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Rated PG-13 · 140 minutes · 2009

Who is killing off the College of Cardinals? Tom Hanks, reprising his role from The Da Vinci Code as professor/sleuth Robert Langdon, races through half the tombs and dungeons of Rome, trying to head off an explosion that would destroy the Vatican. It’s a plot by those old devils, the Illuminati, courtesy of hyperventilating novelist Dan Brown. Nice travelogue scenery and grimly exciting chase sequences, but director Ron Howard lets the religious shock and awe — not to mention the spooky splendor of St. Peter’s — overpower the prof’s rationalism. It’s a Sherlock Holmes for devout Catholics. The corny speeches, by Brown via David Koepp and frequent frother Akiva Goldsman, would make a bishop barf. Material this richly ridiculous should have been directed by someone who understands it better, like Dario Argento. Costarring Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Armin Mueller-Stahl (138 min.).
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Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Akiva Goldsman and Dan Brown
Producer: Brian Grazer
Cast: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Thure Lindhardt, David Pasquesi and Cosimo Fusco


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