For over 25 years, Scorsese has been obsessed with this story which follows two 17th-century Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Japan in search of their missing mentor during a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. Scorsese grew up in Manhattan's Little Italy section where both priests and gangsters lived around him, and his early goal was to become a priest before deciding on being a filmmaker. Consequently, both religion and violence would inform his entire body of work, from "Kundun" and "The Last Temptation of Christ" to "Taxi Driver" and "Goodfellas". But "Silence" is far from being a simple religious film about Christian faith; instead it reflects Scorsese's lifetime struggle with doubt, or, more accurately, the 'silence of God' -- a subject that had obsessed Ingmar Bergman as well (particularly in Bergman's early sixties trilogy, most specifically its central film, "Winter Light" -- a story of a small town priest who loses his faith). This is a visually stunning film with performances that are perfect -- especially Andrew Garfield as the protagonist priest Rodrigues, Liam Neeson as his mentor Ferreira, and Japanese actor Yôsuke Kubozuka (who plays the crazed Kichijiro as if he were a descendant of Toshiro Mifune's bandit in "Seven Samurai"). Viewing this film however brings with it a warning: It is not for the unseasoned filmgoer and very difficult for many viewers to enjoy or even to sit through. I found it compelling throughout but it moves inexorably slow as a silk caterpillar crawling along a sheet of glass. Stylistically, too, it is unlike anything Scorsese has given us before, the exact antithesis of his preceding film, "Wolf of Wall Street" which was profane in its crude 'fun' as well as paced like a music video, more exemplary of the rapidly vibrant editing style we've all become used to. I can't say strongly enough that "Silence" is a Serious Film, obviously made by Scorsese for himself alone without giving a single whit about what critics or audiences will think about it. At 74, he has earned that right. Here is an obsessively personal document of a great filmmaker approaching his own winter sleep. Perhaps Scorsese is Icarus flying too close to the sun but I think it likely that in fifty years from now when scholars take in his complete filmography, "Silence" -- no matter how tedious it might seem today -- will stand out as a masterpiece not unlike the Danish master filmmaker Carl Dreyer's late works, "Ordet" and "Gertrude". I certainly felt every single minute of this difficult, very trying film but I took something priceless away with me when I left the theater. I recommend it highly to the most serious and devout filmgoer. All others should best stay away.