Bill Maher (sneery), religious folk (outwitted)

What’s it about?
Borat director Larry Charles following rabble-rousing comedian Bill Maher around the world, as he pokes fun and rolls his eyes at how crazy religious people are.
What’s good about it?
“I’m here promoting doubt. That’s my product. The other guys are selling certainty. Not me. I’m in the corner with doubt.” That’s Maher’s opening pitch, and it’s one he holds true as he (hilariously) picks holes in the beliefs of those who are tethered to religious texts. But it’s not all flippant. Sure, Maher takes the piss out of the story of the prophet Jonah (who the Bible says spent three days living inside a fish). But he also meets a collar-wearing Vatican astronomer - a very modern Catholic - who’s happy to reconcile science and religion. And crack a joke or two about the Mormons.

What’s bad about it?
Maher’s brilliant, but he’s so well armed with quips and put downs that the documentary will have a hard time deflecting accusations of bullying. On the British leg of his tour, for example, he interviews the man who stands outside the FHM offices at Oxford Circus shouting into a microphone, and visits the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset. It’s like taking someone to the circus, then telling them they shouldn’t believe in clowns.

The verdict:
God it’s funny. If you’re an atheist, you’ll be chuffed to bits. The religious - not so much. It’s not a cinematic event in the same way that nuclear Jihad would be, but that’s exactly what Maher is pleading with humanity to avoid. A must-see.

When? April 3