What the Academy Award Best Picture Nominees Say about God, Faith, and Religion

This year’s Academy Awards best picture nominees each possess a particular way of understanding what it means to be human. They answer inquiries of vast religious significance. “Where are we going?” “How might human joy be obtained?” and “What does the nature of sacrifice entail for the world around us?”

In Hostiles, Our Worst Enemies Are Also Our Neighbors

Perhaps we don’t have arch-nemeses like Joe Blocker, or a “war bag full of reasons” to hate an entire people group, as he says he does in the film, but just by virtue of being human, our natural state toward each other is hostility.

Sheathing the Sword: Akira Kurosawa and the Virtue of Meekness

Though our society is not built atop a system of knights and warlords, the theme of “might makes right” permeates entertainment and politics, and painfully shapes the stories we hear on the nightly news.

Crying in Public: The Cost of Gawking at Tonya and Tammy Faye

We are the audience, with our endless appetite for scandal, standing around the woman at the well (or in this case the two women at the well), ready to throw stones.

Redemption of the Jedi: A Look Back at Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

At the end of Return of the Jedi, for a moment, Luke embodies a balance, not between darkness and light, but between mercy and justice.

No Laughing Matter: Funny Games and the Moral Implications of Our Entertainment

People can be, are, and indeed always have been entertaining, but people are never entertainment.

The Post‘s Most Important Contribution Isn’t about Freedom of the Press

Perhaps the best way we can honor Graham’s paradigm-shifting, government-deception exposing, heroic legacy is to partner with one another much sooner on the journey than Graham’s skeptical advisors partnered with her.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Shows Us a World Full of Meanness

The film’s accurately bleak depiction of a world without grace instills a powerful longing in viewers that reality might actually be otherwise.

District 9: ‘All Good Families’

District 9 is hardly a family film, but family is at the core of the story.

Lady Bird Offers Us an Antidote for Our Cultural Homesickness

Lady Bird invites us to consider the nature of our love and our roots in a time when the concepts are as nebulous and mishandled as ever.

Cultivating Sympathy: A Christmas Prince and a Netflix Faux Pas

Those who are lonely during this season don’t need to be mocked or called out or even lightly teased for their viewing habits.

Rogue One: An Advent Story

Advent is a season to reflect on the hope of Christ’s coming, a season to practice how not to be complacent, the very thing we see in Rogue One.

Steven Spielberg’s Cinema of the Sublime

Spiritual longing typifies Spielberg’s approach as a storyteller and may account for at least some of his blockbuster appeal.

A Supernatural Neighbor

The benevolence of the spirits in My Neighbor Totoro serves as a reminder that the spiritual realm—though mysterious and unlike our own—is not something to fear.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is Risky, Explosive, and Beautifully Brazen

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is not only what many audiences need, but how they need it.

Sin Demands a Reckoning in Thor: Ragnarok

On whose graves, and whose suffering, is our greatness built?