We're No Angels (1989) 1989 PG-13 CC

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(65) IMDb 6/10
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A couple of escaped convicts on the run find refuge with the Church when they are mistaken for two priests.

Starring:
Robert De Niro, Sean Penn
Runtime:
1 hour, 47 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Neil Jordan
Starring Robert De Niro, Sean Penn
Supporting actors Demi Moore, Hoyt Axton, Bruno Kirby, Ray McAnally, James Russo, Wallace Shawn, John C. Reilly, Jay Brazeau, Ken Buhay, Elizabeth Lawrence, Bill Murdoch, Jessica Jickels, Frank C. Turner, Matthew Walker, Sheelah Megill, Sean Hoy, Lloyd Berry, David McLeod
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. K. Stokes on November 22, 2008
Format: DVD
Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn are 1920s-era convicts who are dragged along when a vicious killer escapes the electric chair. They end up in a town near the Canadian border, and are mistaken for a pair of priests expected at the local monastery.

So they masquerade as priests while looking for an opportunity to cross the border into Canada. An opportunity presents itself in the form of a procession/pilgrimage to the church's sister church across the border. Each priest participating has to bring along someone who needs help, so they decide on the deaf daughter of local laundress and prostitute, played by Demi Moore.

This version (there's a 1955 version, but there's no similarity between the movies at all) is billed as a comedy, but it's much more a drama, or maybe an allegory, though I don't have the time or inclination to delve into what it's an allegory for. There are humorous moments, to be sure, but it's not a laugh-aloud comedy at all.

It's about life-changing events, about miracles. We never do learn why DeNiro and Penn's characters were in prison to begin with, but we don't need to know. They begin as buddies, but the masquerade affects them in different ways. Penn's character thrives in the monastic life, despite, or maybe because of his ignorance. DeNiro and Moore's characters are world-weary and cynical, but they too are affected by the miraculous.

The movie leaves it up to the viewers to decide if the miracles are divine or human, but there's just enough mystery to allow you to believe if you want to.

We're No Angels leaves me with the same sort of feeling that Christmas movies like Miracle on 34th Street do--a kind of uplifted feeling, and a renewed faith in the human spirit. Or maybe I'm just feeling sappy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Valentine on January 21, 2005
Format: DVD
I loved this movie. Its totally funny. The ending gave me goosebumps and portrays a thought provoking message of the "no matter what everlasting" love of God. Sean Penn especially was hilarious as was John C. Reilly's character and the moments these two share together. Overall a heartwarming and touching movie with funny bits thrown in. Not for someone looking to debate faith with logic in mind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nacho on September 6, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Sean Penn and Robert Dinero both do a very good job of acting in this movie, no surprises there. I purchased this move because I had seen it in the theater when it first came out and always remembered it as one I thoroughly enjoyed. Watching it on video proved to be just as enjoyable now as in the past. Highly recommend the movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Will on February 27, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Funny stuff, great to see Demi when she was hot ! Perfect mix of humor, action, intrigue with a little spiritual twist.
They don't make films like this any more.
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I don't understand why this movie was named We're No Angels. I've seen the original Bogart film, and this film bears virtually no resemblance to it whatsoever. I could go through and break it down issue by issue, but the long and short of it is, the entire plot is completely different from start to finish. The characters are all entirely different, the story is entirely different, the setting is entirely different, the ending is entirely different. Literally the ONLY similarity between "We're No Angels" and this film is that both films have a theme of three escaped convicts pretending NOT to be escaped convicts. There isn't even consistency about whether they're pretending to be non-escaped convicts (as in the original) or pretending they're not convicts at all (as in this version).

Imagine someone made a movie they called a remake of "Casablanca" and the "remake" had totally different characters and a different plot entirely, and the only similarity were that the protagonist owned a club in Casablanca. Wouldn't that be outrageously inappropriate? Well, that's what this movie did.

Think about the movie "12 Angry Men"--both versions are the same movie; one is actually a REMAKE of the other one, updated but essentially the same movie. Another example is "Footloose"--the remake changed a few details (such as having Ren be from Boston instead of from Chicago) but was essentially the same movie, remade.

THIS movie, on the other hand, is NOT A REMAKE OF ANYTHING. It is a totally new movie that is trying to capitalize on an old Bogart film by stealing the title and a couple of thematic elements and ignoring everything else.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T M Strate on March 16, 2011
Format: DVD
I really loved this film. I have never seen Sean Penn in a funny role before, he's very good indeed. He should stop playing bad boys and become a comedian instead. Robert De Niro I have seen in so many movies. He's the greatest of his generation.
Well worth watching this movie. It's funny, moving and thrilling up to the end. Well worth the money!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Its only a little bit funny , but it is touching in an unusual way . Sean Penn is great and so is Bob , but the film slows down a bit in the middle and Bob growls his lines too much . But this is watchacle and entertaining if you have patience and a light heart .
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'We're No Angels" is one of the most entertaining movies (in my opinion) I've seen. I am not a Sean Penn fan, but his performance in this movie is spot on! This cast is filled with stars to be as well who all give great performances. The speech Sean Penn's character delivers to an assembled crowd is truly powerful. I think you'll love this movie if you watch it.
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