Looking Closer at “Saving Christmas”: Featuring Novelist N. D. Wilson’s Review

"A Christian movie."The label will make some Christians cheer, happy at the prospect of a film that portrays them and their beliefs without the cynicism and punishing stereotypes they see in so many mainstream films.Christian crusaders will decide ahead of time that a film labeled "Christian" is a film worth promoting because it is made by people who are "in the fold," and thus can be trusted.The label will make other Christians cringe, presuming that the film is poorly made, … [Read more...]

Interstellar (2014)

[This review is an expansion of comments I made when I gave Interstellar a four-star first-impression rating at Letterboxd.]After I got home from seeing Interstellar — I saw it in good old-fashioned 35 mm, not in IMAX — I had mixed feelings about the movie, and decided I would jot down a few notes. About 90 minutes later, I was still writing. It's been a long time since a movie provoked me to write so much, since a big-screen experience inspired such a rush of thoughts.When I look back on … [Read more...]

Birdman (2014)

I've read that Birdman is a movie that pulls back the curtain to reveal (surprise!) that show-biz is really just a hell of egomaniacs on adrenalin highs, using and abusing one another for stardom, and taking the name of "art" in vain. The rumors are true... it does.  … [Read more...]

Now on Netflix: Django Unchained

Now that Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is streaming on Netflix, I figured it was time to republish this article, which was requested by the editors of Christianity Today, and published in the March 2013 print issue under the title "Blaze of Gory" and online as "Django Unchained and the Quest for Revenge."•On Christmas Day 2012 — while Americans were still grieving for victims of the Newtown elementary-school massacre — Django Unchained, the new film by Quentin Tarantino, opened nat … [Read more...]

Ragamuffin (2014) – A Guest Review by Martin Stillion

Please welcome Martin Stillion, my friend of more than two decades — a former classmate, a multi-instrumentalist, an extraordinary editor, an accomplished journalist, a frequent contributor to Response, a devoted family man. I've often appreciated his discernment when it comes to music and movies.He posted some comments on Ragamuffin, a film that I've been hoping to check out soon, and I asked if I could share them. He responded by expanding them into a guest review. Thanks, Martin! … [Read more...]

A Priest With a Death Sentence: Looking Closer at Calvary

At Christianity Today, Alissa Wilkinson got my attention early by saying, Well, I've just come from a screening of Calvary, the most "Christian" film I've seen in as long as I can remember. I don't think it will be winning any awards from the Christian world (although I guarantee it will show up on my end-of-year list here at Christianity Today, and a few others, too). It has bad words, and it takes place in a universe very like ours — that is, in one where people are suffering the ugly af … [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!]Yesterday, I received an advertisement distributed by Christianity Today in which Tim LaHaye said this about the new Left Behind movie:"You will be moved, blessed and thrilled."Yeah, I remember how, when I was six years old, I wrote a story, stapled it together, and then, to make it look like a real book, I put my own rave-review blurb on the cover, … [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 existed.Somehow, I had failed to notice any promotional effort at all for Lasse Haalstrom's The Hundred Foot Journey. … [Read more...]

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

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