Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe in Noah

Noah represents a big change of pace for Darren Aronofsky in that it’s his first big-budget studio film. But those who worry that he’s sold his soul to Paramount Pictures needn’t worry. Following some early screenings, the word going around is Aronofsky is as bold and ambitious as ever — for better or for worse.

The closest comparison seems to be Aronfsky’s The Fountain. That may be good news for die-hard Aronofsky fans, many of whom consider that movie his best, but it could also be bad news for the studio, as The Fountain tanked horribly at the box office. Hit the jump to find out what people are saying about Noah.

According to THR, Aronofsky warned the crowd in advance at last night’s screening in Mexico that his Noah was “a very, very different movie.” He added, “Anything you’re expecting, you’re fucking wrong.”

Our own Peter Sciretta agreed, and admitted that Noah was a polarizing watch.

Devin Faraci also picked up on the similarities to The Fountain.

Nathan Adams commented on how different Noah was from the advertising.

Alex Billington was less enamored than some, but singled out the score and the Watchers for special praise.

We Got This Covered had a mixed but mostly positive response.

Following earlier screenings, the words “powerful” and “important” were floated around quite a bit.

But not all of the responses were positive. THR writes that the movie “drew a somewhat muted response” at the screening in Mexico. While one American critic they spoke to said they’d give the movie a positive review, another felt the movie was “a bit long and dragged in spots.” Several audience members they spoke to concurred, complaining that the movie was “slow.”

Mario P. Szekely, a critic for Mexico City’s W Radio, told the trade he was skeptical Mexican audiences would connect with the movie. “They won’t connect emotionally with the main character because it betrays the essence of the biblical character, and the payoff just isn’t good enough,” he said.

Noah lands in U.S. theaters on March 28.

[Additional sources: The Film Stage]

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