Critic of the Month

For the month of May, the spotlight falls on STEVEN D. GREYDANUS.

Steven is, I think, the closest thing to a Roger Ebert in Christian film criticism. His reviews have a strength and a confidence to them; he speaks with authority, experience, eloquence, and a penetrating intellect. From time to time, I disagree with his reviews, but rarely … and even when I do disagree, I still learn from his perspective.

A few notes on SDG’s strengths:

  • He has a passion for good family movies, but he defines “good family movies” not by things that the films don’t have in them, but by the things they do have in them.
  • He can be frighteningly clever.
  • Greydanus wrote one of the finest reviews on The Passion of the Christ that has been published (see the link in the margin).
  • He has a sound sense of fairness and justice, and thus he is always worth hearing on films in which there is a question of caricature or prejudice. (See The Magdalen Sisters.)
  • He appreciates both the best of cerebral and international filmmaking (Russian Ark) and the best of commercial Hollywood blockbusters (Spider-man 2).
  • And while I think he’s wrong to favor The Return of the King over The Fellowship of the Ring, he has an appreciation for fantasy film that I fully understand.
  • In the occasional disputes that come up between the volatile-tempered Christian film critic community, he conducts himself with grace without compromising his passion for the truth.

I’ve long been an admirer of his work, and getting to know him has been one fo the highlights of the last few years for me.

Steven, keep up the good … no, the essential … work.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Eriol

    His review of “Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events” is clever as well.


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