Category: Film Reviews/Hollywood

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The Monastic Calling of the Force in Star Wars

I’m happy to run this guest piece by Dylan Pahman of the Acton Institute. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanPahman. In his recent essay at Public Discourse, “The Family and the Force,” my colleague at the Acton Institute Jordan...

/ January 28, 2016
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On the Chestertonianism of Star Wars

One of the most striking things about the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, is how old the film sometimes feels. Part of the oldness is because the story itself feels more like a remake of A New Hope than a genuine...

/ December 21, 2015

Don Draper is an Ad, Man

Mad Men, one of the best television shows in history, will always be known as “more than just a show about advertising,” in the same way Friday Night Lights is “more than just a show about football.” And yet Mad...

/ May 21, 2015

The Politics of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Dialogue with Chris Schaefer

An old high school friend tweeted: “It’s a Wonderful Life has be the most anti-Tea Party movie ever.” I rakishly tweeted back: “False.” Rather than attempting to hash out this disagreement within the confines of 140 characters, we resolved to...

/ December 22, 2014

Noah: A Theological-Aesthetic Rorschach Test

Last week saw the premiere of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and with it a (predictable) storm of controversy from the evangelical community. Reviews have ranged from predictably critical to outright disdain to hostile readings, and from strongly (though not unreservedly) positive...

/ April 8, 2014

Lost At Sea, in Space, in the Cloud

Two of my favorite films of recent months, Gravity and All is Lost, have more than a few things in common. Both are basically one-man or one-woman shows about individuals trying to survive in an incomprehensibly vast wilderness. Gravity finds...

/ November 7, 2013

Body Politics in the Films of Steve McQueen

With his new film 12 Years a Slave earning rave reviews and Oscar buzz, British filmmaker Steve McQueen–whose background is in fine art and experimental filmmaking–is poised to become a darling of this year’s awards season. Accolades are pouring in...

/ October 23, 2013

Romeo and Juliet (2013 film) Review

Professor Lyle Smith of Biola University once said in a class that Romeo and Juliet almost get it right. Most fans or critics fall off their respective sides of blind devotion to the story or disenchanted skepticism that such love...

/ October 11, 2013

Catching Up With Time in the “Before” and “Up” Films

A professor I admire once said — while discussing the films of Yasujiro Ozu, or maybe it was semiotics (can’t remember) — that watching the sun set can be both a thing of incredible beauty and deep sadness, often simultaneously....

/ June 1, 2013

To Malick’s “Wonder”

Terrence Malick’s latest, To the Wonder, is an apt follow-up to the enigmatic director’s 2011 classic, The Tree of Life. Both films are beautiful experiences of image and sound, deeply personal memoirs and heartfelt explorations of Christian faith. To the...

/ April 29, 2013