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3.7 out of 5 stars
Bless the Child
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Hey...look a movie where Catholics aren't the villains! No bad priests, no psychotic nuns. For once, the devil is the devil!!!An FBI agent who actually carries a bible and was a former seminarian, but is not fanatical. BLESS THE CHILD worked for me because it was about good vs. evil, and good wins out. Critics blasted the movie, so what? It's an entertaining and ultimately frightening movie with some classic scenes. When Kim Basinger confronts the evil Rufus Sewell who says she wouldn't shoot him in front of her niece, she says "Close your eyes." And when Sewell has the little girl on the roof and mocks the temptation of Jesus by Satan, and tells her to jump from the roof and see if God or his angels rescue her, she sits and says "After you." Jimmy Smits, Ian Holm and Angela Bettis lend expert support and in a brief role, Christina Ricci proves what a dynamic young performer she can be.
Cliches? Not really. The use of the special effects I feel was justifiable and creepy, and uplifting with the angels.
Want a feel good movie? This is it, folks.
There be angels....
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I love movies with religious tones to them, despite not being any which way religious myself. Stigmata and End Of Days, and now this, are excellent examples, although Constantine overdoes it slightly. The trailer gets it totally wrong, and makes it look more like an Exorcist movie, than what it eventually ends up being. Don't think it's going to be an Exorcist movie, it's so much deeper, and I ended up working out what was going to happen quite soon into the movie. So unlike me.

The actors in this also do an excellent job. Everyone raves about gorgeous Kim Basinger is, but they forget she can do plain & ordinary just as well, and pulls it off. Rufus Sewell was perfect for the cult leader he played (with shades of Scientology?), and with those eyes, god I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares after watching this movie! The slight lazy eye makes him stand out from everyone else. Jimmy Smits, wow! For an older guy, he's definitely kept in shape, and looks good! I wasn't sure about Angela Bettis' character. She played it well, don't get me wrong, but from the roles I've seen her in (only this & Girl Interrupted), it's almost like she plays the anorexic, drug-addict very well. Probably cos she's ultra skinny, and needs a good feeding. Christina Ricci should have been in this movie more, as she's an excellent actress, but she's only a couple of scenes, and then gets killed - real or not?! Funky scene though, you'll jump out of your seat at this bit.

The bridge where the car "accident" takes place is actually the Blue Water Bridge between Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan. It was being "twinned" at the time so the whole bridge was closed down for repairs and was available for numerous re-takes. The scenery shots of NYC were then placed in the background, although people who grew up there recognize the shores as being Sarnia and Pt. Huron, respectively, not NYC.

The subway station where the attack on Meg takes place is a "ghost" station on the Toronto subway that is used frequently as a stand in for New York subways. The city's film office wanted to leave it set up as a NYC station but the Toronto fire department nixed that idea. The station is below the Bay station on the Bloor line, on the track connecting the Bloor and Yonge lines. At one time trains went from one line to the other - thus the station - but the practice was discontinued because of switching problems. (There is also a "ghost" station beneath the Queen Street station. It was roughed in 1954 for a planned Queen Street subway which never was built.)

In the original script, a character is deliberately pushed off a subway platform. This had to be changed to an accidental fall before the Toronto Transit Commission would allow filming on its property.

When the candles in the cathedral ignite together, the camera pulls back and Maggie's shirt can be seen blowing, as if the candles were in fact being blown out, and film was run backwards.

The line "the devils greatest trick was convincing man that he didn't exist" is a reference to a similar line in another movie of the same Genre, End of Days (1999). In which Father Kovak (Rod Steiger) says: "Satan's greatest trick was convincing man that he didn't exist.". And also to The Usual Suspects (1995) where the line "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing man that he didn't exist." shows up.

This is also based on a book, which looks good, and I managed to find it in a bookcase in our house soon after getting the DVD, so I might give that a try soon.

I wouldn't believe the bad reviews that you read about this, at least if you think it looks interesting, give it a chance. I enjoyed it, and glad I got it now. Pick it up cheap though.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2003
Bless The Child is a theatrical tribute to the current world's situations plagued by an intoxicating need for quick solutions to problems no matter what the cost. The film shows how some will give up their lives, and their souls, in order to fulfill their needs instead of conquering their battles themselves.
The movie starts with a single and middle-aged Maggie (played by Kim Basinger) meeting her long-lost-sister, Jenna (Angela Bettis) ,who brings, and leaves her newborn to her Brooklyn apartment for her to take care of. Persistent in finding out what is wrong with the child, and disagreeing with the doctor's diagnoses of autism, Maggie places the child, Cody (Holliston Coleman), in a Catholic school where she hopes she will come out of whatever is causing her problems.
A case of murdered children in the area brings federal agent and former seminary student John Travis (Jimmy Smits) to Brooklyn to help the police investigate the murders. With a specialization in occult mysticism, Travis informs the police that they are not dealing with a comic-book psycho, and the crimes are meant to attack God, not man.
Maggie is greeted by her sister once again, six years after her startling departure. She is occupied with her new husband, Erick Stark (Refus Sewell), founder of the New Dawn which provides the city with a rehabilitation center for those who abuse drugs or alcohol. Of course the New Dawn also welcomes those who are confused about who they are, and need some stationary brainwashing. Insisting she is well enough to take care of her child, Maggie is caught off guard with the request of Stark to take Cody with them to their home, promising she would receive the best medical attention under the most prestige's doctors. When Maggie declines their request, she learns Cody has been kidnapped.
Maggie quickly goes to the police station and explains what has happened but insisting it is a social worker's custody issue, she is blown off. Detective Travis ushers her back to his office and explains that he has had an eye on Stark for some time, but protected by the best lawyers-he is legally well-protected. Frustrated, Maggie leaves the office and ventures into Stark's New Dawn building to solve her problem herself. Littered by "There is no God, but you" pamphlets, Maggie acts interested so she may e-mail Stark directly on one of the message boards, requesting another conference with him.
Experiencing some exhaustion from the current circumstances, Maggie walks into one of the rooms at the hospital where she is a practiced nurse. Here she meets Sherry Post (Christina Ricci) who explains her friends shot her up and left her to die. While having a conversation, Sherry accidentally blurts out that Maggie looks like her sister, revealing she knows who they are. Being summoned by a doctor to assist him in another room, Maggie has to run out after Sherry tells her "Don't let them get the girl. You know she's special, don't you?"
When Maggie arrives back at her apartment, there is a message for her from Sherry telling her to meet her at a diner. Upon arrival, Maggie hands Sherry some cash for a bus fare out of the city. It is here that Sherry explains to Maggie Cody will lead people to God, and Stark will do whatever it takes to stop that. Spotting some of Erik's minions outside the diner, Sherry slams a gun on the table wrapped in a small piece of paper which includes the address of Stark's home, and runs away. Maggie chases her into a metro station where she is knocked out by one of the goons, and left for dead on the tracks while it is far too late for an oncoming train to stop.
Fit-up, Maggie goes to Stark's home where she tries to take Cody back with her, but is drugged by one of Stark's accomplices and placed in a car on the wrong side of the road on top of a bridge. Swerving to avoid cars, Maggie hits the side and forces the car to titter-totter off the side.
Finding help from a nun and a reverend that have experience helping people out of Stark's occult, Maggie ventures into the dentist office where Cody is having her teeth cleaned. Sneaking in and out, Maggie grabs Cody and runs out into the street. Chased by the dentist, minions, and the nanny, Maggie takes Cody into a nearby metro station and runs to a train just as the door is shutting. A shy woman with an umbrella calmly places it between the closing doors, opening it, and allowing them to escape on the train just before the nanny runs to the train and bangs on the side-revealing her demonic form to Cody and Maggie.
Upon the reverend's advice, Maggie takes Cody north to a church in upstate New York where she will be safe. Noting Maggie's tardiness, the nuns begin to pray for the safety and well-being of Maggie and Cody. Cody is once again kidnapped, and Maggie once again chases after her, resulting in herself being held against her will in an abandoned church. Finally being able to see one of Stark's ceremonies first-hand, Maggie notes the flying dragons and thousands upon thousands of rats which form a brief, but graphic Lucifer.
This dramatic and heart pounding adventure brings people of all backgrounds under the realization that "there is a spiritual battle happening every second of everyday. All of our actions influence the outcome of this battle."
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2001
Bless the Child is another Good Versus Evil type of movie, but unlike most of them, this one is pretty good.
Kim Basinger and Jimmy Smits were great(although Smits' role wasn't a far cry from his character on NYPD Blue). There is just enough suspense to keep you wondering what was going to happen next. The special effects, although sparingly used, were well done.
Overall, its an enjoyable movie, and worth checking out.
Recommended!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Right off, let me say hats off to this fine movie. Bravo!
Maggie, played by Kim Basinger is thrust into immediate
motherhood when her sister leaves her infant child with
her to raise. Maggie takes the child into her home and
heart and as she grows fears that she is autism, but the
truth is she has supernatural powers from God.
As the story moves along, there is a string of murders
happening to children the same age as Maggie's niece Cody.
These children are being killed by a cult who are looking
for the child with the special gifts, who happens to be
Cody.
The race is on as they kidnap her and Maggie fights not only
for her life but for the future of the world.
I think the ending was the best, as the movie showed the
power of God and His angels, finally the good wins! Now
isn't that nice for a change in these types of movies?
I was encouraged and had a great feeling inside after watching
this and recommend it to all those who long to see that good
does triump over evil!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2001
Don't listen to the critics reviews on this one, or any other film for that matter. I believe there are two resons for the critical backlash to Bless The Child. One: It has a rare christian message, which is very rare in hollywood today. I found the suttle hints at god saving Maggie inspiring. I'm glad to see a positive message for once. Two: As tradition horror/thrillers are often overlooked in the eyes of film-goers and critics.
Please give this movie a chance and go rent it atleast. I was very surprised at how much I liked it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2001
This is a refreshing change from the usual good vs. the Devil story in that it portrays the Catholic Church, God, and even guns in a positive light while showing the New Age movement for what it really is. No wonder it stirs such a vehement response from a lot of people.
Ignore the bad reviews. After seeing this film, I'm going to rent "Left Behind". I had heard horrible things about "Bless the Child", none of which were true. Perhaps "Left Behind" isn't as bad as I've been led to believe. I didn't notice poor acting nor bad special effects.
I'm no fan of organized religion, but I'm tired of always seeing Christians portrayed as the antagonists in films.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2004
Along with those here, who have given favorable reviews to "Bless The Child", I totally agree.
It's easy to be critical of the content of this movie by the crirically minded, but take a second look if you will.
Here are actors portraying a story, of good versus evil. It's done with an honest moral story, of two brave people, working with the odds against them.
It's my understanding, that when Kim Bassinger was offered this movie, she turned it down with a comment she did not want to do a movie showing children being exploited. But when she was asked just to read the script only, she changed her mind with a great conviction that it was an outstanding story theme.

You don't have to be religious to see the basic struggle of this movie, and the rescue of a child, with all the people portrayed helping out as best they can to save the little girl, the nun's, a cop, a nurse aunt, and the use of prayer to cover the two people involved saving this child. And prayer was a key to the victory in this story.
It would be great to have more individuals like this we see portrayed in the movie in our country today, from all walks of life, not afraid to to take on evil and injustice around us, in all forms. Apathy only lets evil win, and the people in this movie were determined to fight it, at any risk to themselves.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2001
Some of the special effects could've been done better, but the story was very impressive! Kim Basinger and Ricci were also very good.I wish Ricci had a longer part in the movie though, she was a great touch. The child's acting ability was brilliant. Going from sheer terror to calm,powerful certainty in the jump scene made the film worth watching alone.Incredible for such a young girl and in such a subject matter! I'm going to add this one to my Video collection of great thrillers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2001
This movie has got some really bad reviews. But I think it is actually good. it works well as a thriller and it has some supernatural scenes, that some people may find slightly silly, but I don't. I think the story is very interesting. The lead actors are doing their job well, but the best performances are found among the supporting cast, especially the little girl Cody (Holliston Coleman).
Like I mentioned, it is a good thriller and a little more than 100 minutes of great entertainment, but it could also be interesting to discuss the movie. What would you do if you found yourself in Maggie's (Basinger) situation? or Jenna's (Angela Bettis) or John Travis's (Jimmy Smits, playing a police again). I wouldn't mind watching this movie again.
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