Movie review by Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media
Silence Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 16+

Scorsese's difficult, gory, but magnificent religious epic.

R 2016 161 minutes

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 9 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Not for Christians

Is this a true story? I can’t believe this is considered a Christian movie. Spoiler alert. The Christians in the movie are persecuted, some martyred in an effort to get them to renounce the faith. The symbol for renouncing their faith is to step on an image of Jesus. The two priests hear that their mentor renounced the faith and was living in Japan as a Japanese. They did not believe the account, and insisted on being sent to debunk the rumor. One dies, and the other meets his mentor and finds out it’s true. And the protagonist renounces his faith as well!!! Then the two work together helping the Japanese inquisitor identify whether household articles taken from suspected Christians’ homes have hidden Christian meanings. Who knows what happened to those villagers who were found to have Christian articles. And the former priests do it faithfully until they both die! The end! What a letdown! The whole time I was thinking “this is when he re-dedicates himself to God and stands up for his faith and is martyred”. But no. In the end, he is burned in the Buddhist manner, and there is a little cross hidden in his hand. So the moral of the story is, “It’s ok to betray Christ and renounce Him under pressure. He understands.” I can’t say what I would do, put under the kind of pressure depicted in this movie, much less under the kind that Jesus suffered for us. But I hope and pray that if it comes to that, by His grace, I will heed His words: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer... be faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Rev 2:10
age 16+

A Must-See

Silence is a story, as some of the reviewers had shared here, which calls it to be a gritty, tough film although it is authentic in such a way that one cannot appreciate or recognize if it is done as a “feeling good” type of film. However, not all “feeling good” films are necessarily bad, but all films should hold a strong message along with managing stories that have an relatable, authentic beat for everyone. This is what Silence does. Films, especially done well with beautiful cinematography, a killer cast, fitting music, and portraying real situation as truthfully as possible can go a long way, in particular, when it sits in a genre catering to a main audience, which are Christians, although it should hold an provoking quality that holds an appeal to non Christians. Generally, when a film is well done and the message rings clear, as it does in Silence, focused on persecution and where one stands, but how far one is willing to go in faith—it is not necessarily a bad thing to really question and think about what you believe—and it should be encouraged more, instead. However, although it does hold a powerful message—for some, the violence may be too much, others it may not—but regardless, the violence isn’t used in a sense that it is senseless, but to bring up a point in the story itself, and while one may be aware it isn’t the most warm and fuzzy film for kids to watch, it is an important one because it cannot be forgotten that one can take their practicing in faith for granted. In some countries, like in Japan for Silence, it is dangerous, and consequences follow. Despite of the violence, it is inspiring to see those men to be examples of faith and that they are willing to encounter the difficult, to go into the trenches not because it is expected of them back in Japan for practicing it, but they believe it is something worth fighting for. Worth dying for. It is a film that, while posing questions that require thoughtful responses in discussion with others, one point remains fundamentally the same throughout the story: does one not only know and love what they stand for in spite of fear of one’s fate, but to remember it isn’t just fiction, that it can happen to any one of us? Silence is a must see, and it recognizes humanity at its best, as well to its bottom, however, perseverance never truly dies especially if it is done in free will.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Movie Details

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