What You Need To Know:
REPENTANCE is somewhat entertaining, but the ending is disappointing and annoying. Forest Whitaker’s performance as Angel, however, is outstanding and believable, though gory. The biggest problem is the movie’s worldview, which involves New Age pagan and occult content, including transcendental meditation and communicating with a dead person. REPENTANCE (2014) also has excessive foul language and extreme, disturbing violence. Media-wise viewers will want to skip this movie. REPENTANCE shouldn’t be confused with the superb 1984 Russian allegory about the tyranny of Joseph Stalin.
(PaPaPa, OOO, FRFRFR, B, C, LLL, VVV, S, AA, DD, MMM) Very strong syncretistic New Age, pagan, occult worldview includes protagonist prays and meditates calling out the ancestors of another man and pouring out libations, references to transcendental meditation, communication with the dead, with some light moral, redemptive elements as characters seek justice and show compassion and forgiveness, but occult punishment still occurs as a ghost seems to get her revenge; at least 40 obscenities and profanities, including many “f” words, plus the “n” word is used several times; extreme, graphic violence includes man kidnaps and tortures protagonist, plus drunk driver hits woman and the passenger in the car throws her body off a bridge; no sexual content but a man is attracted to his brother’s wife; no nudity; alcohol use and protagonist drives drunk; man takes prescription pills; and, blackmail, revenge, kidnapping, stealing, moral relativism, dysfunctional family portrayals.
REPENTANCE is a 2014 supernatural thriller where the son of a woman murdered by a drunk driver and (apparently) her ghost seek revenge for the crime that occurred. REPENTANCE (2014) has a mixed pagan, occult worldview with strong foul language and graphic violence. It shouldn’t be confused with the great 1984 Russian allegory about Joseph Stalin’s tyranny.
REPENTANCE opens with two brothers who are drunk and driving at night. As they are crossing a bridge, the driver, Tommy (Anthony Mackie), hits a lady, swerves out-of-control, crashes, and is rendered unconscious. His brother, Ben (Mike Epps), gets out and finds the lady badly injured, probably dying. As Tommy regains consciousness, he sees his brother pick the woman up, walk toward the car, and then, shaking his head, turn away from the car, take the woman’s body and throw her over the bridge. The two speed off.
Four years later, Tommy is a successful New Agey therapist and author. He’s having a book signing of his new book about his near death experience. A man named Angel (Forest Whitaker) comes to the book signing. His book is well worn from several readings. He says it helped him deal with the death of his mother. Angel asks Tommy if he would be his therapist because he still struggles with seeing his dead mom in various places as if she’s still alive. Tommy initially declines.
Meanwhile, Tommy’s brother, Ben, has been in jail for another crime. Upon his release, he asks Tommy for money to pay off his debt for a crime deal, gone bad. To make extra money to help Ben, Tommy takes Angel as his client and adds more cities to his book tour.
Angel is clearly emotionally disturbed after the death of his mother and wants Tommy to help him stop seeing apparitions of her. Tommy performs a meditational ceremony at Angel’s house with his family to lead Angel’s mother safely on to Heaven to be at peace. When it doesn’t work, and Angel still sees his mother, Angel puts everyone but his young daughter, Francesca (Ariana Neal), out of the house.
Later, as Tommy leaves town for his book tour, Angel kidnaps him. Tommy is bound and gagged, tortured, and hidden in Angel’s soundproof basement. Angel then begins to quote Tommy’s book and perform Tommy’s therapeutic practices on him. However, Angel is very violent and performs the “therapy” sessions in violent, twisted ways. He puts a bag over Tommy’s head as if to suffocate him, but eventually pokes a small airhole in it. Angel stabs Tommy with a long metal rod that goes through one side of Tommy’s thigh and out the other side. Angel also kidnaps Ben and Tommy’s wife Maggie (Sanaa Lathan) and continues torturing Tommy. He clearly wants Tommy and Ben to confess killing Angel’s mother, but will they?
SPOILERS FOLLOW: Tommy and Ben finally confess what happened that night on the bridge. They had no idea the woman killed was Angel’s mother. Just as they are about to die, Angel has to leave to check on Francesca. She tells Angel how her grandmother talks to her and tells her things to help Angel let go. His daughter’s confession inspires Angel to returns to the torture chamber and unlock the door to let his victims go free.
Angel leaves them and takes his daughter out of the house. Tommy is the only one with a hand free. He falsely believes his life is over now and picks up the gun on the table to shoot himself. As Angel and Francesca leave the yard, a gunshot is heard, and Angel’s dead mother waves from an upstairs window as Angel and his little girl continue walking away.
REPENTANCE is somewhat entertaining, but the ending is disappointing, if not annoying. Forest Whitaker’s performance as Angel, however, is outstanding and believable, though gory. The biggest problem is the movie’s worldview, which involves New Age pagan and occult content, including transcendental meditation and communicating with a dead person. REPENTANCE also has excessive foul language and extreme, disturbing violence, which includes torture.