Recently Added

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Post: Ender’s Game [Video]

Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi tale emerges from a decade of development hell with its themes and story maybe 50 percent intact — which doesn’t make it a bad film.   Read more >

Post: On the Air: Catholic Answers Live, 10/18/2013

This evening, Friday, October 18, I'll be appearing on the first hour of “Catholic Answers Live” (6pm–7pm EDT).   Read more >

Review: 12 Years a Slave (2013)

A | **** | +3-1| Adults*

What if I were to tell you that there has never until now been a major historical motion picture about the slave experience in America? Could that possibly be true?   Read more >

Article: The Untold Story of Slavery? Why 12 Years a Slave is Essential

The award-winning film 12 Years a Slave, now in theaters, isn’t just an astonishing film about an important subject. It’s also a rare and valuable film of a kind I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before.   Read more >

Post: Gravity [Video]

Sandra Bullock shines in Alfonso Cuarón’s mesmerizing action thriller in space, a rare Hollywood spectacle with a touch of spiritual awareness.   Read more >

Review: Gravity (2013)

A- | ***½ | +2| Teens & Up*

Gorgeous, nerve-racking, literally awesome, Gravity takes us to a world much nearer in both time and space than Duncan Jones’ Moon; nearer even than the layer of satellites that our mobile phones and GPS devices talk to every day: only about 350 miles away, in the low Earth orbit of the Hubble Space Telescope. Roughly the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco — but oh, that’s far enough.   Read more >

Post: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 [Video]

Part of me kind of wishes they had kept the original title Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: my 60-second “Reel Faith” review.   Read more >

Post: The Wizard of Oz [Video]

Digitally remastered from the original negatives, painstakingly restored, The Wizard of Oz celebrates its 75th anniversary in style. Here’s my “Reel Faith” 60-second tribute to this beloved classic.   Read more >

Article: Over the Rainbow: The Wizard of Oz Turns 75

So many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side? What was Kermit talking about? There’s only one song like that … and one movie that embodies the childhood magic Jim Henson wanted to evoke.   Read more >

Article: The Summer’s Best-Kept Secret: From Up on Poppy Hill

Co-written by Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyzaki and directed by his son Goro Miyazaki (Tales From Earthsea), From Up on Poppy Hill is a gently naturalistic departure from the high-flying fantasy for which the studio is best known.   Read more >

Article: So Long! Farewell!

I enjoyed reviewing movies this summer far more than I enjoyed the movies themselves — and perhaps my readers enjoyed the reviews more than the movies as well.   Read more >

Post: Elysium [Video]

The director of District 9 is back … with a bigger budget and name stars.   Read more >

Post: Planes [Video]

It may be Pixar Ultra-Lite, but Disney’s Planes is a pleasant change of pace from the likes of The Croods and Turbo.   Read more >

Review: Planes (2013)

B | *** | +2| Kids & Up

Both the big race and international flavor recall Cars 2 as well as DreamWorks’ Turbo, the protagonist of which had the same personal crisis as Dusty, a longing for speed he wasn’t built for. Yet Planes, in its modest way, cannily avoids the pitfalls that made those films unsatisfying.   Read more >

Article: Big Brother on the Big Screen: Hollywood, Surveillance and the NSA

Have Hollywood movies been softening us up for NSA-style surveillance?   Read more >

Post: 2 Guns [Video]

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are two great tastes that taste great together. So why did this film leave a sour taste in my mouth? 2 Guns: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Post: The Wolverine [Video]

He’s the best there is at what he does, but what he does isn’t very nice. The Wolverine: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Review: The Wolverine (2013)

B+ | *** | +1-1| Teens & Up*

It’s not a great film, but it’s a pretty good one. This year, that’s enough to make The Wolverine not only the season’s best superhero film, but arguably its best popcorn action movie: a gingery palate cleanser in a summer of overcooked Big Macs.   Read more >

Post: Fruitvale Station [Video]

Oscar Grant just might be the most memorable character I’ve encountered on the big screen this year. Fruitvale Station: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Post: The Conjuring [Video]

Thirty years after The Exorcist, when it comes to fighting the powers of hell, the Catholic Church still has the heavy artillery, as Roger Ebert once wrote. The Conjuring: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Review: Turbo (2013)

C+ | **½ | +0| Kids & Up

At some point, alas, it becomes apparent that Turbo’s more daring elements are all surface, and the story is locked into a well-worn path to an all-too-obvious destination. Writing about Monsters University, I noted that, like many other Pixar films, it pours cold water on the familiar family-film platitude that you can achieve anything you put your mind to if you just want it enough. Turbo embraces the platitude.   Read more >

Post: Despicable Me 2 [Video]

He was bad to the bone. Now he’s Dad to the bone. Does his mojo survive the transition? Despicable Me 2: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013)

B- | **½ | +1| Kids & Up

“Dr. Evil without Austin Powers,” I called Gru in my review of Despicable Me. Turning Dr. Evil into Austin Powers (mutatis mutandis, for a family film) is the best possible way to keep the reformed character from losing his mojo. (Oh, how Mike Myers has influenced this discussion!)   Read more >

Article: SDG’s Very, Very Little Movie Glossary

This little essay is barely a footnote to Ebert’s book. Still, in the dozen or so years that I’ve been writing movie reviews, I’d like to think I’ve come up with a few witty, possibly even useful terms — Everything Movie, Medieval Grunge and Mythology-Bound among them — that might contribute to movie discussion.   Read more >

Review: The Lone Ranger (2013)

D | | -2| Teens & Up*

Even more than Man of Steel, The Lone Ranger is the poster child for our culture’s terminal inability to offer children today heroic role models … I’ve seen many movies that were objectively worse than The Lone Ranger. Very few have made me angrier.   Read more >

Post: World War Z [Video]

It’s the end of the world was we know it … again. World War Z: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Post: Monsters University [Video]

Is it “okay to be okay” if you’re Pixar? Monsters University: : my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Review: Monsters University (2013)

B | *** | +2-1| Kids & Up

Monsters University, from first-time director Dan Scanlon, is a charming, well-crafted trifle — at least until the subversive last act, when it sets its sights a bit higher.   Read more >

Post: Much Ado About Nothing [Video] (2012)

Shakespeare knows how to throw a party … and so does Joss Whedon. Much Ado About Nothing: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Post: Man of Steel [Video]

A Superman movie for our times — but is that a good thing? Man of Steel: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

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