The Common Good

Results for Film

Hollywood Looks to the Bible for Screenplay Potential
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 4:07pm | Type: Blog

Studios and filmmakers are rediscovering a classic text as source material for upcoming mainstream films: the Bible. Studios and filmmakers are rediscovering a classic text as sou ...

'The Fifth Estate:' Is WikiLeaks Good for America?
Originally Posted: 10/18/2013 - 12:56pm | Type: Blog

Despite this latest round of drama revolving around WikiLeaks and its lightning rod of a front man, the question still remains: Is WikiLeaks good for America? Am I the only one wh ...

‘Gravity’ and the Unanswered Questions of Unbelief
Originally Posted: 10/07/2013 - 3:24pm | Type: Blog

Reviews of the new hit movie Gravity note that it’s an unusually fine science fiction film. What they don’t mention is that the main character represents an increasingly common theme in American religion: The ...

Complexities of Struggle and Love
Originally Posted: 10/09/2013 - 8:13am | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins The makers of The Butler have told a kind of truth about the struggle for "beloved community" that has rarely be ...

Apocalypse Redux
Originally Posted: 10/09/2013 - 8:13am | Type: Magazine Article

Kathryn Reklis Why are blockbuster movies so bad at imagining life after the end of the world? EVERY SUMMER b ...

The Cardinal on Colbert: Dolan Does Comedy Central
Originally Posted: 09/05/2013 - 8:02am | Type: Blog

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the most famous funny man in the American hierarchy, went on The Colbert Report Tuesday night to trade ...

'You've Got Mail,' A Swedish Movie About Death, Kissing Dating Goodbye, and Finding Love Despite Pride and Prejudice
Originally Posted: 08/26/2013 - 2:01pm | Type: Blog

Even for the awkward girl who is afraid of the sound of her own voice and of the possibility of finding someone attractive, there’s the possibility of love, and that, however improbably, changes everything. ...

Steve Jobs: Prophet of a New Religion
Originally Posted: 08/21/2013 - 7:55am | Type: Blog

The truth about Jobs and religion may be that, in this arena as in others, he was ahead of the cutting edge. The new movie about Steve Jobs is short on anything explicitly religio ...

'The Butler:' Owning Our Collective Story
Originally Posted: 08/21/2013 - 7:45am | Type: Blog

of race in America in the 20th and early 21st centuries, of presidential decision making, and of family. ...

PBS' Series 'Life of Muhammad' May Surprise Viewers
Originally Posted: 08/16/2013 - 10:50am | Type: Blog

He’s born poor. By age 6, he’s an orphan. Two years later, he loses his grandfather. Yet he overcomes his circumstances, develops a reputation for business integrity and progressive views on marriage. Then he ...

'The Butler' and His D.C. Church — A Man of Steady Faith
Originally Posted: 08/14/2013 - 4:01pm | Type: Blog

Eugene Allen served eight presidents as a White House butler, and his legendary career is the inspiration for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” a film starring Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda and a host of A-list Hollywood ...

A Thoroughly Modern Mystic Makes His Way to the Big Screen
Originally Posted: 08/08/2013 - 3:46pm | Type: Blog

in a letter dated June 21, 1966. “I cannot help placing it at the very heart of my aloneness, and not just ...

The Forgiving Corpse: A Parable
Originally Posted: 07/25/2013 - 12:29pm | Type: Blog

I’m pretty sure that Keith Huff did not intend to write a Christian allegory, but the themes of life, death, and resurrection reverberate through the play. Oddly enough, I think Stewart’s story can function as ...

Can a Horror Film Lead People to God?
Originally Posted: 07/25/2013 - 9:18am | Type: Blog

The box office hit The Conjuring has all the requisite features of a standard horror flick: creaky doors, mysterious things that go bump in the night, creepy dolls and a dead witch who seizes the body of an un ...

The Accidental Moral Mirror of Monsters University
Originally Posted: 07/05/2013 - 9:29am | Type: Blog

It struck me that the movie presents – probably quite by accident – an opportunity to talk about a deep moral reality. So what follows will only begin obliquely by talking about cute monsters ...

Superman: Jesus Figure or ‘Anti-Christ?'
Originally Posted: 06/27/2013 - 4:07pm | Type: Blog

Superman has always had a bit of a messiah complex, born as a modern-day Moses in the imagination of two Jewish guys during the Depression and over the years developing and amplifying his Christlike characteri ...

Finding Joy in a Place of Need
Originally Posted: 06/24/2013 - 9:24am | Type: Blog

Here, in the midst of the squalor, in a place where people have prayed and waited for rain for years, I was encountered by something sacred. Go  Here  to read the second in this ...

Sojo Stories: Dirty Wars
Originally Posted: 01/29/2014 - 2:34pm | Type: Blog

Days before President Barack Obama's high-profile speech on drones and U.S. counterterrorism efforts, we sat down with investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill to take an inside look at U.S.-led covert wars, ...

Competing … For the Greater Good
Originally Posted: 06/18/2013 - 2:30pm | Type: Blog

Though I don’t have it all worked out yet, I continue to trust The Great Storyteller — there is yet much grace for a fierce competitor and Whiskey Priest. (Go here  to re ...

'Apocalypse Later:' Documentary Explores Harold Camping's End-Times Predictions
Originally Posted: 06/12/2013 - 1:41pm | Type: Blog

Family Radio , Camping is shown leading his people to believe the apocalypse was coming on May 21, 2011, and later — when that failed — on October 21, 2011. Using his power within the church, Camping stirred up ... Convinced of God’s return on May 21 and later on October 21, the sight of believers crying in the front row ...

Star Trek: Into Darkness: A Call to Change Course
Originally Posted: 06/05/2013 - 4:04pm | Type: Blog

Star Trek: Into Darkness is a fascinating and complicated story that is well worth watching. Instead of providing a summary, I want to explore three related aspects of the movie: sacrifice, blood, and hope for ...

Should a Christian Watch 'Game of Thrones?'
Originally Posted: 06/05/2013 - 1:11pm | Type: Blog

Is there anything morally redeeming about Game of Thrones? Does the hit HBO series even have a moral vision? Is there anything morally redeeming about  Game of Thrones ? Does t ...

The Stories We All Could Tell
Originally Posted: 05/30/2013 - 3:19pm | Type: Blog

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long,” laments Pablo Neruda, a line recited in a particularly poignant moment of Stories We Tell. “Love is so short, forgetting is so long,”  ...

'Paranorman:' Unmasking the Myth of Redemptive Violence with Cartoon Zombies
Originally Posted: 04/29/2013 - 7:46am | Type: Blog

Not surprisingly, if you look for Christian reviews of Paranorman you will see many focus on warnings to stay way from the occult. Sadly, this response misses the profoundly deep moral message behind this film ...

To the Wonder: A Rumination on Love
Originally Posted: 04/18/2013 - 3:53pm | Type: Blog

I definitely recommend To the Wonder, especially for Christians looking to explore a complex part of human existence through a beautiful movie. The last Terrence Malick film I w ...

Jackie Robinson’s Faith Missing From '42' Movie
Originally Posted: 04/15/2013 - 11:17am | Type: Blog

A new film about Jackie Robinson, titled “42″ — the number he wore during his historic career — tells the triumphant story of how the Civil Rights icon integrated professional baseball by playing for the Brook ...

Father Abraham and the Jews
Originally Posted: 02/22/2013 - 10:22am | Type: Blog

In his recent book, When General Grant Expelled the Jews, Brandeis University Professor Jonathan D. Sarna recounts an important but little-known event in 1863 in Lincoln’s quest for full civil, religious, and ...

Oscar Spirit: Faith, Values, and the 2013 Best Picture Nominees, Part 2
Originally Posted: 02/22/2013 - 10:06am | Type: Blog

This week, in the run-up to Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, we're taking a look at each of the Best Picture nominees, the stories they tell, and the spiritual questions (and answers) they offer. To ...

Oscar Spirit: Faith, Values, and the 2013 Best Picture Nominees
Originally Posted: 02/22/2013 - 10:05am | Type: Blog

The fragility of life. The servanthood of love. The (im)morality of war. The fundamentals of mercy and justice. The power of grace and forgiveness. The oneness of creation. The personal (and spiritual) toll of ...

Is God the Missing Character in 'Downton Abbey'?
Originally Posted: 02/15/2013 - 2:33pm | Type: Blog

The third season of the megahit PBS series “Downton Abbey” wraps up on Sunday, capping another must-see run of ruin and redemption at Lord Grantham’s stately English manor. Yet some are still left puzzled over ...

Sundance Diary: Imagining the World As It Ought To Be
Originally Posted: 01/24/2013 - 4:56pm | Type: Blog

It’s been said that Hollywood films comfort the afflicted while Sundance films afflict the comfortable. Film offers a vicarious entry to the world the way it is, and the films I saw at the 2013 Sundance Film F ...

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Tortures the Truth About Interrogations
Originally Posted: 01/14/2013 - 11:20am | Type: Blog

Nothing was tortured more in the making of Kathryn Bigelow’s film Zero Dark Thirty than the truth about torture. Nothing was tortured more in the making of Kathryn Bigelow’s fil ...

Unexpected Grace in Les Miz
Originally Posted: 12/27/2012 - 10:27am | Type: Blog

For many centuries Christmas Day worshippers have been hearing these words as their New Testament reading: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all” (Titus 2:11). Grace, everyone used to k ...

First Look — 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
Originally Posted: 12/13/2012 - 11:02am | Type: Blog

One of the most striking things about the film is just how carefully Peter Jackson manages to balance the childlike qualities of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit – written some 18 years before the Lord of the Rings ...

'Life of Pi:' A Story to 'Make You Believe in God'
Originally Posted: 11/22/2012 - 9:41am | Type: Blog

Life of Pi, adapted from Yann Martel’s moving book, takes on massive questions — who is God, how do we find God, and why do bad things happen to us — as we follow Pi, a zookeeper’s son shipwrecked on a lifeboa ...

'Lincoln:' An Honestly Good Movie
Originally Posted: 11/08/2012 - 9:56am | Type: Blog

A review of the new movie 'Lincoln.' Abraham Lincoln was a storyteller, so it’s fitting that his story has been hashed out on the silver screen — without  vampires ...

Becoming Who We Are
Originally Posted: 08/14/2012 - 11:00am | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins The wonderful thing about Pixar’s Brave is how it negates the historic disempowerment of female fairy tale protagonists. ...

Filmmaker Spike Lee Focuses on Faith in 'Red Hook Summer'
Originally Posted: 08/23/2012 - 3:57pm | Type: Blog

Spike Lee is not about to give up filmmaking but – at least for a moment or two – he sounded a bit like an expert on the challenges facing the church as he promoted his new movie Red Hook Summer. ...

Satire and Political Shadows
Originally Posted: 07/19/2012 - 3:16pm | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins The Dictator, amid its crudity and over-the-top stereotypes, asks us to reimagine democracy. I ...

Murals and a Great Divide
Originally Posted: 07/19/2012 - 3:25pm | Type: Magazine Article

Anne Marie Roderick Concrete, Steel, and Paint, directed by Cindy Burstein and Tony Heriza THOSE OF US who ar ...

She Said: What's Not to Like About 'The Dark Knight Rises'?
Originally Posted: 07/23/2012 - 12:05pm | Type: Blog

What's not to like about The Dark Knight Rises? Nolan relies on some of his favorite actors (and composer) for an exciting finale to one of the most celebrated superheroes of both print and the big screen ...

He Said: 'The Dark Knight Rises' Is a Redemption Tale
Originally Posted: 07/23/2012 - 12:38pm | Type: Blog

"The Dark Knight Rises" is a story about redemption. It is a tale of finding courage in the face of overwhelming adversity, in spite of overwhelming physical and spiritual suffering. ...

The Age of Innocence: Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom'
Originally Posted: 07/22/2012 - 3:05pm | Type: Blog

I liked this film so much I've already seen it twice. "Moonrise Kingdom" is so good, in fact, I almost couldn't bring myself to write about it for fear of not doing it justice. ...

16 Christian Leaders and Their Cartoon Counterparts
Originally Posted: 07/16/2012 - 10:27am | Type: Blog

Today it's our great pleasure to bring you 16 Christian Leaders and Their Cartoon Counterparts, including our buddy Brian McLaren (over there to your left with Turtleman from Finding Nemo), Rick Warren, R ...

Hellbound? New Film Explores Ideas, Doctrine of Hell
Originally Posted: 07/10/2012 - 6:17pm | Type: Blog

If you believe that all non-Christians are going to hell, then that means that not only would Hitler be there, but so would most of his victims.How could it be just for someone to go from the fires of Auschwit ...

Faith (Not Pea Soup) Takes Center Stage in New 'Exorcist' Play
Originally Posted: 07/04/2012 - 9:52am | Type: Blog

LOS ANGELES — Mention the word “exorcism” to most people, and you get descriptions of levitating bodies, spinning heads, oozing green bile and hissing serpentine tongues. But don’t expect to see these eye-popp ...

Screening Relevance
Originally Posted: 06/11/2012 - 9:47am | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins Three highlights from Full Frame are films that mingle mature cinematic craft with ethical depth. ...

Top 10 Nora Ephron Moments: A Sojo Staff Tribute
Originally Posted: 06/27/2012 - 3:30pm | Type: Blog

Sojo staff’s top 10 Nora Ephron golden nuggets. The Sojo staff loves Nora Ephron. We already have up a contributor’s beautiful tribute to her life HERE . But we wanted to share ...

For Nora Ephron
Originally Posted: 06/27/2012 - 11:57am | Type: Blog

Ephron brought us joy. She was a keen observer of the human condition, of living, growing older, and facing death with grace. She advised us not to postpone our joy. There are som ...

Prometheus: Promises Much, But Fails To Deliver
Originally Posted: 06/08/2012 - 3:41pm | Type: Blog

Sadly, the film I was ready to see was not the one I saw. It’s a little over 12 hours since I walked out of the movie theater, as the seemingly never-ending credits of Prometheu ...