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EMPIRE OF LIGHT

What You Need To Know:

EMPIRE OF LIGHT is a British drama set in a British coastal city in the early 1980s. Olivia Colman plays Hilary, a middle-aged woman coping with mental illness who helps manage a multiplex movie theater. The theater’s married owner cheats on his wife with Hilary, but it’s an abusive relationship. A young black man named Stephen gets a job at the theater. Hilary shows him the ropes. Stephen is kind to her, and they become lovers. However, Hilary doesn’t tell Stephen about her previous mental breakdown. She also stops taking her meds. Eventually, her situation comes to a breaking point. In one scene, white racists riot and beat up Stephen.

EMPIRE OF LIGHT has heartfelt moments that promote compassion, empathy and personal healing through communal camaraderie. These positive moments, however, clash with the movie’s politically correct, humanist content. The movie falsely blames Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government for the racist skinhead movement at the time in Britain. Finally, EMPIRE OF LIGHT also has lots of strong foul language and scenes of depicted sexual immorality. The movie’s negative content is excessive and unacceptable.

Content:

(PaPa, HH, PCPC, RHRH, BB, LLL, VV, SS, N, AA, D, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong mixed pagan worldview, set in early 1980s Britain, with pagan behavior and some humanist and politically correct revisionist history that falsely blames Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government for some growing racism in Britain that led to some racist skinhead riots against blacks and Pakistani/Indian people, all of which clash with some heartfelt moral elements that promote kindness, compassion, empathy, and personal healing through communal camaraderie

Foul Language:
About 41 obscenities (including about 25 “f” words), three Jesus profanities, six light profanities (such as OMG), and a character honestly says, “God help us” like an informal prayer, but nothing more comes from the sentiment

Violence:
White skinhead protest turns scary and violent with rioters ransacking a movie theater lobby (glass doors are smashed and concession area looted) and beating up the theater’s black male employee

Sex:
Scene of depicted sex when middle-aged woman’s married middle-aged boss forces himself on her (she acquiesces but it’s clearly a case of the boss taking advantage of his position – he let her return to a management position after she suffered a mental breakdown), boss makes a crude sexual request from the woman, depicted fornication between the woman and a much younger man, and implied fornication between woman and younger man

Nudity:
Rear and upper male nudity in a naturalistic context

Alcohol Use:
Some alcohol use and character appears drunk in one scene

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Smoking throughout woman, and woman is shown taking prescribed lithium; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Vandalism and woman stops taking her meds and has a mental breakdown, but she recovers again after getting treatment.

More Detail:

EMPIRE OF LIGHT is a British drama, set in a British coastal city in the early 1980s, about a middle-aged white woman coping with mental illness who works at a multiplex movie theater, who begins an affair with a young black man who starts working at the theater. EMPIRE OF LIGHT has some heartfelt moments revolving around compassion, empathy and communal camaraderie, but it contains lots of strong foul language, depicted sexual immorality and strong humanist, politically correct, anti-conservative elements and identity politics with leftist revisionist history attacking Margaret Thatcher’s attempt to bring freedom and prosperity to Great Britain, which she did.

Olivia Coleman plays Hilary, the middle-aged woman coping with mental illness who helps manage a multiplex movie theater in a British coastal city. Mr. Ellis, the married owner of the theater, is cheating on his wife with Hilary. He forces her to have intercourse in his office, and Hilary mechanically goes along with it, because he let her keep her managerial job after her last mental breakdown.

A young black man named Stephen gets a job at the theater, and Hilary shows him the ropes. Stephen is kind to her, and they become friends, then lovers. However, Hilary doesn’t tell Stephen about her previous mental breakdown. Also, she stops taking her lithium meds, which results in some erratic behavior.

Eventually, things come to a head during a fancy premiere for CHARIOTS OF FIRE at the theater. Also, at one point a protest led by white racist “skinheads” turns violent and some of the racists bust into the movie theater, loot the concession stand and beat up Stephen, sending him to the hospital.

EMPIRE OF LIGHT is a well-acted and nicely photographed work. It has some heartfelt moments that promote compassion, empathy and personal healing through communal camaraderie. These positive moments, however, clash with the movie’s politically correct, humanist content that falsely blames Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government in Great Britain with the racist skinheads who rioted in the early 1980s, like the ones who beat up Stephen in the movie.

EMPIRE OF LIGHT also has lots of strong foul language, including may “f” words and a few profanities. It also has two scenes of depicted sexual immorality. So, MOVIEGUIDE® finds the movie to be excessive and unacceptable. The writer/director, Sam Mendes, is a talented person with a couple really good, redemptive movies under his belt, such as SKYFALL and 1917, but EMPIRE OF LIGHT could have benefitted from a more spiritual, Christian, conservative outlook of people and society.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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