Noah

Noah_movie_psoter_660.jpg
Overall Rating

2.0stars.png

leaning away from a biblically orthodox worldview


Select any ranking category for further information:
Faith and/or Biblical Relevance 2.0stars.png
Faith-compatible Depiction of Characters and Character Relationships 2.0stars.png
Faith-compatible Depiction of Situations 2.5stars.png
Family Viewing Suitability 2.0stars.png
Entertainment Value 1.5stars.png
view our criteria

Summary

Riding into theaters on a wave of controversy, the highly anticipated nationwide release of NOAH on Friday, March 28, finally answers the question raised by media outlets since last fall about how well the film will resonate with faith-based audiences. Unfortunately for Paramount Pictures, which spent an estimated $125 million producing the project, NOAH misses the boat with Faith Driven Consumers by straying far enough from the biblical account to render the story only vaguely recognizable. Even non-believers will come away from NOAH scratching their heads wondering why acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) chose to portray God’s righteous man Noah as a homicidal maniac hell bent on killing his own family members.    

 

Starring Russell Crowe (Gladiator, Man of Steel, Les Misérables) as Noah, Jennifer Connelly (Blood Diamond, A Beautiful Mind) as Noah’s wife, Anthony Hopkins (Thor, Silence of the Lambs) as Methuselah and Emma Watson (Harry Potter) as Shem’s wife, NOAH theoretically has the high-caliber star power to deliver. However, the story’s dark descent into a tale of Noah’s derangement – coupled with a fanciful and unbiblical treatment of the Nephilim – turns what could have been a satisfying epic about sin, judgment and salvation into a strange combination of MAD MAX, TRANSFORMERS and WATER WORLD. 


Overall Faith and/or Biblical Relevance

2.0stars.png

While the dominant biblical theme of God’s decision in Genesis 6 – 9 to destroy the world because of mankind’s overarching wickedness and sin is clearly presented in NOAH, the messianic message of the ark as a safe vessel through which God’s righteous ones will be delivered from the coming judgment is lost. Instead, the ark is a place of punishment for God’s remnant – until the final scene when Noah comes to his senses and relents from killing some of his own family members. Similarly, Aronofsky’s Noah departs from the biblical account in claiming that he wasn’t chosen by God because he was righteous, but simply because he’d carry out the job of eliminating all humans from Earth so that the animals might be saved and allowed to start over free from human corruption. 

 

Oddly, biblical themes not found in the Genesis account are present in NOAH, including a barren womb miraculously opened not by God, but by Methuselah, who is depicted as a magical wizard with supernatural powers dispensing godly wisdom from his guru mountaintop cave. And whereas the Bible indicates that Noah obediently “walks with God” and has explicit and detailed communication with Him about the fact that his family will be saved, Aronofsky’s Noah seems distant from God – confused about the fate of his family and hearing from Him only in dreams and mystical states.     


Faith-compatible Depiction of Characters and Character Relationships

2.0stars.png

NOAH offers a several characters and situations that are not found in the biblical account. While the Bible clearly indicates that eight humans are saved in the flood – Noah, his wife, their three sons and three daughters-in law – in NOAH two of the sons do not have wives and Shem’s wife bears twin daughters, who function as God’s “provision” for Ham and Japeth. Similarly, the villain Tubal-cain breaks onto the ark and stows away for the duration of the flood and tries to tempt Ham into joining him to kill Noah before he himself is killed. Ironically, Tubal-cain seems to have a clearer understanding of how humans bear God’s image and are called to have dominion over the Earth than Noah does. Positively, the wives of both Noah and Shem are largely respectful and unified with their husbands, despite Noah’s increasingly irrational leadership.      


Faith-compatible Depiction of Situations

2.5stars.png

In a movie that takes significant liberty with the biblical text, NOAH manages to get a few details correct. The flood is clearly depicted as universal, there’s a dove with an olive branch, and the wonder of the animals approaching the ark in pairs coming out of the woods is one of the few emotionally stirring scenes in the entire 138-minute movie. Here, however, the distinction God made between seven clean and two unclean animals is not made. In other ways, Aronofsky gets things right to a point, but then inexplicably diverges from the text. For example, he hints at an altar of worship after the flood, but turns it into a mystical birthright bestowal instead of an explicit covenant. There’s a rainbow, but no promise from God to never again destroy the Earth again with water. And Noah’s retelling of the six days of creation to his family while on the ark starts off strong, but then gets muddled in commentary about human depravity.        


Family Viewing Suitability

2.0stars.png

While in popular culture the story of Noah has become a sanitized tale for young children to learn about the animals going onto the ark two-by-two, the biblical account is much more sobering and centers on the ugly reality of sin and wickedness, the apocalyptic destruction of humanity by a heartbroken and grieved God, and ultimately Noah’s post-flood drunkenness. Here, NOAH gets it right and earns its PG-13 rating – meaning it is theoretically suitable viewing for teens and up with parental guidance. Indeed, some adolescents will relate well to the Transformers-like depiction of the Nephilim and the younger casting for Noah’s sons and daughter-in-law. However, parents are cautioned to fully consider the broader question of exposing their teens to a version of the Noah account that differs significantly from the biblical narrative.      


Entertainment Value

1.5stars.png

Faith Driven Consumers looking for a feel-good, big-budget, action-oriented movie that tracks closely with a biblical theme will be disappointed in NOAH. While the outlines of the Genesis account are there and some major biblical themes are taken seriously, the deviation from Scripture is too great to make up for the high production levels, Academy Award-winning cast and impressive special effects. Even movie-goers who aren’t particularly faith-oriented will find NOAH unsatisfying due to its slow pacing and uninteresting and unlikeable protagonist. Ironically, the most interesting and sympathetic characters in the film are Noah’s daughter-in-law, Ham and Tubal-cain. In the end, given Aronofsky’s focus on Noah’s dark, inner conflict, perhaps the film should have titled “The Last Temptation of Noah.”


 

 

 


Showing 27 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • I am shopping my faith this Christmas and participating in the #ChristmasBUYcott—directing my hard-earned dollars to brands that are more faith compatible than their competitors.
  • I enjoyed Noah for the special effects and showing just how evil and ugly men were to each other in the days of Noah. Few movies are like the books they originally come from and this was no exception. People wonder why there aren’t more Christian or Biblical movies. I believe it is because our religious community is so hard to please and so easy to be the critic. Biblical stories don’t have a lot of extra adjectives and interactive plot lines. I think the writers had a difficult job to do to satisfy all the parties involved in the Noah movie.
  • A movie with loose ties to the real Noah.
  • this film was more toward Russell crowe self exaultion then the true word of GOD.
  • I do hope that Hollywood gets the message and gets real with future movies the kind you want to go see.
  • I went to see the movie Noah last night. As for the special effects and the actors it was great and that’s as far as it goes. It was a real stretch to figure it out and follow the story. If you want a good true bible version this is not it. A lot of things were just wrong and the work God was never used instead it was creator. For someone who wants to learn about the bible this is not it and full of basic lies. In short don’t waste your money. Hollywood did it their way not Gods way.
  • For the sake of accuracy , the first humans were definitely vegetarian, as per God’s purposeful provision. Please see Genesis chapter 1, verses 29&30. AFTER the flood, God gave Noah and his family permission to also eat animals, but not their blood. Genesis 9:3&4.
  • Noah a vegetarian? Really? Seems kind of silly to me, Darren Aronofsky. God gave man dominion over flora and fauna. Humans are omnivores.

    Noah (a recorded toolmaker.) and family were farmers and built the ark to preserve and continue life. If anything, Noah should have killed sociopathic Ham, after the flood, not his unborn grandchild on an ark where nobody was pregnant.

    Aronofsky should be reassured Noah existed and his sons and their descendants be traced through Chronicles in the Bible and archaeology to people and places today. In 2002, Holocaust survivors asked an artist to “Find Noah”, and in three internet days, he found all the grandchildren and where they lived. Why are the 7 Noahide laws, for Jews and Gentiles alike, still the basis for law on earth? I don’t think Darren knows, but he WANTS to know.

    Please experience…. http://www.NoahIsReal.com , a four part interactive essay where Noah’s descendants are traced through architecture, art history and the 3 style of hats, each son of Noah’s families wore (each had their own head covering style), the meteor that struck earth in 3123 bce and “messed things up” until this day…and more
  • Thanks for the review. I had no intentions of seeing the movie and this review only strengthens my intention.
  • This movie is a real shame. With the special effects now available to Hollywood, they could have made an AWESOME movie and stayed true to the Biblical content. But they didn’t. Hollywood misses the boat again (no pun intended).
  • Any media that causes this much controversy that can lead people to actually talk about the Bible and look deeper into the real meaning and questions about God’s intentions then and now, is better than 90% of any of the movies made today that tear our kids into shreds with evil music, cursing, drugs, immorality, and the like is a way to discuss the issues that young people crave today. As a substitute SPED teacher who dares to talk about God and stir their hearts and minds to question God, faith and morality, I look forward to conversation about it and a way to clarify what is real and what is not.
  • To purchase a ticket for this movie, is to support its fabrications. We cannot honor God by supporting a venue that distorts the entire reason for the flood and God’s perfect decisions in righteous judgment. Infusing a magic-performing wizard that causes a woman’s womb to produce offspring is a direct insult to our Almighty God. We can get the truth and God’s wisdom from His own word; we don’t need to be “entertained” in the process.
  • I was so excited to see the movie “Noah”. However after reading and searching I can not see the movie Noah. This rendition of Noah has nothing to do with the Creator of the universe but with a man who is an atheist and his sci-fi take on God’s word. This in my option is bate and switch. We as Christians have waited for more movies that we could enjoy as entertainment. Yet!! We are told this is from the Bible account Noah however it is far from Biblical , full of man’s add in story lines. I will not be going and I would ask that believers stay away!!!!
  • I will not be supporting this movie. I don’t understand in this day and age of technology that someone can’t make a biblical movie that is accurate in fact while being appealing to we belivers and non-believers alike. Christian themed movies have always been looked at as “soft”, “unappealing”, and “boring”, but not always due to the mesaage being delivered but how the mesaage is delivered.
  • Fiction writing
  • While I am happy to know an accurate review of Noah, I think all the reaction from Christians is just giving the film more publicity, and maybe that’s what the producers wanted. I will happily ignore this movie.
  • I’m sorry, but I disagree with being against the movie, Noah. No, it isn’t 100% accurate, but given the fact that it at least puts God on the forefront of people’s minds, and makes them think about The Almighty, I think it’s an asset to those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ and looking for any tool we can to reach out to those who are unchurched. That being said, I’m grateful for any movie that comes out this year that puts the name of God on the lips of millions of people. Glass half-full. Also keep in mind Proverbs 3:5. Just trust Him.
  • My family & I cannot support the movie Noah; once again a person without Godly values tries to undermine God’s sovereignty and depicts a movie as Biblical when it clearly isn’t. We loved God’s Not Dead and highly recommend it. Noah on the other hand won’t even warrant renting it.
  • @faithconsumer Faith-friendly Film Review: @noahmovie