From the first romantic scene, which shocks the viewer with its gratuitous and entirely uncalled-for violence, you are treated—if that is the word—to a long and disjointed sequence of ever more violent and disgusting episodes. None of them are enjoyable and the movie as a whole has nothing in particular to offer. The jury is in: there is no redeeming social value here, this movie is Not Worth Watching. I used to believe that every movie with Bruce Willis had at least some redeeming value. If I'd avoided this I would still harbor that pleasant delusion. Avoid it at all costs.
A Man for All Seasons
Now this is a great, if perhaps a little disingenuous, movie. If your boss flagrantly pursues a path you consider morally wrong, deeply morally wrong, how do you square your conscience? We've all been there, frequently on a daily basis. Much as we would all like to believe ourselves on the side of the angels, honesty dictates that we remember times when we unfortunately chose the path of corruption—after all, it wasn't that important a matter and we wanted to keep our jobs. But so thought many Germans in the Thirties, and we all tell ourselves that we have learned The Big Lesson—never again. But have we? Tell that to the 300,000 dead Iraqis, to the immense piles of Hutu and Tutsi corpses. What are you doing to stop genocide in Darfur today? Despite our fallen natures, sometimes the proper moral choice must be made and we must accept the inevitable consequences: loss of influence, loss of friends, loss of job, loss of life. So it happens to Sir Thomas More, but he remains undaunted and unbowed, though an entire country has caved cravenly to a mildly tyrannical master. Was his resistance and martyrdom worth it? Perhaps. What is certain is that Paul Scofield's performance in this movie is brilliant; watching and once more contemplating this perennial question is well worth the time invested.