Noah Is Insane, in a Good Way

Critics say Aronofsky's biblical epic is ambitious if uneven

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 28, 2014 9:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – Admit it: You weren't expecting the reviews for Noah to be good. But the biblical epic, directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, is actually getting a lot of praise—even if most of it acknowledges that the movie is nuts. Here's what people are saying:

  • "Noah is less an epic than a horror movie," writes AO Scott at the New York Times. "The most potent special effects are Mr. Crowe’s eyes." Crowe's Noah is "a genocidal lunatic" who believes he "has been chosen not to save mankind but to ensure its annihilation." Yeah, this is a dark, risky film, because Aronofsky "takes the narrative and its implications seriously," imagining "what it might have felt like to live in a newly created, already-ruined world."

  • "First of all, let's acknowledge that Darren Aronofsky's Noah was a bad idea," writes Alex O'Hehir at Salon. But "at least it's a bad idea on a grand scale." Aronofsky seems to have realized how screwed he was, and gone wild, producing "a grandiose and baffling journey that's almost worth taking. ... When it connects it's awesome, and when it doesn't it's awesomely silly."
  • It's "like some hallucinogenic, parallel-universe version of the History Channel's Bible series," writes Stephen Rea at the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Noah is not, for even one second, dull. Aronofsky's film is crazy, bold, and, yes, biblical," though it's unclear "how all of this will play with by-the-book Christian moviegoers."
  • But Alonso Duralde at The Wrap thinks Aronofsky has actually reined himself in too much to avoid ruffling the faithful's feathers. "Noah has snakes and bears and herbalist anesthesia and rock-angels and rampaging armies and panicky sinners, so why is it such a drag?" he asks. It's "a movie that will please neither the 'Son of God' crowd nor the people excited about a reunion between the director and leading lady of Requiem for a Dream."

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Russell Crowe in a scene from "Noah."   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Niko Tavernise)
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An official trailer for Noah.   (YouTube/Paramount International)

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