Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky has experimented with most genres over the course of his career, from brainy freak-out ('Pi') to gritty self-discovery ('The Wrestler') by way of intense drama ('Requiem for a Dream'), personal sci-fi odyssey ('The Fountain') and psychological horror ('Black Swan'). We've learned long ago to stop expecting what he'd tackle next, but no one saw the biblical epic on his to-do list.
Russell Crowe Plays The Titular Ark-Builder In Darren Aronofsky's Biblical Epic.
Indeed, Noah isn't the usual biblical epic. Aronofsky has completely jettisoned the style of more reverential films for something much darker and more complex. It has understandably divided critics; some find it bloated and uneven, while others see something deep and provocative. But the one group that seems unsure what to make of it is America's notoriously powerful religious subculture.
More: Read our 'Noah' review.
This is the group that propelled films like Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and Sandra Bullock's Oscar-winning The Blind Side to huge box office success. And yet this time they aren't taking quite such a united approach. Some admire Aronofsky's intelligent approach to a timeless story of faith, while others are horrified at the way he has expanded the brief account in Genesis into a two-hour 20-minute blockbuster, complete with a creation sequence that shows evolution theory in time-lapse.
The film topped the box office in America last weekend and expands around the world this week, so moviegoing fans will get the last word.
More: 'Noah' Storms Debut Box Office, Riding Wave Of Controversy To No.1.
Watch The 'Noah' Trailer: