First Reformed

2017

Drama / Thriller

23
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 72%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 5824

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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July 31, 2018 at 07:02 PM

Director

Cast

Ethan Hawke as Reverend Ernst Toller
Michael Gaston as Edward Balq
Cedric the Entertainer as Reverend Joel Jeffers
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
953.03 MB
956*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 53 min
P/S 214 / 753
1.8 GB
1424*1072
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 53 min
P/S 63 / 528

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by PotassiumMan 5 / 10

Religious drama starts out solid, then becomes infuriatingly ludicrous

It is very unusual for a film to aggravate me with its heavy-handed narrative and simple-minded mentality, but this one enraged me more than any other film I've seen in years. To be sure, this film does not immediately embrace its radical ideology. It starts out deliberately, almost at a molasses-like pace but then abruptly turns into something profoundly and alarmingly nonsensical, which is why I'm never going to forget it, but not in a good way.

Director Paul Schrader provides us with the story of Reverend Toller (played with pained dignity by Ethan Hawke), who lost in his son in Iraq and has had to cope with the emotional scars ever since. His marriage is in ruins. His stately old church in upstate New York is an historical landmark but lives in the shadows of the more modern, larger congregation that has greater weight in the local community. Hawke's character gets to know a young couple in his small church, one of whom is a troubled environmental activist.

This raw drama is meant to be about the loss of faith, but its singular problem is the dearth of character development that is required for the extreme turn that the plot takes. The film's descent into lunacy, into over-the-top absurdity is not warranted given how little we connect with Hawke's character. His life has problems, for sure, but his psyche is somewhat inscrutable (despite a voiceover diary, no less) and therefore what follows is inexplicable. His ultimate motives are maddeningly opaque. The ideological transformation lacks a coherent basis and therefore never touches credibility even with its fingertips. The film's shift felt very sudden, and I was shaking my head in the end, wondering how the storyline, for lack of a better word, collapsed. Its promising start felt like years ago when the credits were rolling.

With the right approach and a more subtle, nuanced point of view, this film could have been a classic. Instead, it becomes a cartoonish propaganda piece that will not satisfy an educated audience. Not recommended.

Reviewed by bastille-852-731547 8 / 10

Thought-Provoking, Unsettling Character Study

Paul Schrader's new drama "First Reformed" is a drama about a grieving reverend who is counseling a couple--the husband of which is a radical environmentalist. This is a talky, dialogue- driven, and unsettling thriller that makes you both empathize with its characters as well as send a chill down your spine at times.

The film's deeply intellectual and serious commentary on matters of religion and environmentalism is profound and thoughtful. This movie will likely not be suited for mainstream audiences desiring cheap entertainment, but serious viewers looking to be challenged in their thought processes will have much material to ponder during--and after--they view the movie. The acting is very strong, as Schrader commands his cast into giving low-key but quietly powerful and resonant performances. The standouts in the cast are Ethan Hawke's lead role as well as Amanda Seyfried and Cedric the Entertainer in the supporting cast. A gripping, dark (almost relentlessly so at times) tone keeps the viewer engrossed in the film. While this isn't a horror film (despite containing disturbing content and moments,) the film's simple score is incredibly chilling and gets under one's skin more than almost any other film's score I have witnessed in a long time.

My only complaints about this film are found in the third act. A dreamlike, surrealistic scene inspired by impressionism that involves the protagonist and Seyfried's character feels out of place given the grim tone deeply rooted in realism. Additionally, a quick and highly abrupt cut in the film's finale feels disappointing and almost like the equivalent of a 'cop-out' in film editing. It did not positively impact how I viewed the film's ending. But other than these concerns, this is a very well-made and serious drama designed to quietly shock audiences into a state of reflection on the world today as we know it. 8/10

Reviewed by guytowere 9 / 10

A somber masterpiece

One not to miss. The priest personifies the world's intense conflicts between the unstoppable forces of destruction (our planet, our relationships, the consequences of the Iraq war, the brutality of corporate polluters, slavery, churches more attuned to materialism than spirituality) and the receding forces of gentleness, compassion, prayers. This isn't a religious movie, though profoundly spiritual. It reminded me of Dostoyevsky, Camus and the anguish of existing in a universe so corrupted that even the thought of bringing a child seems like a sin to his father. Both Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried are amazing to watch. And my admiration to Paul Schrader..

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