Reviews: First Reformed (2018)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: First Reformed sembra il distillato della disillusione e delle riflessioni di una vita, per Schrader, che ritrova una voce potente e lontana da ogni conformismo, scomoda e allucinata.
  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: First Reformed, Paul Schrader’s newest (and possibly best) film as a director, is presented in the boxy, old-school aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (the shape of twentieth century televisions and most movies made before the mid-1950s). 
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice
    • Excerpt: A slow movie classic which explores a rainbow mix of religious and spiritual themes.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: The reason for a radical environmentalist’s profound effect on the Rev Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) never seems clearly delineated.
  • Jared Mobarak @ BuffaloVibe
    • Excerpt: Shot fullscreen and devoid of score until almost halfway through, First Reformed proves a claustrophobic enterprise that keeps Reverend Toller’s descent (or enlightenment depending on your political, philosophical, and religious ideals) front and center. Unfortunately, it also finds itself devoid of nuance in the process. Schrader has never been accused of subtlety, but in this case a little would have gone a long way.
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
  • C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore
    • Excerpt: First Reformed questions how the ancient world of tradition and the modern world of capitalism co-exist when they are fundamentally opposed in so many ways. Above all, Schrader examines how extremism can sprout from many dark corners of the human psyche, of which religion is merely one.
  • James Roberts @ Glide Magazine
    • Excerpt: It is a poetically cinematic work that features the performances of its actors’ careers. It’s also a stunningly heavy-handed work whose script often mistakes nuance for a mallet over the head.
  • [New] | Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]