Red State Reviews
My only understanding as to why this has been rated so low is because it offends the religious right and the liberal left at the same time.
The score is haunting and the entire film has a very dark tone, we've seen Kevin doing comedy, we've even seen some drama. But this I think was something completely new from him. If it didn't have his name all over it, I'd swear it was from Quentin Tarantino. The hyper-violent nature, the fact that everyone is corruptible, the fact that noone is safe... It was fucking beautiful.
And I just looked this up, it was number 8 on QT's list of films of 2011.
Been doing a bit of a Kevin Smith "Binge" and this certainly was jarring and different from his other works. Well done good sir, well done.
At one point in the movie a teacher references the Westboro Baptist Church, the obvious inspiration for this movie, and says in affect, "Yah those guys are bad, but not as bad as these guys." That's not how you do a metaphor. You can't compare the thing you're trying to write about with your fictional work and make it seem thought provoking and intriguing. It would be like making a movie where the plot was an allegory for the Holocaust and then having a person in the middle of it say, "Wow, this is just like the Holocaust only worse." That's bad script writing.
The movie does have some strong character acting in it, and the stuff with the government agents is a much better allegory for the government's bumbling of the Waco Texas disaster. That being said, it's not enough to save the film as a whole.