Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II : Season 1

  • Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 1, 2005
Metascore
35

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 20
  2. Negative: 12 out of 20

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    30
    Granted, the smaller time frame makes it more difficult to chronicle an 80-some-odd-year life, but what emerges is a CliffsNotes version that fastidiously avoids crowd shots (presumably to keep costs down) and struggles to create drama with its worshipful tone.
  2. Stiflingly reverential, sadly superficial.
  3. 10
    Turns the pope into a pious stick figure.
  4. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    30
    All this feels dutiful and rote - the CliffsNotes version.
  5. 50
    Fear plays like an illustrated Life of the Saints on fast-forward. Blink and you can miss decades.
  6. The accelerating pace of the movie runs roughshod over the drama.
  7. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    40
    In the end, both [CBS' and ABC's Pope] movies stick to what viewers can agree on (commies and Nazis, bad; love, good), while skipping much of the Pope's sometimes polarizing tenure as a leader.
  8. The movie races so quickly through the milestones of his career... that some of the most powerful moments in his papacy are underplayed.
  9. 10
    Even though the life of the Polish pope... obviously is loaded with dramatic potential, the film seems listlessly uninterested in exploring it.
  10. Partially because of its more cursory treatment of the Pope's life, the show seems less preachy and more emotional than the CBS effort, and more appropriate.
  11. Any way you portray Karol Wojtyla, he comes out looking extraordinary.
  12. This depiction of John Paul II as half human, half saint -- though hardly unexpected and possibly even warranted -- leaves us with a character that is less dimensional and less relatable and, consequently, less interesting.
  13. Anything remotely resembling complexity and nuance has been sacrificed to cramming six decades of history into two hours of airtime, minus commercials.
  14. I think I could have written a better script during the two hours it took me to watch "Have No Fear." I think you could, too, and I don't even know you.
  15. 88
    Kretschmann... delivers one of the finest performances seen on TV this year.
  16. 30
    The movie is more a series of biographical announcements than penetrating drama.
  17. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    30
    It zips through 60-plus years of Wojtyla's life at a pace that manages to be both breakneck and boring.
  18. Entertainment Weekly
    Reviewed by: Timothy Guanatilaka
    58
    This heart-tugger suffers from efficiency. [2 Dec 2005, p.74]
  19. Because the movie tries to cover too much ground, it will be incoherent for those who don't already know the story, and disappointing for those who do. Worse, it is off-key in its presentation of both minor and major passages of his life.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 3 out of 9
  1. John
    Feb 7, 2006
    9
    This was as great as the cbs mini series if not better
  2. PaulW
    Dec 8, 2005
    8
    Kretschmann was marvelous. The show was hurried because of the one night format, but it was interesting drama. The directorial decisions of Kretschmann was marvelous. The show was hurried because of the one night format, but it was interesting drama. The directorial decisions of this movie made more sense than those of the CBS miniseries; Thank you ABC for a good effort. Are you selling the DVD? Full Review »
  3. [Anonymous]
    Dec 4, 2005
    0
    probably one of the worst movies I've seen. I'm currently watching the cbs version of the popes life and it seems to be much better probably one of the worst movies I've seen. I'm currently watching the cbs version of the popes life and it seems to be much better made, better acting and more accurately desripting His forming years in Poland Full Review »