Paul Schrader's transcendent, outrageous First Reformed gives Ethan Hawke one of his best roles

The title of First Reformed, Paul Schrader’s best film in a very long time, refers to an old abolitionist church in upstate New York, a metaphor for Christianity’s neglected values. The First Reformed has no congregation to speak of, only visitors and tourists, and its care has fallen into the hands of a lost soul,…

Gary Oldman plays Churchill, and a revitalized Paul Schrader gives Ethan Hawke one of his best roles

“Did Jesus worry about being liked?” The unexpected surprise of this year’s TIFF turned out to be Paul Schrader’s First Reformed (Grade: B+), a grotesque dual homage to Diary Of A Country Priest and Winter Light in which the alcoholic rector of a nearly empty church in upstate New York is asked to hide a suicide bomb…

Luc Besson’s space romp Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is fun if you can stand the dumb

Whatever one may think of Luc Besson’s futuristic space opera Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, the idea of spending a cool $225 million so that Rihanna can mount a stripper pole and recite some lines from the poet Paul Verlaine’s “A Poor Young Shepherd” to an audience of one (in full high-tech space suit,…

Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt rustle up a posse in the new Magnificent Seven trailer

Somewhere between The Ridiculous 6 and The Hateful Eight lies The Magnificent Seven, Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming homage to Westerns. The teaser trailer set up the initial premise, which is drawn from the 1960 film of the same name, which was drawn from 1954’s Japanese film Seven Samurai. So it’s a tale as old as time—or,…

See some stellar movies (and Craig Robinson!) at this weekend’s Chicago Film Critics Festival

The weekend is upon us, and for many of us here at The A.V. Club—writers and readers alike—that means trekking out to the nearest theater to catch a movie (or seven). Sure, you could see that unplayable iPhone game or that unnecessary (but apparently solid) comedy sequel or Civil War for a third time. But if you…

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Ethan Hawke is our greatest genre star because he commits to the work

There’s a moment in Sinister when Ethan Hawke peers into an attic and sees a gaggle of ghost children watching a Super 8 movie of Bughuul, a Babylonian pagan god. The edges of Hawke’s eyebrows arc up toward a crevice of distress that runs down his forehead. His eyes are wide, almost sad, as fear seems to push his mind…