Order, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

In this thriller, Alex Bernier (Heath Ledger) is a Catholic priest on the fringe of the church. A member of a dying order, Alex is obsessed with the knowledge of the mystic, secret truths of the church. But when he is called upon to mourn and investigate the suicide of his mentor, Dominique, he finds reason to believe that the death was not self-inflicted. Instead, there is evidence that a "Sin Eater" ( Benno Furmann) performed an ancient ritual designed to grant absolution to unrepentant sinners apart from the power of God and the church. The Sin Eater accomplishes this feat by taking the burden of a person's sin upon himself at the moment before death. With a mystery before him, and the forces of church politics and various sinister powers working against them, Alex and his cohorts, Mara (Shannyn Sossamon) and Thomas (Mark Addy), seek out the god-like Sin Eater, trying to determine who he is and what he plans.

The Order is a film that should persuade viewers, Christian or non-Christian, to think about and discuss salvation, Christ and the church. The film's portrayal of these is more representative of historical Roman Catholic theology than biblical theology; salvation is presented as a matter of one's relationship to the church and sin as something that needs to be counteracted with the merits of religious rituals, whether orthodox or heretical. The Sin Eater is a man who takes the place of Christ and is even called "the other", as in the other one who can save us. He makes decisions about his victim's eternal destiny based upon profitability and whims rather than faith, which is mentioned only superficially in contrast with knowledge . In addition to provocative religious elements, The Order includes violence, sexuality and obscene language that earn it negative acceptability marks.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times. mild 4

Obscene Language: Several (5) times. F-word 3, S-word 2

Profanity: None

Violence: Many (10+) times. moderate (man stabbed to death, depictions of pain during "sin eating", man hanged, man commits suicide, woman shown bloody and dying, man throws items in a home, man is punctured by nails, man shoots gun at people, man is thrown by demons, man is nearly drowned, men fight and struggle)

Sex: Once (man and woman shown under covers and kissing)

Nudity: Once - mild (brief side view of woman's breast)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few (2) times - m ild (1) (man refers to being in bed with a woman); strong - 1 (man refe rs to having intercourse using F-word)

Drugs: Few times - mild (alcohol use)

Other: Portrayal of demons; regular references to exorcisms , supernatural powers and mystical elements of the Catholic church; provocative and unbiblical portrayal of sin and punishment; unbiblical portrayal of God as uncaring; portrays knowledge as the enemy of faith

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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