Steven D. Greydanus

Steven D. Greydanus
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Steven D. Greydanus is the film critic for the National Catholic Register, and has been with the Register since 2003. He has also written regular columns for Crux (then a Boston Globe website) and Catholic Digest. He has contributed entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He co-hosts the Gabriel Award-winning TV show "Reel Faith" for New Evangelization Television in Brooklyn, and is a frequent radio guest. A permanent deacon in the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, he has MAs in religious studies and theology from Catholic seminaries as well as a BFA from the School of Visual Arts.
Favorites:
Steven D. Greydanus' all-time favorites include The Big Sleep, Brooklyn, Drunken Master II, Fantasia, Into Great Silence, The Kid Brother, The Kid With a Bike, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Spirited Away, The Tree of Wooden Clogs and The Wrong Man.
Location: New Jersey, 20 minutes outside Manhattan
Official Websites: http://decentfilms.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
C- 80% Frozen II (2019) Despite this warmer tone, Frozen II is pretty much a mess - from the mostly unmemorable songs to the jumble of half-baked to outright bad ideas making up the muddled, complicated plot. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
A 91% Light from Light (2019) I'm tempted to call 'Light from Light' the first ghost story I've ever seen that I completely believe. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
A- 95% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) What makes the portrait of Preynat so effective is that while he's a monster, you also see how this guy won the confidence and respect of parents and parishioners, how he groomed not only children but a whole community. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
D 41% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) 'Maleficent' at least felt like a fairy tale, if a recycled, darkly subversive one, with something to say. This sequel feels like a set of attitudes and themes in search of material to recycle. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
C 69% Joker (2019) Is it possible, in the world of 'Joker,' to believe in real heroism? Do the filmmakers even care about that question? - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
3/4 90% The Elephant Queen (2019) Anthropomorphism is generally kept to reasonable levels, and the total effect conveys real respect for nature. - Salt Lake City Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
C 84% Ad Astra (2019) At once attractive and frustrating. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
A 99% One Child Nation (2019) The filmmakers' politics aside, 'One Child Nation' is overwhelmingly, and on multiple levels, a pro-life film. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
C- 53% The Lion King (2019) Favreau wasn't hired as a creative, but as a taxidermist. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2019
B 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Tony, Tony, Tony. How can we miss you if you won't go away? - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2019
B 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) As with Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory, it's slick and inventive enough to make time spent with old friends pass quickly and warmly, with plenty of laughs as well as a few tears. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
100% Emanuel (2019) Forgiveness is a radical act. So is speaking against injustices suffered by minorities but easily overlooked by the majority. 'Emanuel' challenges viewers to recognize the importance of both. - Decent Films Guide EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
B- 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) It's the classic movie monster's dilemma: You either die a villain or live long enough to see yourself become the hero. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
C 57% Aladdin (2019) There are no spoilers in this review because how could there be? - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
B+ 81% Hesburgh (2019) A compellingly attractive if one-sided portrait of a figure of exceptional gifts, astonishingly diverse accomplishments and extraordinary influence. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
B+ 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Builds to an impressively ambitious finale, highlighting both the strengths and the limitations of the franchise as a whole. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
D+ 45% Mary Magdalene (2019) Ironically, in its enthusiasm for its exceptional heroine, the film actually undermines Jesus' challenge to the patriarchal norms of his day. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
B 90% Shazam! (2019) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
B- 40% Unplanned (2019) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
C 47% Dumbo (2019) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
B- 78% Captain Marvel (2019) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
C+ 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) There's some emotional heft in the end, but my overall sense is that we've stayed too long in this world. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
B 66% Aquaman (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
A- 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Changes what is possible for superhero films and animated films. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
B- 59% The Grinch (2018) 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) - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
D+ 33% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
B 60% Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
A- 87% First Man (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
C- 38% Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
C+ 72% The Apparition (L'apparition) (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
B- 60% Operation Finale (2018) Tells a decent story well enough, but what does it want to say? - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
C 73% Christopher Robin (2018) Like ‘Finding Neverland,’ full of melancholy and a wan approximation of the whimsical spirit of its literary inspiration. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2018
A- 97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
C- 62% Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) "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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2018
B+ 88% Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2018
B+ 94% Incredibles 2 (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2018
A 98% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2018
A- 93% First Reformed (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
C 70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018
A- 82% Pope Francis - A Man of His Word (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2018
B 85% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
C- 44% The Devil and Father Amorth (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
B+ 76% Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Jeannette l'enfance de Jeanne d'Arc) (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
A- 95% A Quiet Place (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2018
B+ 46% Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
C+ 52% Tomb Raider (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2018
D+ 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2018
C+ 25% Samson (2018) Perhaps...I am being too hard on a pretty okay movie that will make a lot of viewers happy. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
A- 97% Black Panther (2018) 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. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2018
A- 100% Paddington 2 (2018) I don't want to review Paddington 2: I want to live in it, and invite you to live in it with me. - National Catholic Register EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018