Reverend Ernst Toller (
From writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver; American Gigolo; Affliction) comes a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary.
It’s a remarkable addition to the small but growing canon of American films that aren’t afraid to stare straight into an abyss with all of the implications — moral, ethical, political, and religious — that are required for this moment in our history. First Reformed is a confounding stunner of a movie and richly deserves our full, serious attention.
Washington Post/Ann Hornaday
At once ruminative and shocking, godwardly inclined and repellently graphic, First Reformed is indisputably the finest film Schrader has directed since his sensitive adaptation of Russell Banks’s novel “Affliction.”
San Francisco Chronicle/Mick LaSalle
First Reformed has a confidence about it, the presence of filmmaking consciousness that can’t do wrong, because this time he knows exactly what he wants to say, not only in a general sense, but second by second and shot by shot.
Seattle Times/J.R. Kinnard
Schrader dissects the roots, hypocrisies and virtues of Christianity through a series of increasingly troubling symbols.... Not an easy watch, but required viewing for ambitious cinephiles.
Movie Nation/Roger Moore
It’s a powerful, disturbing crisis of faith drama that takes on the raiments of a thriller, and a tour de force for the understated acting of Ethan Hawke.
Wall Street journal/Joe Morgenstern
Grapples with eternal questions of faith, to be sure, but confronts just as powerfully, if not more so, the urgent matter of how to live a good, useful life in the turbulent here and the terrifying now. First Reformed has its steeple in the clouds and its foundation on solid ground.