The Believer Reviews

July 18, 2003
The underdevloped Believer has at its core a performance of searing and genuine intensity, yet it also regrettably handles the psychological turmoil of its antagonistic protagonist with kid gloves.
June 29, 2003
It made for an emotionally hair-pulling ride, without benefit of much intellectual give and take.
April 27, 2003
The Believer is packed to the gills with various speeches and lectures and theological bantering. Much of it ends with someone getting a baseball bat to the head.
June 28, 2002
Like a pack of dynamite sticks, built for controversy. The film is explosive, but a few of those sticks are wet.
June 18, 2002
Its incendiary subject matter is flattened into something dangerously close to exploitative melodrama.
June 14, 2002
Blessed with a searing lead performance by Ryan Gosling (Murder by Numbers), the movie is powerful and provocative. It's also built on a faulty premise, one it follows into melodrama and silliness.
June 13, 2002
A sham construct based on theory, sleight-of-hand, and ill-wrought hypothesis.
June 13, 2002
Despite its attacks on fascism, "The Believer" itself carries the taint of anti-Semitism, implying that self-hatred is a Jewish trait and that Danny's case is unusual only in its extremity.
June 7, 2002
Bean's film concentrates almost entirely on the externals -- the bluster, the swagger -- when the story he is treating just begs for full, detailed, potentially explosive emotional and psychological scrutiny.
May 30, 2002
Mr. Bean's diagnosis of Jewish self-hatred in The Believer may be misdirected in the present circumstances.
May 17, 2002
A bad movie -- really a terrible movie -- with a daring idea behind it.
May 17, 2002
Any intellectual arguments being made about the nature of God are framed in a drama so clumsy, there is a real danger less sophisticated audiences will mistake it for an endorsement of the very things that Bean abhors.
May 17, 2002
In the title role, Ryan Gosling is electrifying and terrifyingly convincing, but key people around him are so inadequately drawn as to be unpersuasive.
May 16, 2002
This willfully provocative film portrait offers lots of raging, vulgarity and shock but little insight into the character's psychopathology.
February 8, 2002
All the well-meaningness in the world can't erase the fact that The Believer feels like a 12-Step Program for the Jewish Nazi.
February 7, 2002
Due to stodgy, soap opera-ish dialogue, the rest of the cast comes across as stick figures reading lines from a TelePrompTer.