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2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 October 2015
Do not look to watch this film if you're hoping for a faithful retelling of the story you may know from the Old Testament in the Bible - you will be disappointed, or even outraged depending on your religious beliefs. This should be watched as a stand alone film based very loosely on the tale of Noah and the Ark. The writers and director have their own interpretation which is not likely to match your own and, as writers and directors, they have that ability and liberty and they certainly use it here - much is added, much is left out.

As a stand alone film it has great moments - some beautiful, expansive scenery and landscapes and some very nice effects, with some particularly magical moments around the Ark and of course the animals. The flood itself is also captured extremely well and the digital/CGI team have done a great job here. I also enjoyed some of the surprising and very non-Biblical aspects that have been introduced and found this helped to distinguish between trying to watch this as a retelling of the Bible and a fantasy epic that instead poses different questions and ideas - some of which sit outside of religion, some of which are by their nature intrinsically linked to religion and our interpretation and beliefs on the matter. To this end, the film will of course divide people. Personally, I thought it was an interesting way of inviting the viewer to ask questions, rather than just repeat information as a truth that we either accept or reject.

Outside of that, the acting is generally superb from the main cast but the film's pacing loses its way too often and as a result the film often felt like it was dragging (in particular towards the end) and it's definitely a film that requires commitment! Sometimes the script and actions of the characters were also frustrating and the film sometimes felt indulgent and over staged. The film is also surprisingly violent in places - they don't hold back on the terrible impact and aftermath of the flood and other issues surrounding suitable procreation might also not be suitable for younger children.

Overall the film was OK with moments of greatness but it could have been improved massively by a tighter edit and shorter run time. Give it a go if you have the time to dedicate to it and can accept the fact that it isn't a dedicated retelling of the story you may already know.
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on 18 October 2016
This was actually a lot better than I expected. In the current climate it really makes a change to find a 'mythological' type film that, instead of whingeing about religion, puts the blame for the state of the world where it belongs: with the greed and violence of everyone in it. The point is laboured a little at times, but it's a fault on the right side. Up to and including the battle scene this is not a bad film and, although obviously liberties are taken, surprisingly true to the spirit of the original story. The Icelandic locations give it an interesting flavour - like One Million Years BC but a lot chillier.

Sadly, everything that happens on board the ark is pretty much a write off. [Spoilers:] You know that Ray Winstone, doing his usual Cockney geezer schtick, is never going to get the better of Noah, nor is Noah going to kill his granddaughters - I mean, not only do you consciously know that those things won't happen, there's no emotional sense that they *might*. He's Russell Crowe FFS! This pointless half-hour sucks the life out of the film and prevents you caring much about the end.

So it's three stars but a 'pleasantly surprised' rather than 'disappointed' three. I do think they missed a trick, though: I was hoping for an epic tussle between Ray's forces and all those budgies and squirrels - but no.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 October 2016
Although based on the Biblical story of the flood, this film is essentially a fantasy epic. And as fantasy, this is an entertaining movie full of action and adventure. It's an apocalyptical story, with God deciding to bestow chaos on the world - destroying hitherto creation, aside from the survivors on Noah's Ark. And the film focuses on Noah and his family, as they build the Ark. All goes well, until many thousands of men and women seek to survive the flood by boarding the Ark. To prevent this, Noah relies on the assistance of the Watchers (fallen angels). Once the flood has occurred, Noah expects humans to become extinct ... believing that the human species is underserving of living in the newly-formed creation. This belief does, however, pit Noah against his family.

The basic plot is well known. Yet this film adds much by way of creative license. The acting is good, the special effects are great, and the story proceeds in a fascinating manner. So long as you're not after a literal re-telling of the Biblical tale, and to the extent that you're willing to engage in fantasy, then I recommend this movie.
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on 29 July 2014
This film was not what I expected from the reviews I have read. I was almost put off it by the great majority and now I have seen the film i find them difficult to understand. I read the bible story as a child and was always aware of the darker side to it which this film reflects. I did read it from the bible though not some watered down versions which removed all the hard and difficult parts. The old testament is full of hard and difficult stories and Noah is one of the hardest to accept as a christian. Because as Christians we are raised in the light of the new covenant of the new testament which make our view of the old testament seem awful, terrible and harsh. But the film is much nearer to the story that i read than any film that i have seen before. If anything it was not dark enough there was only one indication of the beings who where the children of fallen angels with human women. Yes it is one mans interpretation of a a story a lot of people believe they know but don't knock that interpretation if it is nearer to the original than your own. Ignoring the biblical questions the story is a good story and the characters are well drawn and Russell Crowe plays a tormented man that I could believe. The supporting actors were all believable though the men were weaker than the women. Yes you could take notice of the accents but that is ok because it was before Nimrod LOL. I think its a film I could watch over and over again because of the depth of the story. But if you want a children's version of Noah's ark which you can walk away from with a smile on your face this is not for you.
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on 11 June 2014
Noah was a very intriguing film to watch. Cinematically there is a lot of originality about the film and it does it's best to remain theologically neutral. I was surprised at the high level of subtle violence in the film. Russell Crowe is always watchable and the comparisons between Noah and Maximus are undeniable. There were also good supporting acting from Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone. I'm still coming to terms with a post Harry Potter Emma Watson. The film trailers chose to avoid depicting the Watchers, perhaps wisely. While slow to get going, the film comes into its own with the introduction of the ark and the visual delights that accompany the unsympathetic destruction of the world. Overall, a worthwhile watch and while it will likely leave audiences, of all beliefs, with questions; there is no denying that Darron Aronofsky is a visionary.
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on 4 November 2016
Very poor direction, plot and acting. I usually like Crowe in movies but even he can't make this a good film to watch. The original bible story is more than interesting enough even for anyone who does not believe in it. I understand what they were going for with the interpretation, but they missed their target by a mile. It certainly doesn't need this ludicrous attempt to turn it into some sort of sci-fi thing with a 'They Came From Outer Space!' type of appearance. Full marks to Russell Crowe for the way he takes on such a variety of roles though.
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on 12 April 2014
Ok, let's really look at this movie.

I get really frustrated by the people putting this down because it's not like the bible. ...So let's compare this to Harry Potter. To some fans, Potter is like the holy grail. And are the movies exact to the book, page by page? No, they're not. But can the fans appreciate the films? Largely, yes, we can.

Now, honestly, if you were within biblical times and found out that everyone is going to die and everything ever made will disappear bar one family and a load of animals, how would you feel? Scrap that, how would you feel if that happened in today's world? We'd all have kittens! There'd be anarchy, people would be terrified. I would be!

The idea in the bible that Noah built an arc and everyone was okay with dying is not as realistic as this is. I'm someone who's open to interpretation and the fact is, in those early years, there were just people, the values and laws are not as strong and definitive as what we see today. So people attacking Noah and the arc because they're so terrified of the unknown is completely realistic. Just step back and think about it. We still fear the unknown today.

The cast are very well chosen. When I heard Emma Watson had been cast in...probably her biggest film to date...I wondered if she could handle it. And believe me, she does. Emma's performance is so believable and realistic, she had me close to tears at some points. I believe she's the standout performance in this and I think this film will truly make her career. Dakota Fanning was apparently supposed to take the role of Ila but couldn't due to conflicting schedules. I cannot imagine her in this role whatsoever. Emma makes an absolute spectacle of herself in this movie in all the right ways.

I can see why people would say Noah seems like he's insane in this. So, let's analyse Noah in this film. You see your father murdered as a child. What does that do to you? There are adults in this world who have seen such horror today and still aren't over it. What Noah is is driven by the belief that he is following 'The Creator's' word. He believes there's a set way and much like the people are afraid of the unknown, Noah fears deference from what he sees as the plan. Mix this with your childhood memories,the fact that you have been chosen for this task and the guilt of knowing that you couldn't save all the innocent lives...maybe you wouldn't necessarily be an entirely 'normal' state of mind either.

The locations and graphics of this film are amazing. Visually, all the nature is spectacular and I loved seeing all the animals head to the arc.

What you have to remember...this is a dramatized interpretation of a biblical story. This is not the Bible in movie form. I don't like seeing it judged as a homage to the Lord Almighty and the bible. I think this is a stunning film that brings a reality to what possibly was a great tragedy of the early world. Rather than think of it as a story from the bible, step back. Think about it. Think about how the characters might feel, then take in the stunning cut of this film. Hopefully then you can appreciate it for what it is.
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on 11 November 2014
(Note: Some spoilers)

Ok. I only ever write these reviews in the hope that i can possibly save someone else from wasting two hours of their life. This film was absolutely terrible. I have to agree with the opinions of another reviewer when they said they felt at one point they were watching "Transformers". I felt that throughout the whole film , they were trying to mimic the Transformers Hollywood "formula" and create a Michael Bay film set in ancient times, it felt wrong and forced. Ok, so where do we start?

In the beginning .... (sorry , had to) .. i dont know how, but i knew from the first 2 minutes of the opening titles that this film was going to be awful. The introductory opening focused more on creating an arty, pretentious tone with what seemed like childlike graphics and title fonts. This initial artistic cinematography made me feel like the whole film was going to be a journey into the life of Noah , seen from the perspective of Andy Warhol. (slightly exaggerated, but you will get my point).

The back story heavily copied films such as Lord of The Rings and Thor in its presentation, which would be fine if it were not blatantly obvious and poorly executed. As this story is so well known maybe i expected a simple,natural plot introduction to convey the time period in which it was set. Instead we get an epic introduction which elevates biblical characters/gods into what felt like comic book super heroes.

Anyway, after the disappointing opening, everything calms down and a story begins to emerge. This is the ONLY part of the film where i thought "hey , this might turn out alright" Unfortunately just as i was getting into the storyline and my subconscious had nearly forgotten the abysmal opening we are presented with the rock people. (Watchers) .. Instantaneously i am transported into a cross between "Transformers" and "Iron Man". This was the "nail in the coffin" for me. Now to put this into perspective, i love the Iron Man films and i also really liked Transformers because they work perfectly with regards to story and context. This use of CGI doesn't seem to work within the context of a biblical related film. I don't know why , my brain told me so :) I am not religious in the slightest but i think we may associate biblical stories in our mind from the perspective of physical reality in it's simplistic form .. so this use of technological imagery makes our minds less immersed in the story to the point where we consciously observe the film as silly or nonsensical.

Once you are completely taken out of a film in this way then it's pretty impossible to re-engage. It is also at this stage far easier to see other nonsensical aspects of the film you wouldn't see if you were engaged in the story. For example .. "Noah" coming back to the ark with a shaved head that could only be achieved with electric clippers. Also, when a full forest grows in seconds from a barren wasteland you will probably ask yourself "If god just made a forest out of nothing then why didn't he just create the ark as well" .. Questions that would have been overlooked had i been fully engrossed in the story.

It's hard to believe this film actually cost $125 million to make. The Shawshank redemption (i use this example because of popularity) cost $25 million. Although they are completely different films it is safe to say that great storytelling will always engage the human mind first and foremost. Any additional effects should be used sparingly if it does not suit the context of the film.
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on 2 January 2017
Visually Noah brilliantly done, and this is an interesting interpretation of the Bible story, but I found little else to commend it. It was slow, especially at the beginning, and there was actually very little dialogue, which means this is a film you have to sit and actually watch, rather than have on while you do some knitting (unless you know your pattern by heart!). The characters are pretty forgettable, especially the sons, and I really don't get this modern trend for actors to speak their lines so softly, as if they're speaking to themselves. It makes it very difficult to hear the dialogue, and with music and sound effects still being at their usual pitch, it means sitting with the remote in your hand and playing see-saw with the volume. Overall, I'm glad to have seen it but I won't be watching it again.
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on 6 December 2015
I expected to be disappointed with this film, but not as disappointed as this. Given the understanding that the director is an atheist, I wonder why he bothered to use any of the Bible story at all. Noah is presented as a confused, semi-physchotic individual who bears little resemblance to the man in the "book". The story only accords with the Bible account in a few places, hence the introduction of "The Watchers", who seem to have been rescued from the Lord of the Rings waste paper bin. The animatronics/CGI special effects are second rate. The flood sequence is well done until Noah goes off into a rant before doing battle with Ray Winstone's Tubalcain, who manages to sneak onto the ark without either Noah's knowledge or Moses, who compiled the book of Genesis in which the story can be found. One expects some poetic licence from Hollywood when dealing with Bible stories, but this goes well off the radar. A major disappointment and a waste of some decent acting talent.
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