Joshua (2001)

"Good"

Joshua (2001) Review


Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two structures to get their message across: 1) Outsider comes to a sleepy town and wakes it up with his message of love and compassion or ability to perform miracles. Or 2) Armageddon arrives, the saved ascend to heaven, and the poor saps left on earth suffer through hell.

Fortunately Joshua is the former, and it's probably the most mainstream release to ever make it to theaters. With stars Tony Goldwyn, F. Murray Abraham, and Stacy Edwards, this is a classy production. Not only is the acting credible and the production values high (they even trek to Rome for the finale), but the story isn't all bad either. It's actually pretty simple: A man named Joshua (Tony Goldwyn) wanders into the sleepy town of Auburn one evening, rents a barn to live in, and promptly starts rebuilding the recently-burned-down Baptist church, unbidden by its parishioners. Meanwhile, the local Catholics take an interest in the cryptic man, employing him to carve a wooden statue.

But soon the Catholic Father Tardone (F. Murray Abraham) starts to get a bad vibe from Joshua. For starters he questions Tardone's sermons invoking the wrath of God, but when Joshua starts healing the blind and resurrecting the dead, well, Tardone gets mighty peeved. Joshua even converts Father Pat (the inimitable Kurt Fuller) right out of his Catholic priest's collar. Eventually an audience with the Pope himself is extended, where we will learn the truth about Joshua once and for all. Or do we?

Directed by Jon Purdy, who wrote The Guyver and previously helmed Unabomber: The True Story, it would be easy to shrug Joshua off as a budget production from a bunch of overzealous hacks. But putting its incredibly simplistic and single-minded plot aside, Joshua has enough going for it to earn a qualified recommendation. Goldwyn is winsome in the title role (though I always prefer him as the villain), and Abraham is characteristically good, playing Salieri to Goldwyn's Mozart. Fuller and Edwards round out the supporting cast imicably.

But at it's heart, Joshua is still a movie about religious mysticism, and it thusly absolves itself from having to make total sense. After all, when you resurrect a dead man, Hard Copy should come a-knocking, no? The ending makes no sense, either, serving only as a way to get to the credits. There's nothing left to think about or ponder, only a slap to the back of the head with a 2x4.

After all, a religious picture that really challenged old beliefs or, heaven forbid, made you think? Well, that would be a miracle.

Jesus rocks!



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Jon Purdy

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.