A Priest With a Death Sentence: Looking Closer at Calvary

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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!

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[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”

The Song

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

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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?

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

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

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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 Dead Poet's Society. He's how I began my response to Alissa... … [Read more...]

Up for a Celebrity Impressions Road Trip?

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September has been a difficult month for me for a variety of reasons. I've felt the urge, more than once, to just get in the car and start driving. Busy days make me crave open spaces. Noise makes me crave quiet. And stress makes me want that feeling of putting distance between me and the source of stress — I love the hum of the freeway streaming beneath my tires.A road trip hasn't really been possible. So I thought I'd try the next-best thing — road movies. Did that scratch the itch? Well, y … [Read more...]

Snowpiercer (2014): A Few First-Impression Notes

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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...]

Critics Vs. Audiences: Whom Shall We Trust?

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When I shared some reviews that question the quality of a faith-based film, I received a scornful comment.  … [Read more...]

Looking Closer at When the Game Stands Tall

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When the Game Stands Tall is getting a lot of attention in evangelical Christian culture. Of course it is. It's a match made in evangelical Christian movie heaven: It's about football, and it stars Jim Ca-jeezus. … [Read more...]


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