(We have seen the movie and are going to be free with sharing any part of the plot relevant to our points throughout this review, just so you know!)
The worst thing about the Noah movie was how it depicted God - referred to as "The Creator" throughout the film. The God in the movie gives Noah limited information about what will happen and leaves him in confusion about how to fulfill His plans. By the resolution of the movie, it's been "made clear" that "God" did this on purpose, so as to allow Noah himself to make the decision about what would be the outcome of mankind. The movie puts mercy strictly in the hand of Noah - stripping "God" of it almost completely. Noah's wife reiterates that their family is "good" because they have "love in their hearts", and "Isn't that all you need to be good?", she asks. Noah - who rightly sees the wickedness within all of them - understands that it would be just if God chose for them to die. What the movie fails to show is it was God's mercy that saved Noah, his family, and mankind. In the film, in not murdering his grandchildren, it is Noah who is shown to be merciful, not God, and Noah's mercy is made out as potentially disobedient to God.
In truth, God's mercy towards mankind is completed in the work of bringing Jesus Christ through the lineage of Noah. When you read the biblical text, you get a sense of the hope within the story - hope which points to and is realized in the death and resurrection of Jesus - who was foreshadowed even at the fall of Adam and Eve. There is little hope in the resolution of the Noah movie, and there is no allusion to a coming savior. (As a Jewish atheist, one wouldn't expect this from Aronofsky, but even he would know that God was preserving the line of Noah in order to bring the Messiah.)
Many have spoken of the environmental slant of the film, and the truth is that we get a glimpse of what radical environmentalism does look like in the lunacy of Noah in the second half of the film. His desire is only to see the animals and creation saved and preserved in a state untouched by humans. Noah values animal life over human life - like some of the proponents of the environmental movement today. Aronofsky paints an accurate picture of the logical outworking of radical environmentalism. The scene of Noah climbing the ladder and walking along the top of the ark with the look of a crazed madman with a knife in hand to kill his grand-daughters is an insight into the dark thoughts of some radical environmentalists.
Noah's apparent 180 with regards to the preservation of mankind is not only unbiblical, but it doesn't even make sense within the context of the film. Noah sees the wickedness of man and recognizes it in both himself and each of his individual family members and without much explanation this leads him to decide God wants the human race to end with them, and it is Noah's duty to kill anyone who may foil "God's plan" - even if they are his own grandchildren.
This creates the major theological issue discussed earlier - that God, as depicted in the movie, has apparently left judgement and mercy both in the hands of Noah and is taking a "hands off" approach to the whole ordeal. When Noah spares his grand-daughters, he believes he is going against God's will. This problem is apparently resolved when his daughter-in-law explains to him that when God chose Noah to build the ark, He was also choosing him to decide whether or not to destroy mankind or to let it continue. In Scripture we see something quite to the contrary. God chose Noah because he was a just and righteous man. God instructed Noah to bring his sons and their wives onto the ark, and the first instruction He gives them when they leave the ark is to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." (Genesis 9:1 and similarly in Genesis 9:7). So we see that it was God's plan from the start for Noah and his family to be saved and to continue to procreate. Nowhere in Scripture do we see the idea that God created the earth to be free of mankind. Though a popular idea in some circles, it is strictly anti-biblical.
When we exchange the truth of God's plan for mankind with the lie of population control we get ugly things like "gendercide". It is only too common in India, China and becoming more common here in North America and was depicted in the film when Noah planned to kill his grandchildren only if they were girls. Having recently known the joy of birthing a baby girl, we cannot imagine the pain which endures in cultures where the knowledge that one is carrying a girl may be the worst thing you could hear - because it means your daughter will be murdered before she's born (or shortly after). Anyone who was disturbed by the film Noah's decision to murder his grandchildren because they are girls, but supports abortion, should question why they support a form of execution which has been the tool of choice in the capital punishment of well over 100 million (The Economist, March 2010) baby girls whose only crime was to be a girl. The term capital punishment is used intentionally, though loosely, because in almost all cases, the state condones the execution. (This also applies to feminists who support abortion - you can't support the abortion of babies but not support the abortion of girl babies - it just doesn't make sense. If you think otherwise, please try to make a coherent argument for it in the comments.)
While we're on the topic of women, just note that throughout the film it is the women who consistently are the most compassionate, wise, and insightful characters. We believe, of course, that women can be all these things - but so can men. Could this be another subtle attempt within the feminist agenda to discredit men as foolish, crazy or unfeeling? (Read this.)
You've probably already heard about the rock watchers... Some are saying they are inspired by the "sons of God" or the "giants" from Genesis 6, but really we don't see angels encased in rock anywhere in Scripture. More so, the whole idea that God would use disobedient angels to save mankind (and then forgive and redeem them) is contradictory to what we know of God's dealing with men and angels.
We could spend all night listing inaccuracies but here are a few more:
1. There was no need for numerous animals of the same kind to be on the ark, because natural selection gives us all the different species in a specific kind. Can a reasonable engineer, mathematician, or zoologist believe that all the animals we see in the world today could have come from ancestors that together fit in the ark? Yes!
2. There were 8 people who entered the ark - Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives - and Noah was clearly instructed to bring them.
3. Though it is true that men did not eat meat before the flood, the movie failed to show that God allowed them to eat meat after the flood - he did not expect them to be perpetual vegetarians.
The one major thing we feel was done well is that the depravity of mankind was clearly displayed. Man sinned in the garden, choosing his own ways over God's ways. This led to toil, pain, death and murder, to the point where "every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5) In the movie girls are sold for food. This is the kind of world that God in His justice chose to destroy. We also see that even after the flood, sin was still in the world - as it is today. You only have to read a few verses after the flood has ended to see Noah's drunkenness and Ham's wrongdoing. Again, what the movie fails to show is God's redemptive power in the face of such wickedness.
Two BAD Reasons to See the Noah Movie"A secular studio has spent hundreds of millions of dollars telling a Bible story - we should support them!" But if they butcher the plot, twist the characters, and make a heresy of God, the hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in deceiving millions of people. Support studios that make Christian films which are true to the Bible.
"You need to see it so you'll have a conversation starter with unsaved friends." Here's a better way you can start a conversation with unsaved friends: like Noah, live a life of radical righteousness. Show Christlike love to your wife. Respect and honour your husband. Raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Take care of the poor and needy in your community. Love your enemies. These sort of counter-cultural actions, done in obedience and out of love for Christ, will give you ample opportunities to explain why you do what you do.
In ConclusionThe sad thing is that this movie had great potential. A talented cast and team coupled with a truly great, moving, and awesome true story can make for a potent combination. It was sad to leave the theater knowing that such an opportunity had been missed.
We don't recommend the film. But we pray that God will raise up men and women who will take dominion even over the film industry - using it as a tool to bring glory to God and shine forth the truth of Scripture and the gospel to many.
1 out of 4 stars from the Who Can Stand movie critics. Don't waste your money on this.
We also recommend reading The Bigger Problem with the Noah Movie by Growing Home.
(Linked up at Growing Home, The Modest Mom, Raising Homemakers, Walking Redeemed, Raising Arrows, Raising Mighty Arrows, and Graced Simplicity, Thrive @ Home, Serving Joyfully)