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Overall Rating
2.87

Awesome: 9.21%
Worth A Look32.89%
Average: 13.16%
Pretty Bad: 25%
Total Crap: 19.74%

13 reviews, 74 user ratings


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Stigmata
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by Filmnet

"An intelligent supernatural thriller."
4 stars

It starts off slow and thoughtful, with images of what looks to be some melancholy South American Saint's Feast Day parade, with all the painful beauty of those events, the image is slowed to magnify the beauty.

A non South American looking Priest (Byrne) makes his way though the crowds to the church in a very matter of fact way. In the church there is a crowd of pilgrims chanting, a statue of the Madonna crying tears of blood and the body of an elderly priest in an open coffin. A boy in his mid late teens runs up to the foreign priest and thanks him for coming, and we discover with minimal dialogue that our priest is Father Andrew Kiernan, an official field investigator for the Vatican's "Sacred Congregation of for the Causes of Saints", whose job is to debunk or verify reports of miracles, and that the statue started crying when the old priest died. While Father Kiernan collects samples of the "tears" and takes photographs of the statue, a young boy takes advantage of the distraction to filch the dead priest's rosary which he sells to an American tourist in the markets. The audience is then barraged with the main title sequence and hard core music, I was reminded of Baz Luhrmann's titles for Romeo + Juliet and with a shock, snap and flash we are in the inner urban world of a young hairdresser, Frankie Paige (Arquette), and we soon discover it was her mother who purchased that crucifix and sent it to Frankie in a parcel of souvenirs from her trip.

I was taken by surprise by Stigmata, it is extremely well researched, the characters are believable and complex, even if I never really got to know them, I cared about what was happening to them. The story may be fictional, but it has a solid foundation in fact, myth, reported phenomena and the politics of the Vatican. Stigmata sucked me into it's world totally, certainly it had my heart rate pumped and my brain clicking over the possibilities of how it would end.

Rupert Wainwright is apparently best known for directing commercials, the glossy award winning kind, and Stigmata does have that look, lots of tight visual shorthand employed to give maximum info in minimum frames. It is image, rather than dialogue driven, but not to the detriment of the dialogue that is used. People talk like people, the unbelievable is dealt with in a very matter of fact way, a logical explanation for Frankie's attacks is sought by the doctors attending her wounds. It is virtually by accident that Father Kiernan is sent to Pittsburgh by the Vatican to investigate, and it is assumed to be an open and shut non-case. The fear is more palpable because it is underplayed by the actors and the chemistry between Arquette and Byrne is lovely, possibly because of the juxtaposition of the characters they play.

Stigmata is most definitely worth the price of admission. It is in no way simplistic, obvious or exploitative and for anyone with a basic knowledge of or an interest in the history of the Catholic Church and how faith, science and the supernatural mixes with the human factor, it is a most rewarding experience, though I don't recommend you go with someone who has a tendency to ask what is going on all the time.

I suppose I should also warn those who have an unquestioned belief that the Catholic Church is all holy and can do no evil will probably be offended, but I certainly want to see this film again, preferably on a decent screen. (Cyndy Kitt Vogelsgang--filmnet.org.au)

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1610&reviewer=169
originally posted: 01/20/00 19:35:52
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell the exorcist 4 the m tv crowd 1 stars
7/31/10 PAUL SHORTT SILLY HORROR WITH BAD PERFORMANCES 1 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter Overly-bashed,surprisingly entertaining "Exorcist" rip-off that's a lot of fun! 3 stars
7/31/07 Indrid Cold Gabriel Byrne apparently has a corner on this market. Why wasn't he in The Da Vinci Code? 2 stars
6/06/07 David Pollastrini Saw it and have no memory of it so it must have sucked 2 stars
1/22/07 David A. About halfway thru, this horror tries to become inspirational. Weak ending. 3 stars
1/01/07 del Easily one of the stupidest movies I've ever seen. 1 stars
6/05/06 chris I like this movie and I think it's great. 5 stars
3/31/06 Anthony Feor i got stigmata from watching this 1 stars
9/10/05 aiza awesome.... i like the story itself.. 5 stars
8/13/05 Lily So boring. Couldn't wait for it to end. 1 stars
8/12/05 ES catholic priest stumbles on a terrible plot that proves protestants were right, oh no! 3 stars
5/31/05 yosef ilove creative dildoes 5 stars
10/04/04 Bobble Very Entertaining, gory, and far-fetched. Why all the fuss ? 4 stars
8/04/04 Mia I loved the movie and I believe that it was one of the greatest movies yet to come. 5 stars
6/18/04 Alex Bound to hit a few nerves, expect NO unbiased opinions of this movie 5 stars
5/22/04 John caveat emptor 1 stars
5/07/04 Alex Fucked up movie. The guy who derectied it was a wannabe and a dam cunt. It was offensive. 1 stars
3/18/04 Trevor Definitely one of the better films in the 90's, I hope Wainright will direct again soon! 5 stars
1/05/04 cwlg420 It was fun, and it P/O the pope 5 stars
10/17/03 Summer Very well done. Beautiful. 4 stars
8/08/03 Brandy I enjoyed this movie. Obviously, those that did not, didn't get it. 5 stars
7/27/03 Monster W. Kung A ridiculous, inane and ignorant wanna-be scary, wanna-be 'message' movie. Pathetic. 1 stars
5/03/03 shaban very nice movie 2 stars
3/18/03 Mahdy Mazahary That Was Impressive 5 stars
9/27/02 Lee Wall Stigmata takes an old idea and makes it new...inspired and inspiring. 5 stars
7/12/02 KMG Less Catholic propaganda and more plot please! 3 stars
7/01/02 R.W. Welch Curious mix of conspiracy and mysticism; squirrelly but not badly done. 3 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Badly written story. Not much punch. 2 stars
1/17/02 Jockstud Exorcist + B Movie Script + Enigma = Stigmata 3 stars
1/16/02 David A. Starts out as horror and ends up being inspirational--go figure 4 stars
12/07/01 Dominik Duprelle a Dayglow, MTV, abominatrix. Balls. 1 stars
8/06/01 badfish Hello?Hollywood?We dont need any more blasphemic, unbelievable pieces of elephant feces. 1 stars
4/02/01 Joe Bova If you are aroused by lots and lots of candles and dripping water, then this is your porn. 2 stars
3/25/01 Monster W. Kung Not as idiotic as End Of Days, but rather superficial and crappy nevertheless. 2 stars
2/13/01 Jake Awful. Pathetic attempt at horror. 1 stars
2/09/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Doesn't "suspend" your disbelief...kinda ties a noose and slips it around your neck... 3 stars
11/26/00 The Bomb 69 pleasantly surprised, wasn't expecting much but the plot was strong 5 stars
10/29/00 Mitja Podgajski The greates "antichurch" movie... i love it! 5 stars
9/05/00 Terrie Smith Byrne makes the film better than it really is; major disappointment. 3 stars
5/21/00 mellemel Pretty crappy sums it up 2 stars
5/19/00 Queer with a Brain Excellent material, poorly executed. Agnes of God better deals w/similar subject. 3 stars
4/26/00 Austin Ritter This film was an awesome look into the foolishess of the modern chuch. It makes you think. 5 stars
4/07/00 SID Entertaining, but that's it. Awful MTV-editing, and soundtrack. 3 stars
3/15/00 Chrissy T Gabriel Byrne was the only thing in this keeping me from laughing my ass off. Amusing trash 4 stars
3/09/00 Mr. Kramitall coulda been a great X-Files episode 3 stars
3/06/00 Kyle Broflovski I'm a Jew, so I'm scared of the Catholic Church, anyway 4 stars
2/11/00 James Woodman Scary (but inconsistant) shit. 4 stars
2/06/00 Frank Curigliano Dull and derivative 3 stars
1/29/00 puppyboy434@aol.com wild fun ride with catholic church as villans! 4 stars
1/26/00 Joel Harwood Freaky 5 stars
1/25/00 Italian Stallion. Great Directing...Patricia cant act for shit,ending sux..kepps u thinking though!! 4 stars
1/24/00 Phil Smith above average,value for cinema buck,quite enjoyable 4 stars
11/19/99 bishopj@pumpkinsfan.com Corgan rules, this film doesn't. BEst part was Arquette in the hot green top in the opening 2 stars
11/15/99 Mark Damn, catholicism is creepy, I need a new religion 3 stars
10/15/99 Lame-Oh lame-ass schlock 2 stars
10/11/99 Ben Ryan Interesting, Binding, keeps u watching to see what the Catholics will screw up next! 4 stars
10/04/99 Holliwud I liked , I think it's worth a look 4 stars
9/29/99 Weezal316 Creepy. . .Disturbing. . .A Brillant Film 4 stars
9/26/99 Costars Redundant, hyperbolic, gross bullshit 2 stars
9/25/99 XenoWolf Alright that scene was pointless o look bloods pouring out of wrists again 2 stars
9/24/99 Tom Such a waste of time and money, should have been called Stink-mata 1 stars
9/23/99 Fork Different movie, cool concept, execution somewhat flagrant. 3 stars
9/20/99 Gunhed All style, no plot makes for one piss poor symbolic piece 'o' crap. Give me the Omen. 1 stars
9/20/99 Admiral Crunch Right on with the review, rocksolidace. Nutcase movie to be exact. 2 stars
9/16/99 ChicoWildcat Take everyone else's word and don't pay to see this train wreck. 2 stars
9/15/99 Dennis Forcier Rent 'Life of Brian' instead. 1 stars
9/14/99 Chukls When it comes to zany nutball comedy, you can't go wrong here! 1 stars
9/14/99 Elijah Stigmata = Menstruation. Nuff said. 2 stars
9/13/99 janet It made me think. Effects and soundtrack great. 4 stars
9/13/99 mason good story , rotten film 1 stars
9/13/99 Mr Showbiz An incomprehensible mess. 1 stars
9/12/99 Dr. Worm Convoluted & excruciatingly gory, alternately inducing boredom and hyperkinetic convulsions 1 stars
9/12/99 Obi Wan Something different...I was expecting too much after TBWP...but it was worth watching 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Sep-1999 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Jan-2000 (R)




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