National Catholic Register

National Catholic Register is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Steven D. Greydanus
Rating Title/Year Author
B- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Steven D. Greydanus Bonkers in a way that superhero movies these days don't have the nerve to be. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2020
B+ Soul (2020) Steven D. Greydanus The sharpest Pixar screenplay in years, with a screwball vibe and consistently witty use of cutaway gags. So much of it works at such a high level. What keeps it from achieving greatness? EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2020
B Mulan (2020) Steven D. Greydanus I enjoyed Mulan, but I couldn't avoid the sense of disconnect inherent in watching a wuxia-style period piece with Chinese actors speaking accented English dialogue. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
A- Fatima (2020) Steven D. Greydanus Easily the most compelling dramatization of the Fátima story to date. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
B+ Words on Bathroom Walls (2020) Steven D. Greydanus Halfway through I found myself rooting for the film to be the best version of itself, a sign that a film is working even when it's not completely successful. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2020
B- I Still Believe (2020) Steven D. Greydanus As earnestly as the spiritual conflict is handled, opportunities to flesh out the humanity of the characters through other forms of conflict or struggle are overlooked. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2020
B+ The Way Back (2020) Steven D. Greydanus Blends the beats of two familiar genres, the underdog sports movie and the addiction and recovery movie, in the process finding a rhythm that feels at once familiar and not quite like anything I've seen before. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
B- Onward (2020) Steven D. Greydanus Works more than it doesn't. Scanlon hits the dramatic and emotional beats effectively enough, and there are nice touches that elevate the film. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2020
B+ Wendy (2020) Steven D. Greydanus A film that shouldn't exist. It's a style of moviemaking that seems to have no place in today's cookie-cutter film market - that seems to have no audience, even, unless the audience is you. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
C Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Steven D. Greydanus They could play John Williams' ominous "Imperial March" over scenes of Uncle Deadly from the Muppets lobbing Green Goblin pumpkin-bombs at Scrat the saber-squirrel (I mean, they literally could, legally...), and many of us would still feel emotions stir. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
A+ A Hidden Life (2019) Steven D. Greydanus An ecstatic, anguished three-hour cinematic hymn ... I am awed by parts of The New World, The Tree of Life and To The Wonder; A Hidden Life overwhelms me in its totality. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
D The Two Popes (2019) Steven D. Greydanus Undermined by the same penchant for Wikipedia-like biography and oversimplified caricature marking McCarten's other biopic screenplays, The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour and Bohemian Rhapsody. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
A- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Steven D. Greydanus Wisely and gently subversive in blurring the barrier between the as-it-ought-to-be world of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and the as-it-is world of adult conflict and complications. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
C- Frozen II (2019) Steven D. Greydanus Despite this warmer tone, Frozen II is pretty much a mess - from the mostly unmemorable songs to the jumble of half-baked to outright bad ideas making up the muddled, complicated plot. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
A Light From Light (2019) Steven D. Greydanus I'm tempted to call 'Light from Light' the first ghost story I've ever seen that I completely believe. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
A- By the Grace of God (2018) Steven D. Greydanus What makes the portrait of Preynat so effective is that while he's a monster, you also see how this guy won the confidence and respect of parents and parishioners, how he groomed not only children but a whole community. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
D Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Steven D. Greydanus 'Maleficent' at least felt like a fairy tale, if a recycled, darkly subversive one, with something to say. This sequel feels like a set of attitudes and themes in search of material to recycle. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
C Joker (2019) Steven D. Greydanus Is it possible, in the world of 'Joker,' to believe in real heroism? Do the filmmakers even care about that question? EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
C Ad Astra (2019) Steven D. Greydanus At once attractive and frustrating. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
A One Child Nation (2019) Steven D. Greydanus The filmmakers' politics aside, 'One Child Nation' is overwhelmingly, and on multiple levels, a pro-life film. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
C- The Lion King (2019) Steven D. Greydanus Favreau wasn't hired as a creative, but as a taxidermist. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
B Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Steven D. Greydanus Tony, Tony, Tony. How can we miss you if you won't go away? EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
B Toy Story 4 (2019) Steven D. Greydanus As with Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory, it's slick and inventive enough to make time spent with old friends pass quickly and warmly, with plenty of laughs as well as a few tears. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
B- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Steven D. Greydanus It's the classic movie monster's dilemma: You either die a villain or live long enough to see yourself become the hero. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
C Aladdin (2019) Steven D. Greydanus There are no spoilers in this review because how could there be? EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
B+ Hesburgh (2018) Steven D. Greydanus A compellingly attractive if one-sided portrait of a figure of exceptional gifts, astonishingly diverse accomplishments and extraordinary influence. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
B+ Avengers: Endgame (2019) Steven D. Greydanus Builds to an impressively ambitious finale, highlighting both the strengths and the limitations of the franchise as a whole. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
D+ Mary Magdalene (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Ironically, in its enthusiasm for its exceptional heroine, the film actually undermines Jesus' challenge to the patriarchal norms of his day. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
B Shazam! (2019) Steven D. Greydanus Goofy, often quite funny, sometimes touching, and occasionally a bit darker or nastier than I expected from a superhero movie that seems to want to skew younger than most. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2019
B- Unplanned (2019) Steven D. Greydanus A kind of cinematic personal testimony, told from Johnson's post-conversion point of view...crafted specifically for Pure Flix's target audience, an audience that is already pro-life. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
C Dumbo (2019) Steven D. Greydanus The Disney nostalgia train rumbles on with Tim Burton back at the throttle - not quite throttling the iconic tale, but only barely rising to the challenge, sort of like Casey Junior struggling to clear that daunting hill. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
B- Captain Marvel (2019) Steven D. Greydanus A perfectly fine Marvel installment that I can't fathom deeply loving or hating, although I'm sure many viewers will manage to do both. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
C+ How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Steven D. Greydanus There's some emotional heft in the end, but my overall sense is that we've stayed too long in this world. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
B Aquaman (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Like the Star Wars prequels, like Avatar, it's a movie with tons of problems, but it also contains images that made me catch my breath - gorgeous and even numinous sights I will remember forever. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
A- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Changes what is possible for superhero films and animated films. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018
B- Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (2018) Steven D. Greydanus I'm happy to state, though my praise may be faint-ish / My critical heart is more pleased than complaint-ish. (Review in Seussian verse) EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2018
D+ The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) Steven D. Greydanus There's nothing wrong with artistic borrowing, but the filmmakers just throw all of these borrowed ingredients into a heap without fashioning them into something with a character of its own. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2018
B Gosnell (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Tells a story worth telling, and does so reasonably well, but while it avoids actual preaching, it's still addressed to the choir. That doesn't make it a bad film, but it could have been a better one. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
A- First Man (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Ultimately more about the "man" than the "first."... Above all, it's the story of a fragile human being who was never the same after a defining tragedy -- who loved his daughter to the moon and back. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2018
C- Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Worthwhile religious movies explore the implications and the lived experience of faith or perhaps illuminate the reality of life without it. Path to Redemption has no interest in the first and isn't up to the second. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2018
C+ The Apparition (2018) Steven D. Greydanus The resolution is clever, giving both secular and religious viewers something to hold on to, but unsatisfying in giving short shrift to the final piece of its complicated puzzle. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2018
B- Operation Finale (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Tells a decent story well enough, but what does it want to say? EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2018
C Christopher Robin (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Like ‘Finding Neverland,’ full of melancholy and a wan approximation of the whimsical spirit of its literary inspiration. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2018
A- Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Completes possibly the most improbable cinematic hat trick in Hollywood history: An unpromising series that began with three patchy, uneven entries has now produced three terrifically entertaining ones. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2018
C- Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) Steven D. Greydanus "Zinging" is destiny, and even if it strikes one person before the other, it's still meant to be. In the real world this translates to harassment and stalking. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2018
B+ Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) Steven D. Greydanus I'm not ashamed to say that I most enjoyed "Ant-Man" when it felt like a sequel in spirit to "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." "Ant-Man and the Wasp" doubles down on that vibe and then some. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2018
B+ Incredibles 2 (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Smart, funny, energetic and a lot of fun, which means it's about as good as we can hope for from the studio that used to be Pixar. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2018
A Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Steven D. Greydanus For a few formative years of our lives, Mr. Rogers showed us the way. Why don't we walk that way? Because of all the voices dominating the discussion ever since. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2018
A- First Reformed (2017) Steven D. Greydanus First Reformed can hardly imagine a hopeful future for the world, [yet] the film is full of longing for redemption... Toller hopes that his journal is a kind of prayer. Perhaps Schrader hopes the same for his film. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2018
C Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Steven D. Greydanus There's nothing here like the wince-inducing dialogue or wooden acting of George Lucas's prequel trilogy. On the other hand, there's nothing like their visionary quality either. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2018