The Monk movie poster
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The Monk movie poster

The Monk Movie Review

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Vincent Cassel plays a devout monk who discovers that smoking hot young women who want to have sex with him are a viable temptation in The Monk (Le moine), a visually powerful and gripping drama based on the gothic novel by Matthew Lewis.

Cassel plays Capucin Ambrosio, who has been raised in a French convent since an early age and is known throughout the land as a silver-tongued preacher and of the upmost moral authority. Ambrosio's dedication is tested when a mysterious stranger named Valerio arrives at the convent. Valerio has a secret, and a strange obsession with Ambrosio.

Bottom line: he's a celebrity, and smoking hot young women love celebrities. Especially ones who play hard to get.

The Monk is captivating from the first minute thanks to the strong performance by Cassel and the commanding style of director Dominik Moll. There's nothing ordinary about the movie as Moll uses imagery to dive into Ambrosio's mind and soul, literally painting the monk's moral decline on the screen. Moll makes the best of the film's small budget; the film looks terrific.

Unfortunately, the movie falters in the final few minutes, rushing through what is arguably the story's most important sequence of events. Ambrosio's moral destruction is so sudden that the film ends before you can grasp everything that happens. Moll needed to slow down and flesh things out.

The Monk suffers from a less-than-perfect ending, which is a shame because the rest of the movie is so gripping. Regardless, Cassel turns in a terrific performance, and Ambrosio gets to experience what it's like to have the attention of smoking hot young women.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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