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"DOGMA"
(1999) (Linda Fiorentino, Matt Damon) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Heavy Extreme Mild Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate Minor Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: An agnostic Catholic, two unlikely prophets, the thirteenth disciple and a muse try to prevent two fallen angels from reentering Heaven through a religious loophole and thus wiping out all existence.
PLOT:
Bethany (LINDA FIORENTINO) is a woman's clinic employee and practicing Catholic whose turn in life has caused her to question her belief in God. Thus, she's rather surprised when Metatron (ALAN RICKMAN), an angel serving as the voice of God, approaches her with a holy crusade.

It appears that Cardinal Glick (GEORGE CARLIN), the founder of the Catholicism WOW! movement designed to reinvigorate the Church has unknowingly opened a celestial loophole that two fallen angels, Bartleby (BEN AFFLECK) and Loki (MATT DAMON), the angel of death, plan to use to return to Heaven. By doing so, they would prove God fallible and thus wipe out all existence.

Although initially skeptical, Bethany agrees to head off to Glick's New Jersey church. Along the way she picks up the two "prophets" Metatron had promised would assist her, Jay (JASON MEWES), a long- haired, profanity spewing dude who wants to get into bed with Bethany, and Silent Bob (KEVIN SMITH), who barely utters any words. They then pick up Rufus (CHRIS ROCK), the forgotten and disgruntled 13th apostle, as well as Serendipity (SALMA HAYEK), a muse posing as a stripper.

As Bethany and her ragtag group head off on their road trip, they must contend with Azrael (JASON LEE), a demon who, with the help of his street hockey thugs, wants to aid the fallen angels and thus get revenge on God (ALANIS MORISSETTE), who's now missing. With the disillusioned Loki and Bartleby bringing havoc to the sinners of the world as they head from Wisconsin to New Jersey, Bethany and her team try to stop them from passing through Glick's church doors and thus negating everything and everyone in the world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some teens may be drawn by the controversy surrounding the film and others might be as well if they're fans of anyone in the cast or of writer/director Kevin Smith and his films.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong language including sex-related dialogue, violence, crude humor and some drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LINDA FIORENTINO plays a woman's clinic employee and practicing Catholic whose turn in life has caused her to question her belief in God. Even so, she agrees to help stop the fallen angels, uses some strong profanity and is drunk in one scene.
  • ALAN RICKMAN plays an angel serving as the voice of God who puts Bethany on her holy crusade. He also likes to drink, but being an angel has to spit out whatever he consumes. He briefly uses strong profanity.
  • GEORGE CARLIN plays a church Cardinal who wants to revamp Catholicism with a new and happier image.
  • BEN AFFLECK plays a fallen angel who uses strong profanity and kills many people before attempting to reenter Heaven.
  • MATT DAMON plays his buddy, the angel of death who does the exact same thing.
  • JASON MEWES plays one of the "prophets" assigned to help Bethany, a long-haired, profanity spewing dude who constantly wants to get into bed with her.
  • KEVIN SMITH plays his buddy who smokes and rarely speaks.
  • CHRIS ROCK plays the forgotten and disgruntled 13th apostle who rants and raves about being left out of the bible and also uses strong profanity.
  • SALMA HAYEK plays a muse and striptease dancer.
  • JASON LEE plays a demon who wants revenge on God and uses strong profanity.
  • ALANIS MORISSETTE plays God as a playful and loving being.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity is extreme due to at least 100 uses of the "f" word, while plenty of other profanities and colorful phrases are also present. Violence is also extreme due to many people being killed (both onscreen and off), often with bloody results.

    Many sexually related comments are made, some nonsexual nudity is present, and a man repeatedly wants to have sex with a woman who refuses his offers. Scatological humor exists in the form of a humanoid demon comprised entirely of fecal matter. Some drinking and drug use occurs, as does some smoking.

    Since the film is a comedy satirizing religion, some viewers may not like/appreciate the film's tone and what some may see as an attack on organized religion, particularly Catholicism, and the portrayal of demons and such may be unsettling to those sensitive to such issues.

    Due to all of the material that's present, we strongly suggest that you take a closer look at the listed content should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may wish to see this picture.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Metatron drinks tequila, but then has to spit it out (since as an angel he can't consume it).
  • Bartleby asks Loki "Are you stoned?" as they discuss whether a couple on a bus is married or not.
  • Jay comments about some "ganja" (marijuana).
  • We see Jay, Silent Bob and others drinking in a strip club. Later, we see more drinking at the bar, involving Bethany, Serendipity and Rufus.
  • A comment is made about smoking a "fatty" (a joint). Jay then smokes a joint and gives it to Loki who acts like he smokes it.
  • On a train Bethany mentions that they need a lot of drinks. We then see that she and Bartleby have been drinking beer and many mini-bottles of liquor, and that she's drunk.
  • We see Jay rolling and then smoking a joint.
  • Jay smokes another joint.
  • Metatron says "Let's get drunk."
  • Jay drinks a beer, while Bethany and Rufus have drinks.
  • Loki drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some blood on a woman's back after one of Azrael's thugs has killed her with a hockey stick.
  • Azrael's hockey playing thugs have some bloody cuts on their faces.
  • We see blood splatter onto a door as Loki kills most of the board members of a company by shooting them, and see their blood on the one innocent woman of the group.
  • We see fecal matter flowing from a toilet and then see a full-sized humanoid demon comprised entirely of fecal matter. Characters then react to the smell emanating from it as well as it shooting fecal matter at them.
  • A person who's been shot with a machine gun is somewhat bloody.
  • We see some bloody people on TV who are victims of Bartleby's rage.
  • Silent Bob hits Azrael with a golf club and the demon's chest opens and all sorts of goo/gore comes out.
  • We see more dead and bloody people outside a church -- the result of Bartleby killing them.
  • Bartleby has some blood on him while Loki has some bloody wing stubs.
  • Blood comes out as someone shoots off Bartleby's wings.
  • Blood comes from Bethany's hands and later she's quite bloody.
  • A character's head explodes.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers, particularly those of the Catholic faith, may take offense at the entire film, or certain parts of it. Such material includes, but isn't limited to: A Cardinal wanting to change the Church's image from scary/depressing to cheerful. Loki encouraging a nun to give up her faith and use the money she's collected for herself. Loki and Bartleby complaining about God and religion and wanting to do something about both. A scene set in a church shows most of the congregation not paying attention and/or being bored. God is portrayed as a loving but near childlike woman who hops, skips and jumps her way through life, known for trying to do handstands and having a penchant for becoming human to play skeetball.
  • The fallen angels and demons have extreme cases of both for killing people, some of whom have both for their past actions (affairs, etc...).
  • Loki announces some board members' sins, including one having sex with his wife's best friend, another getting his girlfriend drunk and then paying someone to have sex with her so that he'd have an excuse to break up with her, and yet another is mentioned as having sex with an 11-year-old boy.
  • Some may see Bethany as having both for working in a women's clinic and stating that she no longer believes in God (although she continues going to church).
  • Jay repeatedly asks Bethany about having sex with him.
  • We see a couple making out on a bus and learn that they're having an affair.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be tense or unsettling for some viewers as might scenes featuring demons, etc... (that might be upsetting/unsettling for viewers sensitive to such issues), although most everything is played for laughs and not horror.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Guns/Machine guns/Knives/Hockey sticks: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see Loki and Bartleby looking at guns and knives in a gun shop.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Who the f*ck are you?" "Get the f*ck out of here," "Holy f*ck," "Sh*t your f*cking mouth," "You sick f*ck," You sick, twisted f*ck," "Holy sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "Head" (oral sex), "Boner," (erection), "D*ckheads," "D*ckless," "Half-assed," "Chicks" "Honeys," "Broad" and "Bitch(es)" (for women, the latter also for a guy), "Moron," "Jesus freak," "Slut," "Pissed," "Suck," "Nigger" (said by Rufus who's black), "Bitching and moaning," "Bastard," "Horny," "Retards," "Hard-on" (nonsexual), "Pissed off," "Screwed up," "Jerks," "Schmuck," "Jerk off" (nonsexual) and "Nuts."
  • Jay has a pierced nose.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Flames suddenly appear in a room as Metatron appears.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music (sometimes played in a comic tone) occurs during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 100 "f" words (5 used with "mother" and 6 used sexually -- as is the term "laid" that's used 5 times), 42 "s" words, 6 slang terms for or using male genitals ("d*ck" and "piece"), 1 slang term for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 6 slang terms for breasts (variations of "t*t"), 15 hells, 13 asses (4 used with "hole"), 2 damns, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., and 4 uses of "Jesus," 3 of "Christ," 2 uses each of "Sweet Jesus" and "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Oh God," "For God's sakes," "God," "For Christ's sakes," "My God," "Good Lord," "Jesus Christ" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • While talking a nun out of religion, Loki tells her to find a man, or a woman, with whom she can "connect."
  • Loki mentions, "If I had a d*ck I'd go get laid."
  • Bethany's coworker states that Bethany needs "to get laid."
  • We see Bethany in her underwear and see part of her bare butt.
  • After Bethany worries that Metatron (who's just suddenly shown up in her room) is going to rape her. He tells her that angels are ill-equipped for that and then pulls down his pants to reveal that he has no genitals (so we see full frontal, but note the absence of a penis). He then asks her whether she thinks everyone's trying "to get into your knickers."
  • Metatron tells Bethany that there's nothing funnier than the ridiculous faces humans make during sex.
  • Jay asks Bethany if there's going to be any sex as a reward for saving her from some attackers.
  • Jay comments that an abortion clinic is a good place to meet "loose women" since why else would they be there.
  • Jay asks Bethany if she's "going to do us both" (him and Silent Bob) and then adds that if that's so, he's going first since he hates "sloppy seconds."
  • As Jay talks about "Sixteen Candles," he mentions "there's t*ts, but no bush."
  • Jay asks whether "chicks fart when you blast them in the ass" and asks Bethany "Do you do anal?" He then says that he'll take "head." Later he asks her, "What about sex?" and she replies there won't be any. He then asks what if they were only five minutes left to live "Would you f*ck us then?" She replies that's an unlikely situation, but then says, "Yeah, sure."
  • We see a couple making out on a bus.
  • Jay states about Bethany, "She's never going to f*ck us now" and then adds, "Maybe you (Silent Bob) but not me." Bethany then screams out, "Nobody is f*cking me, you got that?"
  • We see Rufus' bare butt (from several angles) after he falls naked from the sky. When the others note his nudity, Rufus notes that "It's a little cold out here."
  • Rufus states that he never gets "laid," and then adds that when he was in his prime he could have been "knee deep in shepherds' daughters."
  • To prove his knowledge of earthlings, Rufus tells Jay that he masturbates more than anyone on the planet. When Jay tells him to state something he doesn't know, Rufus adds, "When you do it, you're thinking about guys."
  • We see the buxom Serendipity doing a striptease/suggestive dance along the lines of a young schoolgirl (dressed that way and then showing lots of cleavage in her bikini-like top and bottom that shows part of her bare butt).
  • Loki announces some board members' sins, including one having sex with his wife's best friend, another getting his girlfriend drunk and then paying someone to have sex with her so that he'd have an excuse to break up with her, and yet another is mentioned as having sex with an 11-year-old boy.
  • Serendipity states that what defines a woman falls between her legs, but then adds that she lacks such definition as she shows them that she has no genitalia (we don't see that).
  • We see paintings/pictures on a wall showing bare-breasted women.
  • Loki asks someone, "Does Jay know that you're going to sleep with him?"
  • Some comments are made about the Virgin Mary's husband "getting down" and not getting "laid."
  • Although she's wearing a bra, we can clearly see Bethany's breasts through a wet shirt she's wearing.
  • Seeming like time in the world is running out, Jay tells Bethany, "You said you'd f*ck me" (referring to an earlier conversation). Someone then mentions "boner" and that they've got to "get to the f*cking" and we then see Jay starting to take his pants off.
  • God, portrayed as a woman, shows some cleavage.
  • Jay makes a lesbian gesture about Serendipity and Bethany by licking his tongue between his fingers (to represent oral sex).
  • Jay makes a comment that he got a partial erection when God (a woman) kissed him, and he then grabs his own crotch, and a comment is made about having sex in a woman's third trimester.
  • SMOKING
  • Silent Bob smokes more than five times, while Glick smokes once as does Bethany's coworker (played by Janeane Garofalo).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Bethany mentions that her husband left her after they discovered that she couldn't have children.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether the film is attacking religion (and in particular Catholicism), just organized religion, or instead is just satirizing it from a religious standpoint.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Several street hockey players skate up to a man on a boardwalk and smash into him and hit him with hockey sticks.
  • We see that a woman has been killed with a hockey stick.
  • The street hockey players skate up toward Bethany at her car, with one of them hitting her. The three then approach her when Jay and Silent Bob show up and punch them.
  • We see Loki pull out a gun and aim it toward a couple having an affair. We then see the outside of the bus they're in and hear the gunshot and then see the bus stop and everyone rush off.
  • Loki throws a knife into a piece of office equipment. Moments later he kills most of a company's board members (shooting them) and then jokingly threatens to shoot the last one, but doesn't.
  • Some gang members pull out their guns and we hear gunfire and then see that those members are dead.
  • Bartleby breaks a bottle and holds it to Bethany (after he learns of her mission). A fight then breaks out on the train they're on with Loki punching Jay and both Loki and Bartleby then being thrown from the train.
  • Bartleby pushes Loki back against a wall.
  • Azrael shoots a bartender dead.
  • Bartleby breaks a cop's neck.
  • We see some bloody people on TV who are victims of Bartleby's rage.
  • Silent Bob hits Azrael with a golf club and the demon's chest opens and all sorts of goo/gore comes out. The others then grab his hockey player thugs, holding some of their heads under water until presumably drowned.
  • We see more dead and bloody people outside a church -- the result of Bartleby killing them.
  • We see Bartleby flying in the air and dropping people to their deaths.
  • Loki throws Bethany to the ground.
  • Bartleby punches Serendipity.
  • Bartleby stabs and kills Loki (after having torn off his wings -- not seen) and others then struggle with him.
  • Bartleby then punches more people and picks up Serendipity by the neck until someone shoots off his wings.
  • A character's head explodes.



  • Reviewed October 25, 1999 / Posted November 12, 1999

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