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1,300 Ratings

First Reformed

Directed by Paul Schrader
United States, 2017
Drama, Thriller


A priest of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past.

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First Reformed Directed by Paul Schrader

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2019 | Nominee: Best Original Screenplay

Independent Spirit Awards

2019 | 3 nominations including: Best Feature

2019 | Winner: Best Male Lead

While the alienated diarist and Bressonian framework may constitute Schrader bingo to skeptics, this is his transcendental style at its sharpest: its climactic stylistic leaps demand an exhilarating suspension of disbelief, and its homage sequences illustrate a necessary repetition, evoking the recurring human tendency toward self-destruction.
January 05, 2019
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A much more ambitious and substantial film than Ismaël’s Ghosts, and probably even Schrader’s best film to date (though still much inferior to anything by Bresson).
January 02, 2019
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What happens when he connects with a young pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) is explosive, hallucinatory, too intense to survive in the “everyday.” The crisis of faith that follows threatens to shatter his life, as well as the fabric of reality.
December 14, 2018
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What are people saying?

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film First Reformed

    Paul Schrader remakes Winter Light with audacious slavishness, but even if Schrader is overshadowed by the masters he pulls from, his work finds a resonant home in an America that could use a Bressonian counterweight to megachurches and other forces of Christian kitsch. I'm not sure he can sell the environmental themes, or the ending, which opens thematic possibilities even if it doesn't work as drama. But excellent.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film First Reformed

    Schraeder said he was inspired by Bergman and Bresson for this film. To me it seems like he stole more than half the plot from Bergman's Winter Light, even the camera shot of the nearly empty congregation shot from behind as the minister speaks. Of course he was clever with it, updating and embellishing the story with some wacky eco-jihad shit and a tight script. But he should've co-credited Bergman or something.

  • chanandre's rating of the film First Reformed

    mindfuck of the year? think so. Bergman, Tarkovsky, Ozu and Lynch have passed thru this nite. and got shitfaced harrrrdddd. Annihilation in lieu of Under The Skin (or because of it). Sapinho.

  • Nicholas Gregory's rating of the film First Reformed

    A chore of a dramatically realist film much of the time; a dark, underdeveloped genre film the last minutes. Takes on its depth head-on in plot and dialogue, with nothing creative nor from the imagination. A politicalizing film without a unique way of triggering emotion isn’t why I watch movies. I do because that happens via stories. If I want philosophy on this subject without one I will read Kierkegaard or Sartre.

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film First Reformed

    The face of his doors, the eyes of his lamps (and laptop)--how's a man supposed to devote his life to morbid self-attention these days? Schrader's use of climate change as a civilizational corollary to Toller's sickness unto death is a bit ill-fitting and false as a catalyst for redemptive violence--Bickle's dream of street-cleaning is more elementally diluvian. But "Are you talkin' to me?" remains a great question.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film First Reformed

    In this case I think the activist's despair and hopelessness were contagious. The priest is ready to go all Travis Bickle on the sinners. "God called down from the mountain, God called down from the sky, he said, I told ya, I told ya, I told ya, Don't Kill, Don't Kill, Don't Kill! Don't kill for lovin' please don't for hate, don't kill in my name, don't kill for heaven's sake, don't kill, don't kill, don't kill."

  • Carlos Filipe Freitas's rating of the film First Reformed

    Brooding in tone and sincerely acted, First Reformed succeeds on the strength of its complex theme, not only examining the hardships of faith but also alerting for the gradual decay of our planet. (4.5 stars)

  • lbunuel's rating of the film First Reformed

    Referential is too slight a word to describe Schrader, and the level to which he borrows from Bergman and Bresson here is ridiculous. What's really personal about this are the caricatures of American types - the polluting magnate, the far-right youngsters -, and these are the films worst bits. The 'redemptive' ending is nonsense: one clearly knows that Schrader doesn't believe an inch of that romantic mumbo-jumbo.

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