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Even before its official theatrical release, director Darren Aronofsky’s latest project Noah has attracted mixed reviews from religious communities everywhere. Charles Jenkins, Pastor at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, says “NOAH is a riveting blockbuster. Messages of righteousness, justice, mercy, sacrifice, honor, faithfulness, family, frustration, temptation, depravity, and grace shine through.”  Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, on the other hand, blasted Aronofsky’s response to negative reception the film received during test screenings, citing his use of profanity directed toward “those who want Bible-based (entertainment).”

Aronofsky’s remarks identify exactly what type of movie Noah is intended to be. He referred to it as “the least biblical biblical movie ever made,” with the repetition suggesting that this is not just another Christian film doing its best to accurately retell a gospel story. As a director, Aronofsky has a history of creating artistic and interpretive films, including Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, and Pi. Keeping in mind the director’s intentions for Noah, and remembering to avoid judgment of a movie prior to seeing it, there’s plenty to take away from this new blockbuster. Combining epic battle scenes comparable to Gladiator or Braveheart with biblical source material and a highly acclaimed director, Noah will certainly have its fans. And while the issue of literal adherence to the Bible may be off-putting to some, it may help to keep in mind how much attention this movie will bring to the very source of its content: the Bible.

Noah hits theaters Friday, March 28th.

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