First Reformed - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

First Reformed Reviews

June 7, 2018
The latest film from pugnacious director/writer Paul Schrader is as austere and revelatory as a church confessional...It's a bleak portrait of a man in the midst of a spiritual breakdown that is only slightly undone by its rather unsatisfying conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 1, 2018
Ultimately its sheer archness reveals Paul Schrader as a gifted and deeply persuasive evangelist of the transcendental style - if not quite a canon saint.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 1, 2018
"First Reformed" takes some wild, unexpected and uncomfortable turns in its final act that will surely shock some, anger others and disturb just about everyone. For Schrader, it shows that he's still got it. Welcome back.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
May 31, 2018
First Reformed deserves all praise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 31, 2018
"First Reformed" is a miracle in its own regard, the rare type of film that leaves us with questions left to answer and for many, a desire to dig into it deeper through a second viewing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
May 31, 2018
This is a movie about faith tested, and people trying to reconcile hope with a world that can feel hopeless. It's a film to be seen in a dark theater with an audience hushed in reverence of the power of cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
May 31, 2018
A "Taxi Driver" for the present day, with Hawke in a career-best performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 30, 2018
Provocative and mesmerizing, "First Reformed" is a film that demands to be seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 25, 2018
Is ambition is encouraging, and its dark musings are certainly provocative.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
May 24, 2018
Schrader pulls no spiritual punches.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 24, 2018
First Reformed begins to get really interesting when Schrader turns the tables on his hero-and us, and possibly himself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
May 24, 2018
"First Reformed," a mesmerizingly austere drama of one man's apocalyptic crisis of faith, feels like the movie Paul Schrader was put on this planet to make.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
May 24, 2018
An act of spiritual inquiry, a coolly assured example of cinematic scholarship in subtly deployed motion and one of the strongest pictures of 2018.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 24, 2018
"First Reformed" is an amazing examination of faith, a film that stays with you long after you have left the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
May 23, 2018
A direct expression from the soul onto celluloid, unvarnished and uncompromised, and Schrader's best film in years.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
May 21, 2018
An embittered look at our world through the eyes of someone who's increasingly horrified to be a part of it, and a film that's one of the most searing experiences of the year.
May 18, 2018
Schrader's chief influence here, as in many of his other films, is the great French director Robert Bresson... But Bresson's spare stylistics achieved a sublimity while Schrader's, though intermittently powerful, too often feel schematic.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
May 18, 2018
A stunning, enrapturing film, a crowning work by one of the American cinema's most essential artists.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
May 17, 2018
First Reformed has its steeple in the clouds and its foundation on solid ground.
May 17, 2018
It is an exquisite piece of filmmaking and also a blunt, pulpy instrument, a despairing, fully sustained howl of a movie that is easily this director's finest work in years.
May 17, 2018
Schrader...has made a fine existential-crisis movie. And for all its serious intent, it isn't torture to watch.
May 17, 2018
The filmmaker's return to a somber Bressonian mode will work like catnip on his superfans, especially after Schrader's exploitative 2013 Lindsay Lohan disaster The Canyons (little more than dirty-old-man cinema) and two terrible Nic Cage movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
May 17, 2018
Mr. Schrader...is 71, and has had a long and varied career, but "First Reformed" nonetheless feels like a fresh discovery. More than that: an epiphany.
May 16, 2018
Paul Schrader offers one of the year's best movies-a faith-in-crisis powerhouse about a pastor -Ethan Hawke hitting a new career peak-who is politically awakened by an eco-activist and a new kind of love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
May 16, 2018
First Reformed is a stunner, a spiritually probing work of art with the soul of a thriller, realized with a level of formal control and fierce moral anger that we seldom see in American movies.
May 16, 2018
Not an easy watch, but required viewing for ambitious cinephiles.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
May 15, 2018
A fascinating work of almost mixed media: Ingmar Bergman and Robert Bresson meet outraged editorial cartooning meet the it-always-builds-to-violence pulp sensibility of the movie brats.
May 15, 2018
"First Reformed" is the kind of film that will stay with you long after the credits.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 15, 2018
The searching loss-of-faith drama First Reformed is the happy result of Paul Schrader's entering the what-the-hell-let's-go-for-it stage of his long and bravely self-lacerating career.
May 14, 2018
Until I saw Toller, I didn't know the human soul could frown.
September 16, 2017
Quieter and more sensitive than anything else Schrader has directed, with Ethan Hawke giving one of his finest and most moving performances in the lead role.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
September 14, 2017
A film of fascinating conversations, anchored by Hawke's completely genuine performance.
August 31, 2017
A fascinating meditation on inner turmoil in which doing the right thing can lead down many wrong directions.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
August 31, 2017
The sort of stimulating work that a writer-director of a certain age can deliver when he returns to his creative sweet spot; rejoice, Schrader fans, rejoice.
August 30, 2017
In "First Reformed," Paul Schrader courts respectability and leaves it in the dust, getting stoned on excess. But make no mistake: He's still one hell of a filmmaker.
August 30, 2017
There's not quite enough oomph or style in the filmmaking to make you forget about the schematic nature of the dramatic construct.