User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 165 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 165

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  1. Jan 14, 2015
    9
    Enjoyed this film quite a bit. A good vessel to promote self consciousness (or perhaps ego boost personal agnosticism). Maher's ever present combination of sarcasm and self righteousness allows for continual humor in the face of serious topics, which ultimately affect all humanity. Throw in a few extremists and a powerful ending, and Bill has himself a film!
  2. Nov 12, 2014
    10
    It does what it says on the tin (make you laugh), well unless if you:

    - are religious
    - have no sense of humour-
    - don't like documentaries
    - don't like Bill Maher
    - are armish and have no medium to view this on
    - etc

    p.s. This review isn't meant to be helpful.
  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 weirdAs 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 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 theyThis 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
  5. 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 mindSince 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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Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
  1. By focusing so narrowly on religious fundamentalists and bigots while ignoring any spiritual dimension to religion, the film is not only being disingenuous but limits its audience to non-believers.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    70
    To the film's credit, Maher never engages in Michael Moore-style gotcha tactics, but rather asks questions that raise more questions, in the form of a Socratic dialogue. To believers expecting a blind hatchet job, this will prove both thought-provoking and a bit disarming; skeptics may be surprised (as Maher is) by the occasionally smart replies to his queries.
  3. 50
    The problem with the movie, whose title compresses "religious" and "ridiculous" into a single word, isn't that it milks more than one sacred cow but that it does so with minimal subtlety and intelligence.