2046 (2004)

Luscious movie - 2046 - best movie soundtracks

2oo7 Update: This post, my 2005 first-impression review of 2046, is much too long... I know, I know. But reading through it again I was caught up in Wong Kar-Wai's work as if for the first time. So I remember why I was so effusive and enthusiastic about it. I may just re-watch a few scenes of it tonight. If you haven't discovered In the Mood for Love, or this, its glorious sequel, you're in for an intoxicating treat. … [Read more...]

Manderlay (2005)

Danish director Lars von Trier gave us a remarkable, audacious film in 2004 called Dogville. The film starred Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Anne Bancroft, and a supporting cast of familiar faces, but it also demanded our own participation. The story played out on a stage decorated with a few props and chalk outlines that told us where the houses, streets, and other important landmarks were.The film told the story of a gangster's daughter, Grace, who happens upon a small town and, during her vi … [Read more...]

“United 93″: First Impressions

Well, I took a deep breath and watched United 93 during the Seattle snowstorm.And it was just as harrowing as I feared, just as harrowing as it should be. … [Read more...]

Babel (2006)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today in October 2006.-It's bullet time at the movies. Martin Scorsese's cops and crooks are clashing are unleashing storms of bullets, and Clint Eastwood's Marines are firing more shots than anyone could hope to count. But in Alejandro González Iñárritu's new film Babel, a single gunshot causes an international crisis. It's a shot heard around the world, and one you won't forget anytime soon.Who is to blame for that shattering blas … [Read more...]

A Scanner Darkly (2006)


[A severely abridged version of this review was previously published at Christianity Today, and it did not end up representing the perspective I presented in my original draft. Here is the original, unabridged review.]•In Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly, Keanu Reeves plays “Agent Fred,” an undercover officer in America’s war on drugs. He’s so deeply undercover that he’s become a drug addict himself, losing touch with reality. So the irony is painful when Agent Fred is ordered to foc … [Read more...]

Little Children (2006)

Little Children4

This review was originally published at Christianity Today in October 2006.-Ever watch moths fluttering around bright lights at night and ask yourself, "Don't they know that they'll burn themselves up?"And yet, so many of us play out the same sad drama. Restless with longing, we respond to dangerous temptations and indulge misguided passions. And then we — and sometimes our families — pay for it.This metaphor comes to vivid life in Todd Field's riveting new film Little Children. W … [Read more...]

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today.-A number of big names — Dame Judi Dench, Keira Knightley, Charlize Theron, and Reese Witherspoon — were Academy Award nominees for Best Actress in 2005. And Witherspoon, the winner for her role in Walk the Line, certainly deserved high honors. But could it be that voters overlooked a performance that's even more riveting, memorable, and inspiring than any of these? … [Read more...]

Grizzly Man, March of the Penguins, Duma (2005) – A Guest Review by J. Robert Parks

J. Robert Parks weighs in again, this time on three beastly films:It's a summer for penguins at the movie theater. The documentary March of the Penguins has become one of the biggest arthouse hits in recent years, so much so that its studio is rolling it out into almost 2000 theaters this weekend, hoping to push it into blockbuster territory. Furthermore, almost every other day someone stops me on the street and asks me if I've seen the film and what I think about it. I respond that I like … [Read more...]

The Edukators (2004) – A Guest Review by J. Robert Parks

Seems like J. Robert Parks is seeing all of the great films this year, while I sit and wait for them to show in Seattle... Here he goes again, raving about another must-see: The Edukators.The month of August is not usually a banner month for cinema. Hollywood will release some of its worst films in the next few weeks, assuming that most people are either on vacation or getting ready for school and, therefore, aren't going to the movies anyway. But in Chicago at least, these last weeks of … [Read more...]

Broken Flowers (2005)

Jeffrey's review of Broken Flowers was published at Christianity Today in August 2005. … [Read more...]