Does the priest in ‘Calvary’ recommend mortal sin?

03/03/2015 Comments (11)

Many Catholics and other Christians, including me, enthusiastically embraced Brendan Gleeson’s grizzled, unflappable priest Fr. James Lavelle in John Michael McDonogh’s 2014 film Calvary. Calvary didn’t quite crack the Top 10 in my best films list of 2014, but it’s a solid runner-up.

But Calvary is full of depraved, troubled characters, and in trying to minister to them Fr. Lavelle sometimes gets his hands dirty. Does he cross moral lines? A reader writes:

I heard you on the radio a few weeks ago lauding the movie Calvary. So with great anticipation my wife and I waited until it was released on DVD yesterday to finally watch it. Neither one of us liked the film. We were turned off...READ MORE

Filed under law of gradualness, mortal sin, movies, priests

Best films of 2014: More lists!

A lineup of Christian film writers pick the top films of 2014 — and two of the top three picks star the same actress.

02/26/2015 Comments (24)

With the Decent Films redesign now behind me (woo hoo!), it’s time to turn my attention to an annual project I’ve been putting off: my round-up of the year-end top 10 lists of some of my friends and peers (see previous years).

I’m a little late this year, having missed my usual self-imposed deadline of the Academy Awards in my efforts to complete the redesign project. (Then again, I haven’t actually watched the Oscars in at least a couple of years, so why should I set my clock by them?) To make up for it, I’m including more lists this year than ever before, nine in all.

Looking over the nine lists below plus my own top 10, three films stand above the rest — two starring Marion Cotillard....READ MORE

Filed under movies, top film lists

Oscar special! Every Best Pic nominee in 60(ish) seconds! Priests in film! More!

Priests on film, showtimes for the hour-long “Reel Faith” Oscar special and “Reel Faith” video reviews of all eight Best Picture nominees.

02/13/2015 Comments (2)

Well, here I am dropping in again after going on two months. I keep thinking I’m just about to get my head above water, but … well, to mix metaphors, the light at the end of the tunnel keeps receding. I’ll get there at some point. I’m just not yet quite sure when.

What’s occupied the lion’s share of my free time for the last two months — when I haven’t been in class, at work or with family — has been the ongoing redesign effort for This is a herculean task that I initially hoped would be completed by New Year’s, and then by the end of January, and now … well, it still seems just out of reach. I’ll keep you posted. Update: It’s live now! Check it out! 

(SDG’s first law of...READ MORE

Filed under academy awards, hollywood, reel faith, sdg reviews, video reviews

Epic 60s: Hobbit, Unbroken, Annie, Into the Woods, Exodus, much more!

12/20/2014 Comments (7)

Well, another semester down … three more to go.

This was a tough one — not so much because of the studies, but because of, well, everything at once. I did another holiday season of “Reel Faith,” but I’m also doing more writing than before, both for the Register and elsewhere. (Last month I screened and reviewed Interstellar and Big Hero 6 in the same week, all while keeping up with classes and other writing. That’s crazy!)

This week I had two final exams and shot the holiday season finale of “Reel Faith.” (There’s still time to catch it! Updated air times: Sunday the 21st, 7:30pm (Eastern); Tuesday the 23rd at 3am; Wednesday the 24th at 3am and 10:30pm. More times posted as they become...READ MORE

Filed under exodus: gods and kings, family films, hobbit, j. r. r. tolkien, reel faith, sdg reviews, video reviews

Why I became Catholic: My appearance on “The Journey Home”

12/04/2014 Comments (7)

I look older than this today.

From time to time people ask me how a nice Dutch Calvinist boy like me wound up converting from Evangelical Protestantism to Catholicism.

I’ve written and talked about this in the past, notably in a 2003 appearance on EWTN’s “The Journey Home” with Marcus Grodi, but this hasn’t been readily available — until now!

Thanks to an alert friend on Twitter, I’ve just learned that EWTN has posted my appearance on  “The Journey Home” on YouTube for all to see. So here it is! 

Revisiting this early TV appearance, years before “Reel Faith,” I find that, despite some mistakes, I’m reasonably pleased with how I did, given my level of inexperience. (It occurs to me that “The Journey Home” occasionally...READ MORE

Filed under conversion story, converts, protestantism

SDG news! Deacon schoolin’! Reel Faith! Mockingjay! More!

11/21/2014 Comments (4)

Hey! Long time no posts!

Well, deacon schooling has been keeping me busy, among other things. My fellow seminarians and I hit a new milestone a few weeks ago as we were installed as acolytes by our archdiocese’s coadjutor archbishop, Bernard Hebda. (That’s the event pictured on the right, with me in my alb and my lovely lady.) This is our last big milestone before ordination in 2016!

I’ll also confess that I’m hard at work on an exciting project, one that I won’t come right out and announce, but I’ll say this: It’s getting ve-ery hard for me to look at my own website right now — a problem likely to persist for several weeks yet. More to come!

Reel Faith news! This week David DiCerto and...READ MORE

Filed under disney, hunger games, movies, reel faith, sdg reviews

Gays, Jesus and St. Patrick’s Day

Why I agree with Phil Lawler, and disagree with The Anchoress

09/10/2014 Comments (132)

I love Elizabeth Scalia, aka The Anchoress, and I very much appreciate her effort yesterday to inject a new perspective into the controversy over New York’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and the LGBT group that will be marching in it: a perspective that seeks to be thoughtful and compassionate as well as orthodox.

This is important, because Catholics have historically done a poor job loving our neighbors who are same-sex attracted and/or self-identify as gay. (For the purposes of this discussion, by “gay” I simply mean those who identify as gay.)

Unjust hostility toward the same-sex attracted, and fear of being associated or identified with them, are real phenomena with deep roots in human...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal timothy dolan, gay, gays, homosexuality, st. patrick's day parade

Why is this Lord’s Day no different from any other day?

Thoughts on the Third Commandment

09/06/2014 Comments (31)

In our neighborhood, on almost any day of the week, you might walk into a supermarket and notice a conservatively dressed woman with a hat and skirt and a rather large number of children in tow, and you might make a shrewd guess that she was a conservative or orthodox Jew, and there’s a good chance that you would be right.

On almost any day, that is, except the Sabbath. From sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, those women and their children vanish. The kosher aisle is deserted, the kosher deli shuttered. Conservative and orthodox Jews take the Sabbath seriously.

The Muslim women are easier to spot. The women wear the hijab or head scarf, sometimes with Western clothes, sometimes with the...READ MORE

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About SDG

Steven D. Greydanus
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Deacon Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register, creator of Decent Films, and a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Newark. With David DiCerto, he co-hosts the Gabriel Award–winning cable TV show “Reel Faith” for New Evangelization Television. Steven has degrees in media arts and religious studies, and has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. Steven and his wife Suzanne have seven children.