October 29, 2022

It’s a miracle that a movie like Scream ever landed on my list of favorite movies. It’s not only a horror film (I’m more of a musical guy myself), it’s also a self-aware horror film. Scream belongs to a special class of film that overtly comments on the genre to which it belongs. (Scream is to slasher films what Enchanted is to Disney fairy tales.) These movies aren’t impossible to do well, but more often than not, their incessant winking at... Read more

October 6, 2022

I remember an experience I had in 9th grade P.E. This was the rare class I had with my best friend since kindergarten. But as fate would have it, this was also a class I shared with a longtime tormentor, the kind of person who’s always there when you drop your books in the hall and never misses the chance to announce it to the world, or the kind that always has special nicknames for you and the life-sustaining but... Read more

September 27, 2022

As we move from the blockbuster season toward that time when all the auteur pieces and Oscar hopefuls bleed into cinemas, I’ve already identified a few films I’m really excited to see. Chief among them being Martin McDonagh’s new film, The Banshees of Inisherin, which reunites the director with Collin Farrel and Brendan Gleeson, who made lightning in McDonagh’s 2008 film, In Bruges. Critic Tasha Robinson put it best when she described the film in her review: “When it’s funny, it’s... Read more

September 20, 2022

JA Bayona’s 2012 epic dramatizes the experience of the real-life Belón family (named the Bennet family in this film) as they were caught in the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. Maria and her oldest son, Lucas, are swept away from Henry, the father, as well as the two youngest, Simon and Thomas. In a movie like this, the tension obviously floats on whether or not this loving family is going to find each other by the end, but it’s... Read more

August 30, 2022

In the years leading up to Christ’s birth, the intellectuals of the day anticipated the coming of the Son of God who would free them from their chains. The savior they anticipated was an angelic warrior king who would rain fire on the Romans and break their chains with an awesome display of might. This is one of the reasons why the Pharisees and Sadducees of the day missed it when he came as a humble carpenter, wandering among the... Read more

August 23, 2022

A few weeks ago, we looked at “A Face in the Crowd” as an exploration of false prophets and how they work. Today, we’re going to take a more sympathetic look at prophets, or at least people who operate in a prophetic capacity. The scientists in Netflix original “Don’t Look Up,” for example, are charged with a mission of biblical proportions to warn the world of imminent destruction, only to find that their message isn’t appealing enough to compete with... Read more

August 2, 2022

When we talked about Chicago, I noted how that film displays the allure of sin as something empowering and freeing. Likewise, when we talked about A Face in the Crowd, I mentioned how false prophets use rhetoric of liberation to sell their counterfeit gospel. I guess you could say that there’s something similar at work in Baz Lurhman’s 2001 masterpiece, Moulin Rouge. This jukebox musical sells something like manufactured emancipation, but the film also offers a glimpse of what it... Read more

July 19, 2022

As I slowly but surely make my way through gleaning the religious metaphors across every film in the Disney animated canon (I’m coming for you, The Black Cauldron!), 2016’s Moana finds its way onto the docket. It might be really fun to just spend 500 words going over Moana’s little Moses moment in the climax, but I think that there’s an even deeper conversation to be had with this film. Like many movies of quality before it, Moana finds itself... Read more

July 17, 2022

Like many of the films we discuss here, there are a lot of internal contradictions with Luc Besson’s Leon: The Professional that make it an unusual item of study for religious overtones. For one thing, it’s a very violent movie. The world these characters inhabit isn’t one where goodness abounds. Just so, it’s against this kind of moral desolation that glimmers of Christlike light really shine through, and that’s worth talking about. At the start of Leon: The Professional, Matilda... Read more

July 12, 2022

I mentioned in my piece on Rust and Bone that one of the hidden graces of film, and storytelling in general, is that it allows us to see others as God sees them. This is true even of characters that we might deem “ungodly” on first glance, like the daughter of a Nazi traitor. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 film, Notorious, follows Alicia Huberman, a woman fallen from grace after her father is convicted as a Nazi traitor. After her father’s trial,... Read more

Browse Our Archives