User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9

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  1. Aug 4, 2013
    9
    If Dan Brown had written a novel about a cover-up in the Catholic Church on the scale depicted in this film, it would be treated as a great work of fiction. The trouble is, it’s all true and that’s the most shocking thing about it. It is a very well made film that has a compelling flow to the narrative and this is helped with some nicely chosen musical backdrops. The only thing that lets it down is a lack of balance, but then, as it says in the film, the Vatican refused to be interviewed for this film. Not that they could have put up any defence. I found it a gripping watch that did get a little emotional at times. Well worth a look whatever religion (or not) you are.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.8/10
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  2. Feb 14, 2013
    10
    I am very careful how many documentaries like this I watch. I stay away from watching them because there is nothing that I can do right away to make an impact towards the main cause of the movie. Topics like starving kids in Africa, major corporations taking over the world, etc. those are all incredibly sad, yet overwhelming for a simple individual like me.

    However, this movie
    addresses a topic that has been covered for many, many years, and is present all over the world, particularly in the US: sexual abuse by priests, and the covering up of their actions by their superiors all the way to the head of their denomination (in this case, the pope). I have yet to decide which part is more monstrous the act, or the cover-up.

    From a technical point of view, the movie is very well done. The agenda is very clear, but it is not filled with hatred and anger. I found it wise that the producers quietly presented the facts from the victims themselves, and included trustworthy persons in the interviews (NY Times reporter, archbishops, former priests, etc.).
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Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Feb 11, 2013
    80
    It may look like a documentary but Gibney's film is a horror film in every sense. Essential, uncomfortable viewing.
  2. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Nov 16, 2012
    80
    There is something to be said for a clear and unblinking recitation of facts, and thankfully Mr. Gibney does a lot of that.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 16, 2012
    80
    One of the most intriguing tangents in Mea Maxima Culpa involves the Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Servants of the Paraclete, a Catholic congregation established to help priests who were struggling with celibacy, alcoholism and other personal issues.