Punishingly profound

Martin Scorsese completes his religious trilogy (The Last Temptation of Christ, Kundun) with this impressive tale of Christian missionaries in a brutally unwelcoming 17th-century Japan. A must for film buffs, with moments of transcendent beauty. But to get to them requires a bit of a slog through much self-indulgent, glacial storytelling. In the end, a faith-based movie is a faith-based movie, and those not entirely on board with the director’s rigorous Catholic beliefs may find not just their faith, but their patience being tested during almost three hours of expertly depicted suffering and torture. (161 min)