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
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
A- Pope Francis -- A Man of His Word (2018) Steven D. Greydanus If it isn't the documentary final word on the 266th pope, in a way it's something better: It's a winsome, challenging call to take the Gospel more seriously and to work to make the world around us a little bit better. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2018
B Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Yes, I want to see the next Marvel movie. But I long for popcorn movies like the last couple of Mission: Impossible installments, in which, after two-plus hours of ridiculously entertaining action, the mission actually is accomplished. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2018
C- The Devil and Father Amorth (2017) Steven D. Greydanus There is little, if any, genuinely religious dimension ... It's basically a "boo" movie in documentary form - that, and an exercise in brand reinforcement and exploitation. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2018
B+ The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962) Steven D. Greydanus A dialogue, and a mutual cross-examination, not only among the main characters ... and above all between man and God, but also between Péguy and Dumont, and even between Péguy the Socialist unbeliever of 1897 and Péguy the believing Catholic of 1910. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2018
A- A Quiet Place (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Even though A Quiet Place is a terrific film just the way it is, I can't help wishing there were more families like this in other kinds of movies. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2018
B+ Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018) Steven D. Greydanus The most dramatically and thematically interesting material emerges from the agonized deliberations of the Roman Christians ... the prospect and the plausibility of violence in the name of Christ is treated with a level of complexity welcome in such a film. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2018
C+ Tomb Raider (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Jolie's Lara was perhaps having too much fun for much sense of urgency, but Vikander's Lara isn't really having fun at all, which makes it hard for the audience to have much fun either. EDIT
Posted Mar 16, 2018
D+ A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Sentence I did not expect to write: The film's portrayal of the otherworldly Mrs. W's...makes the depiction of the Holy Trinity in The Shack profound and numinous by comparison. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2018
C+ Samson (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Perhaps...I am being too hard on a pretty okay movie that will make a lot of viewers happy. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2018
A- Black Panther (2018) Steven D. Greydanus Makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe a bigger, more interesting, more engaging place, one where for the first time women and people of color aren't limited to token or supporting roles. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2018
A- Paddington 2 (2017) Steven D. Greydanus I don't want to review Paddington 2: I want to live in it, and invite you to live in it with me. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2018
B Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Steven D. Greydanus Has fresh story beats and new ideas ... Yet as the complicated, messy plot unfolds, the lack of a larger vision in this new trilogy becomes more glaring. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2017
B- Coco (2017) Steven D. Greydanus Coco's flaws and limitations would sting less if it weren't the one original Pixar film in a string of sequels...With each new release it seems clearer that Pixar's glory days are an increasingly distant memory. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2017
C The Star (2017) Steven D. Greydanus A little like The Nativity Story meets The Secret Life of Pets, which probably sounds like a winning formula to some people. If you think The Secret Life of Pets is as mediocre as I think it is... EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2017
C Justice League (2017) Steven D. Greydanus The notion of Superman as a guiding ideal haunts these films...It's a vision [the filmmakers] recognize Superman is supposed to embody, but seem incapable of...actually realizing. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2017
C+ Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Steven D. Greydanus If Ragnarok doesn't matter in a Thor movie, what could you possibly put onscreen ever again that would matter? EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2017
A La fille inconnue (2016) Steven D. Greydanus Jenny's search is a quest for atonement, not only for herself, but also for others. A physician of the body, she becomes a kind of physician of the soul, her clinic office a secular confessional, sealed by her ethic of doctor-patient confidentiality. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2017
A- All Saints (2017) Steven D. Greydanus A vanishing rarity: a film that explores the Christian ideal in a way that is attractive regardless of viewers' faith or lack thereof, while challenging believers to live up to that ideal. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2017
B- Detroit (2017) Steven D. Greydanus The interminable central act, dramatizing the events at the Algiers [Motel], overflows with impotent rage and horror. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2017
A- A Ghost Story (2017) Steven D. Greydanus Lowery finds power in the image's very absurdity ... [The ghost] is so silent, so slow and so often still, that it becomes first arresting, then poignant, and finally unbearably sad. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2017
A Dunkirk (2017) Steven D. Greydanus The first film Nolan has made that feels bigger than the director's preoccupations and obsessions. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2017
A- War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) Steven D. Greydanus How? How did this happen? How has Fox's rebooted Planet of the Apes series emerged, against all odds, as the most compelling, most morally resonant franchise of our times? EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2017
B Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Steven D. Greydanus Another good-enough Marvel movie that is less than the sum of its parts, a crowd-pleaser with many fine scenes but no great ones. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2017
D Despicable Me 3 (2017) Steven D. Greydanus To call Despicable Me 3 desperate would be to ascribe too much effort and passion to the thing. Ice Age: Collision Course, now: There was a properly desperate sequel. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2017
B- Cars 3 (2017) Steven D. Greydanus At this point it seems like too much to hope for that any Pixar sequel, let alone a Cars sequel, should function smoothly from start to finish, but at least it ends well. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2017
D- The Mummy (2017) Steven D. Greydanus I have never seen a movie work harder or more hopelessly...not merely to launch a new franchise, but to jump from a standing start into a full-blown Marvel-style shared cinematic universe in one go. EDIT
Posted Jun 9, 2017
D+ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) Steven D. Greydanus Maybe if I watched it again, Dead Men would make more sense, but here's the thing: I didn't get Curse of the Black Pearl all in one go either, but I knew I wanted to watch it again. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2017