Child-Like Wonder at E.T.

E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, directed by Steven SpielbergThe only thing better than watching E.T. when you are five years old is watching it with a five-year-old. Rewatching Steven Spielberg’s tale of a gentle alien trying to get back home with the help of a fatherless boy and his friends--some three decades after I had last seen it, this time with my kids--was movie magic.Here is a rough transcript of my son’s running commentary.“What’s this movie? Is that a spaceship? Is this Star War … [Read more...]

The Raiders of the Lost Ark Discover That “Our God is a Consuming Fire”

Review of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Directed by Steven SpielbergWhen I was growing up, I read a lot of The Hardy Boys and The Sugar Creek Gang series, adventure stories in which boys solve mysteries, chase bad guys, rescue strangers, discover mysterious caves, explore abandoned mansions, recover exotic artifacts from far off lands, and learn Important Life Lessons along the way.  Much later I learned these were the latest in a long and venerable tradition of boys adventure serials that were … [Read more...]

Jurassic Park Is Back and Better Than Ever

Review of Jurassic Park 3D, Directed by Steven SpielbergThe year is 1993, and fictional bajillionaire (and genetic engineering tycoon) John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has finally done the un-doable: he has brought the dinosaurs back to life. Using DNA recovered from prehistoric mosquitoes preserved for millions of years in amber (and supplemented with frog DNA, to fill in any ‘gaps’), Hammond and company have successfully cloned a whole bunch of freaking awesome dinosaurs, from the gen … [Read more...]


A Review of Lincoln, Directed by Steven SpielbergBy PAUL D. MILLERThere is a scene near the end of Steven Spielberg’s luminescent new film Lincoln in which the President paces the White House alone waiting for news of the House of Representatives’ vote on the 13 Amendment, which will abolish slavery once and for all.  It is the moment that will solidify his legacy and ensure the Civil War was fought for something worthwhile.  Bells begin ringing across the city in celebration, heralding t … [Read more...]

Justice and Terror

Review of Munich, Directed by Steven SpielbergBy PAUL D. MILLERMunich (2005) is a sad movie. Unlike Spielberg's other dramas—Shindler's List (1993), Amistad (1997), or Saving Private Ryan (1998)—Munich ends without hope, full of questions, under a heart of sorrow. It asks "How do you balance the need to respond to terrorism with the knowledge that the response may provoke more terrorism?" In simpler form, "How do you balance justice with peace?" It is a heart-rending choice.We see the … [Read more...]