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Review: Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014)

C | ** | -1| Kids & Up

With this sequel to last summer’s spin-off from the franchise that descended from Pixar’s Cars, the World of Cars has left behind not only stock cars, the open road, specific real-world settings and Larry the Cable Guy, but racing itself. Practically nothing is left of John Lasseter’s original vision, except those blasted windshield eyeballs. In this melancholy year without Pixar, it’s worse than no reminder at all.   Read more >

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

A | ***½ | +2| Teens & Up

Wait, where did this movie come from? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is so not the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes I expected or was prepared for.   Read more >

Post: Scott Derrickson: The Epic Video Interview!

Scott Derrickson is such a great interview subject that it was hard for me to cut down our sprawling 45-minute discussion to the 2500-odd words of the text article that ran earlier this week. I’m very pleased, then, to be able to offer the Reel Faith video version of the entire interview.   Read more >

Review: Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

B | *** | +2| Teens & Up

Why would a mother at the zoo throw her toddler over a railing into the moat of a lion enclosure? That’s the kind of horrible question that can look very different if you are a police officer or a priest.   Read more >

Article: Interview: Filmmaker Scott Derrickson on Horror, Faith, Chesterton and Deliver Us From Evil

Scott Derrickson is a very nice guy who makes movies about things that aren’t very nice.   Read more >

Post: Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

D | Teens & Up

If Michael Bay can take 165 minutes for his latest Transformers movie, I can take two minutes to review it.   Read more >

Post: Chef [video] (2014)

A- | Teens & Up*

I watched pretty much the whole second half of this movie with a smile on my face.   Read more >

Post: Edge of Tomorrow [video] (2014)

B+ | Teens & Up

I’m a sucker for a good time-bending movie. This is a good time-bending movie.   Read more >

Article: The Trouble With Angels: Heavenly Messengers According to Hollywood

The popular eschatological confusion that we “become angels” when we die may be a headache for catechists, but only a curmudgeon would object to a Hollywood fable taking this sort of creative license. Still, there’s no reason for all movie angels to be as angelically incorrect as Clarence.   Read more >

Mailbag: Mailbag #24

Maleficent, Of Gods and Men, Wall-E, Forrest Gump, Wreck-It Ralph, Argo and more.   Read more >

Article: Maleficent, Rape and Sympathy for the Devil

A story like this demands to be seen through the lens of what biblical scholars call “redaction criticism,” which basically means “What was changed, added or deleted in this retelling of the story, and what do those changes tell us about the storyteller’s intentions and outlook?”   Read more >

Article: So, How Gay is How to Train Your Dragon?

How to Train Your Dragon’s Gobber the Belch Comes Out As Gay,” headlines screamed in the weeks prior to the release of DreamWorks’ animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2.   Read more >

Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

C+ | **½ | +1-2| Kids & Up*

The first film related how Hiccup changed his village’s way of life forever, winning the love of the girl of his dreams, the approval of his authoritarian father and the respect of everyone in town — not to mention the loyalty of his magnificent new draconian friend, Toothless. Where do you go from there?   Read more >

Mailbag: Mailbag #23

Million Dollar Arm, Monsoon Wedding, Star Trek Into Darkness, Les Misérables, Happy Feet, Lincoln, The Lone Ranger and more.   Read more >

Post: Maleficent [video] (2014)

D | Kids & Up*

Angelina Jolie is perfect for the part of Disney’s most iconically evil villainess. If only they’d let her play it for more than one scene.   Read more >

Post: Ida (2013)

A- | Teens & Up*

A Polish nun embarks on a trip of discovery in this gorgeous black-and-white period piece.   Read more >

Review: The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

B | *** | +2-2| Teens & Up*

The Fault in Our Stars — in cinematic as well as literary form — cares quite a bit about silly questions, such as the meaning of life and death and love and suffering in a universe sliding toward oblivion, and whether there is Something beyond giving some larger context to our existence, choices and experiences.   Read more >

Post: Where can I watch “Reel Faith”?

This summer there’s a catch: Shows will no longer be posted for a week at the website. You have to watch them when they stream! The good news is, they’re streaming a lot! Here are your options…   Read more >

Mailbag: Mailbag #22

Frozen, God’s Not Dead, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Monsters, Inc., The Mill & the Cross and more.   Read more >

Review: Maleficent (2014)

D | | -2| Kids & Up*

It’s fair to say that Disney’s Maleficent plays to an extent as warmed-over Frozen. This is not a good thing, even, I think, if you are a fan of Frozen.   Read more >

Post: X-Men: Days of Future Past [video] (2014)

A- | Teens & Up

The director who launched the new era of comic-book movies 14 years ago with X-Men is back.   Read more >

Post: Godzilla [video] (2014)

C | Teens & Up

The latest Hollywood take on the most successful movie monster of all time is a huge hit with audiences and critics…but I’m not feeling the love.   Read more >

Post: Million Dollar Arm [video] (2014)

B- | Teens & Up

What happens when an American sports agent goes to the land of cricket, the Taj Mahal and endless traffic jams looking for anyone who can pitch upwards of 80mph?   Read more >

Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

A- | ***½ | +2| Teens & Up

X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the geekiest comic-book movies ever made — and one of the best. It’s easily the best superhero movie since The Avengers — and, like The Avengers, it plays as a triumphant climax to an uneven series of earlier films.   Read more >

Article: Our Lady of Fatima at the Movies

I have never seen a bad movie about Fátima. Three stand out to me: The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952) is the best known; Apparitions at Fátima (1992) is the most authentic; and The 13th Day (2009) is the most artful — and my favorite of the three.   Read more >

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

B+ | *** | +2| Teens & Up

The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s biggest liability is that it follows The Amazing Spider-Man. This sequel is so much better than its predecessor that I’ve gone from being merely disappointed with the 2012 reboot to being downright angry about it.   Read more >

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 >

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