A Mighty Heart

John ArmstrongFilm

A Mighty Heart is a fine film, based upon the true story of the abduction and death of journalist Daniel Pearl. Pearl was based in Pakistan just after the events of 9/11. A Mighty Heart came out on DVD this week and thus I watched it last evening. Angelina Jolie plays the role of Pearl’s widow, Mariane. I have to … Read More

How I Got Back into the Westerns

John ArmstrongFilm

I love movies both as entertainment and fun. I also appreciate them as a visual art form. Only people who share this kind of love can appreciate why I care about this subject. Some still see viewing films as a spiritual weakness. The old debate about reading fiction and enjoying stories, in this or any other form, will likely continue … Read More

Resurrecting the Champ: A Movie with Real Ethical Value

John ArmstrongFilm

Resurrecting the Champ is a superb movie. Some reviewers agree, some do not. It features two great actors. First, Samuel L. Jackson plays a role that should receive an Academy Award nomination, but likely will not. The co-star is Josh Harnett, who seems to get better in every role that he takes these days. He is a superb actor, period. … Read More

The Ninth Day: Facing Moral Dilemma Honestly

John ArmstrongFilm

Too often Christians treat real moral dilemma as if decisions are always neat and easy to arrive at in one’s conscience. Such is not the case in real life. This reality is underscored powerfully by The Ninth Day (2004), a gripping true story that takes film-making to the highest and most dramatic moral levels. German director Volker Schlöndorff has taken … Read More

Sweet Land: One of the Sweetest Movies of the Year

John ArmstrongFilm

If you as sick of the boy meets girl and “hooks up” for a hot evening of passion, and falls in love (?) for ever and ever, but then not quite, then you will love Sweet Land. I did. This is the kind of movie that should have gotten an Academy Award nomination or two but would never have a … Read More

The Bourne Ultimatum: A Real Thrill Ride

John ArmstrongFilm

Sequels usually don’t get it for me and "threequels" are often even worse. Not so with The Bourne Ultimatum, the third movie in a series of three. If you like action thrillers this has to be the best one of the summer. Michael Phillips calls it "a breathless 115 minutes" for a very good reason. It is an action picture … Read More

Akeelah and the Bee

John ArmstrongFilm

Akeelah and the Bee (PG) is a widely acclaimed family-friendly film that everyone can enjoy. It is not only entertaining, in the very best sense of the word, it is a first-rate true story that should not be missed. How I missed it until now reveals that I didn’t think such a film would actually appeal to me, which probably … Read More

Nowhere in Africa

John ArmstrongFilm

The story of the Holocaust has been told from many many perspectives. Told from any angle, however, the human tragedy never changes. The 2002 Academy Award winning film for foreign language was Nowhere in Africa, a critically acclaimed classic. This film is the real story of a young Jewish family that fled Germany for Africa in 1938, just before Hitler … Read More

The Good German

John ArmstrongFilm

American journalist Jake Geismer (George Clooney) returns to postwar Berlin, prior to the famous Potsdam Conference—with Churchill, Truman and Stalin putting together the postwar plan—to find that things have changed much more than he could have imagined. Would he find peace? Or maybe a particular story angle for his American magazine? What he did not expect to find was his … Read More

Constellation: A Film on Race and Family

John ArmstrongFilm

Constellation is a deeply moving film that graphically chronicles the lives of an extended African-American family that grew up the deep South. Since I too grew up in the deep South, and saw the bitter impact of the kind of racism the film portrays, I particularly fell in love with this film when I saw it on DVD this week. … Read More