Review: First Reformed

One Movie, Our Views

By John Corrado

★★★★ (out of 4)

To watch First Reformed is to wrestle with the same questions that are plaguing the main character Reverend Toller (Ethan Hawke), a tormented priest who is going through a profound crisis of faith, as he struggles to reconcile himself to the fact that human beings are desecrating the Earth, and wondering if God can ever forgive us for destroying His creation.

Written and directed by Paul Schrader, who famously wrote the screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver over forty years ago, First Reformed is a stunning dramatic thriller that unfolds with simmering tension, and in many ways serves as a modern day response to that definitive 1976 classic.  Both films are seminal works of their time, and are centred around men unravelling, as they struggle to contain the darkness within themselves that emerges as a response to the evils of the world.


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