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”

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

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?

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 6.04.23 PM

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)

dead poets poster

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?

the trip 2

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...]