Stigmata (1999)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
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Overall Rating 62%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,759
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When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: April 27, 2004
Father Kiernan is both a scientist and a priest. He was originally an organic biologist, but after coming to the conclusion that life had to have started by a higher force, he turned to the priesthood. Now, he spends his days working for the Vatican, by going to various locations in the world and investigating religious phenomenon. The first such incident he investigates (in the movie) is the face of the Virgin Mary on the side of a wall in Brazil. This is found to be nothing more than condensation, but while in this particular town, he learns of a statue that has started crying blood after the main priest of this church died. He investigates this as well, and can find no logical explanation for it. While he's taking pictures and talking to the new priest of this church, a local kid sneakily steals the rosary out of the dead priests hand and scampers off, only to sell this rosary off to a tourist. The tourist sends the rosary to her daughter Frankie in Pittsburgh, who isn't too interested in it and tosses it aside. A few days later, as she's taking a bath, she is assaulted by an unseen force that drives holes through her wrists. Some more things happen, but I don't want to spoil too much, and Kiernan is sent to investigate this case as well. He finds that Frankie is suffering from Stigmata, which is where deeply religious people suffer the wounds of Christ, but this case is particularly special....

This was actually quite the nice movie. Obviously, it wasn't huge on the action and focused more on storyline and dialogue, but it never slowed down to the point of being boring. Every time the plot would start to slow down and it seemed like things were winding down, another twist was thrown in to liven things up a bit, and it worked out quite swell in the end result.

Being that this movie is so heavily based on religious themes, I was expecting a lot of subtle "God Is Good" messages to be thrown around, and was quite pleasantly surprised to find that this wasn't the case. I mean, the entire movie was about Catholics and the church, but it was pretty neutral about the whole religion thing. Make sense? I sure hope so, but regardless, don't dismiss this one if you're not the most religious person, as it is quite good.

The acting by Patricia Arquette is very pleasant in this movie, as it seems to be in all the movies I've seen her in. She plays her role quite convincingly throughout, and never breaks out of her character, which, again, is a very good thing. The priest (Gabriel Byrne) was a bit drab in some spots, but Patricia covered his ass quite nicely when needed. Suppose that would go along with his whole priest role, but eh.

The special effects, though pretty rare, were excellently done. The various wounds that Frankie suffered were done up nicely, nothing too overdone, but they didn't shy away from the blood either. The later scenes, when she's more heavily possessed, were also great and visually appealing to myself.

Overall, a pretty nice flick with some thought-raising ideas behind it. Even I, an atheist, thoroughly enjoyed it. 8/10.
TheShowerScene #1: TheShowerScene - added 04/09/2005, 12:12 PM
Honestly, this movie is insane. It can somehow change your life and think so much more about what you do and how you do it.
blasphemous girl #2: blasphemous girl - added 04/16/2005, 12:11 AM
i agree with TSS. this is a very good movie.. it makes you think about the world.. and what you believe .. occult things like this fascinate me.
. #3: . - added 09/13/2005, 09:15 PM
I thought this was going to be a run of the mill horror. I was quite happy when it was surprisingly good.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added 10/18/2005, 09:54 PM
OH NO -- Patricia Arquette has stigmata. Pitty that doesn't come with acting lessons. 2/10.
danimigra #5: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 05:29 PM
i love this one... i enjoyed so much... 8/10 is enought for sure.
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