Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Oscar®Oscar® Nominee for Best Picture, Best Original screenplay, and Actress in a supporting role (Adriana Barraza)

Movie Review


MPAA Rating: R for violence, some graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use

Reviewed by: Rev. Grant Wright

Extremely Offensive
Add to your list?
View your list
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Drama, Thriller
2 hr. 23 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 10, 2006 (after initial select release October 27, 2006—NYC, LA)
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Vantage
Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer

What kind of world would you create? Answer

ORIGIN OF RACES—where did they all come from? Answer

Nudity—Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer

What does the name “Babel” refer to? Answer

Confusion of tongues

Hope for mankind
Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
The Bible is the world’s best selling book of all time. But for most, it remains a mystery. Now, discover for yourself the overwhelming message of HOPE that God brings to man—presented chronologically from the foundation of the world to our own time. Watch it on-line, full-length motion picture.
Featuring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barraza, Gael Garcia Bernal, Paul Terrell Clayton, Koji Yakusho, Elle Fanning
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Producer: Steve Golin, Jon Kilik, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Distributor: Paramount Vantage

“If you want to be understood… listen”

“Babel” is a tough to watch, unflinching film about isolation. Just like their previous films AMORES PERROS (2000) and 21 GRAMS (2003) screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga and director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu have woven together disparate stories to produce an unnerving tale of consequence. The premise for the movie is how God confused the languages; in turn it is this confusion that drives the isolationism throughout the 143 minutes of run time.

In Morocco Richard (Brad Pitt) and Susan (Cate Blanchett) are vacationing to try and escape recent tragedy, but are finding the poor conditions more of a tension builder than a reprieve. It is while on their tourist bus that some boys on a distant hill shoot, to test their Dad’s new rifle, and the bullet finds its way to Susan. This begins a roller coaster ride of survival, emotions, isolationism and political turmoil, not only for Richard and Susan but for Yusef and Ahmed, the boys involved in the shooting.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. the nanny looking after Richard and Susan’s children has to attend her son’s wedding in Mexico. This is a problem because she has not been able to offload the kids to anyone. So she takes them with her, causing problems that will affect the rest of her life. In Tokyo, a hormonally invigorated deaf mute girl rebels against her father and what is deemed appropriate in her culture.

The essence of the whole story is they are all somehow connected, which I believe to be the writer/director’s point. We are all connected through degrees of separation that influence our destiny. We are basically all in the same boat. I cannot help but feel this film is a little politically motivated against the United States with such subjects as inflated terrorism and over-sensitive border security. Nevertheless, this is one negative film that forces fatalism a little too hard.

This is an offensive movie to a Christian with inappropriate language, heavy nudity, an incestuous situation and a short masturbation scene. Apart from the offensive material, the story has little hope and focuses on the morbid.

As Christians we need to live with the joy of our salvation so that the lost can see our hope. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” We may come on desperate times, but our hope should not fade and we can always turn to the Lord to guide and direct us. Some might even blame God for the problems in this film; after all He created the confusion of languages. However, we need to recognize our sin, as it was our disobedience that resulted in the curse of different languages being created at Babel.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—Obviously, Kim Billings didn’t get the point. It wasn’t “child porn.” It was simply telling the tragic story of how a young lady was looking for acceptance in all of the wrong places. It happens all the time in the real world. Yes, the nudity was shocking. But it was all there to show you the reality of the situation.

As for my opinion of Brad Pitt, I still think he is a great actor, and even though he has made some bad decisions in his personal life, it is not my place to judge him, and his appearance in this wonderful film has not caused me to dislike him in any way. This is a powerful film, similar to “21 Grams,” and I think everyone should see it with an open mind, and remember that not everyone leads a perfect, crystal clear lifestyle.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Lance Schroeder, age 34
Positive—This is clearly one of the best pictures of the year! It was so powerful and profound, with beautiful performances from the ENTIRE cast. It’s a lot like “Crash,” but with a more puzzling narrative structure. This adds to the film, though it may not suit many people’s tastes. It also contains some sexual material that some may find offensive. However, I found the film to be an extremely moving piece of filmmaking that addresses many important issues, and I highly recommend it!
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Adam Renkovish, age 24
Positive—I am thankful for the ChristianAnswers.Net Web site and often base my decision on whether to take my kids to see a certain movie based on the viewer comments, but don’t always do the same for movies I see with my husband. In this case, I am glad I read the viewer comments before seeing the movie and was prepared for the “shocking nudity” referred to by another viewer. The nudity did have a purpose and a place in the film, revealing a young teen’s vulnerability and search for acceptance.

The four storylines were artfully interwoven, but viewers do need to be aware that one of those is a provocative, and somewhat disturbing storyline, and none of the storylines are light-hearted or easy to watch.

This is an intense film as the profound effects a .270 caliber rifle has on the lives of the people it touches are revealed. We enjoyed the portrayals of the various cultures represented and found the film to be both interesting and thought-provoking although heavy and at times disturbing. I would encourage you to read all the reviews, be prepared, and make a wise choice.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Sonnie, age 36
Positive—If you are an adult and can differentiate between what characters do in a story and what the story is advocating, you are ready for this film. It’s an excellent opportunity to travel into three very different cultures and to experience both the beauty of these places and the catastrophic consequences of sin.

I would not call “Babel” “fatalistic.” It is like good literature (for example, The Brothers Karamazov) that raises one of the fundamental questions that Christians need to face: why do the innocent suffer? Furthermore, it contains characters in each narrative who commit acts of love and self-sacrifice. I won’t spoil it by identifying them here, you can look for them! Their actions lead to healing. That is the opposite of “fatalism.” Calling scenes from this film “child pornography” is a wild cliché that dilutes the meaning of the phrase. Save it for something exploitative. The film does not objectify Chieko, and it puts her behavior in a bad light.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Alan Rutherford, age 42
Positive—I thought this was a very powerful film that approached serious topics, and had many important things to say. The acting was awesome, as well as the direction. However, many comments from the other viewers have disturbed me. Many seem disturbed by the “graphic” portrayals of nudity and violence, but seem to forget that many Christians applaud films like “The Passion of the Christ” which “graphically” portray scenes of torture and violence for 125 minutes without making one complaint. I guess I don’t understand.

These elements were placed in the film for a reason, to show us the depravity that some people will subject themselves to, and the mistakes that we sometimes make. Sometimes, it takes a “graphic” portrayal to drive the point home, rather than just imply the situation under question.

I highly recommend this film, and I hope that people will see it with an open-mind, and try to see what the director is telling you. We must remember that the Bible contains many images and sections of “graphic” violence, rape, and sex. This is no different.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Sanja Melark, age 23
Positive—“Babel” has a lot of nudity, that’s for sure. If it wasn’t for that, the movie would be rated PG-13 (minus several swears). For some reason, however, the nudity, told in context, is what made Chieko’s story possible to tell. Her role was indescribably pained and saturnine, and I can’t begin to describe it in a laconic review such as this. To hopefully dispel the furor over the nudity, it DOES fit in to the movie, and though it is shocking (as it should be), it is the physical depiction of a very troubled girl. That aside, “Babel” is the most artistic film of 2006. By far.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Carson, age 25
Negative—I will state up front that I did not see this entire film, but the reason for that is that I could not in good conscience remain in the theater. I knew very little about this film when I purchased the ticket but it took barely 30 minutes for me to know all I needed to know. It was nothing short of child pornography. There may have been a really powerful message at the conclusion of this movie, but then we must ask ourselves as Christians—Does the end justify the means? I believe that the answer is a resounding “NO!”

After a half an hour of this movie I picked up my things, walked out and traded my ticket to see something more worthwhile. As a Christian speaking to other Christians, I must say—Do NOT waste your time and money on this film!!

Regardless of how good the acting, how powerful the message or how stunning the photograph may possibly be… the means used to put all of this across is not what Christians need to be filling their minds with. Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Wendy Alexander, age 21
Negative—I was very disturbed by this movie. I felt like I was watching CHILD PORN. I now have a much lower opinion of Brad Pitt, which is hard to accomplish after his affair with Angelina which led to the break up of his marriage. …
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2
—Kim Billings, age 46
Negative—I have to say, by the trailers advertising this movie, did not in anyway represent the whole of the movie. Having 4 story lines was not the problem, but the vulgarity and offensive material was not called for. If I knew before going to this movie what it was about, I would of never paid the $9 and it is everything opposite of what our Lord Jesus Christ would ever have us believe!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Debi Karlstein, age 38
Negative—The sad thing is that the movie has an actress playing a teenager, and we see her pubic hair and full frontal nudity—repeatedly. Additionally, we’re “treated” to watching a man roughly rub her breasts. The movie makes the viewers into voyeurs, and since she’s playing a teenager, yes, we are watching child porn. All of the distress of this young woman’s life could have been communicated without actually showing us close-ups of her body parts. What’s also disturbing is that we excuse these abuses of women under the name of art…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Leslie, age 45
Negative—I, like other reviewers walked out of the film. As a Christian, I agree, despite whatever justification you may want to give for the graphic depiction of child pornography, it is JUST that. I will state as a victim of child sexual abuse, these scenes were very triggering and disturbing. Whether consensual or not, viewing scenes of sexual activity between children and adults should never be justified.

Yes, this sort of things goes on in our world. Yes, it is horrible and should not be acceptable. But NO it should not be graphically displayed. Other movies make a point of the horrors of rape, child abuse without having to show it graphically. We have a serious pedophilia problem in our world. Watch the news lately? Our laws are so lenient for child abusers. In Canada pedophiles have been let go from charges despite having sexual photos of children because they are considered “artistic” and are not distributed, but kept as their own personal collection!

Also, hello people… wake up please and think does God sit up in Heaven and say “It’s okay to view naked people acting sexually, after all, they are making a good point.” Come on! Our Lord does not support this, so don’t even try to “rationalize” why scenes like this should be okay! They are not! The only people we should ever see naked are ourselves and the person God brings into our life to marry. The movie could have been much better served to not have added scenes such as this.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1½
—Jasmine, age 35
Negative—How can any Christian say “Babel” is a good movie? I am appalled. It has children stripping, and a child masturbating. I was so offended by the darkness AND the sexual content of this movie, that I had to go home and repent. I was taken by a friend as a birthday gift, and was horrified and saddened that I sat thru such filth. It is NOT artistic expression. It is filth. It has porn in it.

It is a dark, hopeless, morbid view on life. Christians should be yelling “Freedom” to those who are held captive, and should NOT be sitting watching their filthy, degradation, and hopelessness. It is “shameful” for Christians to even mention what the unbelievers do in secret (Ephesians 5:12), let alone pay $9 and sit and eat popcorn and WATCH what the unbeliever does in their personal, hopeless, dark world! Paul writes that because of such immorality the wrath of God is coming (Col. 3:6). DON’T be a partaker. Keep yourself pure. You will regret putting these dark images into your mind. Keep yourself pure.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—LeeAnn, age 43
Negative—I did not see this film in its entirety because I was so disturbed by the opening scenes: a child masturbating after incestuous voyeurism, and a teenager removing her underwear to show some boys her (in her words) “hairy monster.” Has Hollywood and society stooped so low that enacting child porn is not only accepted, but rewarded? This is not something to be “open-minded” about; it is strictly forbidden by God. This movie is not entertainment, it is perversion.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1½
—Saul, age 23
Negative—OVERALL, the movie was about 75% good and had a decent storyline, HOWEVER, I still don’t know what the point of showing a child masturbate or a teenage girl show her 'privates'- AND I MEAN, ALL PRIVATES… had to do with the movie period! This was absolutely appalling!

The movie had a chance of being a VERY good film, but leave it to sick, twisted directors who can’t show a film without disgusting parts in it to ruin a potentially SUPER movie.

Had I known that the child porn was going to be in it, I would never had watched it, and I advise you to not watch it either if you are thinking about it. Don’t be fooled with the NOMINATION for best picture.

If showing an 9 or 10 year old kid masturbate and a teenage girl trying to have sex with everything that moves including her dentist and a police officer (which is sooo pointless to the movie, yet a good 25% of the film is dedicated to her need of attention, which she tries to get by exploiting herself sexually at every turn she can) are the ingredients it takes to be an ACADEMY AWARD winner… GOD HELP US, GOD HELP US ALL!!!…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Glen Maillet, age 37
Comments from young people
Negative—I had to walk out of the theater, as this movie was so bad. My uncle, who had not seen the movie either, kindly took me and a few of my other relatives to go see this movie. We came into this movie thinking it was just a war movie rated “R” for the violence, boy were we wrong. I tried to be as polite as I could be by not walking out during most of the bad parts, but when a Japanese lady came out in full nude, both me and my uncle had enough and left the movie theater.

The movie was very perverse and in addition to the violence cursing, including the “F” word, was constantly used and there was a huge amount of sexual content including a kissing scene, a young boy masturbating, a young girl getting undressed (it showed the back, but part of the breast was visible for a few frames), Japanese girls changing in their underwear, and one teenage girl in particular who flashes her genitalia to a boy and making another put his hand on it… more »
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1½
—Jeremiah Dias, age 15
Neutral—I thought this movie was weak. As I watched this movie I couldn’t help but continue to ask myself why Brad Pitt would agree to do this movie. It was interesting but confusing as well. The movie all ties together near the end. There were definitely time line issues. The language wasn’t too bad. There was some swearing but it was when a deaf-mute girl did it in sign language.

It definitely sends a strong message that makes you think about your own life. The movie addresses the struggle to be accepted, the struggle of sexual immorality, lying, murder, marriage struggles, family issues, love, hate, drinking, loneliness, and the desire to give up. The movie easy to apply to your own life. more »
My Ratings: Average / 2½
—Jordan, age 14
Positive—I just want to say that the younger “writers” that attended a showing of Babel most likely would not understand the values (this also goes for the woman who said it was child pornography… she obviously has a very shallow mindset, no offense), so, please, do not be dissuaded by their comments. Mainly, they know not what they “say.” Now, the meat of my comment:

Thirty minutes into this film I knew that I would not leave the theatre unmarked. It hit me on such a level that easily made it one of the single greatest films I have ever seen in theatres (it’s still in that slot). Truthfully, do not let a child see this movie. I saw it because, now it may come as a surprise to you, I am a filmmaker. I understand irony and art. more »
My Ratings: Average / 5
—JP Hoban, age 17