Commandments Review

When his life collapses around him, Seth Warner (Aidan Quinn) decides to get his own back on God by blatantly breaking the ten commandments; adultery proving the least problematic thanks to his sister-in-law (Courteney Cox) and her philandering hubby (Anthony LaPaglia).

by Caroline Westbrook |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1997

Running Time:

88 minutes



Original Title:


Seth Warner has reached the end of his rope. Ever since his wife died two years earlier, his world has been in turmoil. He is despondent, his career has fallen apart, even his house has been destroyed. There seems to be nothing left for him to live for, he finally directs his wrath at God from the rooftop of his apartment building in New York City. In the midst of a wild thunderstorm he demands to know why he has been betrayed by the god he has believed in and honored his whole life. God's answer is to strike down Seth's dog in a bolt of lightning. Pushed beyond his limits, Seth decides to respond to his years of torment by breaking each of the biblical Ten Commandments.

A natural at breaking commandments, his brother Harry is drawn to Seth's mission in the hopes of using it to further his career. Things get complicated when Rachel and Seth are romantically drawn to each other as he struggles with his crisis of faith and she struggles with a failing marriage. Inevitably, Seth comes down to the last and most important commandment, Thou shall not kill. In a climactic battle of will and redemption, Seth, Harry and Rachel cross paths with a raging hurricane at the far end of Long Island. The resolution to the story for all characters is surprising, mystical and ultimately just.

It's a great idea, but a dreary movie, with Cox given little to do and Quinn caught up in a supernatural subplot which results in one of the most ridiculous cod-biblical endings ever to (dis)grace a video recorder.

Tedious blunder from what looked like a plot that showed promise.
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