Evan Almighty

Rated 4.0

Freshman Congress member Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) finds his new job tougher than expected: On top of his legislative duties, God (Morgan Freeman) wants him to build an ark. Viewers expecting a sequel to Bruce Almighty, or a hilarious Carell romp, will be disappointed; it’s no sequel (far from “almighty,” Evan is pretty helpless), and Carell prompts chuckles rather than laughs. False expectations aside, the film (directed by Tom Shadyac, written by Steve Oedekerk, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow) is a wry updating of the Noah’s Ark story from Genesis, mixed with a liberal helping of Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (the corrupt Congress member here played by a smirking John Goodman). It’s no laugh riot, but it has a generous heart, and a spectacular climax that delivers the sensual and emotional goods.