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Doc Hollywood

Jesus in the Movies: A Complicated History

The media may have dubbed 2014 as “The Year of the Biblical Epic," but the good Lord has been in a lot of movies over the years.

Summa This, Summa That

Musical Mediation for Holy Week

It’s time once again to embark on one of my longest-standing personal spiritual traditions: Finding some time during Holy Week to listen to J.S. Bach’s towering masterpiece, the Matthäus Passion. It grows progressively more difficult each year, because “some time” actually means 3+ hours. And Lent seems to fly by more rapidly each year. And [Read More...]

Sister Rose Movies

“Small Change” Lenten Film Series 7th Episode – perfect for Holy Week

 A small but loving gesture from one sibling to another brings hope to a struggling family. 

Summa This, Summa That

Gesualdo’s “Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday”

The name “Tenebrae” — Latin for “shadows” or “darkness” – has been given because this Office is celebrated in the hours of darkness, formerly in the evening or just after midnight, now the early morning hours. There is an impressive ceremony, peculiar to this Office, which tends to perpetuate its name. There is placed in the [Read More...]

Sister Rose Movies

“Heaven is for Real” is a compelling story, not a canned sermon

I am not a fan of the “Christian” movie genre when these films are more about teaching than storytelling and making sure audiences get “the message” rather than trusting them to use their own moral and religious imagination to savor the story. But sometimes they surprise me.


Review: God’s Not Dead (dir. Harold Cronk, 2014)

The top-grossing evangelical movie ever made is a sloppily written, badly argued and unevenly acted bit of tribal chest-thumping. It's philosophy for people who are more interested in Duck Dynasty than in, say, Alvin Plantinga.

Schaeffer's Ghost

The Merciful Railway Man

Eric Lomax’s story of Christ-like proportions.

Schaeffer's Ghost

Dom Hemingway – the myth, the legend, and so on and so forth

A middle-aged, cockney-accented, safecracking bro.

Schaeffer's Ghost

Captain America becomes a hero for the 21st century

Unoriginal, but relevant and plenty of fun.

Sister Rose Movies

“Cesar Chavez” is a stirring biopic

  “Cesar Chavez: An American Hero,” director Diego Luna’s latest production, is a moving biography of the late civil rights activist and labor organizer.

Schaeffer's Ghost

Muppets Most Wanted a True Friend

A lesson in not getting what you want.

Schaeffer's Ghost

We Are All Divergent

The utopia of unity in diversity.

Geek Goes Rogue

God’s Not Dead…But Films Like This Should Be (Part 2)

It’s official. God’s Not Dead, released by Pure Flix Entertainment, has been nothing short of a financial smash success, raking in over $8 million in its first three days. Opening in just 780 theaters nation-wide, the film made close to $3 million on its Friday release date alone, en route to cementing itself as the number [Read More...]


Review: ‘Divergent’ Offers an Antidote to ‘Twilight’

As dark, dystopian teen drama romances go, this one is pretty good.


Interview: A Religious Critic and Jason Bateman Discuss the Very R ‘Bad Words’

Jason Bateman's 'Bad Words' has much more than just bad words. It earns its R. So why is a faith-based blogger interested in hearing more?

Schaeffer's Ghost

Veronica Charms

How to make a movie out of a TV series, and do it right.

Schaeffer's Ghost

Driving Fast with Nowhere to Go

An entire movie based on driving fast and not getting caught.

Looking Closer

Girl Rising: A Film About Horrors, But It’s Not a Horror Movie

“I’m told my mother burst into tears when she learned my sex. She set me aside in the dirt.” Amina was born in Afghanistan, but no one made a record of her birth date. Only boys are given that kind of attention. At 11 years old, she was “sold” by her parents as a wife [Read More...]

Sister Rose Movies

A Rising Tide of Silence – a gentle doc on Thomas Keating

  “Thomas Keating: a Rising Tide of Silence” gently documents the life of Fr. Thomas Keating, integrating his personal history and spiritual journey in a compelling blend of interviews with him and his Cistercian brothers, footage of Keating’s talks at interreligious gatherings, interaction with people who come on retreat, and in one case, his visits to [Read More...]

Looking Closer

The Great Beauty (2013)

I've just seen "The Great Beauty" and I'm still a little bit drunk on its imagery. It's a feast for those with big appetites for beauty on the big screen. But alas, the meal is soured by a bitter syrup.

Looking Closer

Now You Can Watch the Zany Adventure Movie That America Missed

Looking for an escape? Searching for an exciting, hilarious, fun adventure film for the whole family? I highly recommend Luc Besson’s The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Globe-trotting adventure, over-the-top comedy, extravagant costumes, Egyptian tomb-raiding, and a rampaging pterodactyl… this movie has all of that and more. And it just arrived on Netflix. Now, before [Read More...]


Review: Oscar Nominee ‘Her’ and Its Sadly Small, Dehumanizing Version of Love

The Oscar contender is most interesting for the things it leaves out.


Review: Spectacular ‘LEGO Movie’ Connects All the Right Pieces

Watch it once to laugh. Watch it again to think and wonder.

Looking Closer

The LEGO Movie (2014)

The LEGO Movie is, at once, a movie with more laughs-per-minute than any recent comedy I can remember; the greatest LEGO invention of all time; and a thrilling summons to unleash our own creativity — not only with our LEGOs, but with our lives.

Doc Hollywood

PHILOMENA: Sincerity Amidst Cynicism

While much of the Oscar race has centered around 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, a much quieter (and more profound) picture slipped into theaters.   Philomena is a modest, true-life story about a woman in search of her adopted child.   It chronicles the horrific abuse doled out in the Magdalene laundries overseen by the Irish [Read More...]

Doc Hollywood

HER: The Lure and Limits of iLove

We live in an era of profound possibilities and deep-seated anxieties.   We believe the future is bright, but we’re scared of the present.   We seek solace in our digital devices, embracing the virtual when the actual feels too weird, wild, and uncontrollable.    We are hyper-connected and yet oddly isolated.   As Louis C.K. has noted, “Everything [Read More...]

Schaeffer's Ghost

Lone Survivor: The Good War

Brutal and difficult, this is one of the most surprising, and best, American war movies in a generation.

Schaeffer's Ghost

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Our Understated Habit of Daydreaming

Big dreams in everyday life.

Schaeffer's Ghost

The Wolf of Wall Street and the New American Dream

The land of opportunity gives way to the land of entitlement.

Schaeffer's Ghost

Llewyn Davis is Empty and Pointless

In case you didn’t know, these filmmakers are nihilists.

Schaeffer's Ghost

The Hobbit: Second Verse, Better Than the First

A welcome return to Middle Earth.

Schaeffer's Ghost

Mary Poppins and Saving Mr. Banks: On Loving Imperfect Fathers

What a beloved classic film and the Disneyfied history of its making can teach us about honoring imperfect fathers.

Video for Jonathan Ryan's "Three Gates of the Dead"

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