Top 25 countdown — No. 16


Today I continue my Top 25 countdown with the movie adaptation of one of "Time Magazine's" top 100 novels of all time.

No. 16 — Watchmen (2009)
Starring: Billy Cruddup, Malin Akerman, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earl Haley, Matthew Goode, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Carla Gugino
Director: Zack Snyder
Quote: "They claim their labors are to build a heaven, yet their heaven is populated by horrors. Perhaps the world is not made. Perhaps nothing is made. A clock without a craftsman. It's too late. Always has been, always will be. Too late." — Dr. Manhattan
About: "Watchmen" isn't an easy movie to watch. Based on the praised graphic novel from Allan Moore, it's set in an alternate 1985. It's a superhero story, but it's really a deconstruction of what it means to be a hero. And Moore doesn't come down on a happy side of what it means. Moore is a nihilist and anarchist, and that worldview is about as fun as it sounds. In 2009, when I lined up to watch the midnight premier of "Watchmen" I didn't know what to expect. I'd never read the graphic novel, and all I knew was it looked like a cool superhero movie from the trailer. What I got was something that blew my mind. I saw the movie four times in the theater, read the graphic novel, and read a book about the psychological make up of the "heroes" in the film. Then I started writing about the story from the perspective of faith. It is, in fact, what prompted me to want to do the Faith in Film classes I've done for the past six years. It's not because I agreed with the film or was inspired by it. Quite the opposite. It would be fair to say the worldview presented in "Watchmen" is almost 100 percent opposite of the Christian worldview. But that was part of what drew me in. It was a fascinating study in a lot of different things, and it made strong statements about our society and those that would claim to life themselves up as heroes or saviors. Again, not an easy movie to watch but, for me, a completely compelling film. I've probably seen it more than a dozen times now, and I am moved by these ideas every time. For me, a great movie has to stir something inside me and prompt me to want to think about and clarify my world view in some way. And it has to get me emotionally. I feel all those things when I watch "Watchmen." I don't do it to glorify violence and depravity, but rather because I feel a deep sense of sadness for someone who sees the world that way; for the lost in need of saving. To me, that's "Watchmen."
Rating: R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language. Enter with caution.

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