The Order (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Order (2003)



Critic Consensus: A religious thriller that's more lethargic and silly than thrilling.

The Order Photos

Movie Info

Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland writes and directs the religious thriller The Order. Heath Ledger portrays a priest from a secret religious order called The Carolingians. He's sent to Rome to investigate the mysterious death of the head of the Carolingians, whose body was found with strange marks on its chest. While in Rome, he asks for help from an old friend (Mark Addy) and an elusive artist Shannyn Sossamon to help solve the murder. The priest ends up at the Vatican, where he learns of a sect that may be responsible for many mysterious deaths. Peter Weller and Benno Fürmann round out the cast.

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Critic Reviews for The Order

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (14)

Devout Catholics will be appalled; everyone else will be asleep.

February 28, 2007 | Full Review…

All the fine cinematography can't hide the sad fact that the second half of the film delivers none of the shocks and starts required of atmospheric horror.

September 11, 2003 | Full Review…

The picture is so lethargic that I began to think of watching it as a form of atonement.

September 10, 2003 | Rating: F

It's The Exorcist warmed over.

September 8, 2003 | Rating: 2/4

May be the nadir of the subgenre that produced The Exorcist (at its high end) and Stigmata (at its middle-to-low end).

September 8, 2003 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

The movie would be perfect material for a resurrected version of the TV spoof Mystery Science Theater.

September 8, 2003 | Rating: 1/4

Audience Reviews for The Order


o dear what a mess of a horror movie!!

Brian De Guelle
Brian De Guelle

Super Reviewer


It started by reminding me of the classic horrors of the 70's such as Don't Look Now and The Exorcist. The visual style and slow build up was all very nice. The build up continued for another hour before landing flat on its face. There seems to be so much talking and explanation that perhaps this would have worked better as a book. Instead it has some interesting ideas but no horror, thrills or anything vaguely interesting. Performances are good, though it's hard to tell with such dull characters. The film just about makes sense with evil demons, hooded men and...actually I'm not so sure it does all make sense. The most fun I had was spotting the eerie premonitions of Ledger's casting in Dark Knight such as a the light through a stain-glass window giving him green hair, and a scene where he is attacked by bats. OMG!

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

As the one half conjures up excruciating boredom and the other breathless excitement, the term 'religious thriller' is an oxymoron. I wasn't expecting much from this and it didn't disappoint, but I'm surprised how quickly it is fading from my memory, considering I only watched it last night. It's not awful, just mediocre. The cast is fine but the story stinks. Demonic children pop up for no other reason than to create a bit of cheap atmosphere, and to provide an excuse for some CGI effects.

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

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