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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.35%
Worth A Look: 5.8%
Average: 18.84%
Pretty Bad: 20.29%
Total Crap50.72%

5 reviews, 39 user ratings

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Order, The
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by Collin Souter

"No, cast and crew of 'Knight's Tale'... I order YOU back to Hell!"
1 stars

I hate these kinds of movies. I hate spending two hours watching a brooding, stoic main character clutching Rosary beads and praying for his (im)mortal soul. I hate when a director such as Brian “A Knight’s Tale” Helgeland tries to put an MTV stylistic spin on religious folklore set in contemporary times. I hate when “the prophecy has been fulfilled” and I hate when “Hell hath chosen.” I hate being force-fed contrived love stories in which a priest must succumb to his romantic urges. I hate when critics (mainly quotewhores) compare these movies to “The Exorcist” and I hate the techno music that plays over the closing credits.

So, as you can see, they didn’t make “The Order” for people like me. My parents did not raise me religiously. I attended religious classes after school here and there, but only to keep me off the streets once my under-funded public school let out. I’m not Catholic, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Pagan. I was raised in the church of Inconsistent Agnostic Vaguery. Ours is a frustrating faith, one that requires much sleep and co-dependency. Anyone can join. I didn’t choose this faith, so much as it chose me. Had I wound up with a more direct line to God, maybe I would be able to see the entertainment value in “The Order,” but as it is, I have to ask: Just who is “The Order” (and movies like it) made for?

Do people look in the paper and get ecstatic when they see an ad for a movie like “The Order” and say, “Honey, look! They made another movie in which a priest must battle Hellish demonic souls in some European underworld (in this case, Rome) due to a prophecy that took place 400 years ago! And it stars Heath Ledger!”? Somehow, I just don’t think so. Do people actively seek out movies that take place in rustic old churches that have inconsistently placed light shafts? Probably not. Do people form movie clubs and discussion groups that analyze the biblical references and subtexts of these movies? I pray that they don’t.

As for people who don’t review movies and choose to attend “The Order,” I have to ask: Did you care? Did you care when Driscoll (Peter Weller) showed up at Father Alex Bernier’s (Heath “A Knight’s Tale” Ledger) church to tell him his crotchety old mentor just died under mysterious circumstances? Did you feel any romantic tension when Mara Sinclair (Shannon “A Knight’s Tale” Sossamon) showed up on Alex’s doorstep after breaking out of an insane asylum? Did you feel the story take off when Alex and Mara embarked on a trip to Rome to investigate the murder/suicide of said mentor? No?

Okay, what about when the wacky sidekick, Thomas (Mark Addy) shows up? Did you start to feel the comic relief kick in? Not even when he made his eloquent speech on how humor keeps him alive and not women? When William Eden (Benno Furman) offered Alex immortality, did you weigh the pros and cons in your head and set it against the backdrop of the looming romantic tension between Alex and Mara? I’m guessing you didn’t.

Fine. What about the Sin Eaters? Did you follow the yackety-yack about who they are, what they do, how long they have been around, what they have to do with the main character, their place in God’s scheme of things? Did you try to guess who that mysterious deep-voiced person was behind the dark mask? Did you wonder how many extras from those scenes wandered off the set of “Eyes Wide Shut”? Did you pay close attention to the bald guy dressed in drag who said and contributed absolutely nothing?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!!!

Did you try to see Mara’s bare breasts during the love-making? If you’re a guy, yes. Did you check your watch after the 10-minute mark? If you’re human, yes! Did you poke your neighbor in the ribs and demand “What in the name of all that is holy is going on in this movie!?!” Naturally. Were you miles ahead of every twist even though you couldn’t possibly care less? I have undoubtedly read your mind. Did you cringe in fear of yet another embarrassing soliloquy about the wonders of sunflowers (“God’s most beautiful mistake”)? We all did. It's okay. (The movie ends up being about Weller's character wanting to be a Pope. Hey, I'd like to hang out with Bono, too, but there are other ways.)

So, again, for whom do they make these movies? Heath Ledger fans? How far off the path of good taste you have to stray in order to be a fan of this guy? How is it that his character shaves the same random spots on his face every day? How does a guy get top billing when he can’t even out-act the two creepy children that lurk in the corners of this movie’s storyline? At least they have one expression to their credit. When Ledger tries to emote tragedy, his acting job is so bad it borders on performance art.

The unfortunate reality is that we don’t actually get to see anybody staple olive loaf to their forehead in the name of art, but we do get the silliness of it. At one point, a character in the movie says, “It’s best not to intellectualize something so visceral.” Agreed. Large quantities of boredom such as this should not be questioned, only discarded. In the end, “The Order” will join the ranks of every “Exorcist” sequel, “Stigmata,” “Last Rites” and “Lost Souls” as being just another stupid religious thriller that installs the Catholic church into its storyline in order to arouse controversy, thereby arousing the curiosity of the American public. It’s so obvious. Don’t you just hate that?

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originally posted: 09/07/03 08:33:41
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User Comments

5/18/11 Ravenmad I was like, REALLY?, really? I can't take any more baddd movies! 2 stars
12/01/08 Shaun Wallner Very Boring! 1 stars
8/01/06 William Goss Rather weak supernatural drama poorly marketed as horror. Addy is sole highlight. 1 stars
8/12/05 ES Remember the zombie thing at the beginning, what was this movie trying to say= who cares 1 stars
1/18/05 tatum Terrible, should have gone straight to video 1 stars
12/22/04 Landshark Monty Python skewered the pontiff avenger cliche 30 yrs ago, my god this genre's exhausted. 1 stars
11/03/04 Stevo Try watching this crap without shaking your head once 1 stars
3/26/04 S-P I tried twice to watch this through- never did succeed- Terrible Movie. 1 stars
3/25/04 Erica Thornton It's a Van Damme flick, ergo it sucks 1 stars
3/17/04 Brando Wow...bad. REALLY REALLY BAD!!!!! 1 stars
2/14/04 Uruk Hai The ONLY redeeming feature, other than Weller, this film contains is Benno Furman!!! 2 stars
1/21/04 Betty White A really awful "Exorcist" rip-off; stay away...far, far away. 1 stars
1/17/04 Josh Standlee Good effects, but where's the plot!!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
1/05/04 Leonard Carlson Benno Furman was Awsome!! 4 stars
1/05/04 Shelah Must-see for Ledger fans, interesting echoes of Marlowe's Faustus and Seventh Gate 4 stars
1/03/04 A F I don't know what to say. Could've been done better? 3 stars
1/02/04 Corky Really really really not good at all. 1 stars
12/08/03 Carrie This movie was oustanding & anyone who says otherwise must not have understood it 5 stars
11/13/03 The Quirkfetch Kid Atmospheric thriller a cut above many sensational forerunners & w/ more interesting theme. 4 stars
10/24/03 German Kijel UNA BASURA!!! 1 stars
10/06/03 Gary A pile of trash! Skip it 1 stars
9/25/03 malcolm interesting ideas, but boring as hell 2 stars
9/23/03 krystin F'N HORRIBLE 1 stars
9/19/03 Rob B I love movies with Priests battling evil but this movie didn't have that. 1 stars
9/13/03 Gary I order this movie back in hell 1 stars
9/12/03 Kelie I loved this film, i went expecting nothing and came away with a great deal 5 stars
9/11/03 LoudChris A lame Christian fantasy. 2 stars
9/09/03 Cynthia murky, intermittently nasty, periodically incomprehensible, ultimately boring, what a mess 1 stars
9/09/03 spawnstar a cliche to the max, lousy acting, Eden should've screwed Alex 1 stars
9/09/03 Bob the man That shit sucks ass dick bicth! 1 stars
9/09/03 Jestyr parts of it were passable. but it was like watching 1/2 of a good movie..ok,more like a 1/4 2 stars
9/08/03 Hydrian Anti-climatic, no character development, and poorly written. 2 stars
9/08/03 Gryf first preview looked stylish, then its cgi crap WTF? Aren't most priests gay now though? 1 stars
9/07/03 Dawn Boring, stupid, slow. Not a single redeeming quality. 1 stars
9/07/03 Gary If you people watch this movie, you're gay 1 stars
9/06/03 adam cool 5 stars
9/06/03 mAsON wILLIaMs The longest 100 minutes of my life. Sloooow, arty, and poorly written. 2 stars
9/06/03 Joey saw it. Did not like it 1 stars
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  05-Sep-2003 (R)
  DVD: 01-Feb-2005



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