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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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 29, 2012
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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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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on December 10, 2012
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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on May 19, 2015
Powerful movie about the reality of "Doubt". A MOST see by the whole world - also about what "gossip" really means when it destroys a reputation.

Do not remember if it won an Oscar - definitely should have had - but most people want "what we all know "sells" best - but lasts LESS!!!.


Victoria Alexandra
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on November 16, 2013
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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on October 18, 2014
I love the characters and performances by all in this period film. Some memorable script with good insight into today's public and the doubts we all have.
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on February 3, 2016
tight plot
whatever perspective you take you can defend your argument. But is that what the movie is about?

It will keep you thinking
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on February 10, 2014
Keeps you wondering as it goes along - did he or didn't he - truth or a lie - very good movie.
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on June 20, 2016
I really liked this movie and the drama. I hated her throughout the movie and especially in the end.
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