Rated 3.0

Darren Aronofsky’s reframing of the Old Testament tale of Noah and the flood is not quite like any other Biblical epic you’ve seen at the movies. It has the grand scale and sweep that’s always been part of such extravaganzas, but it also has unexpected jolts of dramatic intensity and contemporary urgency to it. In Aronofsky’s by no means irreverent retelling, Noah is ferociously intent on completing the fearsome mission that “the Creator” has charged him with. For this Noah, the ark’s purpose is to preserve the animal kingdom for a fresh start from which human beings may be excluded. Thus, Noah (Russell Crowe) faces dramatic crises within his own family and must also face the moral and metaphysical challenges presented by a scruffy but surprisingly humanistic antagonist named Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone). Crowe and Winstone, skilled character actors with obvious action-movie credibility, are just right for a film that means to mix large-scale action spectacle with a surprisingly intimate blend of moral and metaphysical drama. The character dramas develop into an intriguingly complex kind of parable. Cinemark 14,