Integrity and Fatherhood Beyond the Pines

Review of The Place Beyond the Pines, Directed by Derek Cianfrance Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) and Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) have parallel lives, though on the surface Luke is a criminal and Avery a policeman. Luke and Avery both have a woman and child, their mother-in-law lives with them, and they both are absent fathers. [Read More...]

How to Murder Sin

Review of The Mortification of Sin by John Owen This is one of the most challenging books I have ever read. Every Christian would benefit from reading this book: no one would profit from skimming it. Read this book, but do so slowly. Turn the page only after the previous one has worked its way into [Read More...]

May the Force Be With You

Review of Star Wars, Directed by George Lucas  If you ask a cinephile what his favorite decade was, chances are he will pick the 1970s.  That decade was full of movies that movie lovers love to love–really dark, gritty, tragic, violent movies like A Clockwork Orange (1971), Mean Streets (1793), Taxi Driver (1976), The Godfather, [Read More...]

Lost in Thailand Chinese Style

Review of Lost in Thailand, Directed by Xu Zheng If you know anything about the Chinese box office, you know that James Cameron’s Titanic and Avatar are among the highest grossing films—not to mention the incredible popularity of 2012. But who knew that low-budget comedy Lost in Thailand would rocket to the top of the [Read More...]

The African Queen’s Happy Ending

Review of The African Queen, Directed by John Huston Not all movies are deep and profound, but I do expect “classics” to have something to say. Movies become “classics” because they are more than mere entertainment; they are supposed to speak to something higher or deeper; to hide nuggets of wisdom; to hold lessons about [Read More...]

The Host: A Pro-Life Invasion of the Body-Snatchers

Review of The Host, Directed by Andrew Niccol By Jennilee Miller The Host opens with different snapshots from around the globe, panning out on different faces, distinctly human but with striking eyes encircled with a silver rim around the pupils:  beautiful and kind of creepy all at the same time.  A voiceover tells us that [Read More...]

G.I. Joe Appeals to the Inner Child — and Not Much Else

Review of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Directed by Jon Chu Cobra Commander has escaped from a high security prison, the evil Zartan is impersonating the President, and all but four of the G.I. Joes have been killed. It seems that nothing stands between Cobra Commander and his plan of absolute world domination. Will the remaining Joes [Read More...]

Doctrine is for Living the Christian Life

Review of The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction by Sinclair Ferguson Sinclair Ferguson’s The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction, along with John Murray’s Redemption Accomplished and Applied, are my top two picks when recommending an introduction to systematic theology for folks without prior exposure to theology. I’ve read The Christian Life at least five times in [Read More...]

‘On the Road’ to Nowhere

Review of On the Road by Jack Kerouac When I moved to D.C., some friends and I started a book club. Our goal was to work our way through the classics of English/American Literature and read the books that everyone else seemed to have read in high school or college. Books which, for some reason, had [Read More...]

House of Cards’ Lady Macbeth

Review of House of Cards (Season 1), Directed by David Finch “Come you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here; And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood, Stop up th’access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell [Read More...]

‘Admission’ Is Worth the Price

Review of Admission, Directed by Paul Weitz College admissions: the final test of the helicopter parent. While it was no Deerfield or Andover, my college prep school career began with a meeting about college preparation the first month of freshman year and ended with a wall of paper stars announcing mine and my classmates’ acceptances [Read More...]

Die Hard in the White House

Review of Olympus Has Fallen, Directed by Antoine Fuqua Fortunately, the title of this review pretty much provides the summary of the movie [spoiler alerts from here on]. “Terrorists” have taken over the White House and are making insane demands while working on their own secret agenda. The entire government apparatus repeatedly fails to take [Read More...]

House of Cards: Collapse is Inevitable

Review of House of Cards (Season 1), Directed by David Finch Rating: 9/10 If you take The West Wing, strip it of its fluffy idealism, make it dark and pessimistic, mix in contemporary gadgets (iPads, texting), keep the occasional Bartlet monologue but make it lessons in Machiavellian strategy, you get something like House of Cards. [Read More...]

The Music of the Last of the Mohicans

Review of The Last of the Mohicans, Directed by Michael Mann When I was in high school The Last of the Mohicans (1992) made a profound impression on me. Rewatching it two decades later, I think it was all about the music. The 1992 film that I saw turns out to be a remake of [Read More...]


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