What kind of year was it for movies? I’ve heard some folks complain that 2021 wasn’t a great movie year, but I’ve come to the point where I believe there are no good or bad movie years, just years in which people have or haven’t watched enough movies.
Not so long ago, a movie like John Watts’ Spider-Man: No Way Home would definitely have prompted me to open my review by dubbing it, if not the best Spider-Man movie ever, at any rate the most Spider-Man movie ever.
I have, as I suppose most anyone would, complex, mixed feelings about leaving an institution that’s been such a big part of my life for so long a time, but I have no regrets regarding my decisions nor doubts about how God is leading me.
Fog and mist, translucent pavilion sidewalls, blowing curtains, dark water, shadows, reflections: the film is full of motifs evoking the murkiness in which Macbeth’s last days play out.
As rousing sports films and inspirational biopics go, while King Richard is far from a pitiless, warts-and-all inquiry, it has a particular kind of truthfulness, analogous to the truthfulness of a family scrapbook or stories recounted at family reunions.
Watching Dune drove home to me the extent to which no one in 2021 can really go into an adaptation of Dune completely cold.
Incarnations of The Man vary from one MCU movie to another in terms of how sympathetic or compromised he is. Always, though, The Man has damaging secrets, misrepresents his true intentions, and can’t be trusted, at least not completely.
Almost from the beginning, vampire fiction has been a battleground between the powers of heaven and hell.
That our hatred should burden souls in the process of purification makes sense, but that our grief should burden them seems baffling and cruel — and it’s not a passing idea tossed off in one line.
Midnight Mass isn’t the first vampire story to blend vampirism as a metaphor for addiction with literal substance abuse. It is, however, probably the only paranormal horror story to focus so intently on the role of religion in recovery.
After the library of books that is the Bible, no literary corpus means more to me than Arthuriana, and no Arthurian work means more to me than Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Part of the success story behind writer-director Dallas Jenkins’ popular life-of-Jesus TV series is the remarkable crowdfunding approach spearheaded by viral marketing strategist Derral Eves.
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt are highly watchable, but Disney’s latest theme-park movie trails haplessly in the wake of Pirates of the Caribbean without a ghost of its inspiration.
If it took a full-on case of amnesia to put Jason Bourne on the path to redemption, how do you redeem a Black Widow?
Of Animals and Men tells a story of light shining in the darkness — but the preciousness of the light depends in a way on the prevalence of the darkness, and, in that connection, it must not be forgotten that the Nazis were not the sole agents of darkness.
In Pixar’s Luca, a gentle, overtly Miyazaki-esque coming-of-age period piece struggles under the heavy weight of iron-clad Disney/Pixar formula requirements and story beats. The charming elements work well enough to carry the film, but only just.
There are day-to-day crises and traumas that are somehow absorbed into the continuity of our lives, and then there are inexorable turning points that divide our lives into “before” and “after.”
In some ways The Mitchells vs. the Machines harks back to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Most obviously, it’s another goofy, rollicking techno-apocalypse centered on a bumpy parent-child relationship between an awkward, gifted youngster and a handy but technophobic dad.
Our seasonal movie-watching during Advent, Lent, and the Christmas and Easter seasons varies from year to year, but Triduum is always the same.
The Bible world of Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s LightWorkers Media productions sometimes seems not unlike a movie about Shakespeare in which you hear lines like “To be or not to be, that is the question” and “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” but everyone seems to have heard them already.
If Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon seems familiar, that might be because … well, because of echoes of a lot of things, really.
“That damn movie follows me around like an albatross,” Christopher Plummer once fumed about the one film for which — despite a prolific, varied, successful career in film, television, and theater — he would always be best known.
21 years. That’s how long I’ve been at this. A film list 21 years in the making. 21 top films. 21 runners-up. 21 honorable mentions.
Wonder Woman 1984 is bonkers in a way that superhero movies these days don’t have the nerve to be.
Pete Docter’s Soul is Pixar’s third straight original feature, following Coco and Onward, that is explicitly about death, finality, and, in some way, what lies beyond.
At this point it seems pretty clear that the kiss of death, creatively speaking, for Disney’s new line of live-action/CGI remakes is a Broadway musical.
Marco Pontecorvo’s Fátima is the first screen version of the Marian apparitions at Fátima and the “Miracle of the Sun” I’ve seen that feels like the characters are living through the story’s events in the present tense.
Halfway through I found myself rooting for the film to be the best version of itself, a sign that a film is working even when it’s not completely successful.
The cowriter and director of a new film about Our Lady of Fátima talks about why he was drawn to the story and how he tried to realize the miraculous, from a very human Virgin Mary to surreal visions of war and hell.
The FX documentary asks hard questions of both sides of the abortion debate — but only one side gets thoughtful answers
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