Critic Consensus: Noble goals and a gripping performance from Rachel Weisz can't save Agora from its muddled script, uneven acting, and choppy editing.
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as Pagan Rival
as Heladius Dignitary
as Hypatia's Disciple
as Old Philosopher
as Christian Student
as Woman with Figs
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Critic Reviews for Agora
A humorless feminist toga epic that fascinates with its intelligence and its abhorrence of the birth of Judeo/Christian culture.
This Spanish-produced period drama is pretty dreadful: the drama is torpid, the astronomy lessons pedantic, and the spear-and-sandal production values flat-out cheesy.
Although the movie's history is spotty, its dialogue is sometimes clunky, and time frames are telescoped, its overall impact packs a powerful punch.
Manages to mix philosophy, history, hysteria and a love triangle and still be something of a bore.
Audience Reviews for Agora
A powerful and thought-provoking historical drama that makes us feel like traveling back in time with its astonishing visuals while at the same time offers us an intelligent narrative that raises incredibly compelling and rewarding discussions about science and religion.
I love Rachel Weisz, and was glad she got this opportunity to bring to light one of the truly inventive thinkers of antiquity, Hypatia, long forgotten in most curriculum. Unfortunately there's another tale here, that of nascent Christianity versus the vanishing paganism of the day. That'd be a good movie too, Christians as not so nice mob murderers. The mash up though doesn't have enough attention for both and so both stories are ill served, and so are you, the innocent viewer.
Yet another dramatic film that only exists as a video aid for high school teachers, "Agora" tries to bring tension to the story of Hypatia, while educating the audience on the discovery of the rotation of the earth around the sun in an elliptical motion, which disputed Ptolemy's model. While that discovery is interesting, and it's framed against the Christians taking over the historically pagan city of Alexandria (including the Library of Alexandria), it doesn't make for much of a watch. There's also a power dynamic between the major religions, and a weird love triangle between Hypatia, a slave named Davus, and her former student, turned prefect, Orestes. Even with all that buildup, this film is extremely boring. Oh my goodness, it bores the entire way through. It works well as a history of science film, because it doesn't overtly drag and it explains its points well, but for entertainment, go elsewhere.
|Hypatia:||I believe in Reason (in response to so, what do you believe in?)|
|Hypatia:||I believe in Reason [in response to so, what do you believe in?]|
|Hypatia:||I believe in Philosophy.|
|Hypatia:||If I could just unravel this just a little bit more, and just get a little closer to the answer, then... Then I would go to my grave a happy woman.|
|Hypatia:||Synesius, you don't question what you believe, or cannot. I must.|
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