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Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood [video] POST

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood [video]

Quentin Tarantino’s gifts are impossible to deny, but while I often find his set pieces mesmerizing, I have yet to fully buy into one of his films. This might be the closest one yet, though.

Midsommar [video] POST

Midsommar [video]

Why does Robin Hardy’s disquietingly cheery 1973 British folk-horror classic The Wicker Man work better than this sophomore film from the writer-director of Hereditary?

The Farewell [video] POST

The Farewell [video] (2019)

Fans of NPR’s This American Life already knew that Lulu Wang had an extraordinary story. What we now know is that she is also an extraordinary filmmaker.

Toy Story 4 [video] POST

Toy Story 4 [video] (2019)

For the first time, Pixar has made a Toy Story movie that adds nothing essential to the arc of the previous films. It’s still worth seeing.

The Dead Don’t Die [video] POST

The Dead Don’t Die [video] (2019)

I mean, you can kill them, but that’s not the point. The question is, were they ever alive in the first place?

The Secret Life of Pets 2 [video] POST

The Secret Life of Pets 2 [video] (2019)

It’s come to the point where the mere sight of the Illumination logo makes me think “lazy and scattershot.”

The <em>Lion King</em> Chef (a meme essay) POST

The Lion King Chef (a meme essay)

It’s just like the opening act of Favreau’s Chef: Favreau is literally Carl, and Disney is Dustin Hoffman.

Amazing Grace [video] POST

Amazing Grace [video] (2019)

How can you watch a movie when you keep wanting to close your eyes in prayer?

Dark Phoenix [video] POST

Dark Phoenix [video] (2019)

The best X-Men movies, by my lights, are about hope. Dark Phoenix doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be about.

A Dog&#8217;s Journey [video] POST

A Dog’s Journey [video] (2019)

Who is the target audience for Precious Moments from hell, or at least from a bad country song?

Pok&eacute;mon Detective Pikachu [video] POST

Pokémon Detective Pikachu [video] (2019)

When they announced The Lego Movie, this is basically the movie I thought we were going to get.

Zac Efron&#8217;s Ted Bundy is <em>Extremely Wicked</em> &#8212; but there are other things he should be, and isn&#8217;t POST

Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy is Extremely Wicked — but there are other things he should be, and isn’t (2019)

The real Bundy could be charming, but an honest film about Bundy and Kloepfer’s relationship could just as easily be called Super Weird, Emotionally Abusive and Threatening.

Why Mary Magdalene gets a bad rap POST

Why Mary Magdalene gets a bad rap

A reader of my review of Mary Magdalene offers an impassioned defense for the medieval Western view of St. Mary Magdalene as a penitent with a notoriously wanton sexual past, a profligate adulteress or harlot.

A Star Is Born [video] POST

A Star Is Born [video] (2018)

So Bradley Cooper can direct and sing as well as act, and Lady Gaga can act as well as sing. The music is solid and sometimes excellent, but does Hollywood’s fourth take on this story have anything new to say?

Best films of 2018: More lists! POST

Best films of 2018: More lists!

First Reformed made more than half of the nine individual lists below, and unsurprisingly topped the year’s best films according to the Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury … What’s more surprising — anyway I’m a little surprised, and delighted — is that another film was even more esteemed in this little community … and it wasn’t any of the films I would have expected.

Roma [video] POST

Roma [video]

“No matter what they say,” the mother tells the maid, “we women are always alone.” More than any other 2018 film about unreliable men, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is a tribute to women holding their worlds together.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [video] POST

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [video] (2018)

Chris Miller and Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Phil Lord / Do whatever Chris Miller and Phil Lord do.
Can they swing from a thread? / No they can’t, they’re Hollywood filmmakers.

Mary Poppins Returns [video] POST

Mary Poppins Returns [video] (2018)

And so does Dick Van Dyke — but if you want the return of Julie Andrews, the movie to see is Aquaman.

Ralph Breaks the Internet [video] POST

Ralph Breaks the Internet [video] (2018)

Ralph doesn’t just break the Internet — he breaks the mold for Disney/Pixar sequels.

The Rider [video] POST

The Rider [video] (2018)

The lead actor in this film told me he feels much closer to God in the South Dakota Badlands than in New York or Paris. There were more theologically explicit films this year, but none that brought God closer to me.