Owen Gleiberman
November 19, 1999 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dogma

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Ben Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, Kevin Smith
guest performer
Alanis Morissette
director
Kevin Smith
author
Kevin Smith
genre
Drama, Sci-fi and Fantasy, Comedy

We gave it an A-

Kevin Smith’s deliriously audacious, one-of-a-kind satirical passion play is as rascally in its glee as anything in Mad magazine, yet it’s also a searching meditation on faith in our time. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are bad-boy angels out to regain their place in heaven. Smith conjures up a bickering party of apostles, demons, and prophets, blending a seminarian’s fastidiousness with his own ragtag pop style—a fusion of comic books, Howard Stern, and amiably slovenly Gen-X ‘tude. The movie, in its very form, is a manic act of transubstantiation. By the end, the tensions have fused into a vision of transcendence and light. A-

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