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The Monk Reviews

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Todd Jorgenson

This is a fascinating character study about spirituality and religious responsibility that smartly doesn't take its more melodramatic elements very seriously.

Full Review Source:

March 29, 2013
Staci Layne Wilson
Yahoo! Movies

I confess: I fast-forwarded through most of it.

Full Review Source: Yahoo! Movies

March 26, 2013
Tina Hassannia
Slant Magazine

Dominik Moll never addresses Matthew Gregory Lewis's original groundbreaking ideas in The Monk, nor does he rework the material for a contemporary audience.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 8, 2013
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
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A work whose elegant atmospherics ultimately overwhelm the story, even with the terrific Vincent Cassel in the title role.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

March 7, 2013
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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What repulsed Coleridge in the novel clearly amuses the French director Dominik Moll in his diverting if somewhat thin adaptation.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

March 7, 2013
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
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By the end, "The Monk" has revealed itself to be a too- predictable potboiler, served piping hot.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 7, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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If only director Dominik Moll (who has clearly studied his Luis Bu˝uel) had not staged this bitter psychological horror story at half speed.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 7, 2013
Marc Mohan

Not to be mistaken for a serious treatment of religious fervor or clerical corruption, "The Monk" is instead a knowingly over-the-top bit of gothic nuttiness.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: B

March 7, 2013
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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A beautiful-looking film that portends disaster. And disaster arrives, eventually. It just takes its time getting there.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

March 7, 2013
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Not bad for a robe-ripper along the lines of The Thorn Birds, but Diary of a Country Priest it ain't.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 7, 2013
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's garish and crazy (and in French), so it's probably not for everyone. But I can't imagine anyone getting bored.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3/4

March 7, 2013
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Chicago Sun-Times
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"The Monk" is, first and foremost, a classy B-movie, keen to offer Gothic atmosphere, nudity, and mild shocks.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

March 7, 2013
Michael Atkinson
Time Out New York
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There's always room for another adaptation of Matthew Lewis's 1795 scandal-igniting ur-Gothic novel, and this lavish French turn positively seethes with the strain of Christian sex-dread and debauchery.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

March 5, 2013
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
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The finale, in which godly rites are juxtaposed against the vilest of sins, builds to an unholy power.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 5, 2013
Bernard Besserglik
Hollywood Reporter
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Adaptation of gothic classic pleases the eye but ultimately disappoints.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

March 4, 2013
Mary Clare Waireri
Fan The Fire

Moll's careful direction ensures a balance of the supernatural and the temporal - Ambrosio could either be seen as a victim of demonic forces within his own monastery or the sole architect of his moral downfall.

Full Review Source: Fan The Fire | Original Score: 4/5

September 18, 2012
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]

Vincent Cassel does his utmost to make his character intense and compelling, but negligible character development means he fails to hold our interest.

Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK] | Original Score: 2/5

May 3, 2012


All talk, no action, The Monk looks good but is weighed down by the Catholic guilt it's trying to critique.

Full Review Source: Film4 | Original Score: 2/5

May 2, 2012
Andrew Osmond
SFX Magazine

Studded with lovely painterly images, but ends up feeling cramped and stagey.

Full Review Source: SFX Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

April 30, 2012
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph

The movie broods like nobody's business, setting us up for a temptingly black slab of cassocks-off ecclesiastical depravity.

Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph | Original Score: 3/5

April 28, 2012
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