The Christian Broadcasting Network

Entertainment

Right Now: Get the Superbook Bible App for Kids!

Explore

Blog

Email Updates

Latest entertainment articles and reviews. Subscribe

Weekly CBN.com top stories and videos. Subscribe



Wes Bentley in There Be Dragons

Popcorn Rating

Very Good

 

Movie Info

RATING:

Rated PG-13

GENRE:

Drama, War

DVD RELEASE:

Jan. 10, 2012

STARRING:

Charlie Cox, Dougray Scott, Wes Bentley, Rodrigo Santoro, Olga Kurylenko, Derek Jacobi

DIRECTOR:

Roland Joffé

DISTRIBUTOR:

Samuel Goldwyn

More on this movie at IMDb.com

 

Buy a copy of There Be Dragons on DVD

There Be Dragons: An Interview with Director Roland Joffé

Photos from There Be Dragons

 

Please Note:
In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.
CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW

There Be Dragons

By Hannah Goodwyn
CBN.com Senior Producer


CBN.com - A soul-stirring story paralleling sheer faith and staunch disbelief, There Be Dragons is a cinematic lesson of two men forever affected by the violent Spanish Civil War. Critically-acclaimed filmmaker Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission) tells a fictional story based on the true events surrounding the war and the life of Josemaria Escriva, the controversial founder of Opus Dei. Limitedly released in theaters last summer, this new faith-focused film is set to release on DVD on January 10, 2012.

Taken from the Latin phrase written on ancient maps (“Hic Sunt Dracones”), There Be Dragons explores the dark demons man fights within himself and the hope found in a surrendering faith in God.

THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE

On a trip researching a book he's writing about St. Josemaria Escriva, investigative journalist Robert Torres returns to Spain to interview his father. Not knowing much about his father's past or the extent of his connection with Escriva, Torres is met with resistance as Manolo prefers to keep his checkered past quiet. Dark secrets are soon revealed about Manolo's past with his former friend Josemaria. Haunted by his sins, Manolo exposes repressed hurts while telling his story and that of Escriva, who was steadfastly faithful to God even through the darkest of circumstances.

THE GOOD AND BAD IN THERE BE DRAGONS

Without being preachy, director Roland Joffé tells an incredible story of faith and forgiveness in There Be Dragons. Actions always speak louder than words; and that’s true for the emotive action in this film. Joffé, who also wrote the film’s script, takes it steps further, offering dialogue that evokes the soul. An agnostic, Joffé does an incredible job of encompassing some of the most important teachings of Jesus Christ in this Hollywood movie.

Matched with St. Josemaria Escriva’s faith on screen is the fictional Manolo Torres’ hatred and bitterness. Manolo's life clearly represents how darkness and unhealed wounds can destroy a man. It’s night and day looking at these two characters, inexplicably showing how faith can free a man while also showing how cynical doubt can keep one captive.

This spiritually-inclined film joins the famed director with a skillfull cast, featuring Charlie Cox as Escriva and Wes Bentley as Manolo. Cox (Boardwalk Empire) and Bentley (American Beauty) genuinely capture the essence of these two complicated, developing characters. Rodrigo Santoro (300), Dougray Scott (Ever After), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) and Derek Jacobi (The King’s Speech) appear in supporting roles.

For a movie made by mostly unbelievers, There Be Dragons comes across as a pro-Christianity film. It should be known that the film does center on Catholicism. Josemaria Escriva's history is quite controversial with regards to some of the practices of Opus Dei (“Work of God”), the religious group Escriva founded. One particular scene shows Charlie Cox, as Josemaria Escriva, inflicting pain upon himself, as is a reported Opus Dei practice called self-flagellation.

Though the film follows Escriva's story, it does not feel like a biopic intended to solely honor this priest's life. There Be Dragons goes beyond his story to where you don't even realize your watching his story as you begin to reflect on how faith and forgiveness is lived out in your own spiritual life. Joffé's film reaches deeper levels, touching on the cost of sin and the reach of forgiveness, darkness struggling against the light. It leaves the viewer asking the very question posed at the beginning of the film as it referenced Spain's civil war: whose side are you on?

Rated PG-13 mostly for war violence and foul language, There Be Dragons contains inappropriate material for children.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE DVD EXTRAS

DVD watchers will be pleasantly surprised to find a testimonial video featuring actor Wes Bentley. In the extras clip, Bentley opens up about his former alcohol and drug addiction and how he got sober and returned to his faith during the filming of There Be Dragons. The special features also includes deleted scenes from the film.

IN THE END

Controversy aside, There Be Dragons is an admirable modern-day parable about consequences. Navigating the same turmoil during the Spanish Civil War, Josemaria and Manolo’s lives end very differently. It’s a reminder of how much faith – or the lack of it – guides our lives.

Get There Be Dragons on DVD

For more reviews like this one, sign up to receive CBN.com's Entertainment email update.


Hannah GoodwynHannah Goodwyn serves as the Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.

E-mail me!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.  

  • Translate
  • Print Page


CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

Email iconSign up for E-mail Updates Full List

 E-mail: 
Do You Know Jesus
Grow In Your Faith

Need Prayer?

Call 1-800-823-6053
Email your prayer request