Stigmata (1999) - Horror

Hohum Score



When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself.

IMDB: 6.2
Director: Rupert Wainwright
Stars: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne
Length: 103 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 85 out of 400 found boring (21.25%)

One-line Reviews (272)

A well crafted film which is both highly enjoyable to watch, challenging and thought provoking.

If you're looking for a thrilling movie with many interesting points then definetely see Stigmata.

A series of stigmata seizures, which seem to be an excuse for the director to use all the stylish camera tricks he can think of, are strung together by a boring investigation story.

I was really upset by it, not because it was "sacrilegious", or so I've heard it said, but because it seemed like such a waste of perfectly good talent and money.

Not since Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, have I seen such an intense and brilliantly choreographed film.

I am pleased to say about this movie that as predictable as the involvement between Frankie and the Priest was it didn't degrade the story; Frankie, despite living a shallow existence is at root a kind and what you might say "Christian" person.

I loved the movie started nice slow start with some strange happens and the movie flowed really well, Some of those scenes were really well made, and sometime it's really powerful scenes and scary at the same.

Worth watching if you live on a desert island with a DVD player and only the choice between watching "stigmata" and reading the boooring and lame "Da Vinci code".

The movie was just confusing!

" I could begin to criticize it's awful script, seemingly plotless until it's final moments - or it's unnessecarily MTVesque photgraphy and editing, playing like a really long and pointless music video rather than the narrative film that it is SUPPOSED to be...

The ending and the climax are a little obvious, but I enjoyed it.

There are two central characters in the movie - Frankie Paige, an agnostic New York hairdresser with an empty life, and Father Kiernan who is a Vatican investigator into unusual weeping statues and the like.

I saw the movie earlier today and after 20 years of weekly (even daily) theater visits this is the first movie I have ever walked out on.

If you're interested in seeing a scary movie with intense special FX and graphic violence OR an intriguing religious based story with a few twists,,, this is the movie.

Pretentious melodramatic garbage .

Mostly one big yawn of a movie, it's neither scary, nor intriguing.

I agree with the above critique of this pretentious piece of work, adding that I have had owned a copy of the 'Gospel of Thomas' for over 40 years.

Suspension of disbelief required but very enjoyable .

The general premise of the movie might not be original, but it does have its special effects and stunning visual imagery.

), to be enjoyable.

An intense view of the corruption of the Catholic Church .

In the trailer, the voice was deep and foreboding and sent shivers down my spine, but they chose to use a different voice (monotone and detached) in the final cut which fell flat.

Three quarters through the other friend leaned over and said "This is very boring!

So save your money, and wait for this one on video ...

Strengthened by a career best performance from Patricia Arquette, and good efforts from both Gabriel Byrne and Jonathan Pryce, 'Stigmata' manages to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Though the film balances psychological terror and armchair Christian mythology, the movie manages to present a thought-provoking dramatic episode by clashing the faithful and the faithless, the true spirituality and hypocrisy, the sincere and the mundane.

A very thrilling movie that leaves you breathless.

A few buildings are smashed, bloody stigmatic wounds appear, goofy-coloured eye contacts and a levitated body are really the only 'horror' elements, not particularly frightening, but the focus of the film is on the relationship between Frankie and the priest, very gripping and emotional.

One might even say that the scenes of the extreme banal(a contradiction I realize) on which the film opens, but extremes, as terrible as they might be do nonetheless allow us to see if not what a thing is then at least what it is not and that Evil, if it is real(I think it is),would definitely harness Banality and Neutrality because at it's heart the Right decision isn't always an obvious one and that to do the Right thing we must take the chance of doing the Wrong thing and that the worst thing to do is acquiesce and fail to take part.

The cinematography/camerawork was self-indulgent and annoying.

If you're looking for a fictional film that seriously explores stigmata and related phenomena, don't waste your time.

The story of her journey to illumination is dragged out and doesn't make a lot of sense, though.

Visually stunning .

The confrontation scene at the end between the spirit of Father Alemeida and Keirnan was very poignant and intense.

The director, while making sure every scene was lit properly, and that the correct lenses were being used, forgot that there are two things that must exist to make a film exciting; one is a great script, and the second is great acting.

Intriguing concept,disconcerting execution.

Wannabe cool religious tale of empty faith unplugged - Patricia Arquette a victim of her own casting agency!


Hollywood is often criticized for churning out the same banal gobbedly gook time and time again.

Stigmata was the worst movie of the year in 1999.

It makes this a very pointless movie to watch.

Pryce is a waste but worse than that is the pointless addition of Nia Long.

the religious themes opened the door for a myriad of possibilities, yet it seems that they chose the least exciting.

The original idea seems fair enough to me, but the script is poor and rather predictable.

The ending is so unoriginal, so drab, and so LAME!.

It was thoroughly interesting and suspenseful, while maintaining a more cerebral theme than 95% of movies in the genre.

An Intense and very entertaining drama.

Honestly, this is easily in the top 5 of the worst movies I have ever seen.

The script is pretty good , if a little confusing at times, and the finale was quite good and often shocking.

Although Stigmata isn't a great film, it is moving, engaging and extremely brutal.

Jonathan Pryce's villainous Cardinal is totally predictable and one of the most inept performances I have ever seen from him.

What a waste of money!

***MAJOR SPOILER HERE*** The biggest annoyance - and so predictable - was the twist that Father Byrne falls for the charms of Patricia Arquette and (religiously spoken) turns his back to God again.

Just confusing.

If the question is understood and not a foregone conclusion in the viewers mind, then the film will certainly will make for exciting, entertaining and provocative viewing, at the very least.

And, even now I have to admit that there are some pretty intense scenes in there that are well shot and quite nasty.

Expecting another mindless exorcist style horror flick that should be interesting to watch, if only because the critics panned it, i was pleasantly surprised to find an entertaining, quasi-intelligent spiritual romp.

Stigmata is one of those movies that, while watching it, I felt cheated, but as I left the theater, I realized how much I enjoyed the way the entire film came together.

Directed by Rupert Wainwright (Blank Check, The Fog-2005) made an entertaining, stylish supernatural thriller.

Although overwrought with religious symbolism and a little heavy-handed, Stigmata is an intense drama and very entertaining.

It's goals are admirable: to criticize institutional religion, to make a religious movie that appeals to a younger generation, to enourage serious religious thought, and to package it in an entertaining, suspensful thriller.

The film is a highly contrived fictional yarn that imaginatively invents a scroll of Jesus' words and then takes the religious mythos of stigmata and combines it with the mythos of possession (in ways not consistent with either) as a device to reveal the plot of the Church to keep the gospel a secret.

A score should undertone and strengthen a film's drama, but this movie with its excessive (and repetitive) fast-paced editing, directorial fat, and overfocus on the music makes it seem much more like an hour and a half long music video.

Also it is disjointed and there is little in the way of narrative direction.

It is disjointed, poorly made and way too long.

Story and style-wise this takes its cue's from 'The Exorcist' and 'Don't Look Now' with some flashy visuals straight out of an early nineties Garbage video that I guess are supposed to unsettle the viewer, but really only point to the fact that this film is trying too hard to make up for its predictable plot and dialogue.

This is supposed to imply that they talked for hours and got to know and like each other, but in reality it simply implies that their conversation was too tremendously boring to bear, and immediately after that conversation she gets the nails through her feet anyway, to keep your interest.

Overall the film just got too caught up with being some visual/musicy slamfest to slow down and think about what it was trying to do.

An Invasion of Meaning on a World of the Banal .

Once labeled a horror film it was sentenced to a slow death, placed in a dark deep hole rather than being an acclaimed work of art, history, with religious sub themes and wrong thinking.

The script of the movie adds to the confusion by taking lines from the 'gospel' out of context and misquoting passages of it.

Enjoyable Movie with Absurd Pop Video Stylishness .

"Stigmata" is a fascinating film, maybe not for its story and theme, but for its spectacular visuals and stunning photography.

The ending simply degenerated into another one of the trite "The Church is secretive and mysterious and lies and hides the truth to protect itself" storylines.

It had a concept that would have probably worked out better as a novel,wherein perhaps the intriguing and rather disturbing subject matter could have been explored deeper into the reader's subconscious,and developed into greater detail.

However, for the majority of people who see it, this movie is a greatly rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Good special effects, but boring and slow plot.

Banal, uninteresting, and not at all scary.

Maybe the writers are trying to show that she now believes in god, but it is just too confusing and hopeless.

"Stigmata" was a stunning movie with interesting historical commentary.

For a Horror/thriller, there was a complete lack of suspension, due to the fact that all dramatic methods were either ancient, predictable, or repeated ad nauseum.

This film is about as thrilling and thought provoking as any feature starring "Ernest".

There were some intense moments and the movie was able to hold my attention.

And it's not because I'm an atheist, it's because they're just so predictable, so boring and so exactly the same.

I found this movie to be thought-provoking, interesting and entertaining, and as appropriate to millennium madness as the Seventh Sign would have been.

Okay, so I have to say at the outset, the plot/story line, the director's cut ending (available on DVD), and Patricia Arquette are what make this film above average and if I may say, compelling.

Some of the sequences are really breathtaking like the scene where Arquette (Ms Page)clings in the air.

I think maybe a real story, with something to say could have been intended, but all the budget was spent on buying music and the equipment to do slow rain drop shots and renting that gorgous apartment that Ms. Arquett lived in that they ended up firing the guy with the story.


Incredibly filmed and visually stunning.

The film is reasonably entertaining if you keep your spirits high and lower your fright expectations.

very boring.

It's also entertaining.

Turgid & Boring could get a bad name with this really poorly made film.

That is one of the worst movies I saw in my life.

Was it just me, or was this extremely boring.

A flawed, but ultimately very entertaining film.

In small doses the directors style would have been a strength, but when carried on throughout the film it simply becomes self indulgent.

Without a doubt, the most stunning looking film of 1999.

If you have children and prefer to watch scary movies after they fall asleep, this one is a big mistake.

The focus on them is so intense that you almost lose sight of there being anyone else in the movie.

(Exorcist: 40 minutes - nothing happens and that nothing happens very boringly.

The secrets of Vatican are always intriguing...

This is filmed in an almost David Fincher (Se7en) way, using rotating angles, rock video effects, and an all around dreary setting to set the mood.

It was fast paced.

I found the movie very interesting in acting and directing, but the photography was stunning.

And who better to play the character than the always entertaining Patricia Arquette, who dazzled earlier this year in "Goodbye, Lover," and now, with "Stigmata," plays Paige with the right sarcasm material.

This was refreshing and helped a lot in making the movie worth watching.

Anyway, the acting is intense and delicate.

On it's own merits, the film manages to create a foundation from which the viewer is challenged to fill in the blanks re: the spiritual goings-on, but it loses points where it attempts to find cheap thrills and reinvent the spiritual-psychological horror portrayed in The Exorcist by turning an interesting and engaging look at mystic spirituality's interaction with the 20th Century's narcissistic cynicism into something more akin to the later OMEN movies.

However, unfortunately, the end of the movie is quite sudden and unexpected.

I found this to be an enjoyable film.

Unfortunately, when the message of Jesus is actually revealed, it is so overwhelmingly bland and trite that it makes much of the hullabaloo of the rest of the film seem even more pointless and excessive than it does throughout.

Gripping, suspenseful, and beautiful direction .

Don't get me wrong, i enjoyed it although it was naff at some points, eg. her dehydrated demonic face.

At times visually exciting, it's just not enough to save this 90 minute+ music video.

Taking place in the water logged city of Pittsburg, where it is constantly raining and dreary.

We sat down and the movie began, still streaming with anticipation, we sat and sat and sat as this really slow movie was unrolling before us.

(As another reviewer stated, Gabriel Byrne does resemble the Father in Exorcist) Let's jump past all of that cliche nonsense and look at the "serious underlying message" of this movie, which seems to be that the Catholic (and probably every other) Church is so bent on controlling the flow of people's spirituality, that they'll stoop even as low as murder.


Not only is it a powerful film, it is a terrifying thrill and an intense thinking movie.

A Waste of Time .

A pretentious movie based on untruths .

Turgid & Boring .

If you haven't seen this movie, don't waste your time or your money.

Engaging Religious-Themed Horror.

I just saw Stigmata tonight for the first time and greatly enjoyed it.

Stigmata was a very watchable interesting film which is engaging and thought provoking.

This film brings together three qualities: a thought provoking nature with a "truth" behind it, actors/actresses that may not be the best but collectively all have some of there best performances, and a satisfactory delivery that allows it to be entertaining.

The film is visually stunning and features an impressive cutting edge soundtrack.

On top of that, the movie is also mostly predictable, in the way it progresses and it also isn't afraid to 'borrow' from other films.

The explanations for the events given where either weak, or confusing.

***SPOILERS*** A bit confusing movie involving this secret Gospel that's purported to be the only words written by Jesus himself!

Instead of a fairly entertaining "Exorcist"-style thriller, The filmakers decided to make a feature-length anti-catholic diatribe.

This is the worst movie I've seen since "Meet Joe Black.

Predictable and lame with stylish directing by Rupert Wainwright backed with a massive production.

If you like this kind of pretentious crap conjuring up images that lack any meaning then this film is for you!

There was very little plot and the deeper interesting areas that were touched upon i.

The worst thing on STIGMATA is plot which is -even thought good idea about conspiracy- boring.

The story (or lack there of) was ridiculous and went nowhere (who was the Antagonist).

I enjoyed in the theaters and I enjoyed it at home.

The problem lies in the fact that the bits of this gospel we are allowed to hear are so trite they will keep you awake all night.

Very entertaining.

To say the least, this premise is controversial, but atthe same time, it provides a compelling plot.

and Zzzzz to think about beliefs rather than merely accepting or rejecting out of hand what they're told.

The movie is fast paced and rather interesting and I gave it a 9.

Instead we get the terrifying development of the stigmata underlined by confusing rapid-cut images and ear-shattering blasts of noise, with all the subtlety of a child writing in block capitals with luridly colored crayons.

It's an interesting premise, somewhat engrossing up to a point, and something of a mystery; enough, in fact, that the writers should have quit while they were somewhat ahead.

There are already over 300 comments listed, so I'm not going to say anything about the acting, directing, cinemetography, music, story, etc. I'll just say that for ME, this movie was riveting from beginning to end...

Unfortunately, there are too many boring scenes of babbling priests.

Thoroughly enjoyable, and you don't have to be a religious person to enjoy the movie's quality.

'Stigmata' is an interesting movie about the fascinating ability to display and feel Christ's crucifixion wounds.

This is one of the worst movies in years.

The blatantly false propaganda in this flick would warm the heart of every Kluxer and Orange Orderman in the world.

I found myself tempted to hit the fast-forward button to get over some of the tediously boring scenes.

The way that the film afflicts it's heroine with the stigmata through the rosary is just typical screenwriting, and the romance aspects are predictable.

Whats worse is that the movie is extremely boring.

The person who I saw this movie with found the plot too absorbing for her, and I have a feeling that this is how the majority of an audience will feel, therefore, although it is a close call for me, I am not recommending the film.

It is powerful, terrifying, enjoyable and intense movie that should have wide appeal.

Without a doubt, the most stunning looking film of 1999.

It is, however, the plot which drives Stigmata forward - the epic sense of good against apparent evil (The true nature of the possession is revealed later) works well and in places the movie is quite breathtaking.

It's entertaining and worth a watch so long as you're not expecting Freddy vs Jason (?

But having read it, I was pretty bored with it.

My husband and I rented this movie Saturday night and thoroughly enjoyed it, although it wasn't scary at all and had a lot of inconsistencies (like the fact that the written Aramaic was in an ancient Hebrew script dating back about 1000 years before Jesus, the spoken Aramaic didn't sound anything like Aramaic, and Patricia Arquette is so obviously NOT 23 that I had to laugh).

Where the Exorcist was subtle and creepy, Stigmata was blunt, clumsy, and way too formulaic.

The writer just assumed that the Nag Hammadi gospels were obscure enough to use Thomas to sound "legitimate" when he was spewing his propaganda.

Save your money.

But, overall, I'd recommend it as a decent movie and a departure from the generic, bland portrayal of Christian religious experience a la the Hallmark channel or "Touched by an Angel.

All in all, a compelling look at Catholicism in specific and religion in general, made all the more palatable by the ever-watchable Gabriel Byrne.

) The great secret once revealed is rather banal.

The problem is that the film ends up much like a music video: repetitive and overdone.

Boring, pretentious, ignorant, and just plain bad .

Patricia Arquette is still gorgeous enough to pass for a 23-year-old party-girl (she actually was 31 around the time this film was shot) and she portrays a stunning martyr at times.

A very intense movie with great casting.

For them it is a revelation, for evangelical Christians it is pantheistic propaganda tantamount to blasphemy.

Using a young atheist girl as the recipient of stigmata is an original and intriguing concept.

Don't waste your time on this one.

Also, the ending is too predictable.

The film is most intriguing when it concentrates on the logistics the Catholic Church uses to investigate and generally debunk the many purported miracles and visions that occur with regularity the world over.

It's intense: I'll say that.

Stigmata is a reasonably entertaining piece of religious horror nonsense thanks to fine performances from its excellent lead cast, which also includes Gabriel Byrne as miracle debunking priest Father Andrew Kiernan, and Jonathan Pryce as a Vatican Cardinal trying to protect the Catholic church at all costs.

The basic story is so powerful and dramatically compelling that it does not need any heavy handed embellishment.

Stunning, striking, beautiful visuals throughout --- she walks down a street wearing vibrant colours, everyone else in dull greys -- she has a fit in a luscious florists -- the rubbish in an gothic alleyway swirls around in the shape of paper birds while steam pours out of pipes.

Don't get me wrong, it's an entertaining film.

Part of the reason is that the film relies far too heavily on plotting and imagery that echoes the infinitely more gripping and memorable "The Exorcist.

all of this aside, the film was still enjoyable.

The plot is quite clever if a little bit predictable, and anyone not from the Vatican will probably find it enjoyable.

(Or is this yet another movie cliché where the clue that might reveal all is only found when the story finds it appropriate to be discovered?

It's a mess, but a damn intriguing one.

Her attacks are slow-motion, pounding and repetitive.

Especially intense, awesome, and horror/frightening movies.

It provides some good shocks and an intriguing plot, with some good acting to boot.

Events occur which are, at first, gripping; mysterious painful wounds received by the hairdresser, plus visions, dripping water, flying birds, etc. Soon these techniques are gone through a number of times and get old.

Gory, squeamish thriller filled with religious propaganda, general hysteria and absurdities, and a finale that plays like the flip-side of "The Exorcist".

I mean I love a good "Thinking Man's Movie" just as much as the next person, but I mean there is a line between intelligence and boredom.

From start the finish, the slowest moments still keep you interested and wondering what is going to happen next.

Plenty of foreshadowing helps make this a very enjoyable film to watch.

I'll refrain from that, because it doesn't matter whether you are atheist, agnostic, Catholic, Christian, or reformed orthodox Buddhist; Stigmata simply commits the unpardonable sin, not of heresy or blasphemy, but of being a film that is neither very engaging or entertaining.

The visual effects are plentiful, extremely well done, and thrilling.

This is a mind provoking drama complete with intense language and violence with moderate sexuality.

It's ponderous, repetitive...

I would have to say that this was one of the worst movies I've seen ever.

" In short this is a waste of time except for the special effects.

What a waste of time.

I think it's an entertaining film and is visually spectacular.

There was really little he could do with his character, as it was written to be a means to an end, inundated with cliche and totally lacking in credibility.

No Story in the Onebigmusicvideo...

disappointments and confusion .

The film's visual appeal is to say that the fascinating sequences of the film are abstract and the most impressive.

The colors and visual texture of the movie are stunning.

Scenes of her crucified, head thrown back, screaming, blood everywhere, became rather tedious after seeing it a dozen times.

It has a carrying plot that was churned out by the very machine that creates every other predictable plot - i must insist it was entertaining.

Stigmata comes across more like a Scooby-Do cartoon, where the villains are implausible, the good guys half-conceived and two-dimensional, and the plot is a repetitive and silly mess.

there is no story, the acting is awful and completely based on stereotypes.

Two great movies blended into one makes a bland mush.

The story in general was intriguing, the cast did a good job playing their parts, it was just....

And last night it was on television and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Stigmata left me feeling so bored, while the effects are great, the movie is nothing.

Its an enjoyable movie with good performances by the actors though.

Don't waste your money-Sixth Sense for a second time.



He keeps you guessing as to when the next sign of the Stigmata is going to strike and when he wants you to be afraid, he manipulates you with gripping authority.

I just find religions very intriguing.

A stunning film!

All it does, however, is take a somewhat entertaining piece of fiction down to the level of tabloid exploitation that casts a pall over the entire project.

Utter silence and slow camera movements would have been infinitely more compelling.

This was a truly enjoyable film that really makes you think.

The Movie is not without its energy and some of what comes through about Ancient Mysteries, Languages, and Saints is intriguing.

Well made, but pretentious tripe .

I almost overlooked this movie the first time around, simply because I found what I now realize was essential scene-setting for the plot too much; in that the so cool characters it first introduces us to and their so cool lives were such a successful personification of the soulless, shallow Hell that is the modern world that I wrote it off initially as propaganda for that philosophy.

Big surprise: I really enjoyed it.

This is just the begging of a great, entertaining, touching movie.

These visuals are all very impressive, and some are real eye-opener, but they tend to get tiresome after a while.

It was kind of slow, and I think most of the people in the movies with me wanted just to see Patricia Arquette get possessed, well...

Finally, if you are not a Catholic (or Christian for that matter), the subject matter and symbolism will be difficult to follow.

This movie was a complete waste of my time.

This is hardly an horror movie, though some scenes are intense its not frieghtening.

The premise was quite intriguing: mysterious wounds called Stigmata affect an ordinary young woman.

Pointless Rubbish .

The story is believable, consistent and compelling.

It is definitely a thrilling movie!

Save your money for a better movie....

I don't want to reveal any spoilers here, so I'll only say that if you are a Catholic or believe in God you must see this engrossing film, for it will open your eyes to the real truth about Jesus and his philosophy towards his followers…… " for I am under every rock and in every tree….

Patricia Arquette has a winning personality, but her character lacks the dimension necessary to rescue her from the bland stereotype of the innocent horror movie victim.

disappointing, repetitive, and overdone .

What I got was a hip, intense look at questions of faith and doubt, the origins of Christianity, and a little "free info" on Aramaic and other odd facts.

Fiction, or non-fiction is up to the viewer, regardless, still very entertaining and thought provoking.

As for the message the dead priest was trying to convey being 'overwhelmingly bland and trite', I would think that a true message from Jesus wouldn't have to be very complicated to be valid.

At times this film delves into real horror and has you on the edge of your seat.

It's also slightly predictable in that not-good-predictable way.

Very profound and intriguing!

I found it to be entertaining, yet predictable.

Don't waste your time!

With every visual thing pushing me away, the ideas that STIGMATA toys with are fascinating, and in the end, based in fact.

show to enjoy the movie better and actually, I was falling asleep.

If the makers of "Stigmata" aren't confused about their theology, their theology certainly can be confusing.

3) Trite story.

As Frankie's apparently psychotic episodes grow more intense, The Church send in Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Burn) to investigate.

Visually Stunning .

The movie deals in topics enigmatic and mystical, but what is as fascinating to me as the subject matter,is the average viewers vituperating criticism of it.

Once over this hurdle, it was an fascinating, engaging and frightening story.

But the thing is, no one would understand the deep meaning to the plot unless the viewer listens to the director's commentary on the DVD, otherwise, such material is confusing and makes no sense.

It starts very slooowly, and when it finally does, it gets even more boring than it was in the beginning.

In fact, it often came across as silly and confusing throughout most of the picture.

I'm not really keen on catholic movies, but I watched "Stigmata" and I have to admit, I really enjoyed it.

The plot involves a very compelling and interesting cover-up in the Vatican that provides a fascinating backdrop for what could be an equally interesting "What if ancient miracles manifested themselves in modern America.

It is powerful, terrifying, enjoyable and intense movie that should have wide appeal.

Byrne does what he can and runs into church politics and the viewer is bored.

In all, despite the horrific image set by the media, the movie is quite enjoyable and worth seeing.

The ideas behind Stigmata are intriguing ones.

Unfortunately, STIGMATA suffers from a repetitive, overly conspiracial script.