• PG-13, 1 hr. 45 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Diablo Cody
    In Theaters:
    Oct 18, 2013 Limited
    On DVD:
    Nov 12, 2013
  • RLJ Entertainment/Image Entertainment

Opening

97% Ghostbusters Aug 29
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Top Box Office

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34% The Expendables 3 $6.5M
32% The Giver $6.4M
45% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For $6.3M
65% The Hundred-Foot Journey $5.3M
19% Into The Storm $3.8M

Coming Soon

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74% God Help the Girl Sep 05

New Episodes Tonight

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97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
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46% Reckless: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
—— Unforgettable: Season 2

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89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
73% Murder in the First: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

Paradise Reviews

Page 1 of 3
boxman
boxman

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2014
You're courting irony when you name your movie Paradise, as well as pained movie critic puns, but I had faith that Diablo Cody, stepping into the director's chair for the first time, would entertain, especially after her best screenplay yet, 2011's Young Adult. The problem with Paradise is that it goes just about nowhere and it's shockingly bland, a criticism I never thought I'd have for a Cody-penned work. The premise starts off strong, with Lamb (Julianne Hough) as a devout Christian living a sheltered existence until the day she becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash. Her body covered in burns, her faith shaken to its core, she embarks on journey to Las Vegas to sin it up big time. It's snarky and satirical, and then she gets to Vegas, she meets some nice new pals (Russel Brand, Octavia Spencer), and they hang out and... that's about it. The Lamb character is meant to be a na´ve but ultimately nice person, but she's portrayed as vaguely racist thanks to Cody's simple skewering of fundamentalism. Where are the sharp characters and incisive wit of Cody's past efforts? The comedy almost dissolves as it goes and you realize that intriguing premise is never going to be realized. And then the third act happens and it feels like the film just gives up, unearned sentimentality takes control, and the characters all find unsatisfying conclusions. The characters aren't given enough material, often left adrift in a plot-free environment of self-discovery. A misguided scene where Lamb pours her heart out to a former prostitute could work as a summary of what tonally doesn't work with this movie. There are some funny moments, even some affecting ones, but Paradise doesn't feel like it has a sophisticated voice and clear direction. Coming from Cody, I wouldn't have expected those two chief complaints.

Nate's Grade: C
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

January 25, 2014
Charming and Heartfelt.

Enjoyable Movie! While I did like the movie and I am glad I watched it, it wasn't really what I would call a laugh-out-loud comedy. This is from the writer of Juno and the comedy is more that style. This is almost a bi-polar movie. One minute you are laughing and smiling the next you are depressed. This is good but be prepared for that. Overall, a good movie that is worth watching but be prepared for the roller coaster.

Lamb Mannerheim's faith is shaken after a plane crash burns two-thirds of her body, and she shocks her small-town congregation when she publicly renounces God. As she sets out to experience the worldly pleasures of Las Vegas, she meets a bartender and a cynical lounge singer who help her check off as many dirty deeds as possible from her Napkin of Sin bucket list.
Dann M

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2014
A supposed inspirational comedy, Paradise tries to bring some heart to its satire. After renouncing her faith a burn victim takes off for Las Vegas to experience life for the first time, and along the way she meets a bar tender and a lounge singer who offer to guide her on her journey. Julianne Hough leads the cast and brings a certain charisma to her performance that lightens up the film. And, Russell Brand gives a strong supporting performance that serves as good comic relief. However, the film seems a little confused about what it's trying to say. Paradise is a bit of fun, but it doesn't really go anywhere.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2013
Diablo Cody has more than proven her worth as a screenwriter, with "Juno" and "Young Adult" under her belt, but taking on the role of writer and director may have been too far of a stretch. In her latest satire, "Paradise", Cody's paper thin veneer is almost hard to stomach at time, feeling less like a script written by an Oscar winner and more like one written by a college student. Following a paint-by-numbers narrative about a gorgeous young Christian girl named Lamb (Julianna Hough) heading to Las Vegas in search of debauchery after a plane crash leaves her "disfigured" and rolling in settlement cash, she denounces her religion and looks to experience life in all its glory. Lead by bartenders played by Russell Brand and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, neither feel truly invested and come off more like delivering a favor than actually furthering their careers. Hough tries her best and possibly with some veteran directing, this could have been some semblance of a satire, but instead, "Paradise" breathes mediocre and just toeing the line of straight-to-DVD. With all the respect I can muster for Diablo Cody, I ask her to stick to the pen and stay out of the director's chair.
December 17, 2013
Oh god, Diablo Cody, how did write such crap? I love your movies. And I love Russel Brand and Octavia Spencer. This was a bad, cliche, not funny movie.
April 9, 2014
This obnoxious, pretentious film thinks that it's biting and saying something when it's really saying nothing.
Dann M

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2014
A supposed inspirational comedy, Paradise tries to bring some heart to its satire. After renouncing her faith a burn victim takes off for Las Vegas to experience life for the first time, and along the way she meets a bar tender and a lounge singer who offer to guide her on her journey. Julianne Hough leads the cast and brings a certain charisma to her performance that lightens up the film. And, Russell Brand gives a strong supporting performance that serves as good comic relief. However, the film seems a little confused about what it's trying to say. Paradise is a bit of fun, but it doesn't really go anywhere.
February 17, 2014
F- This is not the Diablo Cody anyone wanted.
boxman
boxman

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2014
You're courting irony when you name your movie Paradise, as well as pained movie critic puns, but I had faith that Diablo Cody, stepping into the director's chair for the first time, would entertain, especially after her best screenplay yet, 2011's Young Adult. The problem with Paradise is that it goes just about nowhere and it's shockingly bland, a criticism I never thought I'd have for a Cody-penned work. The premise starts off strong, with Lamb (Julianne Hough) as a devout Christian living a sheltered existence until the day she becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash. Her body covered in burns, her faith shaken to its core, she embarks on journey to Las Vegas to sin it up big time. It's snarky and satirical, and then she gets to Vegas, she meets some nice new pals (Russel Brand, Octavia Spencer), and they hang out and... that's about it. The Lamb character is meant to be a na´ve but ultimately nice person, but she's portrayed as vaguely racist thanks to Cody's simple skewering of fundamentalism. Where are the sharp characters and incisive wit of Cody's past efforts? The comedy almost dissolves as it goes and you realize that intriguing premise is never going to be realized. And then the third act happens and it feels like the film just gives up, unearned sentimentality takes control, and the characters all find unsatisfying conclusions. The characters aren't given enough material, often left adrift in a plot-free environment of self-discovery. A misguided scene where Lamb pours her heart out to a former prostitute could work as a summary of what tonally doesn't work with this movie. There are some funny moments, even some affecting ones, but Paradise doesn't feel like it has a sophisticated voice and clear direction. Coming from Cody, I wouldn't have expected those two chief complaints.

Nate's Grade: C
January 28, 2014
I wanted to like this, but in the end it was just too talky and preachy for me. It had a few really good scenes, and one or two really bad scenes, which just turn it into a really average movie. I did love Russell Brand, though, as usual. 6/10, just for him.
Dominic S.
January 17, 2014
I could not stand Julanne Hough's acting and her character.
But nonetheless, this film made a great point on how low one can get once they stray from the people who care about you and are trying to help you.
Hough's character is 21 years old and left home for the first time to live a wild life outside of her old, conservative, christian lifestyle she has been living with her parents.
She heads to Las Vegas and in less than a day, she chickens out, which is totally unrealistic.
I have to so, I though I would've hated Russell Brand in this but his character was a relief from what I've seen him do in the past.
I live right next to a casino and before it was built, the people of my county were able to vote on whether it would've been built or not. I voted against it. Now that I am 21 years old, all I care about using my age to pursue is consuming alcohol and not gambling. Not only do I not have the money to splurge on it, it is pointless, just as pointless as playing the lottery. I'd much rather find another way to make quick money like proper investments in companies... haha I'm rambling.
Overall, not one of Diablo's best, but still just ok.
January 14, 2014
After winning an Academy Award in 1998 and having little success on the big screen since, this comedic writer decided to take a 180-degree turn from her previous writing efforts - even the masterful but misunderstood Young Adult - and Paradise is the resulting film. Diablo Cody's subtle gestures and wry observations are nowhere to be found in Paradise and her open-book, do-ask/do-tell technique lobotomizes her up-til-now winning style as everything is "in your face" and open-book. In this new story, Julianne Hough (Footloose, Safe Haven) is Lamb Mannerheim, a most-pious young lady who survived a plane crash although she has burns covering most of her body and her fiancÚ was not as fortunate. Lamb is a former religious zealot who sang frequently in church and at revival but has become bitter with her lot in life after the accident believing God has forsaken her. Lamb (not-so) delicately tells her church off and that she is heading to Vegas to partake in/of every sin known to man. In Vegas she meets a kindly bartender (Russell Brand - Get Him to the Greek, Arthur) who volunteers to keep tabs on her debauchery and a wise woman who is always offering up sage advice (Octavia Spencer - The Help, Fruitvale Station) because she is supposed to be a stereotype (?)... like the entire movie. Cody tackles religion in this film because it is an easy subject and she is certain she can mine it for laughs although it is obvious Cody also respects religion and refuses to let it bear the brunt of many crude and tasteless jokes. By film's end, it is all too self-referential, too-generic and too-cheap. Lamb tries too hard and so does Cody with this poorly written, unfunny script. Like Lamb, I have surgical scars ... and some of them are funnier than this script.
December 30, 2013
The first half is hilarious with great performances from Julianne Hough and Octavia Spencer and an ok one from Russell Brand. Diablo Cody has been a hit or miss for me with hits like Juno and United States of Tara and misses Jennifer's Body and Young Adult. This would go right in the middle. It could have used a few more funny moments in the 2nd half but other than that it wasn't terrible nor was it non stop funny like some of Cody's other work
December 10, 2013
Obnoxious from the beggining to its end. For someone who claims her name is Daiblo Cody makes me think she is a church hating butch.
December 10, 2013
The first half hour or so of Diablo Cody's 'Paradise' plays as an entertaining and funny cross between pretty much everything Cody has done before and 2002s very underrated and almost forgotten 'Saved'. Then, just as the film seems to be going in a different direction and the viewer's interest is peaked once again, everything comes to a much to quick and not particularly satisfying ending. Even a top-notch ensemble can't save this film from drifting off . What it really needed was an additional twenty pages of a screenplay, and some sort of a satisfying resolution for the characters.
August 31, 2013
A harmless, cute and funny film that's just thought provoking enough to earn my respect. This is Diablo Cody in Juno-mode, rather than Young Adult-mode. But that's okay.
December 8, 2013
I loved this movie. The storyline was touching and heartwarming and very real. The actors were amazing and it was funny! Go Diablo!
ken karlson
December 7, 2013
High school production and direction doom this poorly written and ill conceive mess. Julianne Hough, a real cutie with potential, Octavia Spencer horribly miscast proving an actress is only as good as her director and writers, and Russell Brand once again playing himself. Avoid at all costs. Totally void of any entertainment value. A promising premise and opening scene quickly disintegrates into boredom. Ken K.
November 27, 2013
I actually like it...
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