The Order (2003)

TOMATOMETER

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

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Movie Info

For centuries a secret Order has existed within the Church. Following a series of unexplained murders, renegade priest Father Alex Bernier begins an investigation that hurls him into a maelstrom of unimaginable evil, murder and the knowledge that there is a fate worse than death. Father Bernier's search takes him to The Sin Eater--a key figure in this mysterious and ancient Order. The immortal Sin Eater's role is nothing less than playing God on earth by absolving the unforgivable of their sins outside the Church, allowing greater evil to go unpunished. Burdened by centuries of evil, the Sin Eater craves the luxury of death. But who will eat his sins and grant eternal peace? Who will carry on his dark tradition and continue the work of the Order? As the young priest uncovers the answers and pursues these paragons of evil, he fights to save his own soul and that of troubled artist Mara, the woman he loves.

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Cast

Heath Ledger
as Father Alex Bernier
Benno Fürmann
as William Eden
Mark Addy
as Father Thomas Garrett
Peter Weller
as Cardinal Driscoll
Francesco Carnelutti
as Father Dominic
Maria Cristina Macca
as Sister Franca
Paola Emilia Villa
as Sister Marie
Richard Bremmer
as Bookstore Owner
Mirko Casaburo
as Little Boy
Giulia Lombardi
as Little Girl
Roslinda Celentano
as Faraway Eyes Girl
Paolo Lorimer
as Englishman
Davide Odore
as Young Eden
John Karlsen
as Eden's Manservant
Fabrizio Lozzi
as Eden's Driver
Adam Levy
as Master Builder
Bruno Bilotta
as Bigger Bouncer
Leagh Conwell
as Alex (age 10)
John Schwab
as American Bureaucrat
Steve Toussaint
as New York Detective
James Greene
as British Doctor
Luigi Basagaluppi
as Father of Eden
Michele Melega
as Morgue Attendant
Richard Leaf
as Sin Eater at St. Peters
Emanuele Carucci Viterbi
as Priest at St. Peters
Clive Riche
as Towncar Driver
Alex Van Damme
as Club Bartender
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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.

Feb 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.

Sep 11, 2003 | Full Review…

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

Sep 10, 2003 | Rating: F

It's The Exorcist warmed over.

Sep 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).

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

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

Sep 8, 2003 | Rating: 1/4

Audience Reviews for The Order

½

o dear what a mess of a horror movie!!

Brian De Guelle
Brian De Guelle

Super Reviewer

½

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

I didn't hate this movie. I really thought that I would, but I didn't. The acting is a bit shallow and the character development is very lacking and the plot line is thin (as well as some trite , overused, stolen lines, ie Nietzsche: "Sometimes when you look into the abyss it looks back into you." and they didn't even have the good sense to quote the man), but still I could not hate this film. Why? Because it brought up some real brain food for me. It speaks to the Church's influence over not just this realm, but the realm beyond and how angered they might get by having thier authority undermined and circumvented. Therefor, in my mind, it speaks to the dangers of institutionalized religion (a subject near and dear to my heart). There are some cool special effects and scenery and, quite frankly, despite the fact that I would have liked knowing the characters a bit more intimately it did not detract from the point of the film. Witness the Sin-Eater...and I will stop there so as not to be a spoiler. If you are looking for a thriller with a few moments of horror/thrill (nothing too gory though not for the kids), some nice twists, and something to think about if you are open to it then you might want to consider this movie as a rental.

Dean L
Dean L

Super Reviewer

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