The Monk Image
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56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Adapted from the gothic novel by Matthew G. Lewis, The Monk tells the tragic story of Brother Ambrosio in Catholic Spain during the 17th century. Abandoned at birth and left at the doors of the Capucins convent, Ambrosio becomes a devout monk admired for his faith and purity, but the arrival of a mysterious new pupil will shake his convictions and lead his down a path of sin. [Diaphana Films] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Mar 7, 2013
    75
    Not to be mistaken for a serious treatment of religious fervor or clerical corruption, The Monk is instead a knowingly over-the-top bit of gothic nuttiness.
  2. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Mar 6, 2013
    75
    An eccentric period melodrama with horror-flick overtones. Occasionally incoherent but never dull, the movie brims with weird imagery.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 7, 2013
    70
    Dominik Moll downplays the overtly scandalous nature of the story, at least for a while, with a leisurely pace heavy on imagery. He’s made a beautiful-looking film that portends disaster. And disaster arrives, eventually. It just takes its time getting there.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 5, 2013
    60
    It is not a story of great depth or passion, but there are intriguing and unsettling moments on its well-crafted surface.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    Mar 5, 2013
    60
    Director Dominik Moll makes some odd style choices – like Looney Tunes-style ‘iris wipes’ – and it’s a while before Cassel fully embraces his dark side, yet his customary charisma is what seals The Monk’s redemption.
  6. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Mar 7, 2013
    50
    Moll's restraint gives way to a tastefully overwrought checklist of Gothic imagery. In the cloistered shadows and the harsh Castilian sun, the visuals are handsome, even as the movie threatens to tip into parody.
  7. Reviewed by: Tina Hassannia
    Mar 8, 2013
    38
    Dominik Moll never addresses Matthew Gregory Lewis's original groundbreaking ideas in the film, nor does he rework the material for a contemporary audience.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 10, 2013
    6
    In the 17th century Spain, a baby is abandoned on the steps of a monastery and grows up a devoted priest and inspirational speaker (!)…until a mysterious visitor changes everything. With menacing music, portentous direction and slow pacing, this dark French tale (yes, subtitles) ominously promises dread and shock. Promises. Promises. While we kept getting led on, expecting the worst, the path is bewildering and dumbly dense. A threatening promise with a disappointing payoff. Expand