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Dogma (1999)

An abortion clinic worker with a special heritage is called upon to save the existence of humanity from being negated by two renegade angels trying to exploit a loop-hole and reenter Heaven.

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2,149 ( 302)

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8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Doe Jersey
Barret Hackney ...
Stygian Triplet (as Barrett Hackney)
Jared Pfennigwerth ...
Stygian Triplet
...
Stygian Triplet
...
...
Grant Hicks (as Brian Christopher O'Halloran)
...
Nun
...
...
Dan Etheridge ...
Priest at St. Stephen's
...
Derek Milosavljevic ...
Kissing Couple
Lesley Braden ...
Kissing Couple
Marie Elena O'Brien ...
Clinic Girl (scenes deleted) (as MarieElena O'Brien)
...
Liz
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Storyline

An abortion clinic worker with a special heritage is enlisted to prevent two angels from reentering Heaven and thus undoing the fabric of the universe. Along the way, she is aided by two prophets, Jay and Silent Bob. With the help of Rufus, the 13th Apostle, they must stop those who stand in their way and prevent the angels from entering Heaven. Written by Jerel Parenton <J.W.Parenton@student.tcu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A New Comic Fantasy from the Director of 'Clerks' and 'Chasing Amy' See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language including sex-related dialogue, violence, crude humor and some drug content | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

12 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bearclaw  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,669,945, 14 November 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$30,651,422, 26 March 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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,  »
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Kevin Smith on his DVD commentary, Linda Fiorentino was very difficult to work with, and on some days in fact wasn't even speaking to him. In retrospect, Smith says he wishes he offered the role to Janeane Garofalo instead. See more »

Goofs

When Rufus falls to Earth, both of his feet are facing the same way. In the next shot, both his feet are facing inward. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, the driving force behind Catholicism WOW, Cardinal Glick.
Cardinal Glick: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now we all know how the majority and the media in this country view the Catholic church. They think of us as a passe, archaic institution. People find the Bible obtuse... even hokey. Now in an effort to disprove all that the church has appointed this year as a time of renewal... both of faith and of style. For example, the crucifix. While it has been a time honored ...
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Crazy Credits

The title doesn't appear on screen until 10 minutes into the film. See more »

Connections

References The Green Hornet (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Aloha Los Pescadores
Written and Performed by Jack Nitzsche (as Jack Nitzche)
Published by Cuckoo's Nest Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Fantasy, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
An intelligently written satirical comedy
27 August 2013 | by See all my reviews

Dogma is one of Kevin Smith's most controversial films, a smartly written comedy that takes jabs against the Catholic Church and religion in general and it is very much a cult classic which my friends from college raved about.

Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) is a catholic woman who works in an abortion clinic who is given a mission from Metatron (Alan Rickman), the Voice of God, to go church in New Jersey. She has to stop two fallen angels, Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) who have found a loophole that they can re-enter Heaven: but if they do that they would destroy all of existence because God's word is meant to be infallible. Fortunately (or unfortunately) Bethany is joined by Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), the thirteenth apostle, Rufus (Chris Rock) as Loki goes on a killing spread and a demon called Azreal (Jason Lee) tries to make Loki and Bartleby success in their objective.

Dogma is a sharply written comedy that is constantly funny. Smith makes a dialogue driven comedy filled with comical exchanges and great character inactions. Smith's trademarks of film related dialogue and jokes at the expense of Jay, but the best parts is the satire of religion and his showcasing of knowledge of Catholicism, combined with clever lines about the religion.

Sometimes Smith does stand on his soapbox about religion, but for the most part the satirical jabs are one target. We get satire from all angles from a Cardinal trying to get the church to appeal to younger worshipper, by doing it in the most patronising way, including a 'hey Jesus' and comic book art for its title 'Catholicism Wow'. There are criticisms about how The Bible has be rewritten to suit certain groups, with the Bible being whitewashed (though ignoring that Jesus and the apostles would have mostly have been of Middle-Eastern appearance) and women having villainous roles.

Affleck and Damon were great together as the fallen angels, having great dialogue and discussions, particularly in the beginning and a scene in a boardroom for a children's character. Alan Rickman was also a comedy highlight, playing against type as the Voice of God, someone who has great lines and adds serious emotion depth when needed. He added gravitas and gave the role his all.

Kevin Smith has often stated that he thinks he is not a particular good director, but with Dogma he is able to keep a fast pace, he knows how to shoot the dialogue sequences and can add a scene of tension when needed (i.e. the boardroom scene). Smith is competent with the action sequence at the end and he knows how to use his bloodpacks. The general look and tone of the film where Reaper (which Smith directed the pilot) got its influences from.

The film does occasional take a misstep, such as Smith being at time very preachy and there is a demon made from faecal matter which was very immature and out of place for a smartly written film.

On a final note, Howard Shore of the Lord of the Rings fame provided the score for Dogma and much his other work he gives Dogma a top score. He uses plenty of choir beats and singers to add to the experience.

Dogma is a highly enjoyable comedy that is intelligently written and very funny. It is a film deserving of its cult classic status.


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