Act of God

Critics Consensus

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65%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 17

20%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 267

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Movie Info

Documentarian Jennifer Baichwal helmed this reflective documentary that ponders the spiritual, emotional, and metaphysical ramifications of being struck by a lightning bolt. According to the National Weather Service, the odds of this incident befalling any given person are about one in 700,000, which makes many a survivor question why he or she fell prey to this unusual calamity; some infer a cosmic reason, some reject that possibility, but most fall somewhere in between as they feebly attempt to come to terms with it. In the film, Baichwal speaks with a number of well-known victims, including the novelist and screenwriter Paul Auster (The Music of Chance), the improv-driven prog rock guitarist Fred Frith, and others, and evaluates how the interviewees' lives forked off in new directions after a massive discharge of electricity descended from the sky and landed on them. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Cast

Critic Reviews for Act of God

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (6)

  • Quote not available.

    November 18, 2011 | Rating: 4/5

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Quote not available.

    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 2/5
  • An undeniably provocative head-trip, laced with the most spectacular lightning-storm footage I've ever seen.

    November 12, 2009
  • Philosophically ripe but cinematically undercooked.

    November 6, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • Neither filtered through nor structured around another artist's work, and suffers from the lack of a unifying vision, its parts greater than the whole.

    November 5, 2009 | Full Review…

    Ronnie Scheib

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Baichwal is the least judgmental of interviewers, which is a double-edged sword when the solemn testimony ("I had come to meet me") induces a barely resistible urge to laugh.

    November 3, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Act of God

  • Jan 26, 2011
    "Act of God" is a moderately interesting documentary that seeks to explore the differences in faith and science by talking to people who have been struck by lightning.(That's not to mention the museum in France devoted to lightning strikes.) They discuss how their lives have been changed, maybe not so much in a physical manner, but in a spiritual way. While some question why they survived and others did not, others had something along the lines of a near death experience. And as in anything, there are no easy answers.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 22, 2011
    Even though there were some cool pictures and videos of storm, even though there were some tragic stories about the storms and lighting itself and even though the subject matter could be very interesting, it was presented in a way that would make almost go to sleep. The science that they used to explain the storms or the effects on the brain anyways was very limited and pretty much for the whole part, this documentary did not keep my interest.
    Ken D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2010
    Short on facts and long on subjective, predictable mumbo-jumbo, this one was something of a let-down. I had hoped to hear some medical testimony and to learn more about the actual strikes and what it is really like to be hit by lightening. Apparently you just black out. If anything more interesting happened, the lightning victims interviewed in the movie would have had something remotely substantial to report other than obvious BS.
    Steve S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2010
    Baichwal receives much critical acclaim for her films but I end up finding them dreadfully dull as cinematic experiences. Can someone show her how to make a documentary an exciting thing?
    John B Super Reviewer

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