There are a lot of Noah movie reviews out there, I think is one of the more balanced reviews you’ll find. It’s fair and objective, regardless of your beliefs.
This Noah movie review will judge Biblical and historical accuracy and context, the quality of the deviated plot and creative license, cinematography and CGI, and overall entertainment value.
Biblical Accuracy: 3/10
It gets three points for getting the basics correct as written about in the Genesis story – there was a man named Noah, who had a family, and they built a boat to be filled with animals prior to God sending a flood. It’s pretty much downhill from there on both the Biblical account and historical accuracy.
There were a lot of great creative licenses taken, like the seed that grew a forest and the introduction of smoke-induced comas for the animals on the boat. Things like this make the story interesting, entertaining, and help to fill in some of the intelligence gaps that exist. I even enjoyed the talking rock monsters, the portrayal of the evil clan, the villain that gets aboard the ark, and the Benny-Hin-forehead-sleep-blow that Lamech uses on Noah’s son – none of which are Biblical in nature but provided the predictable Hollywood deviation.
So where does the creative license ruin the movie? Well, the entire premise is wrong. Not just wrong, but purposefully dishonest. The movie did not deal with the Biblical purpose for the flood – the sins of man. Instead, it overemphasized evil portrayed as people that kill animals, eat meat, and pick flowers. Noah verbally states God’s reasoning for the flood – justified because humans are “ruining the world.” No mention of sin. The director, Darren Aronofsky, took a story in the Bible in which the causation was the sin of man, and presented man’s biggest sinners as anybody who is not a vegan. Meat is bad. Killing animals is bad. Picking flowers is bad. Punishable by death, as we found in one of the opening scenes where Noah kills two men that are hunting an animal for food. Only later in the movie is there a momentary flash of evil (not sin) being highlighted where men are actually doing evil things – like raping women. Even then, the director couldn’t help but put a large focus on men tucked away in dark corners chowing down on chicken wings. This particular scene comes to a close with Noah starring at a vile man in a dark corner scoffing at him while consuming a piece of meat.
Darren Aronofsky’s strange liberal progressive political plot thickens on the ark as Noah contemplates suicide with his wife and turns into the world’s first Kermit Gosnell abortionist ready to kill his two granddaughters because he thinks that it’s God’s will. Suicide and abortion – two things championed by those that think killing animals is more evil.
I understand that theological interpretations will occur in Hollywood movies, but saying that the Noah movie is even remotely accurate to the book, would have been like The Passion of the Christ movie portraying Jesus as a homosexual KKK member who dies by electric chair… and calling it “creative license.”
Besides the fact that Darren Aronofsky’s premise for the movie is purposefully dishonest, it doesn’t even begin to make sense. God hates man because they are destroying the earth by causing desolate weather patterns, killing animals, eating meat, and picking flowers, so He responds by sending a flood (climate change), killing animals and plants? No. The story of Noah was about the sin of man, not global warming. If it weren’t for this OVEREMPHASIZED plot present during nearly every scene, then the movie would have been good… or at least better.
With that said, there were some other small Biblically accurate nuggets that stuck in my head: Noah’s story-time telling of creation was fair, the raven being the first bird sent out was accurate, Noah planting a vineyard and getting drunk, naked, and covered by his sons (while slightly indulgent) was honest (except there was no tent), and the materials used to construct the ark seemed realistic, especially the use of pitch as a sealant.
Historical Accuracy: 6/10
Darren Aronofsky missed the mark on historical accuracy, especially as it relates to tools/props, and clothing. Noah had several tools, including a knife, that looked closer to 17th century than it did to any before Christ (BC) era type of gear that we would expect. The clothing was also a strange choice – modern-day, form-fitting clothes, separate tops and bottoms, with very well-made foot apparel. While likely to be historically inaccurate, I don’t see a big deal with this. Seeing a family run around in robes for 2 hours would have been less visually appealing.
Quality of Deviated Plot & Creative License: 4/10
If I rated these two separately, Deviated Plot would score 2/10, and Creative License would score 6/10. The quality of the deviated plot was probably one of the most director-led self-indulgent plots I’ve ever seen. Darren Aronofsky is an atheist vegan, so while the premise of the movie is absolutely ridiculous as it relates to the Biblical account, it is by no means surprising. The director could have hit the entire movie out of the park from beginning to end, but as somebody who (fortunately and unfortunately) sees things through a political prism, the movie’s deviated plot was a disaster. It gets 4 points because I think it did a good job at adding action to the movie by using the violent clan – a group of ‘evil meat-eaters’ that first laugh at Noah, and then attempt to attack their way onto the ark once it starts to rain. I think a better job could have been done in painting the clan as truly evil – and not just dirty men that eat meat. I know the mention of this is getting old, but that’s how nauseatingly obvious the vegan allegory is.
Cinematography & CGI: 6.5/10
The rock monsters made for an interesting twist, and were really the only saving grace in regards to visual appeal and action – as they were the dominating force in both building the ark and protecting it from the clan of ‘evil’ people. There is also a scene where Noah is given a seed from his father, Lamech. Noah plants the seed and grows a forest from which he is to build the boat. It was a neat scene, but it left me wondering if Noah would have preferred a seed that just grew a boat instead. The scenes of the animals boarding the ark were decent. I really though these scenes were going to be emphasized more, but they were mostly quick and left me saying “they should have spent some more money on those scenes.” The visuals that appear during Noah’s telling of creation are neat, and fairly accurate. The visuals of the ark are great, and so are some of the cinematography shots, especially once the rain begins. Keep an eye out for those.
Overall Entertainment Value: 5/10
If the movie wasn’t 138 minutes long, then I may have given it a 6/10 for entertainment value. This could have been accomplished if the director would have spent less time injecting his personal and political agenda. Those scenes alone would have cut a lot of fat out of the movie, and made it bearably entertaining. From an objective viewpoint, the movie is not worth paying to see in theaters. At best, I would label it a second or third choice Red Box. If you’re only interested in seeing it for its Biblical value, skip it altogether.
This movie is neither worth aggressively attacking, or promoting in church (especially not worth promoting in church). If it weren’t directed by an atheist, I might have expected differently, but that isn’t the case. This isn’t your Sunday school class felt board Bible story. It’s dark, violent, dishonest, and packed full of left-leaning political undertones. If you’re an avid movie-goer like I am, then go see it once it hits the cheap theater in your area. Even for its entertainment value, it’s not worth $8-$12. If you’re expecting a movie as accurate and as emotionally deep as The Passion of the Christ, skip it. The two do not even come close. Despite theological discrepancies, the premise of The Passion of the Christ was true to the Biblical account. If you have trouble watching a movie with left-leaning political undertones then stay far, far away from this movie.