7.7/10
53,470
347 user 196 critic

Religulous (2008)

Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tal Bachman ...
Himself
Jonathan Boulden ...
Himself
Steve Burg ...
Himself
Francis Collins ...
Himself
George Coyne ...
Himself (as Father George Coyne PhD)
Benjamin Creme ...
Himself
Jeremiah Cummings ...
Himself
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda ...
Himself
Fatima Elatik ...
Herself
Yahuda Etzion ...
Himself
Reginald Foster ...
Himself (as Father Reginald Foster)
Mohamed Junas Gaffar ...
Himself
Bill Gardiner ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Bill Maher interviews some of religion's oddest adherents. Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. He talks to truckers at a Truckers' Chapel. (Sign outside: "Jesus love you.") He goes to a theme park called Holy Land in Florida. He speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews. Maher finds the unlikeliest of believers and, in a certain Vatican priest, he even finds an unlikely skeptic. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Do you smell something burning? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Spiritual Journey  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,409,643 (USA) (3 October 2008)

Gross:

$12,995,673 (USA) (12 December 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the sequence set inside the Dome of the Rock, Bill Maher and his guide are approached by two men who are upset, speak in Arabic and are supposedly talking about Maher is "not funny". In reality, what they are saying is "We don't normally hang out here..." and "The boss only gives us five minutes..." See more »

Goofs

Bill's rant about Scientology's take on the Meaning of Life is improvised and a little inaccurate. 75 million years ago the Galactic Warlord Xenu, because of overpopulation, brought Aliens, not Humans, to Earth (aka "Teegeeack") having frozen them with glycol-alcohol, stacked them around a volcano and blew them up with Hydrogen Bombs. The souls or "Operating Thetans" of these Aliens attached to Primitive Man. This is the source of everyone's problems, which Scientology supposedly cures. See more »

Quotes

John Westcott: I believe that it's Sin!
Bill Maher: Don't you have it, no pun intended, ass-backwards?
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Crazy Credits

After the credits, there is one last clip of Bill Maher with his mother and sister. He tells them "I'll see you in heaven", and they laugh. His mother says "who knows," and there is a title card "In loving memory of Julie Maher, 1919-2007". See more »

Connections

References Brokeback Mountain (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Kalah Chosen Mazel Tov
Written by Petra Ritschel
Published by Selected Sound APM (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fantastic
6 October 2008 | by (France) – See all my reviews

I found this movie exhilarating. I'm with you, Bill Maher! That said, this film attempts to cover the basic tenets and idiocies of several of the major religions, namely Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam. It also encompasses evangelical/American/born-again-type Jesus-focused religion, which considers itself "Christian" but I have never understood that title, since Catholics revere Jesus also. But anyway...

Maher is a smart man, and I would like to think that he considered the points I feel were left out of the movie and chose not to include them for the sake of condensing the film. However, there are several facts that I think would have made an even stronger case against mass religion in general:

1. Although Maher mentions several times that the Judeo-Christian Bible was written by men, and therefore contains the fallacies of men, he does not bring up the fact that the Bible has been constantly rewritten, translated from language to language, and amended to suit the needs of those in charge of its distribution -- for most of history since Christ, this was the Catholic Church and its founders. And for those of you who don't know, translation is not an exact science. Languages just do not translate word for word, and the accuracy of the translation depends on the skill, vocabulary, and motives of the translator (a human being, don't forget).

2. Catholicism was successful because it incorporated many old religions. Greek and Roman gods are just a few of those who have direct equivalents among the Catholic saints. Mahar discusses the inherent flaw in a monotheistic religion with bunches of demigods, but he does not point out that Catholicism deliberately found supposedly Catholic replacements for the more ancient, household-type gods. Why? Because those who wanted the religion to succeed decided that people would be more likely to convert to it if it weren't too different from what they were used to. Why did these men want the religion to succeed? For the same reasons that people promote religions today: to gain money and power, particularly in the form of influence. Maher reminds us that the story of Jesus Christ included many elements of older heroes or gods, but the film presents this as a matter of fact, not pointing out that Catholicism was built upon the success of these preceding stories and histories. The types of dramas that move the human spirit have not changed over thousands of years--they have simply been retold and reinterpreted.

3. My third point is more of a question. I was raised as a "nouveau" American Catholic, so I feel that I know a little bit about that religion, but I know next to nothing about Islam. However, it is my understanding that Mohammed did not want images of himself used to promote his teachings. Is this why some Muslims get so mad when an image, ridiculing or not, of the prophet is publicized? I wish Maher had included this, as he did talk a lot about the violence specified in the Koran.

This is a terrific film. It is funny and has a great soundtrack. My hat is off to Maher for his nerve in interviewing people who become belligerent when their religion is questioned. I guess it partly comes from being a comedian--one must have guts and a thick skin! The message of the film, however, is not humorous at all. It is truly terrifying to think of all the murder, torture, and oppression that is perpetuated in the name of religion. Why then, is someone who calls himself "Godly" or "religious" considered to be a person with wholesome morals?


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