The Book of Clarence

The Book of Clarence

Streetwise but down-on-his-luck, Clarence is struggling to find a better life for his family, while fighting to free himself of debt. Captivated by the power and glory of the rising Messiah and His apostles, he risks everything to carve his own path to a divine life, and ultimately discovers that the redemptive power of belief may be his only way out.

  • Released: 2023-09-22
  • Runtime: 135 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
  • Stars: LaKeith Stanfield, Omar Sy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anna Diop, Caleb McLaughlin, James McAvoy, Teyana Taylor, David Oyelowo, Alfre Woodard, RJ Cyler, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Babs Olusanmokun, Eric Kofi Abrefa, Nicholas Pinnock, Chase W. Dillon, Micheal Ward, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor
  • Director: Jeymes Samuel
  • TxMike - 15 June 2024
    Set in 33AD, a different take on the Jesus story.
    If one goes into watching this movie and enjoying it for what it is, and NOT for what one thinks it SHOULD be, then it is a very interesting and well-made movie. Most votes are in the 5, 6, 7, and 8 categories which is a valid indicator of what this movie deserves.

    It is set in Jerusalem in AD 33, which Christians recognize as the year Jesus would be arrested and crucified. The story focuses on LaKeith Stanfield in the role of Clarence, a 30-ish man who doesn't quite have his life right. He borrows money and a chariot with horse which are featured in the chariot race that opens the movie. Something happens, he has 30 days to come up with money to pay his debts.

    As Clarence looks around he makes note of the attention surrounding Jesus. Clarence isn't a believer, he is fond of saying "Knowledge is more powerful than faith" and even goes to the mother of Jesus to try to find out how he does his tricks, his illusions of healing the sick or awakening the dead. His goal is to either become the 13th apostle or to declare himself as the "real" messiah and do tricks to convince the people that he is genuine, in the process raising money to pay his debts and to free some slaves.

    All this raises many additional issues and for the most part they are treated interestingly and often with humor. I watched the extras on the DVD, hoping to learn what all the filmmaker had in mind with this story but his commentary didn't shed any light. I wondered if part of it is parody of the modern "men of God" who preach and depend on followers sending them money.

    Regardless I found it to be totally interesting and entertaining.

    The writer-director is also an accomplished musician, he wrote the score and lyrics to several songs which he also sings. All in all the music is wonderful and complements the movie scenes very well.

    I watched it at home on DVD from my public library, my wife read about the premise and decided to skip. Not a movie for fans of ONLY traditional stories, but very interesting for those of us who enjoy unique approaches.
  • treasurelyfe804 - 25 April 2024
    I loved the movie! I loved the soundtrack!
    This movie is like a biblical version of The Harder They Fall. The acting and the soundtrack are amazing. If you liked The Harder They Fall you'll like this one too. The casting is great. I don't know if it's accurate because I don't care to read the Bible lol but the movie itself is a good one. I see myself in Clarence. He is not a believer. Benjamin Cumberpatch is hilarious and a pleasant surprise. So far I've watched it twice. I watched it last night and I'm watching again this morning. And once I'm done I'll add the soundtrack to my listening rotation. Excellent movie. I watched it with my two young adults sons and this was the first time they didn't use their phones during a movie.
  • djrmc24 - 30 March 2024
    Original and Intriguing!
    The Book Of Clarence might not be for everyone. It does reimagine a few things from the Bible and tells it from another point of view. This however might upset some who think this is being a mockery of religion as it's certainly far from that. In fact after watching this if you think it is saying something bad about religion you weren't really paying attention to the film. LaKeith Stanfield does a great job here playing our lead Clarence. The rest of the supporting cast is also terrific as well. Jeymes Samuel is in the Directing chair and he knows the type of film he is trying to make here. Coming off a strong film with The Harder They Fall, Jeymes does another strong job. My only complaint is I wish a little bit more was going on toward the middle of the film as it does start to drag on just a tad. Also the music selection was hit and miss as well. Overall I feel The Book of Clarence is going to become a cult classic when the dust settles. The Book of Clarence gets a solid 8 stars out of 10 from me.