Tomb Raider REVIEW

Tomb Raider (2018)

Jolie’s Lara was perhaps having too much fun for much sense of urgency, but Vikander’s Lara isn’t really having fun at all, which makes it hard for the audience to have much fun either.

A Wrinkle in Time REVIEW

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

“If it’s bad art,” Madeleine L’Engle once wrote, “it’s bad religion, no matter how pious the subject.”

Best films of 2017: More lists! POST

Best films of 2017: More lists!

It’s hard to pick clear favorites from the latest roundup of the last year’s best films according to my circle of Christian friends and peers.

Phantom Thread [video] POST

Phantom Thread [video] (2017)

There is a certain fascination in how fascinated Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis are in material that is not fascinating.

The Shape of Water [video] POST

The Shape of Water [video] (2017)

Not the year’s better film starring Sally Hawkins as a handicapped dreamer with an inarticulate, seemingly almost subhuman lover.

Mudbound [video] POST

Mudbound [video] (2017)

The more firmly rooted in a sense of time and place a film is, the more revelatory it often is of the present.


Samson (2018)

If you ever wondered what it might have looked like for Samson to slay 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, wonder no more.

<em>Call Me By Your Name</em> Q&amp;A POST

Call Me By Your Name Q&A

Last week controversy erupted over my “Reel Faith” video review of the Best Picture–nominated movie Call Me By Your Name, a gay-themed coming-of-age drama about a same-sex relationship between characters played by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.

The seductive distortions of <em>Call Me By Your Name</em> ARTICLE

The seductive distortions of Call Me By Your Name (2017)

If you didn’t know that the Best Picture–nominated Call Me By Your Name is an uncritically rapturous celebration of a same-sex relationship between an inexperienced youth played by Timothée Chalamet and an experienced man played by Armie Hammer, you might almost guess it from the opening titles, an arty overture for the film that follows.

Black Panther REVIEW

Black Panther (2018)

Is Black Panther the first movie in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe with something in particular on its mind?

Paddington 2 REVIEW

Paddington 2 (2018)

I don’t want to review Paddington 2: I want to live in it, and invite you to live in it with me.

2017: The year in reviews ARTICLE

2017: The year in reviews

American moviegoers aren’t necessarily the most demanding viewers in the world, but it seems we have our limits, if dire movie-ticket sales for 2017 are any indication.

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi REVIEW

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi is a strange beast: a swashbuckling action movie that is deeply skeptical of derring-do; a middle movie that works better as riff and commentary on the original source material than as a sequel to its immediate predecessor.


Coco (2017)

I’m tempted to say I’d like to see the version of Coco Pixar would have made 10 years ago. Not really, I guess, since then we wouldn’t have Ratatouille. Still, I can’t help wondering what the team that made Ratatouille might have done with Coco.


The Star (2017)

It’s a little like The Nativity Story meets The Secret Life of Pets, which probably sounds like a winning formula to some people.

Justice League REVIEW

Justice League (2017)

The ghost of Superman hovers over much of Justice League. You might say Superman’s ghost has always haunted Warner Bros’ big-screen DC Extended Universe, though the haunting is more pronounced now that Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel is dead.

Interview: Catholic filmmaker Timothy Reckart, director of <em>The Star</em> ARTICLE

Interview: Catholic filmmaker Timothy Reckart, director of The Star

Timothy Reckart is the talented creator of one of the most original and memorable animated shorts in recent years, the 2012 Oscar-nominated stop-motion gem “Head Over Heels.” He is also a devout Catholic working in Hollywood.

Thor: Ragnarok REVIEW

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Officially, Thor: Ragnarok is the third Thor movie, but in spirit it’s closer to being the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie. This is both a mark of the massive success of the Guardians films, with their colorful, whimsical design and self-mocking humor, and of the relative failure of the first two Thor films, especially The Dark World, to find a vibe of their own.

Human Flow REVIEW

Human Flow (2017)

If the global refugee crisis seems like too immense a problem to wrap one’s head around, Ai isn’t interested in narrowing his focus. Going for scope over depth, Human Flow isn’t a definitive study of the problem, but it offers an incomparable starting point for further discussions.

Nausica&auml; of the Valley of the Wind REVIEW

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

(Reviewed by Sarah E. Greydanus) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind may be the quintessential Hayao Miyazaki film — not necessarily his best, but the most comprehensive assortment of his characteristic themes and motifs.

What does a starship need with God? ARTICLE

What does a starship need with God?

“What does God need with a starship?” That line, uttered by William Shatner’s Capt. James T. Kirk in the much-derided Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) — co-written and directed by Shatner himself — is probably that film’s most famous (or infamous) moment.

The Unknown Girl REVIEW

The Unknown Girl (2017)

Jenny will do a lot of listening in the drama that follows. First, though, will come a moment when she does not listen — the only time in the film she ignores a bid for her attention, but that one time hangs over the rest of the film.

Menashe REVIEW

Menashe (2017)

It has been jokingly suggested that all Americans are Protestants — even Catholics, atheists and Jews. There’s a meaningful insight there, although even as a joke it’s an overstatement, and insular communities like the Hasidim manage to resist American cultural identity far more than most. Menashe is different, though I wouldn’t want to suggest that he is a Protestant Hasid. It would be fair to say he’s a bit of a resister or nonconformist, if not quite a rebel.

All Saints REVIEW

All Saints (2017)

All Saints opens with the most familiar of pious Hollywood setups, the clergyman tasked with saving a threatened church (school, orphanage, etc.). Then something unexpected and kind of wonderful happens.

Detroit REVIEW

Detroit (2017)

Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit has an important story to tell, but what story is it?

A Ghost Story REVIEW

A Ghost Story (2017)

At the heart of A Ghost Story is an audacious visual metaphor. Like many effective metaphors, it is so straightforwardly literal and even absurd that there is no questioning or cross-examining it; like Kafka’s cockroach, or like the pie scene, it challenges you either to shake your head and turn away, or else to take the plunge.

Dunkirk REVIEW

Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk is the first film Christopher Nolan has made that feels bigger than the director’s preoccupations and obsessions.

War For the Planet of the Apes REVIEW

War For the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Too often I find myself in the melancholy position of trying to articulate why a movie I ought to like doesn’t work for me. War for the Planet of the Apes poses the opposite challenge: This is a film that, on paper, ought to leave me cold, but instead seared into my mind like a house on fire.

Spider-Man: Homecoming REVIEW

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

No one almost destroys the universe or the planet, or even demolishes a large European city or a sizable chunk of a New York borough, in Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Despicable Me 3 REVIEW

Despicable Me 3 (2017)

To call Despicable Me 3 desperate would be to ascribe too much effort and passion to the thing. Ice Age: Collision Course, now: There was a properly desperate sequel.