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Religulous (2008)

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

Director:

Larry Charles
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

The end (crossed out) truth is near. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Arabic | Persian | Spanish

Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Spiritual Journey See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,409,643, 5 October 2008

Gross USA:

$12,995,673
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thousand Words See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally scheduled for release in March 2008 to coincide with the Easter holiday. However, the 2007 Writers Guild strike caused delays in post-production and the release date was pushed back to July 11, 2008 and finally, October 3, 2008. 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

George W. Bush: I believe that God wants everybody to be free. That's what I believe. And that's part of my Foreign Policy.
See more »

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 Jerry Maguire (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

The Birds and The Bees
Written by Herbert Newman
Published by Spirit Two Music, Inc. o/b/o Pattern Music, Inc. (ASCAP)/ Universal Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Performed by Jewel Akens
Courtesy of K-Tai/Era Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Funny For The Most Part But Shows Signs Of Moral Cowerdice While Tackling The Serious Bits At The End
21 December 2012 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

If there's one thing I believe to be the worst thing ever invented it's religion . Having been brought up in the west of Scotland , having traveled in the Middle East and the Indian sub continent I've not seen any evidence that religion is all its forms as being a force of good . I also find it impossible that after Marx stated that human beings are a product of conditioning and Darwin stated we're merely vessels to carry on our DNA to propagate our species anyone can believe in a creator or afterlife so anyone making a documentary putting the boot in to religion is only a good thing in my opinion

The film with comedian Bill Maher giving the audience his background as being brought up in a mixed Cathoilc /Jewish background and any fears that RELIGULOUS was going to be more about Maher's rather than religion are soon dispelled as he arrives in a " Truckers Chapel " for his first set of victims who inform Maher and the audience that the Turin shroud was tested and was found to have female blood on it hence it proves a miracle has taken place . Hmmmm I can see why they're driving trucks for a living and not lecturing at Harvard on subjects like Astro-physics and logic . To be fair though this Chapel has a slightly more multi-ethnic flavour than you'd expect to see in a lot of mainstream churches in America

The first two thirds of the film play along in this irreverent style . Maher interviews someone and the interview is cut with clips from Hollywood movies . Everyone will their favourite LOL bits such asformer singer Dr Cummingsfailing to remember the passage from Matthew that it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God , the Senator stating that you don't need to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate and my favourite moment Jose Miranda cheerfully telling the world that he is directly descended from Christ and is indeed the second coming . Cut to a clip from SCARFACE with Pacino saying " You know what I'm talking about you f--ckin' cockroach " . One thinks Dan Brown has the same opinion of Miranda and might find himself the subject of a court case . Miranda after all isn't short of money and his talent for spinning out unlikely stories is better than Brown's tall tales

Some people have a problem with the way the interviews are edited . You have to take onboard that this is the curse of all documentary film making - you've no idea what has been left out and what's taken out of context . This is irrelevant since it doesn't matter what's been said - the subjects have said it and it's nonsense no matter what context it's been said in . Where the documentary does fail is when Maher takes on the Muslims and the whole tone changes . He interviews a couple of gay Muslims in Holland who enjoy Maher's jovial style but Maher doesn't seem keen to rip in to Muslim interviewees with his style . I guess the subject of Salman Rushdie being brought up might have had something to do with this . Likewise Maher suggests Muslims aren't keen to criticise their religion to outsiders . Why didn't you say this to the Muslims you were interviewing instead of saying it to your film crew Bill ? Somewhat unforgivably Maher interviews an Iman in The Dome On The Rock and and some Muslims in the background start speaking to one another . As the trivia section of this page says what the men are really saying isn't being translated on screen correctly . So much for the moral superiority of secularism

Maher also lets himself down finishing with a montage of clips of war , carnage and all other types of apocalyptic imagery but both Maher and director Larry Charles should have picked these clips more carefully . We're shown clips that include both Yasser Arafat and Colonel Gadaffi both of whom were secular , leftist leaning leaders who unlike so many leaders in the Middle East at least didn't subjugate women simply because they were women . They murdered people and played the religion card when it suited them but even they don't deserve to be labelled as theocrats . Likewise is there a moral equivalence in showing clips featuring George W Bush and Mahmoud Ahmidinejad . Say what you like about America but at least it's a democracy unlike many countries in the Middle East

Finally Maher ruins much of what has gone before by finishing with the statement that no one knows what happens when we die and anyone who does shouldn't be listened to . . The problem with this argument is that from a totally logical point of view the both the religious and secular point of view are of equal grounding ie " ! believe in an afterlife " has the same evidential argument as someone stating " I don't believe in an afterlife " . It's an agnostic argument . An atheist argument would be " People have claimed through the ages there is a creator and an afterlife but have failed to produce a single shred of evidence for this . It's more logical to assume eternal oblivion awaits us after death and that's why there's no evidence offered for an afterlife "


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