A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.
The enchanted lives of a couple in a secluded forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon-biker henchmen, propelling a man into a spiraling, surreal rampage of vengeance.
Forty-six year old Reverend Ernst Toller is the pastor at the historic First Reformed Church in upstate New York. It is seen as the "tourist" church or the "souvenir shop" (its historical significance partly it being a stop on the underground railroad before the slaves crossed into Canada) by Abundant Life, which owns the church and which operates a modern self-named five thousand seat church overseen by Reverend Joel Jeffers. First Reformed is celebrating its two hundred fiftieth anniversary this year, for which a major event is planned, modest in size only at First Reformed itself although the dignitaries like the governor and mayor will be at attendance there, while the event will be simulcast at Abundant Life. Most of the speech-making will be done by local industrialist Ed Balq, a major benefactor of Abundant Life and who is the major donor for the necessary upgrades at First Reformed to be able to hold the event there, and for the event itself, while Toller's participation will ...Written by
Reference is made to the real environmental activists José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Dorothy Stang. See more »
When Toller runs a search engine query for "Hanstown Kills", the tab's title bar shows "Handstown Kills." See more »
Reverend Ernst Toller:
I have decided to keep a journal. Not in a word program or digital file, but in longhand, writing every word out so that every inflection of penmanship, every word chosen, scratched out, revised, is recorded. To set down all my thoughts and the simple events of my day factually and without hiding anything. When writing about oneself, one should show no mercy. I will keep this diary for one year; 12 months. And at the end of that time, it will be destroyed. Shredded, then burnt. The...
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With "Taxi Driver", Paul Schrader made a movie that was clearly inspired by Bresson's "Diary of a Country Priest". Both films were about increasingly isolated men who kept journals documenting their mental (and, with "Priest", physical) disintegration.
"First Reformed" is almost like a remake of the latter, with unnecessary nods to the former. It's also about a seriously ill clergyman who keeps a journal, which is read to us in voiceover. This one is tormented by the death of his son, who died in Iraq, and is approached by a young married man who is convinced we are going to lose the world to climate change.
The movie becomes more incoherent as it goes on, when the reverend becomes less like the country priest than the New York taxi driver. We know he is coming apart physically, and has some inner demons. But his actions at the end seem crazier than he is.
I just found this last act too hard to believe, and too surprising. But it was a good movie up until that.
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