Me Admitting I was Wrong: A Review of Noah

Grand PabbieMethuselah was easily the best character in the film. The 969 year old patriarch was played by Anthony Hopkins, who was actually believable as a 969 year old man (Cheyne said he bore a striking resemblance to Gollum). He also apparently is an early ancestor of Benny Hinn, because he had the innate ability to slay people in the spirit. And he had an affinity for berries.

In every scene he appears in, he talks about his desire to enjoy berries one last time. He chides his great-grandson for not giving him berries. He asks his daughter-in-law why she didn’t bring him berries. And before the floods descend, he frantically scrambles through random foliage in his pursuit of those sweet, sweet berries. As the waves come crashing toward him, he smiles as he finally finds a small, purple berry. He lifts it to his mouth, hoping to enjoy the tasty treat one last time before he dies.

And as this happened, I totally thought the wave was going to destroy him before he actually got to eat it.


Because that’s how “the Creator” is portrayed in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.

* * *

My recommendation: Don’t see it. Not because I’m afraid of what it will do to your faith or your walk with God. But because it was a terrible film. It won’t entertain you. It won’t benefit you. And you will definitely consider it a waste of $12.50 (or $19, if you wanted to see it at a fancy movie theater like I did).

I had high hopes for the flick, but I knew trouble was afoot when the infamous disclaimer didn’t appear at the beginning of the movie. After seeing the first two minutes, I could tell this was going to be a stupid movie. At around the eight-minute mark, I decided this wasn’t a movie I’d want my kids to see.

And then the Rock-People showed up.

I have a feeling that many Christians will not like the film. And I can predict why they won’t like the film. And honestly, there are some good reasons to avoid the movie and some bad ones. I want to present those to you now.


  1.       The Rock-People

I’ll admit it. The Rock-People were kind of dumb. And they were poorly animated. And they were a bunch of wussies. But having said all that, they weren’t entirely unsanctioned. Genesis 6 does make passing references to “the nephilim,” a word that is usually translated “giants” or “dead ones.” The director interpreted them as “Rock-People.” And that’s his prerogative. Is that what nephilim were? Probably not. Did the nephilim really build the ark for Noah? Probably not. Should the existence of Rock-People in the film be the subject of our criticism? Probably not.

  1.       Emma Watson

Noah didn’t have a daughter. But he did have several daughters-in-law. Is it possible that one of his son’s wives lived with them before they tied the knot? Sure. So let it go.

  1.       Too many animals

One scathing review of the movie I came across complained that the movie depicted Noah rescuing all “species” of animals rather than all “kinds” of animals. The reviewer claimed that this was a subtle affront on creationism. Buddy, there were plenty of blatant affronts on creationism. Why complain about the one that probably wasn’t even a thing?


  1.       Noah is far too dark

I understand that we weren’t on the ark, and don’t actually know every single detail of Noah’s journey. I also get that the film was created by Aronofsky, who majors in making movies about demented weirdoes. And I get that the point of the film was to explore the psyche of the titular character in an attempt to understand just how difficult his task was. But Noah goes too far. In its quest to present a gritty, relatable, human Noah, it abandons the only attributes the bible actually ascribes to him:

“This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” (Genesis 6:9)

We hardly see any of these traits in Aronofsky’s Noah. The film does stress the wickedness of man, but the film’s Noah overstresses his own wickedness and the wickedness of his children and grandchildren, claiming that “none of us are blameless.”

The film’s Noah also doesn’t appear very righteous. He is outraged by the miraculous pregnancy of his barren daughter-in-law, going so far as to attempt to kill her children to protect the earth. When asked why he was selected to build the ark, he rejects the notion that it was because of his righteousness and claims it was because God knew “he would get the job done.”

And far from “walking faithfully with God,” the film’s Noah hardly knew God. He joins an agnostic choir that includes the film’s main antagonist and the Rock-People when he screams at the heavens, asking why God won’t answer him and why God is forcing him to murder his children.

  1.       God’s ambiguity

Was the Creator really asking Noah to murder his kids? We don’t actually know, because God never shows up in the film. God only “speaks” to one character, and even though Noah “trusts that God will speak in a way he can understand,” God doesn’t. He speaks through cryptic dreams and esoteric visions, leading Noah to almost stab his grandchildren to death to fulfill what he believes to be God’s will.

The film presents us with two options as to God’s intentions for mankind. One, God left the decision of man’s fate in Noah’s hands, allowing him to decide whether humanity deserves to survive. Or two, God made a mistake by selecting Noah, because ultimately Noah was unable to do what needed to be done; namely, to make sure no humans survived the flood.  Either way, it was Noah’s love for his children rather than God’s love for His children that explains why we are still around today.

  1.       The movie is a waste of a Regal gift card

Ultimately, you aren’t going to like the movie. All blasphemy and misrepresentation aside, it just wasn’t that good. I went into that theatre with an open mind and honestly was hoping it’d be good, but before the opening credits were over, I could tell it was going to be a waste of an evening.

Like I said before, I’m not deterring you from seeing the flick because I’m afraid it might upset your faith; I’m afraid it might upset your credit card. Save your money for Captain America: Winter Soldier. That’s a film that won’t disappoint (mainly because it wasn’t written by Aronofsky).

I’ll leave you with this. The film claims that the Creator desired to save the animal kingdom, and Noah was lucky enough to be their chaperone. But the bible paints a different picture:

So the Lord said, “I will destroy both man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

But then Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:7-8)

The reason God saved the animals is because He loved us, not the other way around. By grace we are saved. We are the apple of His eye. We are the object of His love and affection. We are His children.

And He loves us with such a great love.

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(Read the biblical account of Noah.)

Spoiler Alert: Jesus Lives (A Review of “Son of God”)

Son of God movie posterAs you’re well aware, a major blockbuster of biblical proportions is coming to theaters nationwide today.  It is a movie that will be seen by millions, and is sure to have lots of people talking.

But rather than talk about Liam Neeson’s action film “Nonstop,” I’d like to spend the next 500 or so words discussing the movie “Son of God.”  There is plenty to say about the film, and plenty that has been said about the film, from tales of entire theaters filling up with mega-church parishioners to accusations of New Age themes and transcendentalism.

I had the opportunity to see an advance screening of the film yesterday, and there were definitely some positive things and some negative things about it.

On a negative note, within the first five minutes of the movie Jesus passed up an opportunity to walk on water.  I get that He didn’t always walk on water, but when He stepped out and His sandaled foot penetrated the water, I was taken aback.

On a positive note, however, Jesus didn’t look awkward when He smiled.  That puts this movie head and shoulders above most theatrical renditions.

Also, about fifteen minutes into the movie, my wife leaned over and whispered, “Jesus looks like Ashton Kutcher.”  I guess that’s a positive…?

Other things I liked about the movie:

  • Jesus was really good at guessing people’s first names.
  • Everyone spoke English, just like King James intended.
  • To compete with Michael Bay’s upcoming summer blockbusters, the director included tons of solar flares.
  • It looked like the temple guards stole their hats from the cast of the movie “Epic.”
  • Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by who I can only guess was the lead singer of Counting Crows.adam duritz aka John the Baptist
  • Vin Diesel also had a cameo as Barabbas.
  • In one of the many extra-biblical lines from the film, the High Priest said of Jesus, “This is a dangerous man,” to which I audibly responded, “You’ve got that right!”
  • When Judas betrayed Jesus, the woman next to me went, “mmm hmm!” (not technically a part of the film, but I liked it nonetheless).
  • The High Priest also had flawless hair.
  • And finally, when Jesus saved the woman caught in adultery, He actually remembered to say, “Go and sin no more”; that part always gets left out of the story, so I appreciated it being included.

However, there were also some parts that I didn’t care for:

  • For one, the last supper looked nothing like the Da Vinci painting.
  • Also, Jesus looked genuinely surprised every single time one of His miracles actually worked.
  • Thomas also did a lot of doubting throughout the movie, not just at the end.  It was to the point that I thought maybe he would end up betraying Jesus rather than Judas.
  • On the topic of disciples, Bartholomew didn’t get nearly enough face time. I get that he didn’t get much attention in the source material either, but the movie did add quite a few things to the story, and in my opinion, Bartholomew should have been one of them.

And the final thing, the thing that will probably have many Christians up in arms: Not once in the film did Jesus ever make an exclusive claim to salvation.

He alluded to it a couple of times.  He even got really close toward the end.  At the last supper, he said to His disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  But then He abruptly stopped without finishing it: “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Christianity’s exclusive claim to salvation is paramount to the gospel message.  If every road really does lead to heaven, as Oprah and Yoda would have you believe, then Jesus’ sacrifice was for nothing, and our faith and preaching is in vain.  It is precisely because no roads could bring us to God that Jesus had to come to the earth, live as a man, die for my sins and your sins and the sins of all the world, and then rise from the grave, triumphant over death.

And yet, even though this fundamental truth was clearly and intentionally omitted from the film, I still recommend that all of you support the movie.  You see, it isn’t Hollywood’s job to preach the gospel.  It is their job to tell stories.  And they told the story of Jesus, the compassionate, friendly, divisive, miracle-working, gospel-preaching, lost-reaching Son of God.

It’s easy to talk about all of the places where they missed it.  And there are definitely a few.  But they also got a lot of things right.  Jesus was portrayed as the Son of God, the Messiah sent to redeem mankind from sin and spiritual death.  And we are told repeatedly that it is through faith in this Jesus that we can be saved.

The movie will function as a great platform for you and me to spread the gospel message.  “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every living creature,” as the film reminds us in the final scene.

So see the film.  Encourage your friends to see it as well.  And after you have watched it, you should all sit down together, break some bread, and discuss, discuss, discuss.  Because it’s not Hollywood’s job to get them saved.  It’s your job to introduce them to the Son of God.  

[ your turn: What did you think of the flick? Is it worth seeing, or should we all see “The Lego Movie”… again? ]