Religulous (15)

Film

Documentaries

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Mar 31 2009

The fug of ‘old Michael Moore’ hangs above this over-extended but nonetheless thought provoking and humorous documentary in which narcissistic New York comedian Bill Maher discharges his comic blunderbuss in the rough direction of modern, mainly Western, religion. As with Moore’s flawed ‘Roger & Me’, the key pleasure of ‘Religulous’ lies in the potential for dismantling or disagreeing with Maher’s arguments (which mostly bounce off the more mystical tenets of religion), his methods of inquiry (which settle for mockery and sarcasm over balanced insight) and his choice of subjects (crackpots, zealots and questionable one-offs such as a Hispanic TV pastor who believes he is the second coming). Yet, despite its faults, it’s still possible to enjoy this ramshackle ride.

Director Larry Charles, who made the not-dissimilar ‘Borat’ in 2006, capitalises on awkward pauses and fumbled retorts, scoring numerous cheap but genuine belly laughs from merely allowing Maher to prolong the verbal battery long after the point has been made and the contest won. Additional comic gloss arrives in the form of flash-edited inserts of bloated biblical epics which, again, will make you giggle, but which rupture the credibility of Maher’s critique even further.

As a highly subjective compendium of gripes about the face-value irrationality of religion, this offers a decent introduction to the nature of spiritual belief, the links between religion and commerce (for example an Israeli entrepreneur who produces madcap inventions that allow you to complete chores on the Sabbath without violating Jewish law) and, most importantly, the complexities of creating meaningful and reasoned dialogue between sceptics and believers.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Apr 3, 2009

Duration:

101 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Larry Charles

Screenwriter:

Bill Maher

Cast:

Bill Maher

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 3 star:2
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LiveReviews|8
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the second coming

How can you have an intelligent critique of something unintelliegent. All religious and supernatural thinking is stupid, it revels in it's stupidness and is protected by it. I wish more people were like Bill and less like the high minded reviewer, yes he rips them to shreds... you know what? they deserve much worse and so do you supernatural apologists . I have to go now and put a tooth under the pillow, I know she'll come tonight... I just know it...

the second coming

How can you have an intelligent critique of something unintelliegent. All religious and supernatural thinking is stupid, it revels in it's stupidness and is protected by it. I wish more people were like Bill and less like the high minded reviewer, yes he rips them to shreds... you know what? they deserve much worse and so do you supernatural apologists . I have to go now and put a tooth under the pillow, I know she'll come tonight... I just know it...

vicky

totally agree with the time out review. it is not the most intelligent critique of religion- far from it- but as an atheist it is sometimes nice to indulge in the guilty pleasure of a few cheap laughs at the expense of religion (arguably, the fact it is so easy to ridicule could itself be a platform for a more serious point about the stupidity of religion, though I'm not sure that's what Maher was really going for.) The man he interviews about the Catholic Church is hilarious and that point in particular was one that goes back to the slightly more acceptable tenets of the Lutheran tradition and is still very much worth making today. Not one to watch if you find blasphemy or the ridiculing of religion offensive, but the clue there is in the title. Also not one to watch if you were after a more coherent and insightful critique of religion. Good for a laugh and a few (though unoriginal) insights.

david

A very well constructed, entertaining and generous view of the collective madness of religion. It has always seemed to me that people with no inate sense of wrong or right are the ones drawn to religion. perhaps it gives them a ready made moral code, but it also leaves them unable to say STOP when directed to do unspeakable things by the same religious leaders they honour.

david

A very well constructed, entertaining and generous view of the collective madness of religion. It has always seemed to me that people with no inate sense of wrong or right are the ones drawn to religion. perhaps it gives them a ready made moral code, but it also leaves them unable to say STOP when directed to do unspeakable things by the same religious leaders they honour.

Cait

The funniest movie I have seen in a while. I only wish that it was playing in more movie theatres(if the passion of the christ can be in major theatres so should this!), because yes it may only be interviewing certain people, etc, but this is a film people need to see, because it all points to the truth of the matter. For all that religion does for the world as good, the bad is far far worse. It is run by men, which sends it right down the crapper no matter what precipals it is based on. The bible isn't the word of god, it is the word of man. The majority of the worlds problems stem from relgion. People need to realize this, I'm not saying people shouldn't believe in something in a time of need, I'm saying people need to open thier eyes and look at the facts not the fairy tales. Bill was hilarious, and I recommend this movie to everyone and anyone. Hopefully it opens some eyes, and some laughs.

Cait

The funniest movie I have seen in a while. I only wish that it was playing in more movie theatres(if the passion of the christ can be in major theatres so should this!), because yes it may only be interviewing certain people, etc, but this is a film people need to see, because it all points to the truth of the matter. For all that religion does for the world as good, the bad is far far worse. It is run by men, which sends it right down the crapper no matter what precipals it is based on. The bible isn't the word of god, it is the word of man. The majority of the worlds problems stem from relgion. People need to realize this, I'm not saying people shouldn't believe in something in a time of need, I'm saying people need to open thier eyes and look at the facts not the fairy tales. Bill was hilarious, and I recommend this movie to everyone and anyone. Hopefully it opens some eyes, and some laughs.