[Screen It]

 

"RELIGULOUS"
(2008) (Documentary) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Documentary: Comedian Bill Maher explores and questions various religions around the world by interviewing those of faith about their beliefs.
PLOT:
Comedian Bill Maher explores and questions various religions around the world by interviewing those of faith about their beliefs. His main focus is on the devout who don't question what Bill views as the uncertain, unbelievable or silly elements of their faith, and what acts (such as terrorism and bigotry) that then result from such blind faith.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're interested in the subject matter and/or are fans of Bill Maher, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some language and sexual material.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BILL MAHER appears as himself, a stand-up comedian and TV show host who explores religion and particularly those with what he deems are hardcore and extreme beliefs. He uses strong profanity, briefly smokes pot and drinks, makes sexual references, and generally mocks many of the faithful.
  • 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 quick look at the content found in this R-rated documentary. Profanity consists of at least 4 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Sexually related dialogue and humor are present (including talk about homosexuality), as is briefly seen footage from old porn films played for comedic visuals (one gay, with male rear nudity, the other showing a man sucking on a woman's bare breast).

    Violence includes footage of various terrorist bombings (and a brief view of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center), while some bloody results are seen. Bad attitudes are present, while people of various faiths might be offended by the film's portrayal of them as well as Bill Maher's overall negative view toward religion, especially among the ultra-faithful. There's some alcohol and drug content (including the smoking of pot). Various thematic elements are also present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's bouncy camerawork from time to time in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Bill drinks from a liquor bottle (seemingly faked for comedic effect).
  • A current Christian states that he was once a Satanic priest involved with drug addiction and prostitution.
  • There's brief talk about Ted Haggard, gay sex and speed.
  • We see beer drinking in a brief TV clip.
  • An actor playing Jesus tells Bill that some people use sex and drugs to try to fill the hole in their hearts, with Bill jokingly asking, "Can I try?"
  • In Amsterdam, Bill smokes a joint with the head of a church that calls for smoking pot to reach spiritual insights.
  • Bill goes to a Muslim gay bar where drinks are seen on the bar as he talks with people there.
  • Bill interviews a drug proponent and asks about those on drugs saying they've had a spiritual experience while high.
  • An old clip shows a character holding a bottle of champagne in each hand.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • In what looks like a crucifixion reenactment, a person has blood on them.
  • From Holy Land Theme Park, there's a reenactment of the Walk to Calvary, with Jesus' body and face very bloody (fake blood).
  • We see Jesus on the cross, bloody torso and face uplifted.
  • In Amsterdam, Bill visits with Fatima Elatik and talks about the murder of Theo Van Gough, as the film shows crime scene footage (a bloody body in one long shot, and a body under a tarp in another long shot).
  • Footage from Van Gogh's film shows a woman talking about her husband's abuse. Her face, in close-up, is bruised and bloodied.
  • We briefly see dead ocean animals covered in oil.
  • We briefly see a man with a bloody face.
  • We briefly see lots of blood around slain whales.
  • We briefly see various dead bodies following an unseen explosion.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Considering Bill Maher's well-known stance on religion and religious belief and the film's use of old films clips as mocking comedic asides and occasional onscreen text that does the same in various interviews, parts of or even the entire film might offend the devout, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim or followers of any other religion. Some of that potential is included below, as well as in the "Sex/Nudity" and "Topics to Talk About" categories.
  • The comment that religion is selling an invisible product and thus is too easy.
  • Bill questions the things that man added to the Bible story between the Old and New Testaments.
  • A current Christian states that he was once a Satanic priest involved with drug addiction and prostitution.
  • Bill questioning the Christian belief of needing to believe in God and Jesus in order to be saved.
  • Bill comments on their not being much written about Jesus between the age of an infant and his thirties, suggesting he was an awkward teen with a "Jew-fro" (we see a quick insert image of actor Jonah Hill with curly hair).
  • There's discussion about the virgin birth and Bill questioning why that wasn't mentioned in the Old Testament considering the compelling nature of the description.
  • Bill questions how smart people can believe in the literal word of the Bible, such as the talking snake and the 900-year-old man.
  • Bill references "like f*cking little kids" in relation to some parts of religion.
  • Some viewers might not like the film comparing religious figures and rock stars (including Marilyn Manson) in terms of both wearing elaborate costumes for effect on their followers.
  • Bill attacks televangelists and their wealthy lifestyles and appearances.
  • Bill jokes about a Muslim turned Christian minister and his expensive suit by saying he started Muslim, turned Christian and buys suits like a Jew.
  • There's footage and audio clips of homophobic and gay-bashing Christians using terms such as "fags" and carrying hateful signs and such.
  • Bill questions one's belief in God but not in Santa Claus.
  • Bill questions a Christian that if the latter believes he'll be in a better place when dead, why he doesn't just kill himself.
  • Bill questioning how God got wrapped up in American politics.
  • We see a person carrying writing that says Jews killed Jesus.
  • Bill makes fun of Creationism and the literal belief in the Bible.
  • About the term Vatican astronomer, Bill asks isn't that along the lines of "gay Republican?"
  • An actor playing Jesus tries to explain God's logic behind the Holocaust (saying there was a good end reason for it), and that understanding God is like trying to explain TV to an ant.
  • About Christian theology seemingly having more than one god (referring to the Holy Trinity), an actor playing Jesus says it's one God in different forms, just like water, ice and vapor all being from the same entity. Bill then responds, while riding in the car, "That sounds like complete bullsh*t." Following more jokes about the Trinity as ice-water-gas, he says, "You had me at ice cube."
  • In Hyde Park, London, Bill performs on "Speakers' Corner," yelling out tenets of Scientology (to ridicule it). Then, in a standup routine in Miami, Bill refers to the "crazy sh*t" in Scientology.
  • In Salt Lake City, Utah, Bill stands in front of the Mormon Temple, referring to "really crazy stuff." Men in suits called "Mormon fuzz" (in an onscreen title) approach and ask the crew to leave.
  • Bill and ex-Mormons discuss Scientology's view that American Indians were "lost Jews," while an old clip from a comedy shows an "Indian" on a horse saying, "Meshugguh."
  • Bill talks with a neuro-theologian about speaking in tongues, and calls it "bullsh*t."
  • Bill visits a rabbi who is "not a Zionist," feels frustrated because the rabbi won't let him talk, and tries to argue with him about his attending a Holocaust-deniers' conference (footage shows the rabbi embracing Ahmadinejad at the conference).
  • We see Bill at a Jewish Institute to hear about "the 39 things you can't do on the Sabbath." Here he's shown gadgets devised to get around prohibitions on using electricity, pushing buttons, etc.
  • Bill discusses how crazy it is to think you can talk to God," while the film shows courtroom footage of a woman charged with killing her children (a phone tape has her saying, "I just killed my boys" and she cries in court). Her defense is that she thought God told her to do it.
  • Bill visits José Luis de Jesús Miranda in Miami who believes he is "the second coming," which he defines as being a descendent of Jesus.
  • Footage from Van Gogh's film shows a woman talking about her husband's abuse. Her face, in close-up, is bruised and bloodied.
  • Bill talks with a Muslim rapper who advocates terrorism. He says he became sick of the "stupidity of society" and "I just put my middle finger up" (he doesn't do it on camera, but just describes the action).
  • Bill talks with Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders, who wants to outlaw Muslims.
  • One gay Muslim says he's been persecuted just for being gay (Bill jokes, "Same as Alabama").
  • Bill states that religion must die for mankind to survive.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Various unseen explosives are used in various terrorist attacks (listed under "Violence").
  • People carry automatic weapons.
  • We see a photo of young Bill wearing a toy gun that he states he didn't remove when he went to church as a kid.
  • We see people carrying machine guns.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "This is f*cked up" (seen written), "F*ck you, how's that?" "F*cking cock-a-roach!" "Evil sh*t," "Catholic sh*t-list," "That sounds like complete bullsh*t," "Crazy sh*t," "A sh*tty problem in my life," "Freezing your ass off," "Jew-fro," "Fags," "Ass-less chaps," "I was pissed," "Stop, blasphemer!" "Meshugguh," "Schmuck," "That is one hell of a wall" and "Sucks."
  • The film might inspire some kids to question their or others' faith.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A little bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 "f" words (1 used sexually), 7 "s" words, 1 slang term each using female and male genitals ("p*ssy" and "thing"), 3 asses (1 used with "hole"), 1 damn, 1 hell and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Bill does a joke about religion and who first came up with the idea of circumcision.
  • About quitting church at the age of 13, Bill jokes that he would have worshipped anything that gave him more time to masturbate.
  • There's brief talk about Bill's parents quitting the Catholic church over its stance on birth control.
  • Bill states that when he said "man" (as in mankind), he meant those with penises.
  • A current Christian states that he was once a Satanic priest involved with drug addiction and prostitution.
  • There's discussion about the virgin birth and Bill questioning why that wasn't mentioned in the Old Testament considering the compelling nature of the description.
  • Bill references "like f*cking little kids" in relation to some parts of religion.
  • An old movie clip shows a woman in a bikini style top (but set long before bikinis) that shows cleavage.
  • Bill interviews a person who states he's an ex-gay who changed due to Christianity. Saying he's been married (to a woman) for 14 years, Bill then jokes if that means he isn't having sex like in other marriages. We then see a brief clip from some gay porn film where one man (lying nude, face down -- we see his bare butt) tells another man to come over and "get some" as he starts to roll over (but there's no crotch view). Then there's a comment about "ass-less chaps" and some brief footage of scantly clad gay men in gay parades and such. That's followed by talk of Ted Haggard and evangelicals having the best sex, while Bill mentions that man and gay sex and speed. The film then plays the theme from "Brokeback Mountain" while showing footage of Bill and the ex-gay man just sitting there (clothed, separated). Upon Bill leaving, the ex-gay man gives him a hug, with Bill jokingly asking, "You didn't have a hard-on then did you?"
  • About the Jonah and the Whale tale, Bill jokes about that some religious people say it wasn't really a whale, but a fish. He then jokes about people spending time in tuna and coming out smelling like "p*ssy" but feeling fantastic.
  • Bill jokes that Hollywood likes something it hasn't seen before, like a virgin.
  • We see a cartoon version of Adam and Eve, both apparently nude (only seen from the waist up, with her hair covering her chest). We then see a clip of Adam stroking his removed rib, with the film making it look masturbatory.
  • An actor playing Jesus tells Bill that some people use sex and drugs to try to fill the hole in their hearts, with Bill jokingly asking, "Can I try?"
  • Bill meets with ex-Mormons who describe the church's belief in God's "sexual relationship with Mary" while the film shows an old film clip of man sucking on a woman's naked breast. No nipple is seen, but the man's activity is very lascivious.
  • A still photo of a gay pride parade shows an overweight man's naked chest.
  • Bill goes to a Muslim gay bar where he and others discuss anal sex. Bill says Islam seems to not be against homosexuality but against the acts, and that without being able to "put your thing in the naughty place," he says, "all you have left is the blow job."
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Bill comments on an outline of a male figure in the English countryside with a "sizable erection," adding that it's sizable for the English (we see the outline). He then comments on those who've maintained that hill drawing and its giant space penis.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Bill discusses how crazy it is to think you can talk to God," while the film shows courtroom footage of a woman charged with killing her children (a phone tape has her saying, "I just killed my boys" and she cries in court). Her defense is that she thought God told her to do it.
  • Footage from Van Gogh's film shows a woman talking about her husband's abuse. Her face, in close-up, is bruised and bloodied.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The film and Bill Maher's view of religion and questioning the absolute certainty of religious faith. In short, he pits faith vs. doubt and skepticism.
  • The comment that the only thing worse than prophecy is self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • The comment that religion is selling an invisible product and thus is too easy.
  • The fact that Bill is half Catholic and half Jewish, but was raised Catholic.
  • There's brief talk about Bill's parents quitting the Catholic church over its stance on birth control.
  • Bill questions the things that man added to the Bible story between the Old and New Testaments.
  • Bill questioning the Christian belief of needing to believe in God and Jesus in order to be saved.
  • The comment that 93% of one group of scientists who belong to one organization are agnostics or atheists.
  • There's discussion about the virgin birth and Bill questioning why that wasn't mentioned in the Old Testament considering the compelling nature of the description.
  • Bill questions how smart people can believe in the literal word of the Bible, such as the talking snake and the 900-year-old man.
  • An old clip shows a person smacking another.
  • Bill questions a Christian that if the latter believes he'll be in a better place when dead, why he doesn't just kill himself.
  • Bill questioning how God got wrapped up in American politics.
  • The film showing that various Founding Fathers were against religion and that Thomas Jefferson rewrote the Bible, removing the miracle and other fantastic elements.
  • The talk of people who don't believe in religion fearing a backlash if their stance was known.
  • The comment that of the Ten Commandments, only two deal with acts that are against the law.
  • The comment that many people have died in the name of religion.
  • The comment that 16% of Americans aren't interested or don't believe in religion and God.
  • The belief among some Christians that dinosaurs and people coexisted in the past.
  • Scriptures vs. science and when they came about, with the argument being that Scriptures thus can't contain science.
  • About Christian theology seemingly having more than one god (referring to the Holy Trinity), an actor playing Jesus says it's one God in different forms, just like water, ice and vapor all being from the same entity.
  • Scientology.
  • Speaking in tongues.
  • Bill visits a rabbi who is "not a Zionist," feels frustrated because the rabbi won't let him talk, and tries to argue with him about his attending a Holocaust-deniers' conference (footage shows the rabbi embracing Ahmadinejad at the conference).
  • Bill, in the car, recalls a moment when he made a deal with God, because he was having "a sh*tty problem in my life."
  • Bill asks whether you can dissent in Islam, then cites the 1989 fatwa against Salman Rushdie.
  • Various religions' view of homosexuality.
  • The belief in the End of Days.
  • Bill states that religion must die for mankind to survive.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a terrorist explosion.
  • We see another terrorist explosion.
  • We see brief war footage involving machine guns and dropping bombs, etc.
  • During references to Jesus, the film shows a brief old black and white clip of the crucifixion.
  • From Holy Land Theme Park, there's a reenactment of the Walk to Calvary, with Jesus' body and face very bloody (fake blood). He falls, and the Roman guards hit him with sticks (all an act).
  • We see terrorist explosions.
  • A man's hair accidentally catches on fire (just a bit and he otherwise appears unharmed).
  • We briefly see a clip of one of the hijacked planes crashing into one of the World Trade Center towers.
  • We briefly see footage of the Hindenburg crashing and burning, a helicopter falling off an aircraft carrier, and the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding. We also see various terrorist explosions, bombs being dropped and such.
  • We briefly see various dead bodies following an unseen explosion.
  • We see more terrorist explosions.



  • Reviewed September 24, 2008 / Posted October 3, 2008

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Assassin] [It] [mother!]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.