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Spain · 2009
Rated PG-13 · 2h 7m
Director Alejandro Amenábar
Starring Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom
Genre Adventure, Drama, History

In the 4th century A.D., astronomer and philosopher Hypatia teaches her scientific beliefs to a class of male students. Among them is lovestruck slave Davus, the equally smitten Orestes, and young Christian man Synesius. Hypatia's romantic tension pales in comparison to the rising tension between Christians and pagans on the streets of soon-to-be war-torn Alexandria.

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What are critics saying?


Village Voice by

What's missing is a satisfying, plausible middle ground where heady ideas and metaphors coalesce into compelling drama.


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

A bit of a puzzle. This is a good thing, since most movies plop down in easily recognizable categories and stay there, troubling neither their own intellectual inertia nor that of the audience.


Slate by Dana Stevens

Like "Spartacus," this movie is engaging because it's actually about something: the love of learning, the clash between science and religious faith, and the grim fact that political change often proceeds on the foundation of mob violence and genocide. Agora engages more effectively with this kind of big historical idea than it does with human drama.


New York Magazine (Vulture) by David Edelstein

Weisz is an excellent Hypatia. For all her intelligence, there's something childish, off-kilter, vaguely otherworldly in her aura. She's just the type to be gazing into the heavens while around her all hell breaks loose.


Variety by Todd McCarthy

The mother of all secular humanists fights a losing battle against freshly minted religious zealots in Agora, a visually imposing, high-minded epic that ambitiously puts one of the pivotal moments in Western history onscreen for the first time.


New York Post by V.A. Musetto

There are a few exciting battle sequences and the sets are lavish, but mostly the film meanders aimlessly for more than two hours. No wonder new sword-and-sandal movies are in short supply.

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