Case Number 18212: Small Claims Court


Maya Entertainment // 2009 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 29th, 2010

The Charge

Lord, forgive us for what we are about to do.

The Case

John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge) and Harvey Keitel (From Dusk Till Dawn) star in this revenge tale about two brothers who have survived an arson attack that completely destroyed their lives and seek to mete out violence as a result, and the female detective who gets way too close to the investigation.

The brothers are the titular "ministers," emotionally damaged guys who have turned towards their own unique brand of Christianity to justify their blood vendetta. On the other side is Celeste Santana (Florencia Lazano), who's on a bit of revenge kick herself. She's after the scumbag who offed her father, also a cop. Needless to say, her story and that of the ministers are bound to intersect and that's not going to be good for anybody.

I'm going to be honest with you, it's going to be a challenge stringing together a good amount of paragraphs for this review. It's not that The Ministers is a bad movie -- it's not. The performances are good, the writing is fine, and there are some sporadically interesting aspects to the story. And that's about all the enthusiasm I can muster.

Frankly, there is nothing memorable about the production, and I can't see it lifting off from the crowded field of gritty revenge tales that currently clog the retail and rental shelves.

If there is anyone who might have a shot of getting The Ministers somewhat present in the pop culture consciousness it's John Leguizamo, who powers the film from the get-go. With Keitel sidelined to a small, exposition spouting supporting role and Lazano's character not terribly interesting, Johnny L. has to do most of the heavy-lifting. Thankfully a) he's got by the far the most intriguing character to work with and b) also possesses the acting chops to tackle it.

As it stands then, tune in for his performance, if you have to tune in at all. For me, there just wasn't enough working here to propel The Ministers beyond the streets of mediocrity.

A simple DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2.0 stereo, and cast interviews.

The Verdict

The Court just can't bring itself to care much either way to render a verdict. Let's all go out for a steak bomb instead.

Review content copyright © 2010 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile
Studio: Maya Entertainment
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

* Spanish

Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks
* Interviews

* IMDb