The Da Vinci Code

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5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 489 Ratings

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User Reviews

  1. Oct 29, 2010
    6
    never read the book, and never seen this before until now. I heard that it was a bad movie, but according to the Wikipedia article of films in 2006, it was one of the grossing movies of the year. so, why a 6/10? well, its not my favorite movie, but good thing it had Tom Hanks and Ian Mckellen in it.
  2. ScottB.
    Sep 7, 2006
    4
    A nearly completely tired translation of a good story.
  3. DanS.
    May 20, 2006
    6
    Never read the book, but the movie wasn't a total failure. The plot twists kept me entertained and there was just enough action to both reatin the film's propsed heady status and restrict it from falling into an explosion fest. The dialogue was pretty uninspiring and Tom Hanks was kind of dull (for a lead role, he only really did something a few times). The movie became more Never read the book, but the movie wasn't a total failure. The plot twists kept me entertained and there was just enough action to both reatin the film's propsed heady status and restrict it from falling into an explosion fest. The dialogue was pretty uninspiring and Tom Hanks was kind of dull (for a lead role, he only really did something a few times). The movie became more predictable towards the end, but it was entertaining and considerably better than National Treasure (which DVC reminded me of with the artifact hunting). For what it's worth, I don't think I wasted my money seeing it. Expand
  4. paulwebster
    Jun 2, 2006
    4
    The book was not that good, but at least it had rythm, totally lost in this totally missed movie. The story is badly told, perhaps the film makers assumed that the public would have already read the book anyway.
  5. shawno.
    Dec 2, 2006
    4
    It seems it solves puzzles to solve puzzles. not worth the hype. Plus out of hudreds of years of having the decoder and knowing its related to Issac Newton and the bible, and needs a 5 letter word to decode, it sure seems somebody would of guessed APPLE. Maybe were all just idiots and not supposed to think that "complexed"?
  6. MarkS.
    May 20, 2006
    6
    Good mystery.
  7. BillM.
    May 20, 2006
    6
    An OK mystery with too many endings. The hype around it, made me expect it to be great. It fell far short of the hype.
  8. PeterH.
    May 20, 2006
    5
    I found that by the half way point my concentration was wandering. Perhaps too much talking and explaining. Perhaps I was just confused as to where the movie was going. I actually thought the movie had ended ... well, at least four times. Finally when the end did arrive I didn't see the point. So what?
  9. Giovanni
    May 22, 2006
    4
    Too-safe adaptation of the book. No mistery, no suspense...Hanks and Tatou just ridiculous.
  10. M.Austin
    May 23, 2006
    4
    A total waste of 2.5 hrs. I have to admit the novel was a guilty pleasure, which I enjoyed. The movie however was a mess. The movie might be worth a discounted rental fee in three months, but it surely isn't worth $13.00 right now.
  11. KathyN.
    May 24, 2006
    4
    Flat and forgettable. For a suspense thriller, there were no thrills and very little suspense. Tom Hanks just seemed to be going through the motions. Maybe I expected too much.
  12. ChadS.
    Jun 1, 2006
    6
    Fine. Attack "The DaVinci Code". If I was a Christian, I'd probably be mortified if my faith was turned into disposable entertainment. What annoys me is when Christians go after serious works like "The Last Temptation of Christ", or Michael Tolkien's "The Rapture". The film(and book) is not to be taken seriously, but I believe more in the church's conspiracy than the Fine. Attack "The DaVinci Code". If I was a Christian, I'd probably be mortified if my faith was turned into disposable entertainment. What annoys me is when Christians go after serious works like "The Last Temptation of Christ", or Michael Tolkien's "The Rapture". The film(and book) is not to be taken seriously, but I believe more in the church's conspiracy than the ability of Audrey Tautou's character to manuever her vehicle backwards and find the negative space of a moving truck. "The DaVinci Code" is a competent film that makes me understand why the American public made the Dan Brown novel the "Thriller" of contemporary fiction. Expand
  13. AaronF.
    Jun 1, 2006
    6
    Overall it was good. It entertained me through it and was an okay watch, but it really wasn't up to the hype around it. It was just an average "B" movie. Detective works don't always transfer over well and this is the case here. It just never has that suprise or climactic moment of discovery or the tension involved. It's more like we know what's going to happen, Overall it was good. It entertained me through it and was an okay watch, but it really wasn't up to the hype around it. It was just an average "B" movie. Detective works don't always transfer over well and this is the case here. It just never has that suprise or climactic moment of discovery or the tension involved. It's more like we know what's going to happen, we're just waiting for the characters to get there. The twist ending was fairly predictable too. An okay movie to see, just don't expect anything revolutionary. (In movie making or religion...It's a fictional movie. There's no reason to fight over it either way.) Expand
  14. SeamusM.
    Jun 6, 2006
    5
    Not as bad as the crtitcs' reviews make out. It is too long and not very exciting to watch. Towards the end there is about half an hour of boring stuff. Maybe better for those who haven't read the book.
  15. BillyS.
    Jun 8, 2006
    5
    "Sir...Sir... Wake up Sir, the movies over Sir. It's time to go home . Wake up now."
  16. JahanB.
    Aug 9, 2006
    5
    Ron Howard's much hyped and rather unnecessarily over-marketed The Da Vinci Code had most critics carping after its Cannes premiere. Who cared? The excitement was at an all time high, there was controversy, the Da Vinci craze was in fever pitch mode, there were huge promotional events, posters were strewn all across the globe, the promos looked fantastic- what more could one ask for? Ron Howard's much hyped and rather unnecessarily over-marketed The Da Vinci Code had most critics carping after its Cannes premiere. Who cared? The excitement was at an all time high, there was controversy, the Da Vinci craze was in fever pitch mode, there were huge promotional events, posters were strewn all across the globe, the promos looked fantastic- what more could one ask for? Critics? Who cares about them, that sore bunch of losers? The problem here is, they aren't very wrong in their assessment of the film. Mr. Howard couldn't quite crack the code. Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code is surely no classic. It is, however- despite the flaws and certain inaccuracies- one helluva entertaining and riveting ride. Sadly, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman don't quite manage to crack the code. What they achieve, nevertheless, is nothing short of stupendous- it's an absolute movie-making miracle. For they have actually managed to rob the thrilling novel of almost every bit of thrill, pace and punch it has. Don't get me wrong. The Da Vinci Code is certainly not a bad film. It is eminently watchable, and I admit it does have some good moments. But when it's an adaptation of a book as explosive as The Da Vinci Code, one expects nothing less than total blockbuster perfection. The film falls way too short of that. Okay, the good bit first- the monuments and locations look absolutely gorgeous and magnificent on screen, the cinematography is glorious- quite dark and moody, the camera angles are awesome. The actors are wonderfully cast and play their parts rather well. Though the book likens Langdon's appearance to that of Harrison Ford, I somehow always pictured Tom Hanks in this role. Whether it be Forrest Gump, the AIDS affected lawyer in Philadelphia, or Viktor Navorski in The Terminal- there is this warm, humane quality that Hanks brings to all his characters. Hanks has a purity, an almost childlike innocence that is so vital to Langdon's character. I can't think of an actor who could play Langdon better- his presence illuminates the film. Audrey Tautou is perfectly cast as Sophie Neveu- she pitches in a good act, complimenting Hanks perfectly with her demure, yet dynamic presence. The other actors' roles are understandably not too fleshed out- with maybe the sole exception of Ian Mckellen who gives a wicked performance as the witty and eccentric Sir Leigh Teabing. However, the other actors- Alfred Molina, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany- are suitably competent in the limited scope that they get. Now for the quirks- and believe me, they are many. Howard turns Code- which is essentially a fast paced thriller- into profound, serious drama, utterly boring and ultimately pretentious. It's his scholarly, austere, even almost religious approach to the story that pulls it down. This is a film that takes itself a bit too seriously. I mean- all those flashback sequences, the long sepia-toned historical explanations- were they really so neccessary? The first one hour is fair enough, moving on pretty smoothly. It's the remainder of the film in which things begin to get really dreary- the excitement and pace is all missing.I can't say if Code begins with a bang, but it does end with a whimper. Goldsman's script lets the book down terribly- there are hardly any clever, inventive touches- instead, he robs the book of some of its best moments. Much of Teabing's best lines are lost- I especially missed one in which he threatens the police that unless they'd let him go, he'd have his lawyers 'scramble their testicles for breakfast.' Langdon's Mickey Mouse watch is missing- I know it's trivial, but then these are those little touches that make any book or film special. Much of the film is spent in boring conversation and silly, juvenile arguments between Langdon and Teabing. By the time the 'climax' appears, you're too bored to even care. And then Goldsman delivers the worst blow of all- just when you thought that there was some romance brewing between Langdon and Neveu, he has Hanks plant a true-blue Bollywood style fatherly kiss on Tautou's forehead. Ouch, and ugh. One last grouse- the whole mystique of the Holy Grail lies in its ambiguous form and nature- in the book, we never know how it exactly is, except that it consists of the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene and some documents. Howard, in the end, actually zooms down into the depths of the earth to show us the remains- as if to tell us- look, it's here! We know, Mr Howard, we know. The Da Vinci Code, I repeat, is not a bad film at all. Fact is, it could have been explosive on celluloid. After watching Code, the thought that hurts most is that of what it could have been. Expand
  17. BethHinton
    Aug 9, 2006
    4
    So much more could have been done with this film. It seems the director Ron howard wanted to play it safe, stick to the formula. This movie is critic proof. It is not good or bad, it is medium.
  18. MattO.
    Jan 28, 2007
    4
    The book, great. The flim bad. It shows you how hard it truly is to transmit from pages to screens. This film could have been done so much better. The fact it drags on, tries to force you with some action to just keep you looking for another 3 seconds that doesn't grip no attention at all. The locations and the plot is interesting, but the cimemtography was poor. The only reason to The book, great. The flim bad. It shows you how hard it truly is to transmit from pages to screens. This film could have been done so much better. The fact it drags on, tries to force you with some action to just keep you looking for another 3 seconds that doesn't grip no attention at all. The locations and the plot is interesting, but the cimemtography was poor. The only reason to go see this movie is because to say you have seen it, but no worth a purchase or a second look. Also, dont see this movie if you havent read the book, because you will think the book will be disappointing becasue the film consequently was. This review is based solely off the cinemitography and other mechanics of the film. And in no way am I judging this film with relgious based critizism, and am just saying the movie was a disappointed and lacking the high expectations given to the film. Expand
  19. DaleW.
    Jan 4, 2007
    4
    Waste of my time. Too complex and hard to hear the words. The entire plot was way out there.
  20. CassianJ.
    Jan 4, 2008
    5
    I came to this movie with very low expectations. I have not read the book upon which it is based, and had read and heard only bad things about this movie. To add to this I have never been a great fan of Ron Howard
  21. Sammy
    May 20, 2006
    5
    The book was one of the most outstanding works of literature to ever surface the earth. The movie is a Hollywood appeal to everybody movie. Many crucial parts are left out, the end is somewhat changed, and Robert Langdon seems to realize that he may be offending people. Instead of a fascinating theory about the foundations of Christianity, the movie basically shows a simple guess.
  22. mOJ.
    May 22, 2006
    5
    I thought the movie did not emphasize the main points in the book. I know I shouldn't compare it to the book but I was just so disappointed. Tom Hanks was not a good Robert Langdon.
  23. SeanR.
    May 22, 2006
    6
    The book was a poorly written waste of time, but going into a movie adapted from a book You! Can! Not! Compare! It! With! The! Book! When viewing an adapted movie (none the less a ficticious one) you have to go into it with the mindset of being it's own work. Im am tired of people being stupid about not even giving films a chance because they were a book first. The acting for the The book was a poorly written waste of time, but going into a movie adapted from a book You! Can! Not! Compare! It! With! The! Book! When viewing an adapted movie (none the less a ficticious one) you have to go into it with the mindset of being it's own work. Im am tired of people being stupid about not even giving films a chance because they were a book first. The acting for the most part was well done and the script wasn't much more poorly written than the book was. It was entertaining... Expand
  24. Mase
    May 24, 2006
    6
    I have never read the book, saying that I'm shocked this is the story that has captivated a nation of book readers. Maybe it just plays better on the page than on the screen. This movie was not poorly made and I admit i wasn't bored through the long playing time. However there was not especially intriguing or original or really anything at all the recommend about this movie.
  25. Erin
    May 27, 2006
    6
    I felt the same way about the film as I did the book. No, not a great piece of literature or a great film- but it was a fun ride with an interesting story, set in a beautiful place. No, Da Vinci isn't going to make it's way into the literature or movie halls of fame, but if you're willing to suspend disbelief and take it at face value its certainly worth the trip to the theatre.
  26. SteveA.
    May 30, 2006
    4
    First, I thought Tom Hanks played the character well. Unfortunately, the character was a huge wimp. He sniffles, cringes, and shudders throughout the whole movie. Secondly, the movie was too long. Third, the twist ending was corny. Fourth, the movie doesn't seem to back up its revelations that well. All we get is an organization that is a hoax and another that is overhyped. And the First, I thought Tom Hanks played the character well. Unfortunately, the character was a huge wimp. He sniffles, cringes, and shudders throughout the whole movie. Secondly, the movie was too long. Third, the twist ending was corny. Fourth, the movie doesn't seem to back up its revelations that well. All we get is an organization that is a hoax and another that is overhyped. And the theory of the Last Supper is somewhat ludricous--afterall, where is Apostle John if that's really Mary in his seat? On the plus side, I loved the historical flashback scenes. Also, the premise is a brilliant one. I can completely understand how people became interested in the book. Expand
  27. LouisM.
    Jun 22, 2006
    5
    I read the book and did not find it as exciting as the rest of mankind. I find it far from controversial and believe if the story shakes Christian people's faith, their faith was not that strong to begin with. The movie itself was a replica of the book and did not ad anything. I expect movies to entertain on many levels by means of whichever emotions, and this one just didn't I read the book and did not find it as exciting as the rest of mankind. I find it far from controversial and believe if the story shakes Christian people's faith, their faith was not that strong to begin with. The movie itself was a replica of the book and did not ad anything. I expect movies to entertain on many levels by means of whichever emotions, and this one just didn't stir the emotions at all. Expand
  28. JerryB.
    Jun 25, 2007
    6
    I didn't read the book, so there were no spoilers for me. I thought it was a creditable movie: Hanks did his best but I was disappointed in Howard's direction. It should have been better edited IMO. Overall a 6
  29. NathanL
    Mar 26, 2008
    4
    This movie moves likea snail, and the actors were probably actually robots that replaced their counterparts. stoid, boring. The only good actor is the men who plays teabing.
  30. MeghanR.
    Nov 29, 2006
    4
    Could have been a contender.... Hanks is terribly miscast and gives nothing more than a flat performance (where was Ralph Fiennes when they called for casting?!). No chemistry between Hanks and Tautou, who gives a performance too understated for this kind of movie (though I still lover her understatment). She also comes off as too awkward and uncomfortable with her English. Reno, however, Could have been a contender.... Hanks is terribly miscast and gives nothing more than a flat performance (where was Ralph Fiennes when they called for casting?!). No chemistry between Hanks and Tautou, who gives a performance too understated for this kind of movie (though I still lover her understatment). She also comes off as too awkward and uncomfortable with her English. Reno, however, never seems to disappoint (The Professional... so good!) Unless you have read the book, this movie will not make much sense. =( Ron Howards failure?? Expand
  31. Daz
    Oct 27, 2006
    6
    I have read the book 3 times including the illustrated hardback edition. I was looking forward to seeing this film greatly but found it disappointing. I felt little excitement (which the book is full of) and did not get to know the characters (or care for them) at all. I'm glad I have seen it to see how Ron Howard portrayed it, but for the first time in many years I have to say my I have read the book 3 times including the illustrated hardback edition. I was looking forward to seeing this film greatly but found it disappointing. I felt little excitement (which the book is full of) and did not get to know the characters (or care for them) at all. I'm glad I have seen it to see how Ron Howard portrayed it, but for the first time in many years I have to say my (poor) imagination was much better and Dan Brown's book is WAY better. I can't remember the last time I saw Tom Hanks in a below par film. Oscar material this is not. Nuff said? Expand
  32. OCuculiza
    May 18, 2006
    6
    A disappointment. It's sort of entertaining but after 2 hours of flashbacks, bad dialogue and stupid scenes with Tom Hanks totally miscast, it gets awful. Sir Ian McKellen is def. the best thing about htis, all the scenes where he appears are great just because of him.
  33. KenV.
    May 21, 2006
    4
    It was long, boring and choppy! It was historical jibberish that had me waiting for it to end so I could politey leave the theater. Dan Brown clearly has demonstrated that Catholics are this generation's Jews.
  34. ShawnS.
    May 21, 2006
    6
    I enjoyed it ...however bad casting of Tom Hanks.
  35. stuart
    May 22, 2006
    4
    This movie is like watching a documentary... slow and toytally alcking drama, save for about 15 minutes. Hanks and the female lwead could put you to sleep... both performances totally without emotion.
  36. LarryF.
    May 23, 2006
    4
    Well the code is broken and can't be fixed. I enjoyed the book, although I never took it for more than light escapist fiction. I found it to be fast paced and enjoyed following the clues. However, the film version does no justice to the novel. The problem starts with Tom Hanks. I, along with many other fans of the book were very surprised by this casting choice. But then I thought, Well the code is broken and can't be fixed. I enjoyed the book, although I never took it for more than light escapist fiction. I found it to be fast paced and enjoyed following the clues. However, the film version does no justice to the novel. The problem starts with Tom Hanks. I, along with many other fans of the book were very surprised by this casting choice. But then I thought, "ok he's a terrific actor. maybe he can pull it off". Sad to say, he can't. Hanks is very miscast. He's wooden, has ridiculous facial expressions, and no chemistry with Audrey Tautou. He, along with chunks of exposition, slow the film down to a crawl. Tautou is lovely in all of her French films but acting in an English-speaking role seems to rob her of her natural charm. Jean Reno is well cast as the police inspector (although his character does a vanishing act late in the film) and only Ian McKellen really makes the most of his role. McKellen could read a phone book and make it interesting. The script does it's best to follow the novel but ends up trying too hard to explain everything constantly to the viewer which robs the film of any sustained suspense. Even the action scenes miss the mark. For example, the car chase in Paris is very poorly filmed and edited. Ron Howard is a fine director, but unfortunately, he just doesn't solve "The Da Vinci Code". Expand
  37. AlanT.
    May 24, 2006
    4
    Totally forgettable. It chose neither to have FUN with its subject matter nor to deliver serious suspense.
  38. Twelvefield
    May 25, 2006
    6
    The story is certainly comparable to that other Da Vinci conspiracy epic: Hudson Hawk.
  39. DennisL.
    May 25, 2006
    4
    Boring.
  40. MartinL.
    May 26, 2006
    4
    The book was fascinating and daring. The movie was the opposite. It's fast and slow in the wrong places, felt like 30 minutes too long, AND its too grim to appeal to all ages or even its target demographic. Look, if you gotta make a movie based on this book. You gotta grab some gravitas from inside and dare to offend. Let go of any self restraint tackle the project unconcern of the The book was fascinating and daring. The movie was the opposite. It's fast and slow in the wrong places, felt like 30 minutes too long, AND its too grim to appeal to all ages or even its target demographic. Look, if you gotta make a movie based on this book. You gotta grab some gravitas from inside and dare to offend. Let go of any self restraint tackle the project unconcern of the outcome. Or else you will miss your mark completely! Expand
  41. JoeyK.
    May 31, 2006
    6
    Pretty good. An interesting, insightful movie. If you like clue chasing thrillers, then this is a good one. It reminds me of National Treasure in that respect. Like that movie, it's entertaining, but not really a great movie. But it's fun detective work, and questions the church, so how can it go wrong? As an adaptation, it suffers from the difference between movies and books. Pretty good. An interesting, insightful movie. If you like clue chasing thrillers, then this is a good one. It reminds me of National Treasure in that respect. Like that movie, it's entertaining, but not really a great movie. But it's fun detective work, and questions the church, so how can it go wrong? As an adaptation, it suffers from the difference between movies and books. While a book can afford to meander on and continue with multipleclimactic scenes, and expansive conclusions, that extended length doesn't fit so well int he constraints of a movie, and you get that feeling; the feeling that the movie is being true to the book, but it was a long book. Expand
  42. JA
    Jun 11, 2006
    6
    I totally agree with James Berardinelli. The film had strong points, especially Ian McKellen, but the film editing was just awful, especailly during the first car chase scene (Why would you play opera music during a car chase scene?). The actors seem intrigued by the movie, but the film itself isnt as good at interesting the audience with the controversial ideas and symbols of the movie. I totally agree with James Berardinelli. The film had strong points, especially Ian McKellen, but the film editing was just awful, especailly during the first car chase scene (Why would you play opera music during a car chase scene?). The actors seem intrigued by the movie, but the film itself isnt as good at interesting the audience with the controversial ideas and symbols of the movie. The visual aids/flashback scenes were stylishly made, as was the end of the movie, but this is still definitely an unexciting, uninspired movie. If you havent read the superior novel by Dan Brown, or even worse, dont know anything about it, then bring a pillow, because you wont last the whole movie long. Heck, just read the book instead. Expand
  43. JimG.
    Jun 12, 2006
    4
    I did not read the book. I enjoyed the movie. I didn't love the movie. I didn't hate the movie. I think the movie would have been MUCH better if they had cast unknowns. (You would think at least one producer would have watched the movie "The Player" and gotten the messsage.)
  44. AaronM
    Aug 31, 2006
    5
    The book is a load of crap but at least it's exciting and really fun to read. The movie is boring, and way too long. Tom Hanks is too good of an actor to be in something like this. Trying to copy the book exactly makes this a huge borefest.
  45. DZ
    Nov 13, 2006
    4
    The movie is engaging. Its attempt to challenge and invigorate you with a diverse amount of philosophy works. The ending's belief of Christ, is a fascinating reference, it enables the audience to contemplate the intention of the entire movie. The objective position applied by the LA director is refreshing for such a provocative subject. The themes of the movie are worth glancing at The movie is engaging. Its attempt to challenge and invigorate you with a diverse amount of philosophy works. The ending's belief of Christ, is a fascinating reference, it enables the audience to contemplate the intention of the entire movie. The objective position applied by the LA director is refreshing for such a provocative subject. The themes of the movie are worth glancing at and further discussing. Those are the positive aspects of the movie. The DaVinci Code lacks in character development, from both of the two-protagonists, and the supplementary characters. Ciphers are all of what is presented to the audience, to allow us to resonate with the characters. The director never intends to explore either of the two pro-tagonists. They are just following the true intention of the movie: the controversial plot. The plot has no ability to captivate the audience with any major details; rather than twists, and betrayals of characters. The director has failed with basically every piece that needs a good director. However he was never provided with decent material, just a plot, and a dull one, followed by some engaging themes that never are explored. As explosive as Mr. McKellen is, and as engaging as the themes are, the movie is an illusion. This is an illusion for the audience to hand over two hours of work. Now that is a truly controversial issue. Labor, wage, and economy! Upsettingly, Ron Howard's next movie is a movie that will achieve an Oscar, nothing that will achieve criticism. Expand
  46. JudyT.
    Nov 22, 2006
    5
    Tom Hanks is terribly miscast and Ron Howard does not make his characters engaging enough for us to care with the exception of Ian Mc Kellan and Jean Reno. Not very interesting film all in all. Did make me want to go out and read the book.
  47. Rhea
    Dec 25, 2006
    4
    Too much detail in such a short time and yet too long of a movie! Followed the book rather carefully.
  48. May 5, 2015
    4
    The Da Vinci Code has some interesting historical factoids and theories to impart about religion. It also has a whole bunch of non-nonsensical fantasy drivel to impart. Most importantly however, it has a long, meandering, unexciting and butt-numbingly long snooze-fest of a cinematic experience to impart. Dull times.
  49. Aug 3, 2011
    4
    It suffers from blandness , boringness The Da Vinci code gets dorky in pace , and gets very flat with no emotions. I love History or any stuff related to Historic events, mysteries and question. But The Da Vinci Code does not pull me through the wonderings.
  50. Nov 4, 2013
    5
    "The Da Vinci Code" is a dull and overlong adaptation of Dan Brown's novel. Director Ron Howard has taken a decent thoughtful book and turned it into a talky and silly film.
  51. Jan 28, 2016
    6
    A perfect example of why writers shouldn't worry about getting novel-to-film adaptations to feel "just like the book." For God's sakes, movies and novels are different mediums. Tidal waves of expository dialogue and heavy-handed flashbacks do not make for good filmic storytelling techniques. I don't really care how much of a bestseller the book is. Some things just can't translate fromA perfect example of why writers shouldn't worry about getting novel-to-film adaptations to feel "just like the book." For God's sakes, movies and novels are different mediums. Tidal waves of expository dialogue and heavy-handed flashbacks do not make for good filmic storytelling techniques. I don't really care how much of a bestseller the book is. Some things just can't translate from book to screen. That being said, this is a movie made watchable by the impressive expertise of nearly every other department at work. From Ron Howard's stylish vision, to Salvatore Totino's brilliant imagery, to Hans Zimmer's undeniably kick-ass score, and the cast members' worthy performances, "The Da Vinci Code" is a seemingly enjoyable-looking Christmas Tree with all the trimmings and decorations in order. It just so happens that, underneath all the ornaments and garland, lies a narrative trunk molded out of pure garbage. Expand
  52. Dec 24, 2015
    4
    "The Da Vinci Code" was a very disturbing film about the clearest and most sinister mysteries of Leonardo Da Vinci , good performance from Tom Hanks in this amazing adaptation of Dan Brown's book .
  53. Mar 27, 2016
    5
    Pulpy page-turner has become a stodgy, grim thing in its exceedingly literal-minded film version. Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have conspired to drain any sense of fun out of the melodrama, leaving expectant audiences with an oppressively talky film that isn't exactly dull, but comes as close to it as one could imagine with such provocative material.

    Sitting
    Pulpy page-turner has become a stodgy, grim thing in its exceedingly literal-minded film version. Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have conspired to drain any sense of fun out of the melodrama, leaving expectant audiences with an oppressively talky film that isn't exactly dull, but comes as close to it as one could imagine with such provocative material.

    Sitting through all the verbose explanations and speculations about symbols, codes, secret cults, religious history and covert messages in art, it is impossible to believe that, had the novel never existed, such a script would ever have been considered by a Hollywood studio. It’s esoteric, heady stuff, made compelling only by the fact that what it’s proposing undermines the fundamental tenets of Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism, and, by extension, Western Civilization for the past 2,000 years.

    The irony in the film’s inadequacy is that the novel was widely found to be so cinematic. Although pretty dismal as prose, the tome fairly rips along, courtesy of a strong story hook, very short chapters that seem like movie scenes, constant movement by the principal characters in a series of conveyances, periodic eruptions of violent action and a compressed 24-hour time frame.

    The appearance of its easy adaptability may have been deceptive, however, as what went down easily on the page becomes laborious onscreen, even with the huge visual plus of fabulous French and English locations, fine actors and the ability to scrutinize works of Da Vinci in detail.

    What one is left with is high-minded lurid material sucked dry by a desperately solemn approach. Some nifty scene-setting, with strong images amplifying a Paris lecture delivered by Harvard symbology professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) intercut with the Louvre murder of curator Sauniere by albino monk Silas (Paul Bettany), spurs hope that Howard might be on track to find a visual way to communicate the book’s content.

    Part of the quick deflation is due to a palpable lack of chemistry between Hanks and Tautou, an odd thing in itself given their genial accessibility in many previous roles. Howard, normally a generous director of actors, makes them both look stiff, pasty and inexpressive in material that provides them little opportunity to express basic human nature; unlike in the book, they are never allowed to even suggest their fatigue after a full night and day of non-stop running, nor to say anything that doesn’t relate directly to narrative forward movement. It’s a film so overloaded with plot that there’s no room for anything else, from emotion to stylistic grace notes.

    The pursuit of a man and a woman barely known to one another was a favorite premise of Alfred Hitchcock, and one need only think of the mileage the director got out of such a set-up in films from “The 39 Steps” to “North by Northwest” to realize some of the missed opportunities here.

    Temporary relief comes, an hour in, with the arrival of Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing, an immensely wealthy Holy Grail fanatic to whom it falls to explain, in unavoidably fascinating monologues, the alternate history the story advances. It is Teabing’s thesis that the early Church, beginning with the Emperor Constantine, suppressed the feminine aspects of religion both stemming from pagan times as well as from the prominent role in spreading the faith he insists was played by Mary Magdalene, a role underlined by a close look at Da Vinci’s celebrated “The Last Supper.”

    More than that, however, Teabing insists that Mary Magdalene, far from having been a prostitute, was actually Jesus’ wife and that they had a daughter whose bloodline has persisted. McKellen seems to relish every moment and line, which can scarcely be said of the other thesps.

    Given the widespread readership the book has enjoyed and the howls of protest from Christian entities beginning with the Vatican, it is hardly spoiling things to point out that the baddies here are members of the strict Catholic sect Opus Dei, including Silas and Alfred Molina’s Bishop Aringarosa, defenders of doctrine determined to eliminate the threat to the established order posed by the so-called Priory of Sion, an organization secretly holding the “knowledge” that could cripple the church.

    Even after the action moves from France to England, there’s still a long way to go, and the final dramatic revelations, however mind-boggling from a content p.o.v., come off as particularly flat.

    The darkly burnished stylings cinematographer Salvatore Totino brought to Howard’s previous two films, “The Missing” and “Cinderella Man,” prove rather less seductive in the largely nocturnal realms of “The Da Vinci Code.” Hans Zimmer’s ever-present score is at times dramatic to the point of over-insistence.
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Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 40
  2. Negative: 7 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have conspired to drain any sense of fun out of the melodrama, leaving expectant audiences with an oppressively talky film that isn't exactly dull but comes as close to it as one could imagine with such provocative material.
  2. Da Vinci never rises to the level of a guilty pleasure. Too much guilt. Not enough pleasure.
  3. 100
    Ron Howard's splendid The Da Vinci Code is the Holy Grail of summer blockbusters: a crackling, fast-moving thriller that's every bit as brainy and irresistible as Dan Brown's controversial bestseller.