10 Ways to Be a Better Film Critic

Evan Derrick's "10 Ways To Be a Better Film Critic": Part One and Part Two.This is quite a read, and I like a lot of what Derick's said here.And hey! He even praises my friend Greg Wright!Think about your favorite film critics. What makes their reviews stand out? What ruins a good movie review?And if you want to get personal and tell me how my reviews might improve, feel free to comment. I'd like to know. (But no, I won't necessarily post those. I'll keep them to ponder.) … [Read more...]

Statler and Waldorf – Heroes for Critics Everywhere

Were these the most influential role models of my childhood? … [Read more...]

Michael Leary’s Film-think; “No Country” Re-examined

Nobody I know takes the question "What is Christian film criticism?" more seriously than Michael Leary. And so I'm thrilled to find him starting up a new site ... film-think where he's posting his thoughts on movies.Check out recent posts on … [Read more...]

On Criticism

My good friend, Mike Demokowicz, a photographer and educator who has taught me a great deal, sent along this quote in an email today.It made me think of Anton Ego's speech in Ratatouille... only it's richer and more complete. … [Read more...]

Are Movies Increasing Your “Capacity to See”?

At Long Pauses, Darren Hughes has posted a quote that I want to share with you here. (Thank you, Darren.) The main problem with narrative in film is that when you become emotionally involved, it becomes difficult to see picture as picture. Of course, the laughing and crying and suspense can be a positive element, but it's oddly nonvisual and gradually destroys your capacity to see.-- Michael Snow, speaking to Scott MacDonald, A Critical Cinema, Vol. 2 That's beautiful. It expresses … [Read more...]

Have We Lost Our Minds?

If you've been reading the CT Feedback page and reading this blog, you've seen a lot of recent criticism, and read a lot of accusations, regarding the philosophy of CT Movies reviewers.Well, my blog post describing our "philosophy" inspired an invitation to share the same thoughts at Christianity Today Movies. So my editor, Mark Moring, and I did a bit of editing and polishing and now here it is again, new and improved, with a much better title. … [Read more...]

Should Christians Give Christian Movies Rave Reviews?

If you've been reading this blog recently, you know that Christian film critics sometimes get blasted for pointing out weaknesses in Christian films.I thought I'd ask the thoughtful, eloquent crowd of Christians over at ArtsandFaith.com what they think about this question: … [Read more...]

Are Christianity Today’s Movie Reviews Written With an "Anti-Evangelical Agenda"?

As you may already know, this week a radio talk-show host accused Christianity Today Movies' film reviewers of misrepresenting the magazine's foundation of evangelical conviction.And a Christian filmmaker responded to one of those reviews by declaring that one of CT's most prolific and respected reviewers clearly needed to sit down with real Christians and learn what they are like.Well, it should be clear that these are serious claims, with serious implications. I'm not naming them here, … [Read more...]

Eugene Peterson’s "Eat This Book" … and Moviegoing

I am finding Eugene Peterson's Eat This Book to be a particularly inspiring meditation on our need to read, taste, chew, and digest the Bible.And along the way, I am thunderstruck by how often the points Peterson is making about how we should read scripture run parallel what I've tried to convey about how we should attend to art.I've just read a section on the power and essentiality of storytelling. (p. 40)Check this out:Honest stories respect our freedom; they don't manipulate us, … [Read more...]

Film Critic Pet Peeves: “The Fountain” Edition

Just ranting about another film criticism pet peeve...Don't you hate it when a critic makes a statement that says, "If you don't agree with me, well, you're just not enlightened like I am"...? … [Read more...]