Critic Reviews



Based on 10 critic reviews provided by
Rooney Mara and Theo James deliver their most richly nuanced screen work to date in the drama, a memory piece whose true subject is Ireland’s tangled, bloody history and the Church’s toxic paternalism toward women.
It is an elegantly crafted, expertly acted old-fashioned weepie that manages to sell a whopper of a plot that would bring a blush to the cheeks of Nicholas Sparks.
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The Secret Scripture is a film with a lot to say, which struggles with the best way to say it.
Sheridan’s take on the material is solidly made but sorely lacking in subtlety.
A classic case of a literary adaptation capturing the high-gloss trappings of its source without getting a handle on its story or themes, The Secret Scripture is like a nicely decorated Craftsman home built on a foundation of Jell-O, with a toilet where the kitchen sink should be. It looks nice on first glance, but spend any time there, and things start to get messy.
A maudlin adaptation hampered by low energy and lapses of logic, The Secret Scripture does a disservice to the book it is based on, and the Irish history it plunders.
A variously lukewarm and lugubrious melodrama adapted from a 2008 novel by Sebastian Barry.
The ending of this movie is monumentally, historically, even catastophically bad. Its big reveal is so mind-numbingly asinine that it nearly retroactively erases any intelligence you may have had before watching this movie. Yes, it’s that agonizing.
The plot structure is convoluted and all-too familiar, leaving almost no trace of originality or curiosity at the table.
So the cast is talented, the director has a decent track record and of course ‘The Secret Scripture’ looks pretty, in a picture-postcard sort of way. But the script is painful, not just horribly clichéd but trite, directionless and unaccountably pleased with itself.

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