Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Top Films of 2016

Hell or High Water

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Hell or High Water is a perfect film. The acting, story, music, direction all come together to make a film you will want to return to over and over again. I recently viewed it for a second time and it was just as satisfying as the first. It is a modern western that is smart and filled with humor. What gives the film value is that underlying the excitement is a deep ethical vein that runs throughout the film. It contains the most moving scene I’ve witnessed all year. It is a simple scene, like many others in the film, but it moved me tears. An estranged father visits his son to warn him about some news he will be hearing concerning some bad things he did. The son says he won’t believe it, but the father advises the son to believe everything he hears. He tells him not to be like him. The film is about a couple of brothers who do some bad things, but as the film goes along, you discover that they have a noble cause and they are actually making a great sacrifice for others. The film is not focused on the shootouts and car chases like many others are. Instead it is about the motives and humanity behind these events.

Silence

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Silence is a religious film with depth. It is one of the most challenging films to come along in years. If you have been longing for a movie that takes faith seriously, then look no further. There is nothing shallow about this picture. Some people will not like it because it is a hard film to take in and it raises questions that some might want to ignore. That’s ok. Although a film like Silence may make some uncomfortable, this is the kind of film that Christians should be embracing rather than films that offer a shallow faith and a false hope. Silence is why we need art in our life. It makes us uneasy and hopefully it will cause us to look at our own lives and we will be a better person for viewing it.

La La Land

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La La Land is entertaining and fun. I would much rather watch an inventive director and two actors at the tope of their game than two hours of CGI that moves so quickly it leaves your head spinning. It is a shame a film like this is a rarity. Damien Chazelle is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. His pictures are original and he draws out performances from his actors that you will not want to miss.

Arrival

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Arrival is a brilliant sci-fi thriller with an ending that will leave you stunned. I was not a fan of Denis Villeneuve’s earlier work, but his last two films have been phenomenal. I will not give away the ending, but I will say this was one of the most powerful pro-life films I have ever seen. I don’t know if that was the author or directors intention, but that message is certainly prominent within the film.

The Innocents

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The Innocents has a lot in common with Silence. It is a religious film about suffering and faith. It is based on true events. It tells the story of a group of Polish nuns who were raped by the Russians in WWII. They fear someone discovering their secret. They fear breaking their vows of chastity, and yet they are in need of medical help. They find help in a French doctor who was raised by communist parents. Each nun deals with the situation differently. The audience witnesses a mixture of faith, doubt, sacrifice, misguided loyalty, and dedication. Like Silence, it is not an easy film to watch, but for those who choose to do so, it is quite rewarding.

Sing Street

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The musical numbers in La La Land are a wonderful throwback to the musicals in the 40’s and 50’s. John Carney is interested in making modern musicals and Sing Street is the perfect example of one. It is set in the 1980’s in Ireland. It is a coming of age story about a boy who starts a band because he met a girl. This seems pretty straight forward, but if you pay careful attention you will discover it is just as much a movie about brothers. There are lots of laughs, great 80’s music, and some really nice original music. If you want to be entertained by a movie that is well-made, then Sing Street is for you.

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