A quiet, contemplative film based on the real life story of eight French monks living in a remote monastery in Algeria in the 1990's and the growing menace of local terrorists who threaten the monks' tranquil life, resulting in a tragic ending. Interesting and mildly suspenseful, though some may find it a little slow. I am not religious, so found the frequent biblical chanting, singing and readings to be a little tedious, but a good movie otherwise. The special features are worth looking at for further info on the real monks on whom this movie is based, and interviews with their relatives.
Tragic story, told how it is. I enjoyed the scenery, the challenge of coming to terms with those who are tolerant and bring peace being destroyed by ignorance.
Very religious, a French movie lasting 2 hours with lots of prayers, lots of scenes without dialogues, lots of scenes about monks reflecting... So do not expect any action! The pace is slower than a snail moving and if you don't care much about religion, this is not for you and it was definitely not for me! Boring! Up for a snooze?
Very well made overall. Slow but compelling. Well worth the watch. A true story to boot.
A very gentle treatment of a sad event. Beautiful music .
Boring as anything...........
Good story, but the plot is very slow to develop. There is far too much time spent watching the monks pray. I was praying for something to happen! The action, when it occurs, is violent and gory, but it rarely happens.
I think I wrote a review for this under another title; too much red wine, I'm afraid. The sad story was well directed and acted.
A foreign film with sub-titles, can't recommend it because I was trying to do my ironing while watching, and the need to read subtitles means you can't do anything else.
Would not recommend
A French sub-titled film, we found it hard to get into and gave up at the 20 min mark!
Very slow but quite compelling, and beautifully shot and acted.
It showed the 2 sides of the coin, the love of man & the brutality of man
Very slow and boring. Didn't like it at all
Didn't watch the entire movie. Was bored through the beginning and turned it off.
An excellent reflection on the courage it takes to sometimes just live a life of faith - even when you know it will cost you. The film succeeds in portraying the daily liturgical routine of this monastery as well as their acts of charity within the community. Some may call this slow, but I found the pointed recitation of the Psalms and other chants to be a compelling statement of faith. It never succumbs to simplifying the moral dilemma in very black and white terms...there is real meat on this bone. And the images? Well they are as beautiful as everything else in the film. 4.5 stars.
Of Gods and Men succeeds nicely in its first half in establishing the way in which the monks' faith is practised and lived out within the wider community. This is achieved through a number of simple but touching scenarios in which the actors do an excellent job at fleshing out and complicating underwritten, narrow characterisations. Similarly the writer-director (Xavier Beauvois) and his principles do a good job of establishing the monk's connections to each other, building a sense of a brotherly, close-knot community through both narrative and formal devices. For example: the camera pans between monks as often as it cuts and this serves to link them to each other in a clever, understated way.
It's greatly disappointing then that the film grows increasingly didactic and heavy-handed as the threat approaches and the monks begin to argue about whether they should stay or go. The need for the monks to stay and be with their community is hammered into the ground even as, paradoxically, the community is increasingly relegated to an off screen role. Big set pieces also become more prominent and while some, such as the first appearance of the enemy fighters, are successful, the majority are overblown attempts at yanking heartstrings.Ultimately Beauvois just has too narrow a statement to make about what religious duty means and how it is be lived out in the world and not enough trust in his audience to pick these threads out of simple, unadorned incident.
Powerful story. While the movie is a bit slow at times I enjoyed this film and agree with the 3 1/2 star rating. Good performances by lead characters.
This quiet and reflective drama has a surprisingly dramatic 2nd half
I loved this movie because of its portrayal of the humanity of the monks in a situation of violence. Beautifully filmed - awesome setting. Thought provoking. Deep reflection on the presence of faith filled people living their commitment amongst the poor. I enjoyed the extras and interview with the director.