First Reformed | 2018 | R | - 2.6.1
The priest (Ethan Hawke) of a small New York state church struggles with guilt after the death of his son and starts questioning his faith. When mounting pressure from his congregation, his health and worrying about the state of the world weighs heavily on him, he considers taking drastic steps. Also with Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer, Victoria Hill, Michael Gaston and Philip Ettinger. Directed by Paul Schrader. [1:53]
- A man and a woman kiss passionately and caress each other's heads and faces in an extended scene. A man and a woman hug.
► A man lies on his back on a floor and a woman lies on top of him; they breathe slowly, touch each other's hands and look into each other's eyes (their noses nearly touch and their faces are very close together although it does not seem sexual); they levitate off the floor and seem to float into a star-filled sky, then over mountain peaks, over the ocean, over city streets, garbage dumps, oil refineries, clear cutting sites and burning landfills.
► A man tells a priest a joke about a woman chasing a man around a church and that she "Caught him by the organ." A man talks about his marriage being a failure. A woman asks a priest if he thinks what they did was a sin (it's an implication of some kind of physical relationship).
► A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage. A shirtless man sits in a high back chair and we see his bare shoulders from the back and side.
- As penance a man removes his shirt and wraps razor wire around his bare chest, abdomen and back; he winces as the wire cut his flesh (we see deep cuts and blood), he puts on a white robe (blood seeps through the fabric) and he pours a glass of drain cleaner (he does not drink from it).
► A man walks along a snow-covered trail and discovers the body of a dead man with his head blown off by a shotgun (we see blood and matter on the ground around the head area and the gun is on the ground next to the body).
► A man straps a suicide vest on and snaps the detonator and explosives into place. A man watches a video of a man detonating a suicide vest and we see rubble and debris (we cannot make out any body parts or injuries). A woman shows a priest a suicide vest that she found in her garage (we see wiring and explosives).
► We see people gathered at a service for a dead man and his wife sprinkles his ashes into a body of water nearby. A man says that his son enlisted and was dead 6 months later in Iraq and also that his wife can no longer live with him. A woman says that she is pregnant and that her husband wants to kill their baby. A woman talks about her husband being part of an environmental activist group and that he was arrested. A man angrily confronts a woman and tells her, "I despise you." A woman says that her husband thinks of a big church as more of a business than a church. A man argues with a priest about "Giving money to people who are too lazy to work for it." Two men argue about the planet and politics and how this can fit into a church's message. A man says that the natural world is being destroyed and that the damage is irreversible. We hear that several people were murdered for their activism. A man asks a priest if God would forgive us for what we have done to the planet. A man imagines his unborn daughter growing up and asking him about the state of the planet, saying, "You knew about this all along?" A reference is made to "The boy thrown down the well." A man asks a priest, "Can God forgive us?" and the priest replies, "Who can know the mind of God." A man confronts another man about his drinking and tells him that he needs to go to rehab. A man tells another man he has to start living in the real world because he is upset about the state of the planet.
► A man gives a tour of a church and the cemetery on its grounds and talks about their still being bullet holes in the walls from a battle that took place there in the 1800s. A man shows children a hatch in the floor of a church where slaves used to hide when escaping the south. People sing a song about being "Washed in the blood of the lamb."
► A man has an exam in a hospital and we see blood in tubes and vials; a doctor talks about wanting to do more tests and that he wants to rule out malignancy.
► We see a computer screen with the changing temperature patterns of the planet. We see photographs of emaciated polar bears standing on very small ice flows. We see photographs of oil spills and the devastation to the waterways and the creatures that live in and around the area. We see before and after photos of the Great Barrier Reef. A man finds a dead squirrel caught in a section of barbed wire and pulls it free (we see no blood).
► A man vomits in a toilet and we hear gagging, coughing and splattering (we do not see goo). A man winces when urinating and we see bloody urine in the toilet. A man coughs violently in several scenes. A man talks about a leak in a men's restroom. A man jokes about imagining Martin Luther writing something while in the outhouse and he makes grunting noises like he is defecating. A man plunges a toilet and pours in drain cleaner. A man seems to have blood in his mouth while brushing his teeth.
- 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (naïve, morbid, tourist church), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, Jesus Watch Over Me, Praise Jesus).
- A woman describes "sharing a joint" with her husband (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A man drinks whiskey while writing in his journal in several scenes, a man pours whiskey in a bowl (perhaps with cereal) and dips toast in it, a man sees several empty liquor bottles in a garbage can and becomes concerned about how much a man must be drinking, a man pours a glass of whiskey with Pepto-Bismol (we do not see him drink), and a man is told that his drinking has to stop.
- Environmental disaster, honesty, faith, death of a child, the Iraq war, military service, depression, alcoholism, abortion, suicide, pride, hope, belief, despair, life without meaning, obedience, slavery, underground railroad, self-pity, rationality, uncertainty, martyrdom, fear, jihad-ism, saving the planet, patriotic tradition.
- The fate of the world is a faith shaking predicament.
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