Luther

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Eikon Film Released 2003

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Movie Summary

Director:
Eric Till
Released:
2003
Rating:
PG-13

Luther tells the story of Martin Luther, the Catholic monk who started the Protestant Reformation. In the midst of of a deadly rainstorm, Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes) is struggling up a hill, praying to Saint Anne, and asking for his life to be spared. There he makes a promise to God to become a monk, and we see him next, two years later, in a monastery in Erfurt. As a loyal servant of God, Luther struggles with the notion that his Lord punishes or takes vengeance on people. On a trip to Rome, Luther is disenchanted with the ways of people in the city, and sees people purchasing indulgences, or written remissions on sin. Seeing them as a means to exploit the poor and persist the myth of a punishing God, Luther begins to question the indulgences, going so far as to urge his congregation to ignore their validity and need, and posts on the door of a church the 95 theses, calling for an open debate about the indulgences. For his actions, he is questioned by the church at Augsburg, and later excommunicated. Word spreads about his teachings, and the a revolt ensues between peasants and noblemen. As the revolt is ending, Luther translates the Bible into German, and marries a runaway nun, Katharina von Bora, (Claire Cox) and his teachings are spread to even more people. In the end, the Martin Luther's message leads to Protestantism, followed by over 500 million people today. Eric Till directs this most recent telling of an ancient story that changed the world completely.

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Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    After a summer of numbing mindlessness, there is something frankly refreshing about a movie that deals even superficially with as significant a figure as the rebellious 16th centur...

  • 40

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    As the film veers uncertainly between meticulous historical recapitulation and shameless hokum, it brings enough characters to populate a mini-series. When the historical details b...

  • 40

    Variety Robert Koehler

    Proceeds like a stultifying history pageant rather than a movie with a pulse of its own.

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