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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whom do You Trust?
The director and screenwriter in this blockbuster drama, John Patrick Shanley, has created a dynamic movie that intentionally stirs up more questions than it answers. By the end, the viewer is thoroughly perplexed as to what is evil and where absolute truth resides in life. Is it in the freedom to embrace change or resist it because of its great potential to destroy? The...
Published on Nov. 5 2009 by Ian Gordon Malcomson

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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stereotypical characters and a weak plot
The story opens in 1964 in a neighborhood parish in the Bronx, where Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) is the school principal. She's tough and traditional and bristles at the friendlier, more outgoing attitude of the pastor, Father Flynn (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). A young teacher tells her that the priest may have acted inappropriately with one of her students, and Sister...
Published on April 20 2009 by Kona


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whom do You Trust?, Nov. 5 2009
By 
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doubt (DVD)
The director and screenwriter in this blockbuster drama, John Patrick Shanley, has created a dynamic movie that intentionally stirs up more questions than it answers. By the end, the viewer is thoroughly perplexed as to what is evil and where absolute truth resides in life. Is it in the freedom to embrace change or resist it because of its great potential to destroy? The setting is an east New York City parish in the early 1960s.Traditional values are under assault and values are changing fast, especially with the forces of modernization arriving at the doors of the parochial school in the form of a progressive-thinking priest played by Philip Hoffman. Before too long, through the power of his evocative homilies, he has the local congregants questioning their own doubts and feelings. He sees his mission as one of sewing the seeds of kindness and open-mindness in the minds of those who are willing to seek a more enligtened view of life instead of slavishly obeying the strict laws of the Church on virtuous living. Right from the outset, his message of loving each other as Christ first loved us meets with stiff opposition from the graceless principal, Sister Beauvier, played by Meryl Streep. As these two persons lock horns over what is the appropriate way to physically handle children, the battle lines are drawn along a whole new set of issues: sexual misconduct, racism, bigotry, and gossip. At the end, I was left with some mixed feelings as to who is ultimately really right in this conflict of values: a risking-taking priest who often skirts the edges of morality, or the prudish, anal-retentive principal who is too mortified to admit her need to loosen up. Shaney doesn't provide any easy answers as to how to resolve this dilemma between freedom and authority because he like Sister James in the story wants us to respond to others out of liberating compassion regardless of the inherent risks. Brilliant movie that cuts to the quick of what plagues society: the need to trust one another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blind faith, June 5 2013
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This review is from: Doubt (DVD)
Shows how one persons accusations, with no foundation, affects the whole family. This is a great film to show to teens-
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 1 2014
By 
Serge Spenard "velours50" (canada quebec) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doubt (Doute) (Bilingual) (DVD)
Very satisfied...good film !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very intriguing, Feb. 10 2014
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This review is from: Doubt (Doute) (Bilingual) (DVD)
Keeps you wondering as it goes along - did he or didn't he - truth or a lie - very good movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Serious Movie on a Serious Subject, Nov. 16 2013
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This review is from: NEW Doubt (DVD) (DVD)
Riveting from the very beginning, you find yourself empathizing with all the characters at some point. To say more would be a spoiler, but let's just say this was great right up to the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars May take a second viewing to really get into it., Dec 10 2012
By 
Mark "viguy" (Victoria, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doubt (English/French Language Version) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
The movie is a cerebral feast that may not appeal to a wider audience but it's taut story is incredibly cleaver in challenging the viewer and will have you taking sides all the while challenging your own doubts about the side you have chosen. Doubt is the perfect title for this film. Doubt encapsulates every character & every situation in this masterfully told tale.

Absolutely marvelous acting in every single scene of this masterful film. Philip Seymour Hoffman & Meryl Streep deliver brilliant performances as we have come accustomed too. Amy Adams is particularly good as well & Viola Davis is brilliant again.

If you like watching the finest actors at the top of their game Doubt is for you. If you like a very cerebral film that mines it's theme to a depth rarely seen then this movie is an absolute delight.

Highly recommend Doubt!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful drama, superbly acted, Feb. 29 2012
By 
Steven Aldersley (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doubt (English/French Language Version) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
Doubt (2008)
Drama, 104 minutes
Directed by John Patrick Shanley
Starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis

Here's a film that I never expected to watch. The trailer looks boring and depressing and the subject matter isn't something that I would expect to hold my attention.

I was wrong.

The screenplay provides the foundation for a great film, and I don't use that word lightly, but what really elevates Doubt is the superb performances from the cast. Meryl Streep is utterly convincing as Sister Aloysius Beauvier. I can't imagine anyone else in the role. The students must have been terrified of her. My school had someone just like that. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a very convincing priest. When the two finally clash in a war of words, it's one of the most breathtaking confrontations I have ever seen. Amy Adams has never been better and I wish she would choose to do more serious roles. Viola Davis made a brief appearance, but I will never forget it.

I'm tempted to say that Streep was robbed of another Oscar, but Kate Winslet was brilliant in The Reader. Hoffman was never going to eclipse Heath Ledger, but his performance shouldn't be forgotten.

Doubt is all about the dialogue. It's also subtle. We are never told the complete truth and it's left up to us to decide whether Father Flynn (Hoffman) is guilty or innocent. This is writing at its best. The other thing that is perfectly depicted is the setting. I felt as if I had been transported back to the 1960s.

This is the kind of film that makes you want to find out more about the actors. I found myself seeking out other work by the cast. Have you seen the film? If you have, did you think Father Flynn was guilty or innocent?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play, not a movie, June 5 2009
This review is from: Doubt (Doute) (Bilingual) (DVD)
I love plays, so I found this movie to be excellent. The acting is excellent, especially Hoffman. As plays can be a little more "artsy" than movies, it may not appeal to all. It is thoughtful and thought provoking as we are never told the truth. Since I can't get to Broadway, I was glad to get the chance to see a very good play with great actors.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super, Sept. 18 2009
By 
Jan Church "GoldauGirl" (Richmond Hill ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doubt (DVD)
This is a movie I wanted the first time I heard that Meryl Streep had made it, and I was not disappointed. Great movie, and Meryl Streep is a great actress, so talented. I received the DVD very quickly and in great shape. Thanks!
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stereotypical characters and a weak plot, April 20 2009
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doubt (Doute) (Bilingual) (DVD)
The story opens in 1964 in a neighborhood parish in the Bronx, where Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) is the school principal. She's tough and traditional and bristles at the friendlier, more outgoing attitude of the pastor, Father Flynn (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). A young teacher tells her that the priest may have acted inappropriately with one of her students, and Sister makes it her business to rid the parish of the dangerous man.

This movie didn't live up to its hype for me. I found the script dull and the actors competent, but not memorable. The plot also draws upon the priest scandals of recent years and assumes guilt even though there is no evidence or trial. There is no action at all and the overblown, trite speeches lack real conviction. I never believed Streep as the principal despite her scowls and knitted brows (and her accent that comes and goes); it all felt like play-acting. Amy Adams is way too saccharine and childlike as the young teacher. I did like Hoffman as Father Flynn, however, and thought he did a good job of keeping us guessing.

All in all, it seemed too stagy and tedious There were many things the Sister could and should have done with her suspicions, but she did nothing except believe she was right. It all seemed like the wrong way to handle the situation and felt very unsatisfying to me.
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Doubt (English/French Language Version) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
Doubt (English/French Language Version) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) by John Patrick Shanley (Blu-ray - 2009)
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