Creation Has Potential, Doesn't Evolve
Critics agree Paul Bettany shines, but premise falls mostly flat
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2010 10:23 AM CST

(Newser) – Critics agree that on paper, Creation has a lot going for it. But they don't think the flick delivers the thrill of Charles Darwin's groundbreaking work:

  • "Director Jon Amiel has reduced a crucial moment in science to a Lifetime weepie about a workaholic who needs personal tragedy to wake him up to his wife's virtues," Peter Travers writes in Rolling Stone. The fact that stars Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly are married in real life "adds surprisingly little zest."

  • Not so, counters Mick LaSalle. It's the "kind of casting that doesn't always work, but it does here," he writes in the San Francisco Chronicle. Elsewhere, "the filmmakers' effort to keep the science/religion argument easy and pure renders it stacked and simple."
  • "What begins as a multilayered tale of scientific discovery and cultural history gets reduced to a single maudlin idea," Noel Murray writes for the Onion AV Club: "that even Charles Darwin had to evolve."
  • Great director, great premise, great cast, especially Bettany. But "some questions just can't be answered by science, and the quandary of why Creation is so poundingly dull is one of them," writes Stephanie Zacharek of Salon,