The Firemen’s Ball: When Comedy Made Ideology Cringe

Miloš Forman was an incredibly famous director in the 1980s, when his Amadeus (1984) won eight Oscars out of 11 nominations, and Ragtime (1981) also received eight nominations, period pieces about music’s potential for social transformation, overcoming prejudices or conventions, and making a new world. Continue Reading...

Oppenheimer and the Last Great America

The last major director we have is Christopher Nolan. As you watch his movies, you think about what it means for there to be masters of the art: people who seem to know the tools of the art so well that they are in complete control of what they’re doing, yet when you see their work, you can hardly tell how they did it. Continue Reading...

Sound of Freedom Is a Clarion Call for More Christians in the Arts

This year’s Fourth of July moviegoing experience was a surprise. The top draw at the box office was not a feel-good blockbuster but a thriller about child sex trafficking. It’s called Sound of Freedom and stars Jim Caviezel, of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ fame and the Jonathan Nolan AI-and-vigilantes CBS series Person of Interest. Continue Reading...

An All-American Asteroid City

During his past decade or so of directing, Wes Anderson has done his darnedest to make audiences forget he’s an American. His most recent films have been set in elaborately imagined fictional versions of Budapest (2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel), Japan (2018’s Isle of Dogs), and France (2021’s The French Dispatch). Continue Reading...

Keep The Covenant on Your Moviegoing Radar This Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, there is one movie in theaters that addresses directly the experiences of veterans. While American families are entertained by the Super Mario Bros. movie, now a billion-dollar proposition worldwide, people who prefer more true-to-life action can see the movie I recommend, Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, which has barely made any money, even though it’s an exciting, gripping experience, and it’s got a star, Jake Gyllenhaal. Continue Reading...

Tetris and the Birth of an Obsession

It may be hard to picture now, when American children spend seemingly every waking hour absorbed in Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, but once upon a time the country’s youth contented themselves with activities that did not involve gazing into tiny screens—you know, riding bikes, throwing around a football, jumping rope. Continue Reading...

Shrinking and the Rebirth of Manliness

Harrison Ford has suddenly returned to acting at the age of 80, after a decade of mostly forgettable cameos. He’s now making movies and even TV series that are bound to get quite a bit of critical attention and renewed popularity. Continue Reading...

The Disordered Loves of The Last of Us

The Last of Us is the latest prestige drama from HBO and has gained near universal critical acclaim, garnering the second-largest audience for the network since 2010, trailing only the Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon. Continue Reading...

Jesus Revolution and Generation Z’s Religious Crisis

My initial impression of the film Jesus Revolution was a simple one, albeit a bit self-centered from a Gen-Z movie reviewer: This isn’t a Gen-Z movie. Rife with bell-bottom jeans, hippie culture, and portrayals of anti-government angst, the film tells the origin story of the Jesus movement of the 1960s and ’70s, particularly the growth and struggle of the West Coast evangelical group known as Calvary Chapel. Continue Reading...
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