochristians will, for the most part, hate this movie, as it shows the darker side of the catholic church. Pagans will also dog this movie due to its erroneous use of the title "pagan" to one who is viewed as a sinner by the catholic church. So either way, there is not going to be a strong fan base for this movie. Not <more>
even a strong percentage of horror fans those for whom this movie was created , are pagan or eclectic enough to fully understand the implications given here, or educated enough to "get" the symbolism. If you fall into the select few who can truly appreciate this movie, then by all means, DO SO! It is a beautifully written, well enacted tale.The Order, boasting the "Knight's Tale" cast for the most part , carries a natural camaraderie which stems from their having worked together previously. The story is an old one, quite creatively selected, and seldom used.This movie has elements which were expertly utilized such as the sparrows as the harbingers of the souls of the demons; sparrows are known to be escorts of departed souls to whatever afterlife they belong. The concept of demons taking the form of children is also quite good. I realize this is not a new idea, and has been used heavily, but here, it was done WELL. The use of nightingales' song as a signature for death, as the nightingales sang over the grave of Orpheus as in no where else in the world, was inspired and a knowledgeable touch. There are many more elements such as these, but you will have to watch the movie for yourself to find out what they are.The designs of the sets and the architecture are done with a specialized style. The dialog is articulate, witty and well delivered.I honestly have not enjoyed a judeochristian-oriented horror as much as this one, since my first viewing of the Exorcist. This was extremely well written, professionally portrayed, lovingly assembled and expertly presented.While it is nowhere nearly as horrific as the Exorcist, and indeed, the story line has nothing to do with that movie, the tale is quite well told, compelling, and very thought-provoking.There have been many films, literary works, etc. which have eluded to the idea that the catholic church has, hidden within its many orders, specialists as it were, in the fields of exorcism, ancient mysteries, holy relics/magickal items, and the like.Anne Rice, for example, has used a "fictitious" organization known as the Talimasca in her Witching Hour series which kept track of magickal bloodlines, most people are aware of the true nature of the Masons, the Knights of the Columbus, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Illuminati, and countless others.It is practically common knowledge that the Vatican warehouses thousands of magickal texts, items, relics, and keeps the human population of sheep "safe from their own devices." "The Order" is a most excellent example of that premise, along with the moral that it is no sin to love, and if it is, screw it because love is your key to emotional freedom.It was a darkly sinister almost-Gothic tale which I found to be highly enjoyable.If you liked this movie you may also enjoy "Revelations."It rates an 8.9/10 from...the Fiend :.
Slowly paced but the mood-setting is outstanding! (by elle-21)
The movie makers excelled at setting the mood of this film. Without using campy ghouls or ghostly figures, the evil of sin was conveyed through visual effects and convincing acting. Knowing some Latin and a bit of arcane religious history was very helpful... but I expect the story line was strong enough to be interesting to viewers without such a background. The end of the story seemed perfect for keeping options open to have a sequel film.
A dark film that makes you work to enjoy it. (by ozthegreatat42330)
One of the things that I have come to enjoy about actor Heath Ledger is that he is always willing to take on roles that are out of the main stream, and this is definitely true of the character of Alex in "The Order." This is a dark film in which nothing is quite what it seems to be, and you the vier are required to work at enjoying it. Overlooking the catholic jargon, go for the meat of the story, well done by director Brian Helgland. Another point in favor of this film, which again suffers when religionists want to take everything so literally, is that with an organization of the <more>
age of the Roman Catholic Church, many diverse and sometimes less than wholesome groups develop. And the church, for all of its good works, does not always function in the best interest of its members. This is a dark story and Heath Ledger's subtle underplaying of the character of Alex, combined with the almost comic relief of Mark Addy as Thomas and ever sinister strangeness of Cardinal Driscoll, played to perfection by Peter Weller gives you an excellent performance all around. An excellent film for people into the esoteric side of religion.
So, yea, I just thought I'd write this. This rating something around 5? below 5? is, as other reviewers have hinted, what you get when a movie is marketed to the wrong people. People came to see this movie who don't like good movies, and they are members of this site and came here and gave it a 1. It is the first time I've seen this site's rating system fail miserably, I had always figured that good films were getting their due, that it all averaged out and that the ratings were reliable. I saw it once, and from what I can remember perhaps the only flaw was the inclusion of <more>
horrific imagery at times for no reason, forced in by people involved in the production who think these things are needed to entertain. Obviously even they were not enough... The movie was, in fact, about an 8 or 9 out of 10.