Battle in Seattle (or the Movie Directed by That Guy Who Was Almost Aragorn)

#Ferguson. #WTO. #U2iPhone6 Why am I not tweeting my outrage? Have I been pummeled numb by scandal, injustice, and atrocity? Have I become hard-hearted? [Read more...]


A Priest With a Death Sentence: Looking Closer at Calvary

“I don’t think it will be winning any awards from the Christian world. … It takes place in a universe very like ours.” [Read more...]


Well-Made Movies Won’t Be… Left Behind

Today, Matt Zoller Seitz, editor of, defended The Good Lie, a movie in which the central characters are Christians, as “a good movie.” Why did he feel the need to defend it? Well, the success of The Blind Side inspired some backlash — opposition to movies in which “a white lady comes to the rescue” of those in [Read More...]

U2 songs of innocence large

Listen Closer: Second Impressions of U2′s Songs of Innocence

Hey, U2 fans, music lovers, and iPhone users… you’re invited! I’m joining Dr. Jeff Keuss and others on Monday night, October 13, for a live podcast conversation called “U2, Apple, and the Future of Music.” It’ll be at Hale’s Ales Brewery and Pub in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, and the dinner audience will be involved in [Read More...]


Listen Closer: Thom Yorke, Luluc, Lucinda Williams, Leonard Cohen, My Brightest Diamond, Sinead O’Connor

It’s time to check the New Music Seismograph! What albums are shaking the ground beneath my feet? Those who have followed my blog over the past decade or so know that I’m averse to “rating” art with a point system. (I mean, really… how much can you learn about a record if I tell you “I [Read More...]

Looking Closer at Left Behind – The Movie!

This post will be updated over the next few days, so check back as this thrilling — dare I say rapturous? — cinematic occasion unfolds! [Read more...]

The Christian Message of David Fincher’s Gone Girl . . . (Not Really)

One of my favorite writers on the subject of art, faith, and culture — Alissa Wilkinson — has seen “Gone Girl,” the new film by David Fincher. Let’s ask her: “What’s the message of the movie?” [Read more...]

The Song “Shares the Weaknesses of Most Faith-Based Films”

I’ve received two emails this week asking for my opinion of The Song. This is what I can offer… [Read more...]

Looking Closer at The Hundred-Foot Journey

As I joined the line to buy tickets for a mid-afternoon matinee showing of Guardians of the Galaxy, I had a rare and unsettling experience. A large crowd had assembled at the ticket counter, and I quickly discovered that these moviegoers had come for the opening-day matinee of a movie that I did not know [Read More...]

This Post Contains R-Rated Subject Matter: Viewer Discretion is Advised.

Watching the trailers before Chef on Friday night, I was reminded by the smirking comments of viewers around me that the “This Motion Picture is Rated…” screen before a preview does as much, if not more, to intrigue viewers about the violence, language, or nudity included in the film than it does to dissuade anybody, [Read More...]

Is Chef the Greatest Movie Ever Made About Sandwich-Making?

What are the greatest movie moments that involve sandwiches? [Read more...]

In Memory of My Friend, My Boss, My Mentor: Jennifer Gilnett

The last 13 days have been a harrowing experience of heartbreak and loss for me and many who are close to me. I haven’t said anything about it here at Looking Closer, but I think the time has come. [Read more...]

Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About a Movie? (or How I Got “Dead Poets Society” Wrong)

Alissa Wilkinson, chief film critic for Christianity Today, asked me if I’ve ever changed my mind about a movie… and would I write about that? So I’m asking you. What’s a movie you loved the first time, or hated the first time, and then experienced a total change of mind? I chose to write about [Read More...]

Up for a Celebrity Impressions Road Trip?

It works as a buddy movie, as a “foodie” film, as a meditation on a mid-life crisis, as battle of brilliant improvisational comedians, and as a surprisingly dry and bittersweet comedy about celebrity. [Read more...]

U2′s Songs of Innocence: Not Bad for Four Guys in Their Mid-50s!

Okay, for the one reader out there who doesn’t know: You can download the new U2 album for free right now on iTunes. [Read more...]

She’s Growing Up So Fast! Auralia’s Colors is 7 Years Old

My first novel Auralia’s Colors — currently on sale at Amazon for a bargain price — is 7 years old today! She’s growing up so fast.  [Read more...]

Q&O: What I’d Change in My Memoir. My Favorite Moviegoing Companion. Top Albums of 2014 So Far. Why You Rarely See Me Smile. More “Noah” Bashing. And More!

Who do you take to the movies? Why are you such a snob? What’s your favorite album of 2014 so far? Why do you rarely smile in pictures? Questions are coming in, so… time for another Q & O = Question and Overstreet! [Read more...]

Best Use of Music in a Movie: Share Your Favorites

On Twitter, the poet Amy Newman asked me to share my pick for “Best Use of Music in a Movie.” When a poet as gifted as Amy Newman asks you a question, you answer it. [Read more...]

First Impressions of Steve James’ Film About Roger Ebert: Life Itself

“Drama holds a mirror up to life, but needn’t reproduce it.” Roger, Roger, Roger. Here I am watching a film about your departure, and I’m still jotting down things you said that will be worth quoting in my own film reviews. [Read more...]

Snowpiercer (2014): A Few First-Impression Notes

Terry Gilliam’s Brazil + Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Delicatessen + Peter Weir’s The Truman Show + Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men + John McTiernan’s Die Hard. Link those cars together and, wow, what a helter-skelter train! [Read more...]

Boyhood: The Podcast!

Listen to my conversation about Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” with Christianity Today’s Chief Film Critic Alissa Wilkinson and the Christ and Pop Culture Superfriends — Richard Clark and Wade Bearden. [Read more...]