Action / Drama / Mystery

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 110527


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February 10, 2014 at 08:31 AM


Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Brendan Flynn
Amy Adams as Sister James
Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius Beauvier
Viola Davis as Mrs. Miller
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811.59 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 44 min
P/S 1 / 39
1.65 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 44 min
P/S 3 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Pierre Radulescu 9 / 10

The Movie and the Case

I think there are two distinct cases to discuss: the case in the movie; the case about the movie.

The case in the movie: it is 1964 and in a Catholic school in Bronx a conflict erupts between the principal (Meryl Streep) and the priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The principal is Sister Aloysius, a nun very strict about the discipline. The priest, Father Flynn, is just the opposite, a very natural guy, open to people and to the world. The nun suspects him of pedophilia. The suspicion will never be confirmed, never thrown away. Eventually it's up to us to decide, and our role of spectators is played in the movie by Sister James (Amy Adams), a younger nun who is trying to understand what really is, oscillating between the two. By the way, genial idea of using male names for the Catholic nuns, to stress out the strictness of their rules.

The case about the movie: the epoch Doubt was made and the epoch the picture takes place are very different. The sixties were the years of Vatican II; the Catholic Church was opening largely its windows. It was the conflict (often brutal) between new and tradition, between progressives and conservatives. This was then. Today the Church is facing the scandals of pedophilia (and the way they are handled by the Catholic hierarchy).

So, if we take the epoch of the sixties, we take the side of Father Flynn, a man open to modernity, empathizing with the youth, with their questions and their way of seeing the world, speaking the language of his epoch, a wonderful man suspected by a retrograde nun.

Only the movie is made today, for today's viewers, and we are focused on today's issues. So here is the question: once the nun had suspicions that the priest was a pedophile, what was the right way to take? To not follow a case without positive evidence? Or, by the contrary, to follow the case, to force him to come with proofs of his innocence? What was more important: his right to privacy or the safety of the boys? We can say that the movie leaves the case open. Nothing demonstrates positively that the priest is a pedophile; nothing demonstrates that he isn't.

Well, the movie brings something more: what if? What if the boy is born with another orientation and the priest is just understanding and protecting him? Maybe just because the priest has the same orientation? There is a key scene in the movie, the discussion between Sister Aloysius and the boy's mother (wonderfully played by Viola Davis), leading to an unexpected outcome.

And I think here is the doubt the movie is putting forward: more than the doubt of Sister James (is Father Flynn an abominable pedophile, beyond his openness?), more even than the doubt of Sister Aloysius (was she right in following a man without positive proofs?), there is the doubt of humanity. Human behavior is complex, each human case is unique and cannot be assimilated to a general pattern. Things aren't every time what they look like, we should always consider this question, what if?

Reviewed by yana-07131 7 / 10

A good drama movie

I'm not a drama-lover, hardly any drama movie I managed to watch more that 20 minutes without falling asleep. This movie definitely won't let you take your eyes off the screen. The tension that's created by uncertainty and ambiguity of events holds your attention during the entire movie. The cast is absolutely well chosen, including one of the best actresses of all times Meryl Streep. It's exciting the way your opinion changes like a roller-coaster every time new facts of the story are revealed. The movie leaves you with a heavy heart after it's over and makes you reconsider many issues. If you doubt whether it's worth watching, at least this is a good reason to make a choice in favour of a thought-provoking-movie that's gonna probably change your whole perception of justice and guilt. I would insist that this movie must be watched by people responsible for making decisions relating to other people. Accusation must have a valuable, facts-supported basis, but sometimes your intuition and inner belief overpowers. What would you stick to?

Reviewed by reebokpercent 9 / 10

Anyway the wind blows

'Doubt' is a gripping psychological drama with incomparable Meryl Streep and brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman in the leads. The film is directed by John Patrick Shanley and based on his own Pulitzer-Prize winning stage play of the same name. Before watching the film you may be attracted by the film poster with a cross (a symbol of faith) and the word 'doubt' depicting on it, what immediately hooks you due to combining two mutually exclusive concepts. Actually the whole film is based on opposition and proves how controversial can be issues of Good and Evil looked at from different perspectives. It is natural for humans to doubt. It is a result of their capability of speculation and their innate desire to find the truth. However, there are cases when not everyone is "allowed" to doubt due to some personal moral convictions or some restrictions from outside. That's what happens to the main character of the picture, the head nun, Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep), who dares to call in question righteousness of the priest, Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) suspecting him of sexual relationship with one of the students of the Catholic school. Her suspicion is neither confirmed for the lack of evidence, nor refuted, but the seed of doubt is already implanted in our minds as well as in the mind of a younger nun, Sister James, wonderfully portrayed by graceful Amy Adams. She observes this opposition between "the prosecutor" and "the accused" and with childish naivety tries to find absolute truth, which is non-existent in the context of the film. Particular attention should be given to excellent acting of Meryl Streep, who perfectly suits the role of a self-possessed principal, running the school in an imperious and domineering manner. Her conservatism seems to be on the verge of absurdity, from prohibition on ballpoint pens and candies to total control of the students (episode with the portrait on the blackboard). So, in comparison with Father Flynn, whose appearance is as "sweet" as his tea and whose deeds and speech are always alarmingly good, Sister Aloysius looks like a true oppressor. However, such an image of her somehow fades as the film progressed. It is she who takes care of her whole nuns' community in the male-dominated environment. Those touchy moments, when she displays particular concern for the elderly Sister Veronica who is going blind, just testify that she is a perfect leader: tough but considerate. A true venerator of traditions Sister Aloysius has a genuine fear of changes, which are brought to Bronx Catholic School with the wind of 1964. Her remark about the weather 'the world is crashing' becomes pivotal for the whole film and even more crucial for herself. In attempts to stop liberalism that starts shifting firm conservative views, the head nun crosses swords with the priest, considering him a disseminator of destructive liberal views. But in the end, ironically, she finds herself doubting her own longstanding believes, realizing that values of the modern world are no longer the same, and that something, once used to be totally unacceptable, today is quite adequate. No doubt, the film is worth seeing! Brilliant performance of all leads alongside with the riveting plot will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.

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