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Angels & Demons (2009)

 -  Mystery | Thriller  -  15 May 2009 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 170,006 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 422 user | 291 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Angels & Demons (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Franklin Amobi ...
Curt Lowens ...
Bob Yerkes ...
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Cardinal Baggia (as Marco Fiorini)
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Storyline

Following the murder of a physicist, Father Silvano Bentivoglio, a symbolist, Robert Langdon, and a scientist, Vittoria Vetra, are on an adventure involving a secret brotherhood, the Illuminati. Clues lead them all around the Vatican, including the four altars of science, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. An assassin, working for the Illuminati, has captured four cardinals, and murders each, painfully. Robert and Vittoria also are searching for a new very destructive weapon that could kill millions. Written by XXDustfingerXX

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The holiest event of our time. Perfect for their return. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, disturbing images and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Release Date:

15 May 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Obelisk  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£6,054,627 (UK) (15 May 2009)

Gross:

$133,375,846 (USA) (31 July 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended edition)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production had to build a scale replica of St. Peter's Square since Vatican officers banned the movie from being filmed in its grounds. See more »

Goofs

The sealed chambers in the Vatican Archives are said to be at a "partial vacuum", i.e. low air pressure. This is standard procedure for scientific laboratories or other locations where the goal is to stop contaminants getting out, because the low pressure ensures a constant flow of air into the room rather than back out of it. However in an archive, this would constantly draw in outside air and contaminants through any imperfect seals or the use of doorways. Real archives have a high-pressure atmosphere instead, which ensures a constant flow of air out and therefore keeps contaminants from entering. It's possible to have a low-oxygen atmosphere that still has a higher pressure than normal air. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The Ring of the Fisherman, which bears the official papal seal, must be destroyed immediately following the Pope's death. The papal apartment is then sealed for nine days of mourning, a period known as "Sede Vacante", the time of the empty throne.
See more »


Soundtracks

Introitus
from "Lux Aeterna"
Written by Morten Lauridsen
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Angels & Demons
9 May 2009 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Tom Hanks returns as Dan Brown's symbologist Robert Langdon in his first adventure Angels & Demons, which Hollywood decided to make after The Da Vinci Code, given the latter's more controversial subject striking a raw nerve on the faith itself. The Catholic Church was up in arms over the first film, but seemingly nonchalant about this one. And it's not hard to see why, considering Ron Howard had opted to do a flat-out action piece that serves as a great tourism video of Rome and Vatican City, and would probably boost visitor numbers given the many beautiful on-location scenes, save for St Peter's Square and Basilica which was a scaled model used.

So I guess with the bulk of the budget going toward the sets, the ensemble cast had to be correspondingly scaled down. Ayelet Zurer tried to step into the female void left by Audrey Tautou, but given Tautou's character then having a lot more stake in the film, Zurer's scientist Vittoria had a lot less to do other than just waiting in the wings to change some batteries on a canister filled with anti-matter. In the book she's the fodder of course for Langdon to converse his vast knowledge of the Vatican, the Illuminati and the great feud between the two, but here she's neither love interest, nor his intellectual equal.

Ewan McGregor on the other hand, chews up each scene he's in as Camerlengo Patrick McKenna, who is temporarily taking care of the Papal office while the other prominent cardinals are in the Sistine Chapel to elect a new Pope. And he plays Patrick with that glint in the eye, with nuances enough to let you know there's more than meets the eye. There's no surprises here for readers of the novel, but McGregor's performance here is one of the highlights of the film as Hanks plays well, Tom Hanks.

The book itself is rich with arguably accurate content as always, and had a lot more plot points on science versus religion, and a wealth of information that Dan Brown researched and linked together in an engaging fictional piece of work. While reading the book some years ago, I thought that should a film be made of it, it's easy to lapse and dwell more on the set action pieces. Sadly, that's what this Ron Howard film did, with a pace that doesn't allow a temporary breather. Unlike the first film where you had the characters sit down for some "discussion time" over a cup of tea, this one moved things along so quickly, it's like reading the book all over again, page after page being skipped just to get to the thick of the action.

Catholic reviewers have called Angels & Demons harmless, because I guess it didn't dwell on its many controversies, unlike The Da Vinci Code which struck a raw nerve at the centre of the faith. And if anything, this film served as a great tourism promotional video with a nice showcase of the many prominent touristy landmarks that would entice many around the world to go pay a visit. Naturally certain areas like the catacombs beneath St Peter's Basilica, and the Vatican archives remain out of bounds, but the walk along the Path of Illumination, now that's almost free.

Nothing new for those who have read the book other than to see it come alive, but for those who haven't, this film may just compel you to pick up Dan Brown's novel just to read a bit more about the significance about the landmarks, and characters such as Galileo, Michelangelo and Bernini who are intricately linked to the plot, but much left unsaid. Satisfying pop-corn entertainment leaving you with nothing spectacular.


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