Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway
Peter T. Chattaway's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer® when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Christianity Today Georgia Straight
Biography:
Peter T. Chattaway has been writing about film for Patheos Entertainment since 2012. As the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to the paper's closure in 2011, he won <a href="http://www.patheos.com/blogs/filmchat/2005/04/im-number-four-im-number-four.html">multiple awards</a> from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers. He has also written about film for Christianity Today and Books & Culture since 1998. In addition to his news articles and op-ed pieces for ChristianWeek, Faith Today, The Vancouver Sun and other publications, he has contributed critical essays to the books <em>Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson's Film and Its Critics</em> (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and <em>Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on</em> (Continuum, 2005). A founding member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, his favorite films of all time are <em>Lawrence of Arabia</em>, <em>The Purple Rose of Cairo</em> and <em>The Family Way</em>.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
70% Tenet (2020) It's still rather confusing, and I suspect it would all crumble under closer scrutiny - the same way Memento's plot holes stand out when you rearrange the scenes chronologically - but on a visual and narrative level, it has its pay-offs. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2020
66% The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2021) Some of the humour is almost profound in a dopey kind of way. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2020
100% Bergman: A Year in a Life (2018) The resulting multi-layered portrait of the man is both fascinating and complex, and while it certainly celebrates his greatness as an artist, it doesn't shy away from his darker side. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
No Score Yet Seder-Masochism (2018) It's difficult to take the film's anthropology seriously, but Paley treats it all with a glib, Python-esque irreverence that, more often than not, keeps things entertaining even when you disagree with where it's all going. And what a playlist! - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
No Score Yet Mug (Twarz) (2018) Szumowska keeps things fairly understated, which allows some of the more deadpan moments to sneak up on you. Worth a look, if a bit cynical for my tastes. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
86% What They Had (2018) All of the performances are good, but Shannon in particular does great work here. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
100% What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (2019) It serves as a reminder that the people who made the show were among its biggest fans, too. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
100% The Rabbi Goes West (2019) Amy Geller and Gerald Peary's documentary raises a lot of fascinating cultural, political and religious questions, many of which will be very familiar even to non-Jews. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
59% Young Ahmed (Le jeune Ahmed) (2020) The Dardennes seem to be physically incapable of making a bad film, but this, on first viewing at least, is not one of their great ones. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
77% Green Book (2018) What makes the story resonate a little more than the typical odd-couple movie is the way it complicates assumptions about race and class, particularly within a period setting. - The Anglican Planet EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
No Score Yet In the Name of Ben Hur (2016) While it has one or two hints of Judah's Christianity, it basically sets them aside in favour of fight scenes - which is in stark contrast to most of the earlier films, which were all about Judah's movement away from armed resistance to the Roman Empire. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
46% Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018) The film brilliantly uses the persecution in Rome as an occasion to get inside Paul's mind, as he is haunted by memories of the Christians that he himself once persecuted. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2018
42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) It's a little strange, then, to actually watch Ava DuVernay's disappointingly clunky movie and to see how it expunges everything from the book that is specifically Christian. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2018
96% Black Panther (2018) The film's cultural distinctiveness is worth celebrating in and of itself, as is the extremely pronounced role that women play in the Panther's life, from his tech-savvy sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) to the fierce warrior Okoye (Danai Gurira). - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
25% Samson (2018) If you can get past the sanitization of the biblical story, the movie has its pleasures. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
42% Den of Thieves (2018) As with many heist films, there is some pleasure to be had in following the various complicated security measures the thieves have to work around, and there are a few ironic twists that I wish had played out just a little more bleakly than they do here. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
24% Forever My Girl (2018) Good films are curious about what makes their characters tick, but this one isn't. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
50% The Resurrection of Gavin Stone (2017) It's mildly amusing at times and its dramatization of the Jesus story includes a few moments that fans of the Jesus-movie genre might want to reference down the road. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 20, 2017
23% Inferno (2016) Shallower, or less resonant, than its predecessors; it has none of those "whoa" moments that draw back the curtain and make you think the world and its institutions might be stranger and more mysterious than you ever imagined. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2016
73% The Birth of a Nation (2016) If the film had shown the full scale of Turner's violence, it could have painted a more ambiguous, complex portrait of the cycle of violence, and how scripture was used to justify atrocities on both sides. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2016
71% The Unknown Girl (La fille inconnue) (2017) I respect the film's moral sensibility, and the way it suggests that our moral obligations to one another don't come to an end simply because one of us dies. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2016
97% Harold And Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2017) For my money, this is the most emotionally affecting film I have seen at the fest so far this year. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2016
93% The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge) (2017) See this film on a big screen if you can, for the sound design as well as the visuals. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2016
25% Ben-Hur (2016) Worst of all, it tries to cram everything into a two-hour running time, which forces the filmmakers to make some odd narrative shortcuts and leaves no time for the audience to feel properly engaged by any of the characters. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2016
91% Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2016) It's also a poignant look at middle-aged guys trying to relive their youth. - Georgia Straight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2016
No Score Yet David And Goliath (2015) Tim Chey somehow finds a way to turn one of the Bible's most potentially menacing characters . . . into the dramatic equivalent of a petulant ten-year-old. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2016
29% Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) I'm just glad that the new film doesn't have anything as cringeworthy as that weird dance the Mad Hatter did at the end of the previous film. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2016
47% X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) Alas, while the first half-hour or so gives us reason to believe that it just might be the most awesome superhero movie of the year, things start to go wobbly once the story comes together, and by the end it's all just one big dull mess. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2016
76% Last Days In The Desert (2016) It's not easy to strike a balance between human familiarity and divine mystery in the story of Jesus, but this film meets that challenge in some genuinely thought-provoking ways. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2016
61% K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) The film toys with a Crimson Tide-style mutiny subplot, but without much conviction; director Kathryn Bigelow is more interested in how the crew steel their nerves and find the courage to put their lives at risk for each other. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
62% The New World (2005) One of those rare major-studio movies that happens to be quite artful, and beautiful - a feast for the senses and the spirit alike. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
80% The Thin Red Line (1998) The problem here is that all these narrators end up sounding like one big voice; they're all just part of that one big abstraction which is Malick's script. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
No Score Yet Last Days of Pompeii (1935) This may be the only film that gives us even a taste of what it would have been like to see a Bible story filtered through [the early-Hollywood-sound-era] aesthetic. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2016
10% God's Not Dead 2 (2016) Competently made on a technical level, but on a creative level it represents the worst kind of storytelling - not just because it is full of plot holes and thinly-written characters, but because it espouses a harmful message. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2016
28% Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Mostly, I just feel sad for Superman. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2016
45% Miracles from Heaven (2016) To its credit, Miracles from Heaven does offer a compelling portrait of a family coping with the stress of dealing with a rare disease. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2016
49% The Young Messiah (2016) The Young Messiah isn't flawless, but it captures several aspects of the Jesus story that have rarely ever been developed - and developed this well - in other films about Jesus, and for that, it is a worthy addition to the genre's canon. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2016
No Score Yet A Child Called Jesus (1987) It's striking to see how much the two films [The Young Messiah and A Child Called Jesus] have in common. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2016
No Score Yet Revelation (1999) It's doubtful that viewers are going to be so convinced by this film's somewhat hokey vision of the future that they feel the need to convert. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2016
53% Risen (2016) What makes the story work, for the first hour or so at least, is the way the film sticks to Clavius's jaded, skeptical perspective. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2016
3.5/5 53% Enemy at the Gates (2001) Thankfully, the actors are able to hold this story together despite some fairly big gaps in the script. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2016
93% The Dreamlife of Angels (1998) Ably articulates the differences between the other-centred life and the self-centred life, between compassion and pride. This is a film that will linger in my mind for quite some time. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2016
85% Hail, Caesar! (2016) As an absurdist romp through Hollywood history and a provocative, deeply ironic riff on politics and religion and the things that give us meaning, Hail, Caesar! is a delight. As Mannix himself might say, the picture has worth. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2016
76% The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005) This could have been a fantasy film for the ages, but, as it is, once you have beheld the pattern of events, you may find that the film itself is not so hard to throw away. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2016
35% The Matrix Revolutions (2003) To be fair, if trivial, the special effects are very good, but the film as a whole is bleak and depressing, except when it's just laughable, as when one character's death scene goes on for what seems like forever. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2016
73% The Matrix Reloaded (2003) Basically just one fight scene after another, with little to give them the meaning or narrative purpose that the fight scenes in the first film had. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2016
74% Signs (2002) The awkward exposition, the fitful comic relief, the contrived plot devices - all these things reminded me of Left Behind and other films produced by and for the Christian subculture. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2016
90% Minority Report (2002) This may be Cruise's most puzzling and disappointing head-scratcher since the original Mission: Impossible. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2016
92% Insomnia (2002) Memento proved director Christopher Nolan could work wonders with an original idea and a decent gimmick. Now Insomnia shows he can be just as compelling when he's reworking more conventional material. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2016
4/5 91% Adaptation (2002) As the character Kaufman himself admits, his script is self-indulgent, narcissistic, and solipsistic. It's also a heck of a lot of fun. - Patheos EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2016