Act of God
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Documentarian Jennifer Baichwal helmed this reflective documentary that ponders the spiritual, emotional, and metaphysical ramifications of being struck by a lightning bolt. According to the National Weather Service, the odds of this incident befalling any given person are about one in 700,000, which makes many a survivor question why he or she fell prey to this unusual calamity; some infer a cosmic reason, some reject that possibility, but most fall somewhere in between as they feebly attempt to come to terms with it. In the film, Baichwal speaks with a number of well-known victims, including… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An undeniably provocative head-trip, laced with the most spectacular lightning-storm footage I've ever seen."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir,
"The approach matches up with the metaphysical aspects astonishingly well; the force of such ambient explorations hits you, surprisingly like a bolt out of the blue."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"An alluring documentary about the shocking power and mystery of lightning in human experience."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The wishy-washy rotation of characters strands us in the center of the film's complex topic without much aside from useless meditation on the fierce numinousness of nature to keep us company."
‑ Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
"Philosophically ripe but cinematically undercooked."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"Baichwal is the least judgmental of interviewers, which is a double-edged sword when the solemn testimony ("I had come to meet me") induces a barely resistible urge to laugh."
‑ Ella Taylor, Village Voice
"A mildly engaging documentary that feels somewhat incomplete without enough insight, revelations and thorough analysis. Ultimately, it doesn't quite find the right balance between entertaining the audience and provoking them intellectually."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"Thanks to filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, the after effects of these 1-in-700,000-odds' strikes are brought into horrifically mesmerizing view and accompanied by a music track ... that magically reinforces the storytelling."
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
"Neither filtered through nor structured around another artist's work, and suffers from the lack of a unifying vision, its parts greater than the whole."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
""It changed my way of looking at the world," says one of the survivors. That's not a bad description of the movie itself."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Interlaces spectacular visuals with meaty chatter by various luminaries and laymen talking about life after being struck by lightning."
‑ Matthew Nestel, Boxoffice Magazine
"Act of God fearlessly approaches the natural and the supernatural, and the result is visceral, intellectual, heartbreaking, delightful and instructive, all at once."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
More reviews for Act of God on Rotten Tomatoes