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Early Buzz: First Reviews For Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah' Are Decidedly Soggy & Mixed

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 21, 2014 at 9:00AM

The floodgates have opened. Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" has started rolling out internationally before it bows stateside next week, and the first reviews of the movie have arrived two by two online, and it's not a shock that the troubled film has had decided mixed results with critics. Some have been bowled over by his epic take on the story of the ark, while most others find his movie messy and ill-conceived, with the result not quite coming together like it should.
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Noah, Russell Crowe

The floodgates have opened. Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" has started rolling out internationally before it bows stateside next week, the first reviews of the movie have arrived two by two online, and it's not a shock that the troubled film has had decided mixed results with critics. Some have been bowled over by his epic take on the story of the ark, while most others find his movie messy and ill-conceived, with the result not quite coming together.

Perhaps that was always going to be the case. Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Ray Winstone, the movie dips into the Bible story with fantasy elements and an environmental message, coupled with Aronofsky's always challenging eye on visuals, and unique take on storytelling. So, what did the experts have to day? For some, "Noah" made them cry, for others, it's an epic misfire. Check out the reviews below, followed by a new featurette on the movie.

Variety: "Counterintuitive, perhaps, but by no means sacrilegious, Aronofsky’s uneven but undeniably bold, personal, visually extravagant take on the Old Testament tale will surely polarize critics and audiences"

The Wrap: "No animals or cast members were harmed by 'Noah,' true, but this new vessel doesn't do much for the floating zookeeper's big-screen reputation."

ScreenDaily: " 'Noah,' zeroes in on a protagonist whose best intentions threaten to lead him into madness. Unfortunately, that emotional through-line gets lost amidst an oversized epic that juggles too much and doesn’t do enough right."

The Hollywood Reporter: " 'Noah' will rile some for the complete omission of the name “God” from the dialogue, others for its numerous dramatic fabrications and still more for its heavy-handed ecological doomsday messages, which unmistakably mark it as a product of its time. But whether you buy these elements or not, this is still an arresting piece of filmmaking..."

National Catholic Register: "Aronofsky has been pondering the Noah story for decades and working on this film for more than 15 years. Somehow, he has brought the first major big-studio Bible film in decades to the screen. The work of an uncompromising filmmaker who makes the movies he wants to make, it’s an outlier for the genre, to be sure. It’s not often that a movie with giant rock monsters has me pondering religious and scientific cosmologies, rabbinic literature and Tolkien — and also makes me cry."

IndieWire: "Aronofsky's worst movie is an epic misfire that, like the source material, offers plenty of lessons even if you don't buy the whole package."

Film School Rejects: "Dark, complex, intense; basically just the sort of thing you’ve come to expect from Aronofsky."

We Got This Covered: "Ultimately, Noah is a powerful but complicated experience that’s deeply fascinating in the way it subverts expectations. It will crash over you like the flood itself, knocking you back, allowing you to take in awe-inspiring visuals but also forcing you to contemplate complex questions. An absorbing character study and an action epic all at once, Noah is a highly ambitious, largely successful outing for its director and star."

This article is related to: Darren Aronofsky, Noah


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