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Dogma (1999)

29-year-old writer/director Kevin Smith – who made the wonderful Clerks and Chasing Amy and the slightly less wonderful Mallrats – here tackles the subject of religion with a wickedly humorous touch that unsurprisingly offended some Catholic groups when the film was released in the US.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck star as Loki and Bartleby – two fallen angels who discover there’s a loophole in church dogma that will allow them back into heaven.

The pair have been living in Wisconsin for nearly 2,000 years, so life has been dull – until they start shooting sinners they catch in acts of commandment-breaking.

When God realises the Earth will cease to exist if the duo are successful, less-than-happy angel Metatron (Alan Rickman) is dispatched to thwart their scheme.

In the company of abortion clinic counsellor Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) – who may be a descendant of Jesus Christ – and a smartass named Rufus (Chris Rock), unheralded as the 13th apostle because he’s black, the angels head to a New Jersey church for an audience with God, who’s played, as a mute, by Alanis Morissette.

While the film doesn’t work on every level, Smith has once again delivered a unique script and there are some terrifically funny performances.

One of the most original films of the decade, Dogma is not to be missed.

Bartleby
Ben Affleck
Loki
Matt Damon
Metatron
Alan Rickman
Bethany
Linda Fiorentino
Rufus
Chris Rock
Cardinal Glick
George Carlin
Serendipity
Salma Hayek
Azrael
Jason Lee
Jay
Jason Mewes
Silent Bob
Kevin Smith
God
Alanis Morissette
John Doe Jersey
Bud Cort
Grant Hicks
Brian O’Halloran
Clinic girl
Janeane Garofalo

Director
Kevin Smith