Top 20 Films of 2016

I noticed two thematic threads weaving through the films of 2016, ideas which seem at odds yet perhaps have more in common beyond an initial reaction: grief and coming of age. It seems fitting for a year like 2016 that grief would pervade our filmic imagination. Movies like Manchester by the Sea, Jackie, Arrival, Captain Fantastic, Tower, Don’t Breathe, […]

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james martin

Top 15 Favorite Scenes from 2016

While my final Top 10 list is still awaiting the viewing of some key films–namely Silence–here are the scenes from 2016 films that stood out for me. In no particular order: Sing Street – The prom dream dance sequence. It’s pure teenage fantasy joy as Cosmo imagines his life as a 1950s prom dance, where the girl […]

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Half-Year Favorites of 2016

The first six months of 2016 have come and gone, and with them have been a. Lots of superheroes. Lots of sequels. Lots of animated or CGI talking animals. Even a sequel about CGI talking-animal superheroes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Somehow, none of those types of movies will be found here. Instead, here […]

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make way for tomorrow

Reviewing the Classics: Make Way For Tomorrow

When Leo McCarey won an Academy Award for directing The Awful Truth, he began his acceptance speech with the following: “I want to thank the Academy for this wonderful award, but you gave it to me for the wrong picture.” That same year also saw the release of one McCarey’s saddest, and perhaps most significant […]

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Top Youth Ministry Films: Part 7

I love movies, but I am also in youth ministry–the spiritual and identity formation of teenagers and young adults. When those two passions find congruence, it’s a wonderful thing. Here are ten more films about adolescence, youth culture, mentorship, coming-of-age, and identity formation, listed in alphabetical order and with a brief synopsis. You can find […]

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