A score of “religious” movies have come out recently. A month ago we had Son Of God, God’s Not Dead somehow elevated from made for TV B-Movie status to a wide theatrical release and next month is Heaven Is For Real.

But Noah is something completely different. It is directed by Darren Aronofsky and he was given complete directorial control over the picture. That’s right, the guy who directed The Fountain and Black Swan is taking on the Bible.

This won’t be a simple story and in all likelihood, it won’t be like anything you read before.

Hah. The joke implying that I have actually read a book before.

For one thing, the entity that created the world pre-flood is always referred to as “The Creator.” I won’t tell you all the differences because that would ruin the fun.

Let’s just say that the Adam and Eve story is basically the same, and the Cain and Abel happened the same way too. Noah (Russell Crowe) is a descendant of Seth, the third son of Adam, while the vast majority of civilization is a descendant of Cain.

These men have pillaged the world, draining it of its natural resources and animal friends. Noah has tried to protect his family from their corruptness, keeping them to a mostly nomadic lifestyle. Then he gets a vision. He believes the world will be cleansed by water and he must build an ark to save the animals upon it.

But if Man is the problem, can he save others? Is he even allowed to save his family or himself?

Jennifer Connelly plays his wife, Logan LermanDouglas Booth and Leo McHugh Carroll are his three sons, Emma Watson his adopted daughter he finds along the way, Anthony Hopkins his grandfather, and Ray Winstone his main enemy.

There is also a very strange massive man wet dance number in the middle.

Here is a pro-tip. Don’t drink a lot of fluids in theaters while watching Noah. It is a movie about a giant flood, which also occurs about halfway through the movie. Given the length of the movie, you might have some uncomfortable feelings before you reach the end.

Since the flood occurs so early, the second half of the movie is mostly human drama aboard the ark. Because of the drama, the ending does seem to drag on a little bit.

I thought Noah was awesome. The movie was visually stimulating. It was beautifully shot and the CGI elements weren’t terrible. The acting from the leads felt great on all accounts. In particular, I really loved the story of how Man came to be from the Creator in six days. It is a famous tale, but the way it was shown from start to finish in this movie was pretty unique.

However, at times I still felt the movie was just a tad bit too long. There are also certainly going to be people upset with the movie due to its loose interpretation of the source material.

Noah was definitely a much better movie than I thought it would be. It told a good story, wasn’t pushy with any messages, had great acting, and was visually pleasing.

One thing the movie could have used? More puns. Just imagine this ending. The family finally makes it to land. The wife says “Now we can spread out and repopulate the earth!” Her husband turns to look at her and says: “Yeah, I Noah.”

3 out of 4.