National Catholic Register
National Catholic Register is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Steven D. Greydanus
They could play John Williams' ominous "Imperial March" over scenes of Uncle Deadly from the Muppets lobbing Green Goblin pumpkin-bombs at Scrat the saber-squirrel (I mean, they literally could, legally...), and many of us would still feel emotions stir.
Posted Dec 19, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019)
An ecstatic, anguished three-hour cinematic hymn ... I am awed by parts of The New World, The Tree of Life and To The Wonder; A Hidden Life overwhelms me in its totality.
Posted Dec 11, 2019
The Two Popes (2019)
Undermined by the same penchant for Wikipedia-like biography and oversimplified caricature marking McCarten's other biopic screenplays, The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Wisely and gently subversive in blurring the barrier between the as-it-ought-to-be world of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and the as-it-is world of adult conflict and complications.
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Frozen II (2019)
Despite this warmer tone, Frozen II is pretty much a mess - from the mostly unmemorable songs to the jumble of half-baked to outright bad ideas making up the muddled, complicated plot.
Posted Nov 15, 2019
Light from Light (2019)
I'm tempted to call 'Light from Light' the first ghost story I've ever seen that I completely believe.
Posted Nov 1, 2019
What makes the portrait of Preynat so effective is that while he's a monster, you also see how this guy won the confidence and respect of parents and parishioners, how he groomed not only children but a whole community.
Posted Oct 25, 2019
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
'Maleficent' at least felt like a fairy tale, if a recycled, darkly subversive one, with something to say. This sequel feels like a set of attitudes and themes in search of material to recycle.
Posted Oct 18, 2019
Is it possible, in the world of 'Joker,' to believe in real heroism? Do the filmmakers even care about that question?
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Ad Astra (2019)
At once attractive and frustrating.
Posted Sep 19, 2019
One Child Nation (2019)
The filmmakers' politics aside, 'One Child Nation' is overwhelmingly, and on multiple levels, a pro-life film.
Posted Aug 30, 2019
The Lion King (2019)
Favreau wasn't hired as a creative, but as a taxidermist.
Posted Jul 17, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Tony, Tony, Tony. How can we miss you if you won't go away?
Posted Jul 2, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019)
As with Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory, it's slick and inventive enough to make time spent with old friends pass quickly and warmly, with plenty of laughs as well as a few tears.
Posted Jun 21, 2019
It's the classic movie monster's dilemma: You either die a villain or live long enough to see yourself become the hero.
Posted May 31, 2019
There are no spoilers in this review because how could there be?
Posted May 23, 2019
A compellingly attractive if one-sided portrait of a figure of exceptional gifts, astonishingly diverse accomplishments and extraordinary influence.
Posted May 2, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Builds to an impressively ambitious finale, highlighting both the strengths and the limitations of the franchise as a whole.
Posted Apr 25, 2019
Mary Magdalene (2019)
Ironically, in its enthusiasm for its exceptional heroine, the film actually undermines Jesus' challenge to the patriarchal norms of his day.
Posted Apr 17, 2019
Goofy, often quite funny, sometimes touching, and occasionally a bit darker or nastier than I expected from a superhero movie that seems to want to skew younger than most.
Posted Apr 5, 2019
A kind of cinematic personal testimony, told from Johnson's post-conversion point of view...crafted specifically for Pure Flix's target audience, an audience that is already pro-life.
Posted Mar 29, 2019
The Disney nostalgia train rumbles on with Tim Burton back at the throttle - not quite throttling the iconic tale, but only barely rising to the challenge, sort of like Casey Junior struggling to clear that daunting hill.
Posted Mar 28, 2019
Captain Marvel (2019)
A perfectly fine Marvel installment that I can't fathom deeply loving or hating, although I'm sure many viewers will manage to do both.
Posted Mar 8, 2019
There's some emotional heft in the end, but my overall sense is that we've stayed too long in this world.
Posted Feb 14, 2019
Like the Star Wars prequels, like Avatar, it's a movie with tons of problems, but it also contains images that made me catch my breath - gorgeous and even numinous sights I will remember forever.
Posted Dec 20, 2018
Changes what is possible for superhero films and animated films.
Posted Dec 12, 2018
The Grinch (2018)
I'm happy to state, though my praise may be faint-ish / My critical heart is more pleased than complaint-ish. (Review in Seussian verse)
Posted Nov 9, 2018
There's nothing wrong with artistic borrowing, but the filmmakers just throw all of these borrowed ingredients into a heap without fashioning them into something with a character of its own.
Posted Nov 2, 2018
Tells a story worth telling, and does so reasonably well, but while it avoids actual preaching, it's still addressed to the choir. That doesn't make it a bad film, but it could have been a better one.
Posted Oct 19, 2018
First Man (2018)
Ultimately more about the "man" than the "first."... Above all, it's the story of a fragile human being who was never the same after a defining tragedy -- who loved his daughter to the moon and back.
Posted Oct 10, 2018
Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018)
Worthwhile religious movies explore the implications and the lived experience of faith or perhaps illuminate the reality of life without it. Path to Redemption has no interest in the first and isn't up to the second.
Posted Sep 14, 2018
The resolution is clever, giving both secular and religious viewers something to hold on to, but unsatisfying in giving short shrift to the final piece of its complicated puzzle.
Posted Sep 7, 2018
Operation Finale (2018)
Tells a decent story well enough, but what does it want to say?
Posted Aug 29, 2018
Christopher Robin (2018)
Like ‘Finding Neverland,’ full of melancholy and a wan approximation of the whimsical spirit of its literary inspiration.
Posted Aug 3, 2018
Completes possibly the most improbable cinematic hat trick in Hollywood history: An unpromising series that began with three patchy, uneven entries has now produced three terrifically entertaining ones.
Posted Jul 27, 2018
"Zinging" is destiny, and even if it strikes one person before the other, it's still meant to be. In the real world this translates to harassment and stalking.
Posted Jul 13, 2018
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
I'm not ashamed to say that I most enjoyed "Ant-Man" when it felt like a sequel in spirit to "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." "Ant-Man and the Wasp" doubles down on that vibe and then some.
Posted Jul 3, 2018
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Smart, funny, energetic and a lot of fun, which means it's about as good as we can hope for from the studio that used to be Pixar.
Posted Jun 15, 2018
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
For a few formative years of our lives, Mr. Rogers showed us the way. Why don't we walk that way? Because of all the voices dominating the discussion ever since.
Posted Jun 8, 2018
First Reformed (2018)
First Reformed can hardly imagine a hopeful future for the world, [yet] the film is full of longing for redemption... Toller hopes that his journal is a kind of prayer. Perhaps Schrader hopes the same for his film.
Posted Jun 1, 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
There's nothing here like the wince-inducing dialogue or wooden acting of George Lucas's prequel trilogy. On the other hand, there's nothing like their visionary quality either.
Posted May 24, 2018
If it isn't the documentary final word on the 266th pope, in a way it's something better: It's a winsome, challenging call to take the Gospel more seriously and to work to make the world around us a little bit better.
Posted May 14, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Yes, I want to see the next Marvel movie. But I long for popcorn movies like the last couple of Mission: Impossible installments, in which, after two-plus hours of ridiculously entertaining action, the mission actually is accomplished.
Posted Apr 26, 2018
The Devil and Father Amorth (2018)
There is little, if any, genuinely religious dimension ... It's basically a "boo" movie in documentary form - that, and an exercise in brand reinforcement and exploitation.
Posted Apr 20, 2018
A dialogue, and a mutual cross-examination, not only among the main characters ... and above all between man and God, but also between Péguy and Dumont, and even between Péguy the Socialist unbeliever of 1897 and Péguy the believing Catholic of 1910.
Posted Apr 13, 2018
A Quiet Place (2018)
Even though A Quiet Place is a terrific film just the way it is, I can't help wishing there were more families like this in other kinds of movies.
Posted Apr 7, 2018
Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018)
The most dramatically and thematically interesting material emerges from the agonized deliberations of the Roman Christians ... the prospect and the plausibility of violence in the name of Christ is treated with a level of complexity welcome in such a film.
Posted Mar 22, 2018
Tomb Raider (2018)
Jolie's Lara was perhaps having too much fun for much sense of urgency, but Vikander's Lara isn't really having fun at all, which makes it hard for the audience to have much fun either.
Posted Mar 16, 2018
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
Sentence I did not expect to write: The film's portrayal of the otherworldly Mrs. W's...makes the depiction of the Holy Trinity in The Shack profound and numinous by comparison.
Posted Mar 9, 2018