2022: The Year in Reviews ARTICLE

2022: The Year in Reviews

The movie year 2022 was a year of memory and identity, with one film after another exploring how memory both gives us access to our past, to our roots, and also distorts and obscures the past.

<em>Avatar: The Way of Water</em> is everything James Cameron wants movies to be ARTICLE

Avatar: The Way of Water is everything James Cameron wants movies to be

“A glorified South America” was one of the odder dismissive takes on Pandora, the alien world of the Na’vi in James Cameron’s Avatar, that I heard when the movie was in theaters. After all, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to see a glorified South America?

The Gospel According to the McDonaghs: <em>The Banshees of Inisherin</em>, <em>Calvary</em>, and <nobr><em>In Bruges</em></nobr> ARTICLE

The Gospel According to the McDonaghs: The Banshees of Inisherin, Calvary, and In Bruges

It’s tempting to view Calvary alongside Banshees and Bruges as a sort of unintentional McDonagh brothers trilogy: a “lapsed Catholic” trilogy, or, a bit more accurately, a “bad Catholics” trilogy, since most or all of the characters in Banshees and many of the characters in Calvary are at least minimally practicing.

Asghar Farhadi&rsquo;s masterful <em>A Hero</em>: A decent man does the right thing, more or less ARTICLE

Asghar Farhadi’s masterful A Hero: A decent man does the right thing, more or less

One of the things that makes Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) such a riveting storyteller is how persuasively he imagines sympathetic characters who are more or less trying to do the right thing finding the consequences of that “more or less,” that small bit of wiggle room, compounding and spiraling out of control in unforeseen directions.

<em>The Rings of Power</em> at the end of season 1 ARTICLE

The Rings of Power at the end of season 1

Season 1 ended for me closer to the quiet end of the whimper-bang spectrum than I had hoped. Yet the highs of the season’s second half offer ongoing reason for sustained interest.

<em>The Rings of Power</em>: Season 1 at the halfway mark ARTICLE

The Rings of Power: Season 1 at the halfway mark

Four episodes in, the lavish Amazon Prime series is delivering on at least some of its promise, but there’s room for improvement.

A new foray into Middle-Earth: <em>The&nbsp;Rings of Power</em> ARTICLE

A new foray into Middle-Earth: The Rings of Power

A Game of Thrones–ification of Tolkien? More Hobbit trilogy excess? Though not without missteps, Amazon’s ambitious Lord of the Rings prequel series gets off to a fairly promising start.

Too good not to be true: Two movies about the Thailand cave rescue ARTICLE

Too good not to be true: Two movies about the Thailand cave rescue

Perhaps you were glued to the news in 2018 as the world followed the ultimately successful efforts in Thailand to rescue the 12 young boys of a soccer team and their assistant coach from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave who had become trapped by sudden flooding. If you haven’t checked in on the story since then, though, you have no idea.

Love and thunder, signifying nothing? Religion and nihilism in recent Marvel movies ARTICLE

Love and thunder, signifying nothing? Religion and nihilism in recent Marvel movies

Recent installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe exacerbate the tension between the franchise’s humanistic ethos and its nihilistic cosmos. Is there still room for God in this universe?

<em>Vivo/Alive</em>: A documentary about Eucharistic adoration returns to theaters for one day only ARTICLE

Vivo/Alive: A documentary about Eucharistic adoration returns to theaters for one day only

Vivo remains focused on the experiences of its subjects and their spirituality. It’s not a catechetical or apologetical presentation, but a portrait of five souls and a document, perhaps, of the workings of grace. Vivo is alive.