First Reformed

2017

Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

62
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 93%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 68%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 43925

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 18, 2018 at 04:30 PM

Director

Cast

Ethan Hawke as Reverend Ernst Toller
Michael Gaston as Edward Balq
Cedric the Entertainer as Reverend Joel Jeffers
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
954.34 MB
968*720
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 6 / 30
1.8 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 5 / 49
953.03 MB
956*720
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 10 / 67
1.8 GB
1424*1072
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 4 / 20

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by clarkcurtis3 9 / 10

understand the ending and you'll appreciate the film

The key to appreciating this film is in understanding the ending by...

1) understanding the camera dynamics employed by the director

2) understanding the parallels between First Reformed (written & directed by Paul Schrader) and The Last Temptation of Christ (written by Paul Schrader, directed by Martin Scorcese)

1) Camera Dynamics:

The camera is always fixed (never pans, never focuses in or out) except on 2 occasions

Occasion #1: when Toller lays on top of Mary and they float through space. The camera moves & pans. This is a clue for the viewer... when the camera moves... it's a dream sequence.

Occasion #2: during the last 90 seconds of the movie... the camera spins around Toller & Mary. This means it's a dream... not reality!

2) parallels between First Reformed (written & directed by Paul Schrader) and The Last Temptation of Christ (written by Paul Schrader, directed by Martin Scorcese)

The Last Temptation of Christ received a lot of publicity (much of it negative) when it was released in 1988 because of the way many Christians (particularly more conservative & fundamentalist Christians) negatively responded to the scene depicting Jesus hanging on the cross, bleeding from the crown of thorns on his head and dreaming of what life would have been like if he had married Mary Magdalene and lived a normal life - worked as a carpenter, had kids, grew old, etc.

In the last scene of First Reformed, Toller dons the barbed wire (similar to the crown of thorns) and DOES drink the drain cleaner. At which point, he goes into a dream state (similar to Jesus on the cross) in which he dreams of embracing Mary and living happily ever after with Mary (similar to Jesus dreaming of Mary Magdalene). The screen goes black and the movie ends because... the drain cleaner does it's job and he dies.

Now that we have this understanding that Toller dies at the end... we have a whole new lens to use in determining what are the potential messages of the film.

Could one of them be... extremism & martyrdom is no way to make a difference (to any cause - good or bad).

Reviewed by robertegblack 10 / 10

A different take on the ending in particular...

First of all, a fantastic film, deliberate in its pacing, its performances, its visuals and even in its quite sparse sound design.

Other reviews speak in greater detail about the themes and the 'plot' than I will here. What I want to talk about is the ending.

So, SPOILERS:

No, he doesn't go forward with the suicide bombing, which would have been a wonderfully dark, and explosive, finale for the slow burn of the rest of the film preceding it. But, also, I don't think he 'makes out with his girlfriend' as another reviewer put it. He wraps himself in barbed wire, an update on Christ's crown of thorns, and a well done visual, both graphic and slightly understated at the same time. And he pours that drano and then we get the 'Last Temptaion of Christ' moment. He DOES drink that drano and then in that moment of sacrificing himself-which will indeed be enough of a spectacle to draw public attention to the cause-he imagines (or is rewarded with the vision of) her coming to him. He imagines a happy ending and then he film cuts to black mid-scene because the drano has done its job. He has died. People will ask questions. The church's association with polluters will come to light.

Reviewed by Jared_Andrews 7 / 10

Grim Portrait of a Man in Crisis

Some objectively good movies also make you feel good while watching them. Others crush you with weighty material, penetrating emotions and powerhouse performances. 'First Reformed' falls into the second category.

Legendary writer-director Paul Schrader returns to his past glorious form with this film. Some 40 years after writing 'Taxi Driver', he unleashes another portrait of a man experiencing a deep existential crisis as he sinks further into despair because of what he perceives to be a failing humanity.

Our new Travis Bickle is Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke, in an Oscar-worthy performance). Toller runs a small church in New York state called First Reformed, which has a dwindling congregation of merely a dozen. Nearby, First Reformed's parent church, which has a following of thousands, is headed by Reverend Jeffers (Cedric the Entertainer). Toller and Jeffers clash over their ways to best perform the Lord's work. Toller rejects all physical possessions and scoffs at the financial success of the parent church, while Jeffers futilely attempts to convince Toller that wealth and religious commitment are not mutually exclusive.

Toller is not a well man. He struggles to take joy in any aspect of life. His past haunts him, as do the present failures of humanity. His despair becomes increasingly clear with each passing day that he writes in his diary, which was intended to be a form of prayer and offer clarity but instead only serves as a vehicle for him to psychologically self-punish. As his mental health suffers, so does his physical state. He's sick, probably dying, but he guzzles hard liquor daily despite the stomach pain it causes. Perhaps this too is self-punishment.

As Toller struggles to find a purpose for his remaining time on Earth, one appears before him when a pregnant parishioner, Mary (a career-best Amanda Seyfried), asks him to counsel her suicidal husband. Toller agrees, but the conversations don't lead to any relief for either party. Toller believes he finds a purpose, but anyone of sound mind would hardly consider it a Godly cause.

This all builds to a climactic scene that will leave some viewers in breathless awe and others in maddening disbelief. I took the final moments as a welcome relief after a punishing first 105 minutes, but some may see the abrupt pivot in tone as off putting. In any case, it's certainly spiritual trip and one that will stick with you long after the credits roll.

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