June 17, 2022

Give the doc its props: Stay Prayed Up is as good as its name. It opens with a prayer, it closes in prayer and it’s filled with prayer—spoken or sung—throughout. As a kid tells us at the very outset, “If you guys love church, this event is really churchy.” And it’s churchy in the best, most melodic of ways. Stay Prayed Up, now in limited theatrical release, introduces us to Lena Mae Perry, founder and driving force of the gospel... Read more

June 10, 2022

Kamala Khan is just an ordinary teen with an extraordinary twist. Is it her powers? Her ability to stretch or create matter out of thin air? Nah. We’re talking about Marvel, after all. You can’t throw a rock in Times Square in the Marvel Cinematic Universe without hitting a superpowered individual. And given that Kamala is the protagonist of an MCU show called Ms. Marvel, well, the biggest twist would be if she didn’t have superpowers. No, what makes Kamala... Read more

May 26, 2022

Alex Garland might be one of the most provocative directors working right now. His works can feel like enigmatic fever dreams: You might not know exactly what Garland’s saying, but boy, is he saying it with conviction. Garland began his directorial career with the much-lauded Ex Machina, featuring a very unusual lover’s triangle that mulls consciousness and humanity. He followed that up with Annihilation, which might just be the strangest alien invasion story ever told. Devs, an eight-part miniseries on... Read more

May 9, 2022

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness gobbled up a whole multiverse of money this weekend. It earned $185 million and shows little signs of slowing. Too bad it wasn’t really that great. You can read my Plugged In review of the Multiverse of Madness here, and I may have more to say about Doctor Strange et al in this space later. But for now, I wanted to mention a movie that just might be the ultimate in counter-programming. No... Read more

April 25, 2022

Last November, a quiet little Christian movie rolled into a handful of theaters nationwide. Based on a stage play written and starring Max McLean, The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis came and went before most people even knew it was there. But now the film is available on streaming platforms (Apple TV and Google Play) and on Blu-ray and DVD. And it’s well worth a look. The Most Reluctant Convert focuses on noted scholar, author and... Read more

April 22, 2022

The Bad Guys are just the worst. The Ocean’s Eleven-like crime team is made of the sorts of critters we’ve always known were up to no good. Mr. Wolf and his kind have huffed and puffed their way into many a story—and never as the hero. His best friend, Mr. Snake, comes from a lineage that’s been looked down on (literally) since the Garden of Eden. Mr. Shark, Mr. Piranha and Ms. Tarantula (known to her friends as “Webs”) round... Read more

April 14, 2022

As an actor, Mark Wahlberg has been a cop and a crook, a boxer and a foul-mouthed bear’s best friend. But I don’t think he’s ever played a priest before. For Wahlberg, Father Stu—a movie which he produced as well as starred in—was a true passion project. He spent “millions” of his own money to make sure the movie was made. He told Insider.com that he prayed “every day about getting this film made,” and—as also reported by Patheos blogger... Read more

March 25, 2022

Some Christian critics of the entertainment industry would say that Hollywood is positively godless. But you wouldn’t know it from this year’s crop of Oscars nominees. Admittedly, not all the religion we see on screen is positive. Still, faith is a force in many a nominee. Let’s take at some applicable Best Picture hopefuls. Belfast: The movie takes place during the Northern Irish City’s 1960s-era Troubles, which were predicated on the divisions between Catholics and Protestants. Nine-year-old Buddy and his... Read more

March 14, 2022

Oscar-winning actor William Hurt died yesterday at the age of 71. “He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes,” a statement read. Hurt was probably best known for his work in the 1980s, when he was both a bona fide movie star and one of the age’s leading actors. He was nominated for three consecutive Best Actor Oscars for his work in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987). He won... Read more

March 3, 2022

Sometimes, you have to wonder why anyone lives in Gotham City. Oh, it wasn’t always so bleak. Back in the 1960s, when Adam West’s version of Batman was patrolling the streets, the place looked kind of fun. But ever since, it seems, the city’s gotten bleaker and more dismal with each passing decade. Criminal lowlifes have grown more violent. Costumed kingpins have grown more unhinged. It’s a town where night seems to last 22 hours; where it’s always Halloween. The... Read more

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