Constantine's Sword

Critics Consensus

Exceptional research elevates Constantine's Sword from a talking heads documentary to a resonant and thought-provoking expose of the church's dark history.



Total Count: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 775
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Constantine's Sword Photos

Movie Info

Academy Award-nominated director Oren Jacoby helmed this documentary adaptation of former Catholic priest James Carroll's nonfiction book of the same name. An anti-war activist, Carroll delves into Christianity's history to learn how a faith founded on peace could come to be used as a tool for war-mongers. Jacoby follows Carroll as he explores the phenomenon from its origins in ancient times up through the modern-day U.S. military. Constantine's Sword screened at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival.

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Phillip Bosco
as Gian Pietro Caraffa
Natasha Richardson
as Edith Stein
Philip Bosco
as Gian Pietro Caraffa
Eli Wallach
as Piero Terracina
Liev Schreiber
as Constantine

Critic Reviews for Constantine's Sword

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (12)

  • Jacoby and Carroll make their case skillfully, carefully excerpting key scenes from Lenny (with Dustin Hoffman doing a Lenny Bruce monologue on anti-Jewish prejudice) and The Robe.

    Aug 29, 2008 | Rating: 3/4
  • Constantine's Sword speaks provocatively to history and our moment.

    May 30, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • The breadth of Carroll's scholarship and the depth of his religious understanding strengthen his assertion that our misadventure in Iraq is the beginning of a new holy war.

    May 30, 2008 | Full Review…
  • But I ramble. So does the movie, in an insidiously fascinating way.

    May 30, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
  • Whatever your persuasion, you'll walk out enriched.

    May 23, 2008 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • The movie covers an immense amount of shameful historical ground, but the soft-spoken Carroll's mission is less about winning an argument than prodding true believers

    Apr 25, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Constantine's Sword

  • Oct 12, 2011
    James Carrol's theory that the Cross is a violent rather than peaceful symbol is intriguing, as is the connections he makes between the Antisemitism from the formation of the Church, to the Holocaust, and finally the disquieting merge between Evangelical Christianity and the American Military. Carrol makes some bold, possibly true, statements but his arguments are too thinly drawn for my taste. Its also hard for me to connect the Catholics with Evangelicals because of how much the latter dislikes the former.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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