Guest / Limited Access /
There Be Dragons
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
(15 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for violence)
Directed By
Roland Joffé
Run Time
2 hours 2 minutes
Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, Dougray Scott, Rodrigo Santoro
Theatre Release
March 25, 2011 by Samuel Goldwyn Films

First the bad news, for adolescent viewers, anyway: there don't be any dragons. Not the leathery-winged kind, at least. The title refers to a medieval map-making custom of inscribing the warning "Hic Sunt Dracones" on unexplored regions. In this case the warning refers to the unexplored regions of the psyche, where destructive emotions may lurk.

The film shows us the early life of Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975), recently canonized a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and best known as the founder of the organization Opus Dei. Escriva had an original, yet simple, idea: that a Christian can follow the path of holiness while living and working in the secular world. Of course, Christians have been shunning the world to live a life of radical dedication to Christ ever since St. Anthony of the desert. But, Escriva reasoned, Christ himself spent many years working in a carpenter's shop, while living in a village alongside ordinary people. Why can't Christians do the same?

The idea sounds benign enough, but some view Opus Dei with suspicion. The last time it showed up in a major motion picture was in The Da Vinci Code (2006), represented by an albino monk and murderer. Opus Dei members adhere to traditional Christian beliefs, and are suspected of (according to Wikipedia) "alleged secretiveness, its recruiting methods, the alleged strict rules governing members, the practice by celibate members of mortification of the flesh, its alleged elitism and misogyny, the alleged right-leaning politics of most of its members, and the alleged participation by some in authoritarian or extreme right-wing governments, especially the Francoist Government of Spain."

But if you're assuming the dragons in this film relate to Escriva's dark side, you'd ...

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 IssueEvangelism Is Alive in Portland
Subscriber Access Only
Evangelism Is Alive in Portland
How pastors, evangelists, and residents are sharing the Good News among the city’s ‘nones’ and Muslim refugees.
Current Issue‘Grace Alone’: Luther Nails It
Subscriber Access Only
‘Grace Alone’: Luther Nails It
A Protestant responds to Catholic critiques of ‘Grace Alone.’
RecommendedIn ‘Logan’, Wolverine Confronts the Wages of Sin
In ‘Logan’, Wolverine Confronts the Wages of Sin
Hugh Jackman's final performance as the iconic mutant brings him face to face with his own mortality.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickAn Inside Look at China’s Remarkable Religious Resurgence
An Inside Look at China’s Remarkable Religious Resurgence
Journalist Ian Johnson sees faith on the rise where it was once ruthlessly suppressed.
Christianity Today
There Be Dragons
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

May 2011

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