A visually stunning, undeniably intriguing saga about a controversial Catholic saint. Overly earnest at times...but this is still one of the more genuinely spiritual contemporary films to hit the big screen.
| Original Score: B
As played by Cox, Escriva is earnest, heartfelt and full of tolerance, driven by his message of love and forgiveness for all, regardless of where their politics lie.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Bernardo Bertolucci and David Lean used to make movies like this. More, please.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Dragons may not be perfect, but it plays to the helmer's strengths, demonstrating an increasingly rare sense of scope and pageantry best served by the bigscreen.
Unsatisfying, lacking the epic feel it was aiming for, and paid-for image-burnishing for the controversial founder of Opus Dei.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Yes, the film looks beautiful. But unfortunately is stumbles over itself too often to fully realize greatness.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
| Original Score: 1/5
Despite its high-mindedness, an almost complete misfire...a lopsided film as well as a turgid, boring one.
| Original Score: C-
...whitewashing the origins of the controversial Opus Dei movement, this lesson in unabashed embellishment will fail to excite any but the most starry-eyed Catholic.
I was looking forward to seeing Wes Bentley on-screen again..Alas, he apparently spent the last decade at the Acting with Your Eyebrows Drama School.
Joffe, working from his own script, presents the men's lives as evidence of difficult choices, but this pedantic movie is never fully invested in any of them.
| Original Score: 2/5
Putting aside the many aesthetic problems with this overwrought, over-narrated, and overacted movie, the politics of There Be Dragons make very little sense.
Few films about the Spanish Civil War have been any good -- Pan's Labyrinth being the big exception.
Ponderous, inflated, overstated Spanish Civil War potboiler displays all of director Roland Joffé's worst tendencies to full disadvantage.
There's an interesting story here, but Joffe never firmly wraps his arms around it.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
A movie doesn't need CGI dragons to be exciting. But it does need real characters and conflict -- it needs to be a real story. Here, that story always is just beyond our grasp.
It offers good production values, name performers and insights into the chaos of civil war. But it's too stiff, too cautious, too calculating to feel genuine.
| Original Score: 2/4
Rarely has a film with so much melodrama been so unengaging.
Even with its modern ambiguity, "There Be Dragons" feels stodgy.