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.

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7.1/10
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  • First Reformed (2017)
  • Amanda Seyfried in First Reformed (2017)
  • First Reformed (2017)
  • Amanda Seyfried in First Reformed (2017)
  • Amanda Seyfried and Eldo Ray Estes in First Reformed (2017)
  • Ethan Hawke at an event for First Reformed (2017)

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20 November 2018 | pjmdancer
A daring and unexpected piece of filmmaking
I never expected to be so moved by "First Reformed", a small indie that tackles large themes such as climate change, mental health, and faith rather ferociously. Though it is a bit of a slow-burn at the start, it's impossible not to be drawn in by Ethan Hawke's magnetizing performance. He is masterful as Ernst Toller, a pastor who begins to unravel after an encounter a husband and wife who are environmental activists. The second half of the film is particularly strong, as Toller's polite and unassuming facade begins to crack, and writer/director Paul Schrader makes some daring filmmaking choices that add to the unpredictability of the film as it heads toward the climax. Though the ending has been controversial among audiences, I thought it was an incredibly bold, beautifully executed choice, and the final few minutes of the film have been seared into my mind. Regardless of how you respond to the ending, there is no doubt that this is a thought-provoking and important piece of art. A must-see.

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