Magdalene Sisters, The

Rating = B-

This was a disappointing movie. It basically is two hours of showing that an order of nuns of the Catholic Church in Ireland for decades abused and treated like slaves women sent to the order to be reformed for their sexually related sins or accusations of sins. However, viewers didn't need a two-hour detailed reminder that the church can do bad things in god's name; half an hour would have been sufficient to make the point. Then the other hour and a half of the movie could have been used explain to viewers: a) why the culture of Ireland and the church there took the course it did of sending women into the convents to be slave labor in large numbers through the 1970s and b) what brought about the decline and final end of the order in the mid-1990s. Also, the treatment of the three lead characters of the movie doesn't work well: they never really become a team, so why the focus on them; and when each escapes, they do nothing just move into their new lives without a look back. This movie reminded and angered me about how often churches do more harm than good and about the angry push in the U.S. to force religion into the public debate and on to everyone, without in fact providing me with a very good movie. Altogether it was a dissatisfying experience.