A Ron Howard Film.|Uncover the Greatest Mystery of All Time.
"...a streamlined train of a picture that never stops moving. Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer
|A murder inside the louvre and clues in da vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years -- which could shake the foundations of christianity.|
"...a crackling, fast-moving thriller that's every bit as brainy and irresistible as Dan Brown's controversial bestseller. Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"...much more entertaining and satisfying than the novel. William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"...a lurid saga of sinister sects, double-crosses and self flagellating zealots, set in a murky world that is always one part nightmare. Total Film
"...an enjoyable, often tense and thought-provoking thriller...Tautou, Bettany, Reno and McKellen are pitch perfect in their roles... Ultimate DVD
Dan Brown's best-selling book THE DA VINCI CODE gets adapted for the big screen thanks to director Ron Howard (CINDERELLA MAN), who helms this big budget production. Veteran actor Tom Hanks stars as professor Robert Langdon, whose Parisian lecture tour on feminine symbolism gets disrupted when he's implicated in a murder at the Louvre. Co-starring with Hanks is Audrey Tautou (AMELIE), the French police analyst who comes to Langdon's aid and who may hold the key to some of the mysteries. The cast is fleshed out by Jean Reno as a hangdog French detective who thinks he can trick Langdon into a confession; Paul Bettany as Silas, the murderous monk; Alfred Molina as an evil Catholic cardinal; and Ian McKellen, who steals the movie in the second act as a crotchety old authority on the Holy Grail. During the course of the film, all sorts of riddles, keys, clues, and enigmas are thrown in our hero's path, along with bullets, knives, and devious betrayals. Cinematographer Salvatore Toltino shoots in a dark and somber style, with lots of detailed flashbacks to grim scenes from ancient Rome, the Crusades, and the witch hunts of the Middle Ages. Tautou looks gorgeous in the perpetual dim light, as does the ancient French and British architecture. With so many centuries of hidden knowledge, cults, sects, and Christianity-shattering secrets involved, this may have been confusing to those not acquainted with the book, but Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman ingeniously weave the myriad layers into a true thrill ride. Ultimately, THE DA VINCI CODE is a thoughtful action film, with a refreshingly clear-eyed approach to world history that may scandalize the close-minded, but is sure to enlighten those open to new ideas.
Cast & Crew
Golden Globe (2007)
||Hans Zimmer, Nominee, Best Original Score - Motion Picture
||Hans Zimmer, Nominee, Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
People's Choice (2007)
||The Da Vinci Code, Nominee, Favorite Movie Drama
New York Times
"THE DA VINCI CODE is, above all, a murder mystery. And as such, once it gets going, Ron Howard's movie has its pleasures."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Howard unfolds a lurid saga of sinister sects, double-crosses and self flagellating zealots, set in a murky world that is always one part nightmare."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Howard is served well by his actors....Audrey Tautou shows she's more than just an ingenue as the policewoman?"
3 stars out of 5 -- "THE DA VINCE CODE is an enjoyable, often tense and thought-provoking thriller....Tautou, Bettany, Reno and McKellen are pitch perfect in their roles..."
"To Howard and Co.'s credit, the film hews pretty closely to Brown's thriller." -- Grade: B-
BeyondHollywood.com 7 of 10
Ron Howard's directorial take on this zeitgeist in popular prose is a twist laden, mathematical adventure which captures an extremely exhaustive day or two in the lives of nine or ten characters who are unbelievable interwoven. They all connect through impossible coincidence and whatnot, and in movie form this is OK, because it's over in two hours and while you may leave perplexed, you will be sufficiently entertained...For anyone that hasn't read the novel, spare yourself two weeks of reading some insipid code cracking and dogma bashing and just see the movie; you'll get the point and your eyes won't have to strain as hard.
Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
Dan Brown's novel is utterly preposterous; Ron Howard's movie is preposterously entertaining...since everyone has read the novel, I need only give away one secret -- that the movie follows the book religiously. While the book is a potboiler written with little grace and style, it does supply an intriguing plot. Luckily, Ron Howard is a better filmmaker than Dan Brown is a novelist; he follows Brown's formula (exotic location, startling revelation, desperate chase scene, repeat as needed) and elevates it into a superior entertainment, with Tom Hanks as a theo-intellectual Indiana Jones...The movie works; it's involving, intriguing and constantly seems on the edge of startling revelations.
- Roger Ebert
ReelViews 7 of 10
When you boil away the hype and hysteria, all that remains is a pedestrian murder mystery that isn't sufficiently challenging or scandalous to raise anyone's hackles. It's preposterous, overlong, and saddled with a sloppy denouement that defines the term "anti-climax." The film's two big "surprises" are telegraphed early, and the ease with which they can be guessed (using the "conservation of characters" process) leeches the movie of a large measure of its suspense. Individual scenes are entertaining in their own right, but the production as a whole is a lumbering mess...I intentionally avoided Dan Brown's novel before seeing the movie (and don't intend to read it now that I have sat through the adaptation), hoping to provide a fresh perspective. Presumably, the book, which is often referred to as a "compulsive page-turner," is more riveting that its cinematic counterpart. The Da Vinci Code (the movie) is a mediocre thriller, with too few thrills and too much predictable action...The controversy has made seeing The Da Vinci Code a more desirable night out than it might otherwise have been, but it won't take long before potential audience members recognize that the Emperor has no clothes. One could classify The Da Vinci Code as diverting, but it has sidestepped greatness by a wide margin.
- James Berardinelli
Variety 6 of 10
A pulpy page-turner in its original incarnation as a huge international bestseller has become a stodgy, grim thing in the exceedingly literal-minded film version of "The Da Vinci Code." Tackling head-on novelist Dan Brown's controversy-stirring thriller hinging on a subversively revisionist view of Jesus Christ's life, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have conspired to drain any sense of fun out of the melodrama, leaving expectant audiences with an oppressively talky film that isn't exactly dull, but comes as close to it as one could imagine with such provocative material; result is perhaps the best thing the project's critics could have hoped for...Sitting through all the verbose explanations and speculations about symbols, codes, secret cults, religious history and covert messages in art, it is impossible to believe that, had the novel never existed, such a script would ever have been considered by a Hollywood studio...The irony in the film's inadequacy is that the novel was widely found to be so cinematic...The appearance of its easy adaptability may have been deceptive, however, as what went down easily on the page becomes laborious onscreen, even with the huge visual plus of fabulous French and English locations, fine actors and the ability to scrutinize works of Da Vinci in detail.
- Todd McCarthy