Guest / Limited Access /
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
Average Rating
(4 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for violence and demonic images)
Directed By
Francis Lawrence
Run Time
2 hours 1 minute
Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Djimon Hounsou
Theatre Release
February 18, 2005 by Warner Bros.

You'd be hard-pressed to find an adventure film that uses as much Christian terminology and symbolism as Constantine. You'd have a tougher time finding one that's makes a bigger mess of it.

Director Francis Lawrence's stylish, adrenaline-fueled adaptation of the comic book Hellblazer will probably win some enthusiastic fans among Christian moviegoers keen on pop culture. After all, this hero seeks redemption, fights Satan, entertains angels, and blasts demons with weapons that bear the mark of the Cross (from the blessed brass knuckles to a golden crucifix-Tommy gun). But if you're looking for profound spiritual exploration, this isn't your movie. Nor is it a fun hodgepodge of magical fairy tales like Harry Potter. It's an R-rated immersion in the vocabulary of demon possession and the occult. Compared with Constantine, The Exorcist seems like an after-school special.

John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is a suit-and-tie exorcist and a chain smoker. He's been to hell and back—literally. Committing suicide, he plunged himself into Satan's clutches, only to be resuscitated back to the land of the living. Why suicide? John grew up with the "gift" of seeing spiritual warfare around him: screaming demons, angels with enormous wings, and "half-breeds"—agents clad in human flesh who act as influence peddlers serving to nudge people either heavenward or to the abyss. You'd think his taste of brimstone would have convinced him to repent. But no—John's too proud, too resentful. Instead he'll try to earn salvation as a volunteer demon hunter on the streets of Los Angeles.

It's a bad time to be a soldier in the spirit wars. In a sequence that recalls The Return of the King's prologue, a talisman called the Spear of Destiny ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssuePressing and Prescient
Subscriber Access Only
Pressing and Prescient
Reflecting on my nine-plus years at CT.
Current IssuePaul Doesn’t Care Whether You Like Him
Subscriber Access Only
Paul Doesn’t Care Whether You Like Him
An excerpt from 'Paul Behaving Badly.'
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickThe Year of Living Hopelessly
The Year of Living Hopelessly
2016 tempted us toward nihilism. We don’t have to go there.
Christianity Today
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.