About Andrew Spitznas

I arrived late to my atheist, secular humanist worldview, having spent decades as a Sunday school teaching, mission trip taking evangelical. Psychiatrist by day, I specialize in trauma, geriatrics, and the interface of mental health with culture and religion. Movies and books have been lifelong consuming passions; I have wonderful childhood memories of staying up late to watch James Bond on TV and waiting in a winding line to see Star Wars in its opening weeks. Nowadays, favorite directors include Kurosawa, Ozu, Miyazaki, Truffaut, Herzog, and Wes Anderson.

James Gandolfini’s Praiseworthy Final Bow: The Drop

Fans of The Sopranos and The Wire will discover much to appreciate in this fine suspense film. [Read more...]

Land Ho! (dir. Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, USA, 2014)

A wise comedy with warm characters, set in lovely Iceland, is a welcome addition to the summer movie roster. [Read more...]

The Normal Heart (dir. Ryan Murphy, USA, 2014)

This year’s Emmy winner for Outstanding Television Movie uses a terrific ensemble to tell the gripping story of the AIDS crisis in early 1980′s New York. [Read more...]

The Zero Theorem (dir. Terry Gilliam)

Terry Gilliam’s latest sci-fi dystopia challenges the mind and overwhelms the senses. [Read more...]

Calvary: An Alternate View

With Calvary, writer and director John Michael McDonagh most certainly knows how to tell a good (albeit flawed) story, though I vehemently disagree with the heart of his allegory. [Read more...]

The Great Beauty (dir. Paolo Sorrentino, Italy, 2013)

Considering that this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film centers upon a despondent older man confronting the void of his empty life, The Great Beauty is a surprisingly giddy ride. [Read more...]

Beyond God’s Not Dead: Three Better Films About Clashing Worldviews

It’s high time to look past “God’s Not Dead” and examine three far superior movies from the past year (“The Unbelievers,” “Philomena,” and “Broken Circle Breakdown”) that prominently featured clashing believer and unbeliever characters. [Read more...]

God’s Not Dead: An Atheist’s Response

  Warning:  This analysis contains spoilers that include the film’s ending. For atheists who love movies, the trumpeting and stomping elephant in the room all year long has been God’s Not Dead (hereafter referred to as GND).  Although a few Christian film critics laudably objected to this aesthetic shop of horrors (Peter Chattaway’s detailed evisceration [Read More...]

Life Itself (dir. Steve James, USA, 2014)

Roger Ebert (1942-2013) exemplified the best traits of a film critic. For over forty years, he excelled as a populist communicator unafraid to expose his audience to novel cinematic works.  I am grateful for the thousands of reviews that contribute to his literary legacy, but how I would’ve loved to attend one of his 5-hour frame-by-frame [Read More...]

Particle Fever (dir. Mark Levinson, USA, 2013)

Who would’ve thought a film about subatomic physics could be so stirring and virtuous? Particle Fever surpassed my expectations as the best new documentary I’ve seen this year. [Read more...]