7.2/10
60,040
175 user 185 critic
Trailer
2:09 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.
Reviews
Popularity
4,476 ( 1,093)
11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rachel Weisz ... Hypatia
Max Minghella ... Davus
Oscar Isaac ... Orestes
Ashraf Barhom ... Ammonius
Michael Lonsdale ... Theon
Rupert Evans ... Synesius
Homayoun Ershadi ... Aspasius
Sami Samir Sami Samir ... Cyril (as Sammy Samir)
Richard Durden ... Olympius
Omar Mostafa ... Isidorus
Manuel Cauchi ... Theophilus
Oshri Cohen ... Medorus
Charles Thake Charles Thake ... Hesiquius
Harry Borg Harry Borg ... Prefect Evragius
Yousef 'Joe' Sweid ... Peter (as Yousef Sweid)
Edit

Storyline

Alexandria, 391 AD: Hypatia teaches astronomy, mathematics, and philosophy. Her student Orestes is in love with her, as is Davus, her personal slave. As the city's Christians, led by Ammonius and Cyril, gain political power, the institutions of learning may crumble along with the governance of slavery. Jump ahead 20 years: Orestes, the city's prefect, has an uneasy peace with the Christians, led by Cyril. A group from the newly empowered Christians has now taken to enforce their cultural hegemony zealously; first they see the Jews as their obstacle, then nonbelievers. Hypatia has no interest in faith; she's concerned about the movement of celestial bodies and "the brotherhood of all". Although her former slave doesn't see it that way. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Alexandria, Egypt. 391 A.D. The World Changed Forever


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Spain] | See more »

Country:

Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 2009 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Агора See more »

Filming Locations:

Delimara, Malta See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,907,189 (Spain), 9 October 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,313, 30 May 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$617,840, 17 October 2010

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$38,422,082, 31 December 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The reunions of Hypatia and her pupils are clearly inspired by the paintings of British painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. See more »

Goofs

Although the film shows Synesius abandoning Hypatia and attacking her theories when she refuses to convert to Christianity, in reality it was Hypatia who broke off all contact with Synesius. No record exists of his ever having tried to convert her and his letters to her even after she refused to respond are full of glowing praise for her, begging for a reply. His last surviving letter was written to her. See more »

Quotes

Hypatia: [Looks up at night sky] If I could just unravel this just a little bit more, and just get a little closer to the answer, then... Then I would go to my grave a happy woman.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Alexandria: The Greatest City (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A film stretched too far in its complexity.
12 September 2009 | by aragorn_lordoftheringSee all my reviews

I saw this today at the Toronto International Film Festival, and overall it was quite an interesting experience for me. I will first comment on the pros, and then the cons.

The Good

From the beginning, the film's exquisite detail is evident -- costumes, sets, props, hundreds/thousands of extras, etc --, reminding me especially of HBO's Rome series. CGIs were amazing, and the sound effects used in certain scenes with large numbers of people were thunderous and powerful -- surely the best I have seen from a film. It is by far the most ambitious project in the bringing to life of an ancient city that I have seen on screen. I only wished that they would have had the actors speak in Greek, but that would be asking too much I suppose :p

Also, I liked how the film did not focus so much on portraying any one religious group as "the bad guy". Naturally, one would have assumed that it was going to be the Christians (after seeing the trailers), but in fact the goods and the bads were exposed in all religions, which added to the realism and historical accuracy of the film.

Above all, this director ought to be commended in his attempt to capture the society in the city of Alexandria of late antiquity. This has never yet been done in cinema, and Amenabar clearly attempts to do this out of extraordinary passion for his work. Agora presents to the audience a glimpse into a world that is little known outside of the circles of ancient historians and classicists, and the film's portrayal of religious strife between the different groups in Alexandria successfully shows a very complex ancient society.

The main character, Davus, also serves as an important figure, by representing the common man living in Alexandria at the time who must face the challenges of an ancient society in transition. However, I feel that the subtleties of Davus' character, who is indeed a source of much important historical information, would be misunderstood and ignored by the audience, which would be in search of something more direct and "in- your-face" from the film.

Overall, the film was at its best when it subtly hinted certain elements/themes to the audience -- this is when it showed the most sophistication in the portrayal of history, and skill in terms of artistic merit.

The Bad

I think the biggest mistake that the director made was to focus too much on the religious conflict. Without a doubt, during the first 45 minutes the audience was engulfed and captivated with awe by the strife between the pagans and the Christians (probably because such a time in history is little known today, and rarely portrayed in art or discussed), but the film does not give a break to its constant references to religion. Throughout the two hours, the script continuously shows the characters' endless preoccupation with religious matters, which takes away from development of their individualities. Amenabar tries to differ attention toward other things, through the love triangle between Orestes, Davus, and Hypatia -- which works well at times, but could have been developed far more (especially between her and Davus). He also gives some attention to science; a big mistake IMO, because in such scenes, one feels like the film turns into a lecture. If Amenabar had tried to use CGIs to demonstrate some of the scientific concepts discussed among characters, he could have added something artistic to the bland dialogue of those scenes.

I was also somewhat disappointed by Dario Marianelli's score. HAving heard his compositions for "Pride and Prejudice", "Atonement" and "V for Vendetta", I was expecting a musical score that was more intense and thought-provoking, rather than a more or less typical and primitive symphony that one often hears in "epic" historical films.

8/10


111 of 177 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 175 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed