The Common Good

Results for Film

Finding Joy in a Place of Need
Originally Posted: 06/24/2013 - 10:24am | 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 - 3:34pm | 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 - 3:30pm | 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 - 2:41pm | 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 - 5:04pm | 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 - 2:11pm | 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 - 4:19pm | 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 - 8:46am | 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 - 4:53pm | 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 - 12:17pm | 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 - 11:22am | 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 - 11:06am | 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 - 11:05am | 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 - 3:33pm | 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 - 5:56pm | 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 - 12:20pm | 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 - 11:27am | 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 - 12:02pm | 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 - 10:41am | 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 - 10:56am | 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 - 12:00pm | 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 - 4:57pm | 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 - 4:16pm | 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 - 4:25pm | 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 - 1:05pm | 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 - 1:38pm | 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 - 4:05pm | 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 - 11:27am | 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 - 7:17pm | 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 - 10:52am | 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 - 10:47am | 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 - 4:30pm | 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 - 12:57pm | 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 - 4:41pm | 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 ...

‘True Blood’ Sinks its Teeth into Religion and Politics
Originally Posted: 06/08/2012 - 4:43pm | Type: Blog

In its fifth season — which happens to coincide with a U.S. presidential campaign —"True Blood," returning Sunday, explores political maneuverings. On HBO's &qu ...

Art With a Brutal Heart
Originally Posted: 05/22/2012 - 3:55pm | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins The best parts of the Disney worldview look like the eschatological images in a Martin Luther King Jr. speech; the worst m ...

Catholics See Rallying Cry for ‘Religious Freedom’ in ‘For Greater Glory’
Originally Posted: 05/24/2012 - 4:11pm | Type: Blog

The bishops' conference has designated June 21 to July 4 as a “Fortnight for Freedom,” to be observed ...

QUIRK: Will Smith as Obama? It's All About the EARS.
Originally Posted: 05/22/2012 - 3:22pm | Type: Blog

Nearly four years after Smith joked about potentially playing Obama in a not-actually-happening biopic on the president's life, the "Men In Black 3" star is at it again. ...

QUIRK: Smell Ya Later, Kristen Wiig. We'll MISS YOU!
Originally Posted: 05/21/2012 - 3:39pm | Type: Blog

From Huffington Post : Kristen Wiig got a musical sendoff on the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" as the popular and versatile cast member made her exit after seven years. In the show's final sketch, guest host Mick Jagger played ...

'Sound of My Voice': Belief, Skepticism and Cults
Originally Posted: 05/16/2012 - 11:14am | Type: Blog

In the feature-length drama Sound of My Voice, Peter Aitken, a 20-something school teacher, is angry at the cultish fanaticism that led to his mother’s death (per her cult’s teaching, she refused to take medic ...

'The Avengers' Lives Up to the Hype
Originally Posted: 05/07/2012 - 11:49am | Type: Blog

This past weekend I joined the ranks of moviegoers and saw the action-packed and highly anticipated superhero movie, The Avengers, and the film lived up to its hype. Ladies and ge ...

Top Ten Favorite Celluloid Sisters
Originally Posted: 05/03/2012 - 11:37am | Type: Blog

Silly and serious, strict and kind, profoundly faithful and sometimes hilarious — Catholic nuns are evergreen characters on the big (and the small) screens. Here's a list of some of our favorite portrayal ...

The Power of Attention in East Jerusalem
Originally Posted: 04/23/2012 - 9:20am | Type: Blog

The problem with peaceful protests is that they lack all the headline-grabbing horror of wars and terrorist attacks. They lack the “power of attention” as filmmaker Julia Bacha likes to say. ...

Lessons from Caine’s Arcade: The Vital Joy of Making Things
Originally Posted: 04/13/2012 - 11:52am | Type: Blog

But maybe Caine’s story strikes us because in him we see the embodiment of something we’d like to think the American people still are, but haven’t seen in evidence much anymore. I ...

Why We’re Hungry for ‘The Hunger Games’
Originally Posted: 04/02/2012 - 4:02pm | Type: Blog

So does the popularity of The Hunger Games offer good news for those of us concerned about American civilization and the younger generation? I say yes, for a few reasons. The Hu ...

A Sci-Fi Take on Adolescence's Brutal Truth
Originally Posted: 03/13/2012 - 11:32am | Type: Magazine Article

Gareth Higgins Along with the silent film The Artist, Haywire, and War Horse, the smartest wide-release recent movie is Chronicle, a kine ...

A Family's Identity Crisis
Originally Posted: 03/09/2012 - 3:09pm | Type: Magazine Article

Anne Marie Roderick Joshua Witchger Pariah, written and directed by Dee Rees. Focus Fe ...

Parents: Take Your Children to See 'Bully'
Originally Posted: 03/29/2012 - 2:42pm | Type: Blog

Bully disturbs me because it is real life. It disturbs me because I have younger brothers the same age as some of the students in the film. It disturbs me because it’s happening in the lives of our children al ...

Justin Bieber, Other Celebs, Endorse 'Bully'
Originally Posted: 03/29/2012 - 3:13pm | Type: Blog

Celebs are showing their support for the movie Bully , released Friday.   A Twitter post made the rounds all week, grabbing endorsements for the film from the likes of Justin Bieber , Diddy, Maria Shriver, Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Martin, ...

Cries From the Bully-Pulpit
Originally Posted: 03/29/2012 - 2:45pm | Type: Blog

Sojourners has highlighted Christians who are standing with gays and lesbians, exposed racial bullying, discussed religious bullying, bullying of every stripe. But there’s more to say. ...