Critic Reviews



Based on 12 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
An eccentric period melodrama with horror-flick overtones. Occasionally incoherent but never dull, the movie brims with weird imagery.
Not to be mistaken for a serious treatment of religious fervor or clerical corruption, The Monk is instead a knowingly over-the-top bit of gothic nuttiness.
Village Voice
The finale, in which godly rites are juxtaposed against the vilest of sins, builds to an unholy power.
Dominik Moll downplays the overtly scandalous nature of the story, at least for a while, with a leisurely pace heavy on imagery. He’s made a beautiful-looking film that portends disaster. And disaster arrives, eventually. It just takes its time getting there.
The Guardian
It is not a story of great depth or passion, but there are intriguing and unsettling moments on its well-crafted surface.
Director Dominik Moll makes some odd style choices – like Looney Tunes-style ‘iris wipes’ – and it’s a while before Cassel fully embraces his dark side, yet his customary charisma is what seals The Monk’s redemption.
An austere, cerebral reading of a book which is unfettered, blood-bolstered and wildly sensationalist — Lewis is the father of torture porn, not a master of subtle chills. It’s interesting and unsettling, with a charismatic lead performance, but nowhere near as shocking as it should be.
The sense of old-school piety as lust under inhuman pressure is juicy and polished, if a little earnest about spiritual conflict and too entranced with its LOTR-ish medieval trappings. In fact, as monksploitation goes, Dominik Moll’s film is sober and straight when it should be crazy and hot-blooded.
Mr. Moll, whose films include “With a Friend Like Harry...,” somewhat heroically manages to keep the story’s manifold twists from becoming knotted, but he’s less adept at setting up the characters and their relationships and especially the depth and significance of their faith.
Ultimately the movie disappoints, falling between two stools and failing to convince either as spectacle or as a fable about religious obsession.

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