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Paul Schrader · USA · 2018 · 113 mins · 14A
AwardsIMDbMetaCritic 85Rotten Tomatoes 95%

“A film that’s one of the most searing experiences of the year.” 
–The Atlantic

This mesmerizingly austere drama of one man’s apocalyptic crisis of faith feels like the movie Paul Schrader was put on this planet to make. As a tense study in spiritual pain and its ultimate release, this handsome production is of a piece with Schrader’s most famous screenplays, including Taxi Driver and The Last Temptation of Christ.

This muted, meditative character study stars Ethan Hawke as Ernst Toller, the pastor of a tiny church in upstate New York. In its quiet, carefully observed opening moments, First Reformed sets the tone for what is to come: This will be a film about discernment, a listening for God’s call that can either result in ecstatic awakening or abysmal despair. Hawke aptly embodies the latter, as Toller is revealed to be a man grappling with doubt, hopelessness and a crushing sense of guilt.

When a young expectant mother (Amanda Seyfried) asks Toller to counsel her husband, the encounters will put Toller on a path of even more punishing self-examination. Toller’s rising sense of spiritual duty collides with a world bent on its own social and environmental destruction....
–Washington Post

“An amazing examination of faith, a film that stays with you long after you have left the theater.”
–Arizona Republic

“A stunning, enrapturing film, a crowning work by one of the American cinema’s most essential artists.”

“One of the strongest pictures of 2018.”
–Chicago Tribune
Cast Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried
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