D: Martin Scorsese

Paramount/Sharpsword/Verdi/IM Global (Barbara DeFina, Randall Emmett, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Gaston Pavlovian, Martin Scorsese & Irwin Winkler)

US/Taiwan/Japan/UK/Mexico/Italy 2016

161 mins


W: Jay Cocks & Martin Scorsese [based on the novel by Shusako Endo]

DP: Rodrigo Prieto

Ed: Thelma Schoonmaker

Mus: Kim Allen Kluge & Kathryn Kluge

PD: Dante Ferretti

Cos: Dante Ferretti

Andrew Garfield (Sebastiao Rodrigues), Adam Driver (Francisco Garube), Liam Neeson (Ferreira), Ciaran Hinds (Alessandro Valignano), Issey Ogata (Inoue), Shinya Tsukomoto (Mokichi), Tadanobu Asano (The Interpreter)

Based on a Japanese novel which was originally turned into a 1971 film in its native country, Martin Scorsese made this a personal pet project, spending over two decades bringing it to screen, with many cast changes and obstacles preventing it from being released sooner.

The story bears some comparisons with the 1986 drama The Mission and the 1991 film Black Robe. Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver star as two Jesuit priests, who travel from Portugal to Japan in the 17th century to spread Christianity and locate their mentor, who has apostatised and gone missing, but they are met with hostility by the indigenous people, who have turned their backs to the religion.

Despite some excellent acting and breathtaking cinematography, the plot simply isn't as engaging as it could be, and the running time doesn't quite justify itself.

Still, no film by Martin Scorsese can be considered a turkey. It's just that Silence is an acquired taste.


Liam Neeson in Silence
Liam Neeson in Silence