Recently Added

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Post: Captain America: The Winter Soldier [video] (2014)

B | Teens & Up

I like Lawrence Toppman’s comment on this one: “This sequel is, by design, entirely absorbing and satisfying without being one whit memorable.”   Read more >

Post: God’s Not Dead [video] (2014)

D | Teens & Up

I took two minutes to talk about this one, and still got in less than half of what bothered me about it.   Read more >

Post: Special “Reel Faith”: Religious Films Edition! And “Catholic Answers Live!”

Two notable back-to-back Decent Films events tonight!   Read more >

Article: Top 10 Superhero Movies

Why do we love costumed crusaders? Larger-than-life heroes fill a cultural niche occupied in the 1950s by gunslingers, in earlier centuries by Robin Hood and King Arthur, and in antiquity by the likes of Hercules, Perseus, and Odysseus.   Read more >

Post: Father Barron on ‘Noah’! Catholic Culture! More!

Father Robert Barron is one of the Church’s best commentators on popular culture today, so I’ve been waiting for his take on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. He doesn’t disappoint.   Read more >

Post: Everything SDG on Noah: Vatican Radio, NBC News, EWTN News Nightly & more!

This has been a crazy week! I was interviewed about Noah for Vatican Radio, the NBC News website, EWTN News Nightly, Kresta in the Afternoon and The World Over.   Read more >

Article: Noah: A Theological Reflection

“Let me tell you a story,” Russell Crowe’s Noah says to his family in a moment of great crisis and emotion. “The first story my father told me, and the first story I told each of you.” What he recounts are the events of Genesis 1, the creation of the world; and Aronofsky relates them both verbally and visually in a way that bespeaks a confidence in the power of this story to speak to us today: a story still worth telling and retelling.   Read more >

Article: The Noah Movie Controversies: Questions and Answers

The punning headlines write themselves: “Noah Awash in Flood of Controversy.” “Deluge of Criticism Inundates Filmmakers.” In the weeks preceding the release of Noah, controversy has swirled around the film — and will no doubt continue to do so in the weeks ahead.   Read more >

Post: Ernest & Celestine [video] (2014)

A- | Kids & Up

I can’t imagine the soul who could watch this movie without smiling.   Read more >

Post: Muppets Most Wanted [Video] (2014)

B | Kids & Up

Jason Siegel and Amy Adams are out. Can Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tiny Fey pick up the slack?   Read more >

Post: Son of God [Video] (2014)

B- | Teens & Up

After ten years, Jesus is back on the big screen. Was it worth the wait? Son of God: my “Reel Faith” review.   Read more >

Post: Noah [Video] (2014)

B+ | Teens & Up*

The first major big-studio Bible film in decades is a dark, divisive, personal film from the director of Pi, The Fountain and Black Swan.   Read more >

Review: Noah (2014)

B+ | ***½ | +2-2| Teens & Up*

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah pays its source material a rare compliment: It takes Genesis seriously as a landmark of world literature and ancient moral reflection, and a worthy source of artistic inspiration in our day.   Read more >

Article: Interview: Noah Writer-Director Darren Aronofsky and Co-writer Ari Handel

In a way, the figure of Noah stands over filmmaker Darren Aronofsky’s whole career.   Read more >

Post: Best Films of 2013: More Lists

Most of my friends love The Wolf of Wall Street. (I…don’t.) And Before Midnight. (More sympathy there.)   Read more >

Article: Everybody chill out about the ‘Noah’ movie

So what’s the deal with the Noah movie? Does it replace the message of the Bible story with a message created by Hollywood? Is Russell Crowe’s Noah an environmentalist wacko? Is God a monster out to eradicate humanity entirely? Get a grip, people.   Read more >

Article: How Christian is Disney's Frozen? (Not very.) Part 1

I’ve been surprised at the popularity of efforts to interpret major story elements in Frozen as a Christian parable. I’m not talking about merely commenting on the climactic act of self-sacrifice as reflecting Christlike love, etc. That, I don’t object to. I mean interpreting the film’s structure and themes as, in effect, an allegory of the Gospel — one rivaling or even surpassing C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.   Read more >

Post: Catholicism: The New Evangelization

Since Bl. Pope John Paul II called for a “new evangelization” in 1983, the phrase has become common in Catholic circles, yet too often it’s been a slogan with little substance — or success. Father Robert Barron’s work with Word on Fire Ministries is among the most gratifying exceptions to this unfortunate rule.   Read more >

Review: The Lego Movie (2014)

B+ | ***½ | +1| Kids & Up

Here is something I didn’t see coming: The freshest, most unique animated family film from any Hollywood studio in well over a year is … based on a line of brightly colored plastic construction blocks and assorted accessories. I’m not kidding!   Read more >

Post: So, How Ga​y is Disney’s Frozen?

So basically everyone loves Frozen except me. I’m fine with that. I’m not a fan, but I don’t dislike it; parts of it I like very much, though other elements I found disappointing and off-putting.   Read more >

Article: 2013: The Year in Reviews

2013 was a year of cinematic trauma and stress, full of harrowing, at times also exhilarating, survival stories, many on the abyss of the sea or even the void of space.   Read more >

Review: Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

B+ | *** | +1| Teens & Up

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. That’s almost enough to sell the picture by itself, isn’t it? Who but Hanks can one imagine in the role?   Read more >

Article: Exorcism in the Movies

In a way, The Exorcist is a pivotal film — the indispensable link between the Catholic-inflected piety of Golden Age Hollywood and the demonic world of latter-day horror.   Read more >

Post: Black Nativity [video] (2013)

B+ | Kids & Up*

Of this year’s Christmas season’s trio of religiously inflected Christmas movies, this one just might be the most deserving of your time.   Read more >

Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

C | **½ | -2| Teens & Up

Now, two installments into the epically epic trilogification of Tolkien’s slender fairy tale for children, it seems Jackson and company have only one abiding goal: to keep one-upping themselves with ever more preposterous action sequences, nastier violence and more inappropriate humor.   Read more >

Post: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [Video]

I appreciated the first Hunger Games movie, but wasn’t eager to watch it again at the time. The sequel has me wanting to watch the first film again — in a good way.   Read more >

Article: The Virgin Mary at the Movies

Mary of Nazareth, now touring North America in isolated screenings hosted by Ignatius Press, is the latest in a number of Gospel films over the last couple of decades focusing in a special way on the role of the Blessed Virgin in the Gospel story.   Read more >

Review: Frozen (2013)

C+ | **½ | +1-1| Kids & Up

Frozen may be the most tragic fairy tale in the Disney canon, which is saying something.   Read more >

Post: Frozen [Video]

Compared to Disney’s last (and only other) computer-animated fairy tale, Tangled, Frozen has twice the princesses, twice the hunky love interests, twice the domesticated anthropomorphic ungulates … but not a fraction of the humanity.   Read more >

Post: Thor: The Dark World [Video]

Is Loki a villain or an antihero? Either way, the fan favorite is basically the Marvel Universe’s answer to Catwoman, but he can’t carry the movie if he isn’t the main antagonist.   Read more >

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