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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Silence (3/28/2017)

Rated R for some disturbing violent content.

Starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Todd's Rating: Theatre Worthy

Dynamic ImageThis is Martin Scorsese’s religious epic about missionaries in 1640 Japan.

Silence tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

This is a powerful film about faith, devotion and martyrdom…things that many in today’s western Christian culture know little about. While “Christian movies” like God’s Not Dead and Facing the Giants give audiences sugary, happy endings, Scorsese makes the audience wrestle with their own convictions while they watch the characters wrestle with theirs. He also makes the audience extremely uncomfortable with the “What do I do when God is silent?” question.

Which is the question Rodrigues finds himself asking time and time again. He watches Christians being tortured and murdered by Japanese authorities. He wonders how God can remain silent in the face of so much suffering, or indeed whether God exists at all and all these people are dying for nothing. Although Rodrigues is prepared to die for his beliefs, watching others die becomes more and more difficult. Especially when he is forced to watch Christians who are hung upside-down in pits and slowly bled to death.

Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver both deliver incredibly powerful performances. Whether they are preaching or suffering, I was hanging on their every word. And although Liam Neeson is on the movie poster, he has a smaller role…but that in no way lessens his impact on the film.

Scorsese masterfully tells this gut wrenching story and the cast deliver powerful performances. The movie runs well over two hours, but the pace and intensity keep the audience engaged the entire time. Silence is “Worth Buying.”

There is no sex, nudity or profanity, but the violence is very difficult to watch. Men, women, and children are burned alive, beheaded, drowned and tortured. It is a mature story that is very disturbing but also very powerful.

  1. Why did the Christians die for their faith?

  2. Read 2 Timothy 2:9-14

      And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.

      This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.

      Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.

  3. Why was Paul “willing to endure anything”?

  4. How did the Christians in the film endure hardships and remain faithful?

  5. How can you endure hardships and remain faithful?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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