Variety - 12/09/1999
"...A fiercely ambitious script that never loses its raucous rhythm....Affleck gives his strongest performance to date..."
Premiere - 06/01/2000
"...Funny, original....A high-wire act..." -- 3 out of 5 stars
New York Times - 11/12/1999
"...Mercilessly funny....[The actors] bring great, understandable enthusiasm to Mr. Smith's smart talk and wild imaginings..."
Box Office - 09/01/1999
"...There are kernels of genius here..."
USA Today - 11/12/1999
"...There is a keen intellect behind this devoutly defiant fable....Stuffed with cheery irreverence and inspired in equal parts by comic books, sports bar culture and the Bible..."
Imaginative theology and a bigger-than-usual budget make Kevin Smith's (CHASING AMY, CLERKS) fourth film a kind of post-Catholic fantasy that only a comic-book enthusiast of his caliber could dream up. It concerns banished angels, Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) who, after a few millennia in Wisconsin, discover a loophole in Catholic doctrine that would allow them back into heaven--but prove the fallibility of God and destroy the universe. As they make their way to New Jersey to receive a plenary indulgence, God dispatches a seraphim (Alan Rickman) to recruit lapsed-Catholic Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) to stop the angels. She finds help in muses, prophets (Jay and Silent Bob), and the forgotten 13th apostle, Rufus (Chris Rock). Before long, all hell breaks loose (literally), and God (Alanis Morrisette) has to put in an appearance of her own. Smith's controversial (and very funny) film is powered by his trademark dialogue, ripe with observations on pop culture, religion, and bodily functions.
Irreverent enough to merit a disclaimer at the beginning, DOGMA is nevertheless pro-God and pro-tolerance. The story involves two fallen angels, Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon), who have found a loophole in Catholic dogma that will allow them back into heaven. However, this breach would result in the destruction of the world, so a ragtag group of prophets, scions, and apostles set out to stop them. The success of the film is in the juxtaposition of Smith's trademark acerbic attitude and witty dialogue against the enormous canvas of Christian iconography and apocalyptic conflict.
DOGMA was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999.
The film was shot on location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Several groups, including the Catholic League, protested the film.
Smith wrote DOGMA before CLERKS, and the credits of the latter include the promise "Jay and Silent Bob will return in DOGMA."
Emma Thompson was slated to play the role of God, but had to drop out when she became pregant.
Connections between DOGMA and other Kevin Smith films include the character Grant Hicks, who is a cousin to Dante from CLERKS and Gill from MALLRATS. All three characters are played by Brian O'Halloran. Also, a bus company in the film is owned by Rick Derris, a perennial Smith character.
"I feel like I'm Han Solo, and you're Chewie, and she's Ben Kenobi, and we're in that f@&%#*-up bar!"--Jay (Jason Mewes), to Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) and Bethany (Linda Fiorentino)