First Reformed (2017)

R   |    |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller


First Reformed (2017) Poster

A minister of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past.


7.1/10
49,697


Videos


Photos

  • First Reformed (2017)
  • Ethan Hawke in First Reformed (2017)
  • First Reformed (2017)
  • First Reformed (2017)
  • Amanda Seyfried in First Reformed (2017)
  • Ethan Hawke at an event for First Reformed (2017)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


3 June 2018 | PotassiumMan
5
| Religious drama starts out solid, then becomes infuriatingly ludicrous
It is very unusual for a film to aggravate me with its heavy-handed narrative and simple-minded mentality, but this one enraged me more than any other film I've seen in years. To be sure, this film does not immediately embrace its radical ideology. It starts out deliberately, almost at a molasses-like pace but then abruptly turns into something profoundly and alarmingly nonsensical, which is why I'm never going to forget it, but not in a good way.

Director Paul Schrader provides us with the story of Reverend Toller (played with pained dignity by Ethan Hawke), who lost his son in Iraq and has had to cope with the emotional scars ever since. His marriage is in ruins. His stately old church in upstate New York is an historical landmark but lives in the shadows of the more modern, larger congregation that has greater weight in the local community. Hawke's character gets to know a young couple in his small church, one of whom is a troubled environmental activist.

This raw drama is meant to be about the loss of faith, but its singular problem is the dearth of character development that is required for the extreme turn that the plot takes. The film's descent into lunacy, into over-the-top absurdity is not warranted given how little we connect with Hawke's character. His life has problems, for sure, but his psyche is somewhat inscrutable (despite a voiceover diary, no less) and therefore what follows is inexplicable. His ultimate motives are maddeningly opaque. The ideological transformation lacks a coherent basis and therefore never touches credibility even with its fingertips. The film's shift felt very sudden, and I was shaking my head in the end, wondering how the storyline, for lack of a better word, collapsed. Its promising start felt like years ago when the credits were rolling.

With the right approach and a more subtle, nuanced point of view, this film could have been a classic. Instead, it becomes a cartoonish propaganda piece that will not satisfy an educated audience. Not recommended.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



Details

Release Date:

18 May 2018

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA, UK, Australia

Filming Locations

Hicksville, New York, USA

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$97,562 20 May 2018

Gross USA:

$3,448,256

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,862,498

Contribute to this page

IMDb Picks: What to Watch on Netflix Now

Need some help finding the best things to watch on Netflix? Let our editors help you find what's trending and what's worth your time.

See the full list

"Grey's Anatomy" Docs Pick Their Must-See Episodes

We asked Doctors Jo Wilson, April Kepner, and Andrew DeLuca to tell us the episodes of the show that they think are the most essential to understanding their characters.

Watch the video

Around The Web

 | 

Provided by Taboola

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com