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The Order (The Sin Eater) (2003)

The Order (The Sin Eater)


Average Rating: 2.9/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 5
Rotten: 55

Critics Consensus: A religious thriller that's more lethargic and silly than thrilling.

Average Rating: 2.5/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: A religious thriller that's more lethargic and silly than thrilling.


Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 22,497


Movie Info

Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland writes and directs the religious thriller The Order. Heath Ledger portrays a priest from a secret religious order called The Carolingians. He's sent to Rome to investigate the mysterious death of the head of the Carolingians, whose body was found with strange marks on its chest. While in Rome, he asks for help from an old friend (Mark Addy) and an elusive artist Shannyn Sossamon to help solve the murder. The priest ends up at the Vatican, where he … More

R (for violent images, sexuality and language)
Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Brian Helgeland
In Theaters:
Dec 30, 2003
Box Office:
20th Century Fox - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Order (The Sin Eater)

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (55) | DVD (4)

Devout Catholics will be appalled; everyone else will be asleep.

Full Review… | February 28, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

All the fine cinematography can't hide the sad fact that the second half of the film delivers none of the shocks and starts required of atmospheric horror.

Full Review… | September 11, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

The picture is so lethargic that I began to think of watching it as a form of atonement.

Full Review… | September 10, 2003
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

It's The Exorcist warmed over.

September 8, 2003
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

May be the nadir of the subgenre that produced The Exorcist (at its high end) and Stigmata (at its middle-to-low end).

Full Review… | September 8, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

The movie would be perfect material for a resurrected version of the TV spoof Mystery Science Theater.

September 8, 2003
New York Post
Top Critic

An ordeal to sit through.

Full Review… | March 17, 2014
Cinema Crazed

You'll be wishing you'd gotten your satanic-flick fix by staying home and renting The Omen.

Full Review… | February 9, 2014

There are some fantastic concepts, but they are presented in the most convoluted and careless manner.

Full Review… | January 18, 2014
7M Pictures

There's little reason to watch this mess.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

"The Order" is a halfhearted "supernatural thriller"%u2014interpret as not an actual "horror" movie...

Full Review… | June 12, 2009

It's long on atmosphere and whispered moments of creepy discovery.

Full Review… | May 7, 2009
Combustible Celluloid

This has to be one of the most inconsequential films dealing with religion ever made.

Full Review… | June 26, 2005

... it has a curious disorder, one that makes it both interesting and pallid.

September 20, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

It's preposterous, silly rather than frightening, and the performances and characterizations have a pot-boiler feel.

Full Review… | March 19, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Frequently descends into unintentional hilarity, nervous camp, and eventually exasperation.

Full Review… | February 24, 2004
Film Freak Central

As the movie's promotion intimates, 'There is a fate worse than death,' and you got it - it's sitting through this movie.

Full Review… | February 9, 2004
Apollo Guide

My dear Brian Helgeland, lack of originality is a sin. Eat it.

Full Review… | February 6, 2004

A miserably dark and sluggish picture to endure. Helgeland and his stars have hopefully observed last rites on this and moved on to bigger and (especially) better things.

Full Review… | December 15, 2003

...the movie makes little sense even for a guy more than willing to suspend his disbelief, as I was.

Full Review… | December 5, 2003
Movie Metropolis

Blood in. Blood out. Eye roll.

Full Review… | November 25, 2003
Slant Magazine

From the casting to the plot to the monologues that come off sounding like SNL jokes, everything here is just plain sloppy.

Full Review… | September 11, 2003
E! Online

The film's failed gothic look is just ugly, so forcibly dank that important details, like which characters are in a certain scene, sometimes get lost.

Full Review… | September 11, 2003

In what church is Heath Ledger a priest? And who are the nuns - Heather Graham and Tara Reid?

Full Review… | September 11, 2003
Aisle Seat

Audience Reviews for The Order (The Sin Eater)


o dear what a mess of a horror movie!!

Brian De Guelle

Super Reviewer


It started by reminding me of the classic horrors of the 70's such as Don't Look Now and The Exorcist. The visual style and slow build up was all very nice. The build up continued for another hour before landing flat on its face. There seems to be so much talking and explanation that perhaps this would have worked better as a book. Instead it has some interesting ideas but no horror, thrills or anything vaguely interesting. Performances are good, though it's hard to tell with such dull characters. The film just about makes sense with evil demons, hooded men and...actually I'm not so sure it does all make sense. The most fun I had was spotting the eerie premonitions of Ledger's casting in Dark Knight such as a the light through a stain-glass window giving him green hair, and a scene where he is attacked by bats. OMG!

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

As the one half conjures up excruciating boredom and the other breathless excitement, the term 'religious thriller' is an oxymoron. I wasn't expecting much from this and it didn't disappoint, but I'm surprised how quickly it is fading from my memory, considering I only watched it last night. It's not awful, just mediocre. The cast is fine but the story stinks. Demonic children pop up for no other reason than to create a bit of cheap atmosphere, and to provide an excuse for some CGI effects.

Stephen M

Super Reviewer

I didn't hate this movie. I really thought that I would, but I didn't. The acting is a bit shallow and the character development is very lacking and the plot line is thin (as well as some trite , overused, stolen lines, ie Nietzsche: "Sometimes when you look into the abyss it looks back into you." and they didn't even have the good sense to quote the man), but still I could not hate this film. Why? Because it brought up some real brain food for me. It speaks to the Church's influence over not just this realm, but the realm beyond and how angered they might get by having thier authority undermined and circumvented. Therefor, in my mind, it speaks to the dangers of institutionalized religion (a subject near and dear to my heart). There are some cool special effects and scenery and, quite frankly, despite the fact that I would have liked knowing the characters a bit more intimately it did not detract from the point of the film. Witness the Sin-Eater...and I will stop there so as not to be a spoiler. If you are looking for a thriller with a few moments of horror/thrill (nothing too gory though not for the kids), some nice twists, and something to think about if you are open to it then you might want to consider this movie as a rental.

Dean L

Super Reviewer

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