Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018) — PICK

The Tree of Life (2011) — PICK

2018 is shaping up as a great year for nonfiction film, and Morgan Neville’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, about the career of Fred Rogers, is one of the most universal in its appeal.

With a blend of archival footage and interviews with family and friends, the film focuses on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood but looks beyond the show, touching on Rogers’ Christian faith, philosophy and the powerful effect he had on generations of viewers.

Like Jesus and like Mr. Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? challenges each of us to try to be better neighbors.

Terrence Malick’s magnum opus The Tree of Life gets the Criterion treatment, with an extended version of the film adding 50 minutes of material and a host of bonus features.

Blending an impressionistic portrait of an Episcopalian family living in a suburb of Waco, Texas, in the 1950s with a cosmic portrait of the universe from the “Big Bang” onward, it’s one of the most essential religious films of the 21st century.

 

Caveat Spectator: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: Some mature thematic content, including topics like racism, war and homosexuality; a gag photo of a man “mooning” the camera. The Tree of Life: Some thematic content, including domestic violence; a couple of curse words.