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Set in ancient Egypt under Roman rule, AGORA follows the brilliant and beautiful astronomer Hypatia (Weisz) who leads a group of disciples fighting to save the wisdom of the Ancient World, as violent religious upheaval spills into the streets of Alexandria. Among these disciples are two men competing for her heart: the witty, privileged Orestes (Isaac) and Davus (Minghella), Hypatia’s young slave, who is torn between his secret love for her and the freedom he knows can be his if he chooses to join the unstoppable surge of the Christians.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 89
- Fresh: 47
- Rotten: 42
- Average Rating: 5.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: An interesting but often frustrating effort by the director of The Sea Inside, who proves that ambition and talent aren't enough to ensure a compelling drama.
Fresh: It's still more than watchable thanks to the ministrations of a talented director, Spain's Alejandro Amenabar, but the togas seem to have brought out the stiff, declamatory earnestness in everyone.
Fresh: Agora, Alejandro Amenabar's absorbing historical drama, proves that, in an era of movies made for iPhones with artistic ambitions to match, there are still filmmakers willing to swing for the fences.
Rotten: This Spanish-produced period drama is pretty dreadful: the drama is torpid, the astronomy lessons pedantic, and the spear-and-sandal production values flat-out cheesy.
It's a nice change to see a movie unafraid to deal with such sensitive topics as religious extremism. Along with such movies as Kingdom of Heavon and King Arthur this film examines the dangers of Christian extremism as well. The painful similarities of exhuberance and mindless faith seen in our recent past of book burnings, condemnation of non Christians, and the rise of the anti science and anti knowledge school systems in Kansas and the sourh amply demonstrate the dangers of this extremism. This movie also clearly demonstrates how easily knowledge can be gained, and then lost if allowed to be suppressed with ignorance and fear. Rachel Weisz provides a strong female lead in this role and the sets and grandeur are equal to that of other Biblical epics, but with more accuracy and an even handed treatment of our religious roots. Look for this film to receive less than stellar ratings by those afraid of its message.
Masterpiece, Insightful, Relevant
Agora was a Cinema Masterpiece, no less. It showed the evils of religion in whatever for it takes. The film focuses on the Christians but it shows the Hubris and self importance of all religions, "Pagan", Jew, and Christian to name a few. They all felt that they were the chosen ones, that the others were misguided children who did not really understand teh true word of God or the Gods and in this sanctimonious self righteousness they brought about a long slow slide into a Dark Age that would last a Millenium and destroyed almost all of the light and knowledge that man had created. The ironic thing was that some of the "Pagan" writings were saved by the Christian Church not because tehy valued the wisdom and knowledge but because they used them to show how much more enlightened they were and how ignorant and un-enlightened the "Pagans" were. Well at least they saved these great works for a more enlightened age.
The most dire and horiffying effect this film has is how it shows the shadows of our world today. Once again our world is sliding into the darkness of religous extremism and ignorance...this time Islam. Once again anything that does not fit into what they feel is the "True Way" must be destroyed and once again our leadership and our societies are a bunch of spineless cowards giving in tot he ignorance and darkness and masking it as "compassion", "understanding", and "progressivism", and that it is "inevitable".
I hope that the world will wake up and all religions will be abolished so that God and Man can really live in peace.
Four & a Half
We are once thrust into an ancient world ful of our universal positioning among the planets and the 100 years follwing Christ's crucifiction and resurrection. As you may have already known, there were serious principles at stake between Christians and non-believers and this new science is taught so profoundly through the female character, who pours her heart and soul into the mysteries of earthy orbit around the sun. There are of course two men devouted to their opposing causes, and both are her recent disciples. A very compelling look at history and the great love and sacrifices taken to ensure sacred texts and heavenly relationships both worldly and other-worldly.
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2010
- © 2009 MOD PRODUCCIONES, HIMENÓPTERO & TELECINCO CINEMA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.