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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 157 Ratings

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  • Summary: Religulous follows political humorist and author Bill Maher as he travels around the globe interviewing people about God and religion. Known for his astute analytical skills, irreverent wit and commitment to never pulling a punch, Maher brings his characteristic honesty to an unusual spiritual journey. (Lionsgate) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
  1. He's a bombs-away provocateur, and in Religulous, Maher's blasphemous detonation of all things holy and scriptural, he doesn't really pretend to play fair. He's like Lenny Bruce with an inquiring mind and a video camera.
  2. What he does do finally in this funny, refreshing movie is assert how unrestrained religiosity could guarantee the "end days" many of his subjects admit to looking forward to.
  3. 75
    Maher can be a smartass, but his attempts to apply reason to religion are more a challenge than a threat.
  4. While even believers can support Maher's skepticism, when he denounces the faithful in sweeping absolutes at film's end, he sounds as absolutely certain as those he has mocked for the previous 100 minutes.
  5. Maher makes Michael Moore look incredibly likable in comparison.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    50
    The lack of insightful commentary keeps the spotlight focused on Maher. That's not restraint; it's a missed opportunity.
  7. Reviewed by: Neely Tucker
    30
    One of the rules of satire is that you can't mock things you don't understand, and Religulous starts developing fault lines when it becomes clear that Maher's view of religious faith is based on a sophomoric reading of the Scriptures and that he doesn't understand that some thoughtful people actually do believe in some sort of spiritual life.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 81
  2. Negative: 11 out of 81
  1. Oct 23, 2010
    10
    Since the only logical stance on any religious belief is Agnosticism I think Bill Maher nailed the point perfectly. Nobody has the answers! Everybody who believes they know what is right and will happen (philosophically) is totally deluded. This "documentary" simply points these facts out to the general populous... If you are deluded you will not like the movie. If you have an open mind and are Agnostic most likely you will enjoy the film. If you are an Atheist you might like it as well. (By the way Atheists are just as committed to their beliefs as religolites (made up word lol)). This was a funny and thought provoking film (only if you have a mind and thoughts...which precludes people who let their thoughts be dictated to them by zealots).
    OK you must get my drift by now...
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  2. Dec 30, 2010
    9
    This movie is hilarious, Maher goes after the "lowest common denominator" in order to show just how far out there some religious enthusiasts are. Religious groups would never go after the weakest minded people in order to increase their numbers right? Give me a break. Its amusing to see all of the zeros and absurdly low scores this movie is receiving from users and critics. Obviously they didn't even watch the movie and just know that it dares to question their beliefs and therefore is inherently evil and must die. The fact that the same critics and users gave movies like the House Bunny an 8 whilst giving this movie a 0 just proves their guilt. Expand
  3. Mar 16, 2014
    9
    As Bill Maher himself says, he's not selling certainty, he's preaching the Gospel of I Don't Know. He sure does it in an entertaining way, however, touring the country and the world to meet some of the most ludicrous examples of religious people behaving badly the moviegoing public has ever seen. Not a journalistic expose like, say, the HBO doc Friends of God, this is more in the weird fact-based entertainment niche that Jon Stewart and Maher himself have popularized.

    Interview subjects range from truck drivers to weed worshippers, the reincarnated Jesus Christ (one of them, anyway), a British Muslim rapper, and one of the Jews who patronized the Holocaust Denial conference. And so many more. Even Maher's mother stops in to talk about the religious component of his upbringing. It's reassuring to learn that some subjects (like a profiteering preacher and an anti-gay activist who seems awfully gay) experienced real scrutiny and losses after having their idiocy exposed on screen. Conversely, it's rather sad that Ken Ham's monstrosity of a museum is still going. It's a very Michael Moore style process where subjects are surprised (perhaps unfairly), but allowed to speak in their own words in response to common sense questions. They generally make fools out of themselves while doing so.

    It's certainly an attack piece and while there are many truths here, they are selected somewhat arbitrarily. Christians, for example are shown not just as nutjobs but also in the guise of seemingly reasonable people such as a borderline atheist priest and a Catholic astronomer who believes that dogma doesn't trump science. Muslims don't get that privilege as Maher relentlessly rails on their xenophobia, violent rhetoric, and social conservativism. Neither do Jews, whose mainstream is omitted in favor of inventors trying to scam their god's Sabbath restrictions.

    It is also odd that the film makes nary a mention of the Dharmic religions (Buddhism and Hinduism, among others), or of the numerous other religions of the world. A comparison of modern organized religions to animism, cults, and dead religions would have been quite informative (and probably fun).

    The film jumps around oddly, following no clear narrative and going from lighthearted pranking to serious business without a blink. The ending is a bit abrupt, and prefaces the end of the world and makes a case for facing that possibility realistically. Nonetheless, taken as a whole, it's a film that taught me some pretty interesting things and definitely brings the laughs as well. Would that we had more discussions like this one.
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  4. Dec 24, 2012
    6
    I agree with the fundamental point of this documentary to question faith , I think it is important for people not to have blind faith in something because it encourages them to act in irrational and often hateful ways. The documentaries critique of the muslims as a culture is an expression of american xenophobic attitude, the muslim culture does not promote hate, and many American Ideals are also flawed and lack morality, promoting hate towards the muslim community something which is not at all equally spoken about in reagards to Christians and Jews, perhaps for fear of offending people. The film should not insult ideals that it knows nothing about there is extremist in every religion and there is christian terrorists all around the world and Christians who did horrible things all throughout history this is not equally mentioned in the film. What gives this film to criticize the muslim culture as being flawed based on the extreme views of some individuals, it is extremely ignorant. This point was also manifested through the attack montages shown after islamic symbols there are terrorists and extremists in any religion, the reason it falsely appears more prominent for muslims is because it is imposed onto the citizens by corrupt politics just as disgusting consumerism is imposed onto us in our society. I'm not against people having faith what I'm against is people using there faith too infringe on the rights of others or inspire hate and ignorance. Although the premise of the film was great I think it's message was somewhat biased as it did not examine instances where faith and science could work together, hating religion for imposing there beliefs on others then imposing your own atheism onto others is hypocritical. However people should have the right to examine religion if they so choose but in my opinion it is not meant to be interpreted literally something which was not well emphasized in the movie. Not to mention the difference between spirituality and religion which was not talked about all. Therefore although the film brought up some key points and interesting points ultimately I don't feel as though it's examination of religion was thorough and complete and was mostly directed towards a anti-religious message not taking much effort to understand the oposite side of the spectrum. Expand
  5. Aug 27, 2010
    6
    Lampooning religion isn't the most difficult thing to do, but with Bill Maher at the helm and use of fast-cut editing, the movie turns into a joyride of blasphemy. Still, it's not perfect, and has the usual flaws of a sensationalist documentary (i.e. Maher only goes for the lowest common denominators to argue with, most of it is comical and lighthearted until the unexpected doomsday ending, etc.) Expand
  6. Jun 11, 2013
    6
    Bill made his point, and I thought it was funny and interesting at times. Not just what he was saying, but what everybody else had to offer. However, that montage at the end of the world in flames and destruction made me irritated. Making your point using fear mongering diminished the believability of this documentary. Expand
  7. Jan 16, 2014
    0
    At first, Maher had the chance to create a very good documentary, but as I continued watching, it turned out to be a wasted opportunity for him. Has dosen't even understand the basic components, about the things he is working with, and when this is exposed, he lies and mocks. He tries only to mock organized faith, to earn money, and he is as unserious as one he can be. His meetings with the involved people, shows that he has no idea what is going on, and deliberately removes arguments against him, from the documentary.
    To all that thinks that Jesus is a copy of Horus, and all the other things he says, seriously, check it out for yourself, believing it without checking, only makes you dumb, not the people depicted in the documentary.
    Expand

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