In Review

Noah – reviews of Aronofsky's 'astonishing' fantasy ark epic

Aronofsky's grand, poetic blockbuster brings new life to a familiar Bible story, say critics

140404-hot-ticket.jpg

What you need to knowDarren Aronofsky's biblical fantasy epic Noah opens in UK cinemas today. The film directed and co-written by Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler) is loosely based on the Bible story of Noah's Ark.

In Aronosfky's retelling of the story, Russell Crowe stars as Noah, a man who experiences a terrible vision and realises he must build a boat to rescue the world from a catastrophic flood brought about by the environmental destruction wrought by Cain's descendants. With Jennifer Connolly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins.

What the critics likeDarren Aronofsky's Noah is "a sharp, ambitious film that's far more than a straightforward re-telling of the biblical tale", says Robbie Collin in the Daily Telegraph. This is a familiar story made newly poetic and strange with moments that are astonishing and wholly miraculous.

Aronofsky's heroically bloody-minded version of Noah is "stupendous", says Nigel Andrews in the Financial times. The film gives fresh life and grandeur to a story made tepid by centuries of Sunday Schooling and Crowe is tremendous.

This "sombre, powerful biblical epic" is a grimy, roughened Noah story, shot through with berserk grandeur, says in Andrew Pulver in The Guardian. The film looks a treat, and Crowe is just about the only actor who could have pulled off the necessary combination of intensity and machismo.

What they don't like In spite of the religious furore surrounding this film, Aronofsky "isn't offering an especially radical or debunking perspective on the Old Testament fable", says Geoffrey MacNab in The Independent. Instead the film tells the very familiar story of the Ark "in a solemn and portentous fashion" that seems inspired by Tolkien, Transformers and Cecil B DeMille and lacks any levity or mischief.

Recommended

30 of the best movies so far this year
Daniel Kaluuya plays a rancher dealing with the arrival of a UFO in Nope
In Focus

30 of the best movies so far this year

Why the Oscars is apologising to a Native American activist
Sacheen Littlefeather refusing to Marlon Brando's Oscar in 1973
Speed Reads

Why the Oscars is apologising to a Native American activist

Anne Heche ‘not expected to survive’ after LA car crash
Anne Heche
Speed Reads

Anne Heche ‘not expected to survive’ after LA car crash

Olivia Newton-John: a life in pictures
Newton-John with her fiance, guitarist Bruce Welch
In pictures

Olivia Newton-John: a life in pictures

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 19 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 19 August 2022

Inside Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home ‘away from prying eyes’
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home ‘away from prying eyes’

The Week Footer Banner