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Movie Review: “Sister Act”

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Theatrical Release: 5/29/1992

Theatrical Release: 5/29/1992

Synopsis

Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg) is a talented singer, and she has been leading and performing in a show in Reno for some time. Her talent has been the focal point of the show, and her drive has been essential in the song choices and organization of the group. This gig has been good for her, and she has been seeing a very wealthy man in the area. Their relationship has been going okay, but she wants more from it.

That all changes when she discovers that the man she has been seeing is a mob boss, and she only discovers this when she witnesses him executing a man in cold blood. The police now want Delores to testify, but they will need to keep her safe for the month leading up to the trial. With all previous witnesses winding up dead, the police need to put Delores somewhere that no one would suspect. Thus, they put her in a church where she will have to live as a nun to hide her identity. Unfortunately for Delores, fitting in will be easier said than done.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

Whoopi Goldberg (+4pts)

The Premise (-3pts)

Maggie Smith (+4pts)

Predictable (-5pts)

The Comedy (+4pts)

Supporting Characters (-2pts)

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Pro: Whoopi Goldberg (+4pts)

It has been a pretty long time since I have seen Whoopi Goldberg in a movie, and I somehow never saw this one when I was a kid, so I really was not expecting a whole lot out of her in this movie. This was not because I thought she would be bad. I just had no expectations of her whatsoever. Regardless, I watched this movie and I thought she was great in the lead role.

The movie had a silly premise, but Whoopi Goldberg sold it. She sold the plot, she delivered the comedy effectively, and she played the drama just as convincingly. I am not trying to suggest that this was a dramatically impressive movie. It was your typical comedy, which had some dramatic moments sprinkled throughout, and Whoopi Goldberg delivered what she needed to at every step of the way.

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Con: The Premise (-3pts)

This was a comedy about a singer who witnessed a mob boss killing a guy, which led to the police discreetly organizing for her to live as a nun to keep her safe. The character then did not fit in, and from there it was your typical silly comedy about a character being thrown into a new, ridiculous scenario. Everything about this premise was ridiculous. From the way it was set up, to her conflict with the nun in charge, and to Delores' role in the church. The whole plot of this movie was hard to believe, and the filmmakers definitely leaned into that a bit, but I think this movie could have worked a lot better if the filmmakers either executed this premise in a more believable way or if they leaned hard into the ridiculous and comedic nature of this premise. Sitting in the middle made it so that it did not really work as either. It still was not bad, but I thought picking one side and sticking to it would have made the movie quite a bit better.

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Pro: Maggie Smith (+4pts)

I only know Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter Franchise, but this movie came out first and she was great in it. She played a traditional Mother Superior who was reluctant to take in Delores due to her large personality and questionable lifestyle. Nonetheless, she was Mother Superior, and Delores needed help, so she agreed to help, but she did so reluctantly. The two characters went through a predictable clash of style, but Maggie Smith did a great job with the character. Mother Superior easily could have been a one-dimensional character in a predictable storyline, but Maggie Smith gave the character heart, and she made the character far more interesting than she otherwise could have been. I did not think the character was written well, but Maggie Smith made the character work anyway.

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Con: Predictable (-5pts)

I know I already touched on this, but this movie was as predictable as they come. I had never seen the movie, but my wife and I saw it while scrolling through Disney+ and she remembered liking it, so we gave it a shot. As soon as Delores got to the church, I knew how the entire rest of the movie would go. I even said to my wife: ”let me guess, she joins the church, she hates it immediately, and she clashes with Mother Superior, but then she breathes new life into the church choir, wins everyone over, and decides she wants to stay at the church even after the trial.” Now that was my guess at the beginning of the movie, and I will not get into which of my predictions were accurate and which were not, but I was spot on for most of it, and it annoyed my wife—which to be honest was pretty satisfying. It just made for a boring plot, because it was so easy to see where the filmmakers were going with it.

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Pro: The Comedy (+4pts)

There were not any big laugh-out-loud moments, if I am being totally honest. Even still, the movie kept me chuckling here and there, which kept me watching. The movie was trying to be to be a comedy while also being feel-good in nature, so it just seemed like the filmmakers were sitting on the fence. It felt like the feel-good story was holding the comedy back, and the same was true the other way around. It was far from the funniest movie I have seen recently, but the comedy in this movie was always at least mildly entertaining.

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Con: Supporting Characters (-2pts)

Whoopi Goldberg was great as Delores, and Maggie Smith was great as Mother Superior, but the entire rest of the cast was made up of typical, cartoonish, one-dimensional characters. Some of them had a few funny moments, but for the most part they were all bland, uninteresting, and not very amusing. It is also worth noting that there were a lot of side characters living as nuns in the church. By cutting out some of the ones that got little to no screentime, the filmmakers could have focused more on the few that they wanted to give screentime to, and there for making us more invested in them.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

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Grade: C+ (77pts)

I was not expecting much from this movie, because I had honestly never even heard about it until my wife and I saw it while scrolling through Disney+. I really do not know why I had never heard of it, but we gave it a shot it and it was not bad. Whoopi Goldberg did a pretty good job in the lead role, as she did a great job of balancing the feel-good drama with the comedy, while carrying the plot on her back. Then there was Maggie Smith, who made her character a lot more than what she very easily could have been with a less talented actress in the role.

The comedy was there and while there were no big laugh-out-loud moments, I do not think that was what the filmmakers were going for. They were going for a feel-good movie with some mild comedy, and that was what they delivered. The plot, however, left a lot to be desired. It was severely predictable, it had a ridiculous premise that was set up in an equally ridiculous way, and the supporting characters were mostly bland. It was a fairly average, feel-good movie with some mild, light-hearted comedy sprinkled throughout.

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