From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Of Gods and Men - B+

Rated PG-13 for a momentary scene of startling wartime violence, some disturbing images and brief language, 110 minutes, in French with English subtitles

"Of Gods and Men": Powerful, affecting true story

There are some incidents that may have you question your faith and why things happen the way they do. The highly acclaimed French drama "Of Gods and Men" details such an event, the true story of a group of Monks who were murdered in 1996 in events that remain clouded in mystery. The slow-moving but absorbing film takes its time getting to its destination but leaves you with some haunting, unforgettable images.

Under threat by fundamentalist terrorists, a group of Trappist (a strict Catholic sect) monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay. Some of them are ultimately kidnapped by Islam extremeists and beheaded in events that are still unclear.

"Of Gods and Men" is a beautifully made, emotionally rich and poignant film that honors the dedicated monks who were murdered in 1996. The story details the events leading up to the monks deaths; it's handsomely filmed by French director Xavier Beauvois and stars well-known French actors Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale.

The absorbing, acclaimed film (it won the Grand Prix prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival) is filled with some haunting, quiet moments, particularly a handful of scenes with the monks reflecting on their lives, and the film's final moments as the monks are being led to certain death are both sad and chilling.

"Of Gods and Men" is in French with English subtitles. It is a must-see for foreign-film enthusiasts and those who enjoy an affecting interpretation of a true story.

Wes's Grade: B+