Agora

Agora

Agora

Historial drama set in Roman Egypt, centered on Hypatia (Rachel Weisz), history’s first recorded female mathematician-philosopher and atheist. She lived in Alexandria during the 4th century, in the waning days of the Roman Empire. The daughter of the last director of the famed Library of Alexandria, she was known foremost as a brilliant theorist in astronomy, but 5th-century texts also speak of her forthright participation in public life and her 'extraordinary dignity and virtue'.

As she studies the mysteries of the universe, the paganism of its Roman rulers is being aggressively challenged by the recently legitimised Christians. Alejandro Amenábar’s extravagantly mounted account of Hypatia’s struggle stars Rachel Weisz and a cast of thousands. All hail the first historical epic to swirl around a heroine whose great virtue is her charismatic rationalism. (New Zealand International Film Festival 2010)

2009Rating: M, contains violence120 minsSpain
AdventureDramaRomanceHistorical
Director:
Alejandro Amenábar ('The Sea Inside', 'The Others', 'Open Your Eyes')
Writer:
Alejandro AmenábarMateo Gil
Cast:
Rachel WeiszMax MinghellaOscar IsaacAshraf BarhomRupert Evans
34%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Doesn't quite add up to something entertaining

An interesting but often frustrating effort by the director of The Sea Inside, who proves that ambition and talent aren't enough to ensure a compelling drama.

2.0
0

not great

good if you like Rachel Weisz. nice costumes and sets, not great story

3.0
0

Another opinion entirely......

It's clear this isn't everyones kind of movie - hell, Morbane even wrote a negative review, despite failing to hang around for the drama-filled second half . But I'm especially surprised at Hutch's review above. In my opinion Agora is a very solid watch. I'm amazed Hutch found it shallow and soapish. I'm more with Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw, who called...

4.0
0

Hollow and of little essence

I was probably setting myself up to be disappointed due to the trumpeting and advertising alleging that a powerful, deep and highly significant recounting of a remarkable period of history was being portrayed. The reality for me was that this was a shallow, soap-ish portrayal of little apparent depth, about a remarkable and powerful era in Middle-East /...

2.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

The mother of all secular humanists fights a losing battle against freshly minted religious zealots in Agora, a visually imposing, high-minded epic that ambitiously puts one of the pivotal moments in Western history onscreen for the first time.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

High-minded and ambitious, Agora is also resplendent and rich, full of striking images. A pity then it’s all such hard work: laboured plotting, heavy-handed dialogue and about as much direction as a broken compass.

3.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

A bit of a puzzle. This is a good thing, since most movies plop down in easily recognizable categories and stay there, troubling neither their own intellectual inertia nor that of the audience.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

This is a movie about ideas, a drama based on the ancient war between science and superstition. At its center is a woman who in the fourth century A.D. was a scientist, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and teacher, respected in Egypt, although women were not expected to be any of those things.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

The subject is absorbing, but the lack of differentiation in dramatic levels makes the film feel longer than its 126 minutes.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

It is a pleasure to see Weisz's scenes of scientific inquiry, which capture the passion of research and discovery without artifice or pretension. That the scientist is a woman makes it all the more engaging.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Always intelligent and thought-provoking, it's a welcome return from Amenábar.

3.0
0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

Weisz makes for a vivid, charismatic Hypatia, but the script lets her down.

0
Variety

Variety

press

The mother of all secular humanists fights a losing battle against freshly minted religious zealots in Agora, a visually imposing, high-minded epic that ambitiously puts one of the pivotal moments in Western history onscreen for the first time.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

High-minded and ambitious, Agora is also resplendent and rich, full of striking images. A pity then it’s all such hard work: laboured plotting, heavy-handed dialogue and about as much direction as a broken compass.

3.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

A bit of a puzzle. This is a good thing, since most movies plop down in easily recognizable categories and stay there, troubling neither their own intellectual inertia nor that of the audience.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

This is a movie about ideas, a drama based on the ancient war between science and superstition. At its center is a woman who in the fourth century A.D. was a scientist, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and teacher, respected in Egypt, although women were not expected to be any of those things.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

The subject is absorbing, but the lack of differentiation in dramatic levels makes the film feel longer than its 126 minutes.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

It is a pleasure to see Weisz's scenes of scientific inquiry, which capture the passion of research and discovery without artifice or pretension. That the scientist is a woman makes it all the more engaging.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Always intelligent and thought-provoking, it's a welcome return from Amenábar.

3.0
0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

Weisz makes for a vivid, charismatic Hypatia, but the script lets her down.

0

Doesn't quite add up to something entertaining

An interesting but often frustrating effort by the director of The Sea Inside, who proves that ambition and talent aren't enough to ensure a compelling drama.

2.0
0

not great

good if you like Rachel Weisz. nice costumes and sets, not great story

3.0
0

Another opinion entirely......

It's clear this isn't everyones kind of movie - hell, Morbane even wrote a negative review, despite failing to hang around for the drama-filled second half . But I'm especially surprised at Hutch's review above. In my opinion Agora is a very solid watch. I'm amazed Hutch found it shallow and soapish. I'm more with Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw, who...

4.0
0

Hollow and of little essence

I was probably setting myself up to be disappointed due to the trumpeting and advertising alleging that a powerful, deep and highly significant recounting of a remarkable period of history was being portrayed. The reality for me was that this was a shallow, soap-ish portrayal of little apparent depth, about a remarkable and powerful era in Middle-East /...

2.0
0