starring Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Mark Addy, Benno Fürmann
written and directed by Brian Helgeland
by Walter Chaw Somewhere between the good-bad of Lost Souls and the bad-bad of Bless the Child is the medium-bad of The Order (just north of the medium-bad of Stigmata), a Brian Helgeland film that, using much of the same cast from his A Knight's Tale, squanders a pretty interesting concept and a handful of powerful scenes on so much confused exposition that it's nigh impossible to get too invested in the thing. More of a shame is that the foundation for the piece is such a strong one, revolving as it does around the idea that the Catholic Church would be hateful towards a personage who could absolve sin outside the Church proper, allowing sinners a "backdoor" into salvation. Since it's a simple conceit and a thorny one, it's easy to see why Helgeland thought he had something here. It's only with the ponderous details the hyphenate loads onto this cart that The Order gets irretrievably bogged down.