The Monk
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A supernatural thriller adapted from Matthew G. Lewis' (now cult) 1796 gothic novel, THE MONK traces the corruption of a 16th Century, pious Capuchin Monk. Abandoned at birth at the gates of a Capuchin monastery in Madrid, Brother Ambrosio (Vincent Cassel), raised by the friars, grows up into a preacher admired far and wide for his fervor. Ambrosio is feared for his righteousness and believes he is immune from temptation - until the arrival of a mysterious apprentice undermines his convictions and leads him down a dangerous path of sin, corruption and murder.(c)

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A work whose elegant atmospherics ultimately overwhelm the story, even with the terrific Vincent Cassel in the title role."
‑ Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
"If only director Dominik Moll (who has clearly studied his Luis Buñuel) had not staged this bitter psychological horror story at half speed."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"This is a fascinating character study about spirituality and religious responsibility that smartly doesn't take its more melodramatic elements very seriously."
‑ Todd Jorgenson,
"Not to be mistaken for a serious treatment of religious fervor or clerical corruption, "The Monk" is instead a knowingly over-the-top bit of gothic nuttiness."
‑ Marc Mohan, Oregonian
"Vincent Cassel does his utmost to make his character intense and compelling, but negligible character development means he fails to hold our interest."
‑ Christopher Tookey, Daily Mail [UK]
"What repulsed Coleridge in the novel clearly amuses the French director Dominik Moll in his diverting if somewhat thin adaptation."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"A beautiful-looking film that portends disaster. And disaster arrives, eventually. It just takes its time getting there."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"I confess: I fast-forwarded through most of it."
‑ Staci Layne Wilson, Yahoo! Movies
"It's garish and crazy (and in French), so it's probably not for everyone. But I can't imagine anyone getting bored."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"All talk, no action, The Monk looks good but is weighed down by the Catholic guilt it's trying to critique."
‑ , Film4
"By the end, "The Monk" has revealed itself to be a too- predictable potboiler, served piping hot."
‑ Soren Anderson, Seattle Times
"Not bad for a robe-ripper along the lines of The Thorn Birds, but Diary of a Country Priest it ain't."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Dominik Moll never addresses Matthew Gregory Lewis's original groundbreaking ideas in The Monk, nor does he rework the material for a contemporary audience."
‑ Tina Hassannia, Slant Magazine
"Moll's careful direction ensures a balance of the supernatural and the temporal - Ambrosio could either be seen as a victim of demonic forces within his own monastery or the sole architect of his moral downfall."
‑ Mary Clare Waireri, Fan The Fire
"Studded with lovely painterly images, but ends up feeling cramped and stagey."
‑ Andrew Osmond, SFX Magazine
More reviews for The Monk on Rotten Tomatoes