In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_5tzuowodx4f3ngozwzozwmdy9ze

War Story

Director Mark Jackson’s drama is a chilly study in grief starring Catherine Keener as a war-zone photographer shattered by her experiences in Libya.

Thumb_hercules

Hercules

Dwayne Johnson tries, but he’s surrounded by poor CGI and a terrible adaptation of yet another comic book. Ian McShane steals what little movie there…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

God Told Me To

  |  

I wasn't going to see "God Told Me To" -- God, indeed, seemed to be telling me not to -- but then I read the press release and knew immediately this was a movie I had to see. It had been too long, I decided, since I'd seen a film in which the leading character was, and I quote, "the only man alive who can make the choice to help or destroy a mysterious force which has begun to unleash its dread power upon the earth." Not since "Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster" had a press release promised so much.

The movie, alas, doesn't quite live up to the billing. It never even quite identifies the Dread Power, although from the brief glimpses I got of it, it seemed to be a hippie who glowed yellow. But the movie does achieve greatness in another way: This is the most confused feature-length film I've ever seen.

There were times when I thought the projectionist was showing the reels in random order, as a quiet joke on the hapless audience. But, no, apparently the movie WAS supposed to be put together this way, as a sort of 52-card pick-up of cinema. The story's so random, indeed, that by the time Sandy Dennis made her second appearance, I'd forgotten she was in the film.

The plot concerns a New York detective (Tony LoBianco) who investigates a series of murders in which the killers claimed God told them to kill. It turns out they're under the hypnotic sway of the child of visitors from outer space. LoBianco's assignment, if he chooses to accept it: Help or destroy this mysterious force which has begun to unleash its dread power, etc.

As I left the theater, dazed, I saw a crowd across the street. A young man in a strait jacket (try not to get ahead of the story, please) was preparing to be suspended in mid-air hundreds of inches above the ground, and to escape, Houdini-style. At the moment he was still standing on the sidewalk -- but, believe me, it was still a better show.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Exploring Israel-Palestine through Movies: Part 1

The first part in a four-part series on what film can teach us about the relationship between Israel and Palestine.

Able-Bodied Actors and Disability Drag: Why Disabled Roles are Only for Disabled Performers

Scott Jordan Harris argues that disabled characters should not be played by able-bodied actors.

Simply Do it: Talking with Woody Allen About Directorial Style

An interview with Woody Allen about his new film, "Magic in the Moonlight."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus