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Commandments

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Why do bad things happen to good people? Courteney Cox (TV's "Friends"; Scream 1,2 & 3), Aidan Quinn (Michael Collins, Legends of the Fall) and Anthony LaPaglia (TV's "Without A Trace"; The Salton Sea) star in this dark, romantic comedy from Executive Producer Ivan Reitman about a decent man who dares to ask, "Why me?" Seth Warner (Quinn) has lost everything in his life that he holds dear - his wife, his job and his home. All of which, he suspects, is neither accident nor coincidence. He feels that he is, for some inexplicable reason, the target of God's wrath. At the end of his rope, Seth is taken in by his sister-in-law, Rachel (Cox), who is trapped in a miserable marriage with her corrupt husband, Harry (LaPaglia). It is in their care that he forms a bizarre plan to seek revenge on the Almighty. By breaking each of the Ten Commandments, he attempts to get even and force an answer from above. What follows is a series of twisted events that leads them to believe that when you have nothing left to lose, you have the strength to risk it all.

Product Details

  • Actors: Aidan Quinn, Courteney Cox, Anthony LaPaglia, Louis Zorich
  • Directors: Daniel Taplitz
  • Writers: Daniel Taplitz
  • Producers: Michael Chinich, Joe Medjuck, Daniel Goldberg, Ivan Reitman
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0003JAOP4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,262 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Commandments" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Commandments is an unfairly overlooked movie. It didn't get a lot of promotion, and took a long time to come out on video at a sell-through price.
True, the lighter moments don't always sit well alongside the heavier moments, but the movie still holds together fairly well, even managing to make a few points along the way.
More importantly, unlike a lot of other movies these days, Commandments emotionally engages the viewer; you actually care what happens to the main characters.
Finally, the cinematography is fabulous. The film's visual tone is arguably the central element that holds everything else together - but it does so without overwhelming everything else.
Neither light comedy nor heavy drama, Commandments is the kind of movie that will have you wondering why you didn't see it sooner.
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Format: VHS Tape
Seth (Aidan Quinn) is in a bad way. His pregnant wife drowned a year ago, his house has been demolished in a tornado, and he's lost his job. "Why, God?" he asks. God responds with a carefully aimed lightning bolt which not only hits Seth, but also manages to maim his pet dog.
Homeless and jobless, Seth goes to stay with his late wife's sister, Rachel (Courteney Cox) and her no-good husband, Harry (Anthony LaPaglia). And Harry's collection of priceless guitars. We know that Harry is no good because the first time we see him, he's cheating on Rachel with gusto. Seth is lost and confused - why has God chosen to punish him, a good, loyal, hard-working religious man, rather than someone like, say, Harry? Not only is he confused, he's getting pretty angry. So he makes up his mind to break each of the Ten Commandments, one by one.
"Commandments" raises some interesting questions - very few of which it actually manages to answer. Most of the time, it doesn't even make an attempt at this. Rather than trying to figure out exactly *why* God is punishing Seth, it turns into a comedy as Seth wife-covets, ignores the Sabbath and blasphemes his way across the screen. More interesting than Seth is Harry, who is nasty in a refreshingly human way, while Courteney Cox as Rachel is lovely, but more than a little distant.
The characters and their dilemmas are somewhat inaccessible; we end up not caring about them as much as we should, I guess. A lot of the scenes seem illogical, and the cold blue sets do their part in cutting off the audience. However it's a lot more quirky and off-beat than most of the comedies in circulation at the moment. Keep an eye out for it.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is a great story raising many issues about how we understand God and how our lives intersect with God. I will not go into any details so as not to try and promote my own theological positions. The film is a bit "rough" on the edges, mainly for the cause of being authentic to "real life," but I can overlook this because the questions that the film raises are so applicable to any discussion of God. There are not a lot of films like this; I also thought the humor was well done.
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Format: VHS Tape
An exquiste descent into the heart of despair challenged with the needful interpretation of life and God. It's funny, sad, but still manages to be hopeful. It's definately a story that will teach and inspire your soul to be patient, and your heart to dream ... even when life is at it's worst.
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But still good for the open-minded! I guess I should say you shouldn't see this movie unless you are a big fan of one of the cast members. The characters could have been developed better and the movie could have been longer (it is about an hour and a half). But still, it's a good movie to see if you like dark comedy, and I mean really, really dark. I myself liked it a lot; however, it is pretty strange and the ending could have been much, much better. Harry is a rather static character that you will probably hate, unless you love Anthony LaPaglia, and Sparky the dog is an added bonus. Rent this movie - you may regret it, but you probably won't.
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By A Customer on December 14, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Even if this movie didn't have Courteney Cox Arquette, it'd still be my favourite. I love the movie so much, especially the darkness of it. The acting is superb!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this movie to be released on dvd for years! Sad but not depressing -- and the ending is pitch-perfect.
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Format: DVD
After a string of otherwise-inexplicable disasters (the loss of his wife, his job, and his house), Seth becomes convinced that, for some reason, God is out to get him. Since prayer doesn't help him--on the contrary--Seth decides to break every one of the Ten Commandments. That puts him on a strange path, where he reencounters his sister-in-law, who's stuck in a miserable marriage; and literally faces death. The end is strange, unexpected and quite beautiful.
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