The Neon Bible Reviews

  • May 02, 2019

    Gena Rowlands' luminous performance is the only saving grace in this Terence Davies' excruciatingly somnambulant adaptation of John Kennedy Toole's first novel based on an adolescent's dreary memories in 1940s Bible Belt America.

    Gena Rowlands' luminous performance is the only saving grace in this Terence Davies' excruciatingly somnambulant adaptation of John Kennedy Toole's first novel based on an adolescent's dreary memories in 1940s Bible Belt America.

  • Oct 09, 2015

    For better or worse, The Neon Bible is yet another trip into the childhood of Terence Davies. Although this is a literary adaptation, the story is so similar to his previous work (cruel father, childhood bullying, idealized mother figures, abusive nature of religion) that the film he's made out of the source material is nearly identical to the three that preceded it. Unfortunately, it pales by comparison due to a couple of stilted performance, but given that it's a Davies film there are several elements that work wonderfully, particularly his signature stylistic flourishes (an emphasis on windows, symmetrical shots, dream-like movement between scenes, poignantly romantic imagery). While not his best film, there's still enough here to qualify The Neon Bible as a solid reiteration of Davies' previous work that stands on its own, albeit in a less compelling fashion.

    For better or worse, The Neon Bible is yet another trip into the childhood of Terence Davies. Although this is a literary adaptation, the story is so similar to his previous work (cruel father, childhood bullying, idealized mother figures, abusive nature of religion) that the film he's made out of the source material is nearly identical to the three that preceded it. Unfortunately, it pales by comparison due to a couple of stilted performance, but given that it's a Davies film there are several elements that work wonderfully, particularly his signature stylistic flourishes (an emphasis on windows, symmetrical shots, dream-like movement between scenes, poignantly romantic imagery). While not his best film, there's still enough here to qualify The Neon Bible as a solid reiteration of Davies' previous work that stands on its own, albeit in a less compelling fashion.

  • May 25, 2014

    Lyrical, beautiful and amazing view of the past and more.

    Lyrical, beautiful and amazing view of the past and more.

  • May 16, 2014

    Gena Rowlands awesome (as usual) performance alone makes this movie worth seeing

    Gena Rowlands awesome (as usual) performance alone makes this movie worth seeing

  • Apr 04, 2014

    A difficult film. No hopeful narrative arc here, more a sense of continuing harshness and hopelessness as David grows up in his reactionary small town community. Painted in a series of vignettes which build a larger picture of a hard life in the South. Interestingly there are no black faces here, not one. Gena Rowlands owns this movie.

    A difficult film. No hopeful narrative arc here, more a sense of continuing harshness and hopelessness as David grows up in his reactionary small town community. Painted in a series of vignettes which build a larger picture of a hard life in the South. Interestingly there are no black faces here, not one. Gena Rowlands owns this movie.

  • Mar 19, 2012

    good southern period piece

    good southern period piece

  • Nov 22, 2011

    If someone asked me to squat on a sea urchin for an hour an a half, I would have gone through less pain. Like a Siberian winter, you just hope you make it to the end.

    If someone asked me to squat on a sea urchin for an hour an a half, I would have gone through less pain. Like a Siberian winter, you just hope you make it to the end.

  • Nov 21, 2010

    Nice imagery but the story is disjointed - it can easily be seen as a collection of childhood memories that make for a depressing 90 minutes.

    Nice imagery but the story is disjointed - it can easily be seen as a collection of childhood memories that make for a depressing 90 minutes.

  • Sep 03, 2010

    Not bad, bit dull, slow direction, seen better from Davies, ok overall.

    Not bad, bit dull, slow direction, seen better from Davies, ok overall.

  • Mar 28, 2009

    After this movie i decided no more Terence Davies movies.

    After this movie i decided no more Terence Davies movies.