8 Resources for the Aspiring Film Aficionado

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Tonight ABC will broadcast the 88th Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) which recognize excellence in the film industry. Here are some helpful resources to navigate this cultural force known to most simply as “movies.”

1. Christ and Pop Culture

“Christ and Pop Culture exists to acknowledge, appreciate, and think rightly about the common knowledge of our age.” If you can get past some occasional cynicism—the kind we’ve come to expect from disillusioned evangelicals—you’ll find that CAPC is trustworthy and nuanced on the whole.

2. Christianity Today Film Reviews

Christianity Today covers most of the important movies making a splash on the big screen. You can trust their evangelical rooted-ness, even the “beautiful orthodoxy” which they are drawing on more recently. This broad(er) tradition lends itself to engaging film properly while acknowledging traditional evangelical concerns.

3. IMDB (Internet Movie Database)

IMDB likely claims movie-central on the internet. With a high level of media available for viewing, including the latest trailers for upcoming releases, they have a nearly comprehensive database of both national and international movies. The Parents Guide will prove invaluable for discerning Christians.

4. Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes brings together hundreds of opinions from both critics and the public and rates them on a scale of 1-100%. This is often the scale you’ll hear your friends refer to the most. The name hearkens back to the practice of throwing rotten tomatoes at poor performers in medieval and renaissance theaters.

5. Relevant Magazine

Relevant Magazine has matured a lot in the past 3 years, even though one may be forgiven for suspecting how well a media company whose name is based on an impoverished ecclesiology can perform (is the church really supposed to relevant?). Nonetheless, their theology has appreciated in value and their cultural criticism along with it.

6. New York Times

If you want to stay abreast what our culture’s elites have to say (for better or worse), there’s no better place you can look than the New York Times movie reviews. Prepare to disagree, to roll your eyes a bit at the literary flare, but as a whole, to appreciate being critically engaged.

7. Plugged In

As a ministry of Focus on the Family, this conservative platform offers both overviews of content and advice on whether or not you should see the movie (for ethical reasons, of course). While a child of the family values movement, it’s a good website to visit when you begin to notice your movie viewing patterns are verging on risque.

8. Box Office Mojo

What was the biggest grossing movie of all time? What about according to separate ratings (R, PG-13, etc.), or holiday weekends? Box Office Mojo measures a movie’s financial success and is where you can get stats galore. Guess what’s currently number one of all time, adjusted for inflation? Find out here.

Image attribution: fergregory / Thinkstock

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