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New Jerusalem

By EMILY JENSEN
[TWO NIGHTS ONLY] The only thing worse than being hounded by a pushy evangelical Christian is being hounded by a pushy evangelical Christian with a creepy blond mustache. In New Jerusalem, poor Sean Murphy (Colm O’Leary), a scruffy Irishman recently back from military service in Afghanistan, deals with just such a character, a mouth-breathing Bible thumper by the name of Ike (Will Oldman). As the two work side-by-side at a tire shop in podunk Virginia, Ike desperately tries to herd Sean’s wayward soul into God’s flock—a flock that, at least in this town, drinks Mountain Dew in church and has designated hand gestures to go along with the lyrics of each hymn. "I want you to be....right," Ike pleads, handing Sean a taped recording of him reading the Bible aloud. Sean grimaces complacently, dismissing Ike’s sweet but overbearing offers of salvation. If director and co-writer Rick Alverson could have wrought a more dynamic story, O’Leary and Oldman’s gripping performances might not have been obscured by the film’s hollow nebulosity. In the torpor of New Jerusalem’s plodding ruminations on faith and religion, I found myself checking my watch every few minutes, wondering—much like Sean—where we were going, and when it would end.
 

Special Note

Clinton Street Theater. 7 and 9 pm Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 19-20 
 
  • Running Time:
  • Release Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
  • Critic's Score: B-
  • Watch the trailer
 

Show Times

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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