Dr. Josh Matthews

Seeking a Christian Perspective on the Arts

"Art reveals ordinances of creation which neither science, nor politics, nor religious life, nor even revelation can bring to light." -- Abraham Kuyper

Josh Matthews teaches English at Dordt University. He specializes in American literature and science fiction; he also teaches an introduction to film class and enjoys writing film criticism. His other regular gigs include professional editing and leading students on tours of Florence, Italy for a team-taught class on the Italian Renaissance.

Movie Reviews

Sunday Too Far Away

Sunday Too Far Away 1975 ★★★ Watched Sep 10, 2020 (WARNING: the IMDB.com summary of this movie is a sick travestry. It only describes the last 5 minutes of the movie! Avoid at all costs.) This movie's advertised as one of the finest and earliest gems of the 1970s Australian New…
mm
January 6, 2021
Movie Reviews

Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead 1978 ★★★½ Watched Sep 09, 2020 I knew going in that this movie was partly a critique of American consumerism, by featuring a shopping mall. I had not known, though, the the critique was not just the zombies who instinctly return to the mall, but the…
mm
January 6, 2021
Movie Reviews

This is Not a Film

This Is Not a Film 2011 ★★★½ Watched Sep 06, 2020 Self-portraits populate art history; most painters make them. But why don't filmmakers create self-portraits? Maybe Jafar Panahi wouldn't, and even didn't want to, but here he's desperate. Under house arrest and awaiting a verdict, after being arrested for his recent…
mm
January 6, 2021
Movie Reviews

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

I’m Thinking of Ending Things 2020 ★★★★ Watched Sep 04, 2020 At its core, at least upon first viewing, this movie is about the bleakness of aging, whether growing old oneself or a relationship that aging. That is the ambiguity of the title: "Ending things" could be about wanting life…
mm
January 6, 2021
Movie Reviews

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption 1994 ★★★★½ Rewatched Jan 05, 2021 I first watched this movie on my tiny 10" TV in my bedroom, probably at the age of 15, when the movie came out on VHS. Since then, I have seen it a couple times, but not in the last 25 years.…
mm
January 6, 2021
Movie Reviews

Knives Out

Knives Out 2019 ★★ Watched Jan 05, 2021 I welcome murder-mystery movies, a genre relegated to TV and specifically to older persons' TV, such as "Murder, She Wrote," which is quoted in this movie. As a kid, one of my favorite movies was "Clue." Later, reading a heap of 20th…
mm
January 6, 2021
Movie Reviews

The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time 2020 ★★½ Watched Sep 16, 2020 Has the joke been made yet that this title is Netflix's official slogan? The movie doesn't have anything to do with the devil, except that it's set in Bible-Belt Appalachia from 1948 to 1965. An ex-soldier returns home but can't…
Movie Reviews

The Plumber

The Plumber 1979 ★★★½ Watched Sep 12, 2020 Jill and Brian Cowper live in university housing, both intellectuals who love cultural diversity and global culture. They love it so much that there's a "cultural diversity" poster on their bathroom door, and Jill seems to enjoy listening to native chants in…
Movie Reviews

Platoon

Platoon 1986 ★★★★½ Watched Sep 11, 2020 "Platoon" works best considered as a cinematic memoir about director Oliver Stone's service time in the American Vietnam War. It's misidentified as an anti-war movie, and, unlike most other Stone fare, it's not especially about abstract politics or some vast sweep of history.…
Movie Reviews
Sunday Too Far Away
Movie Reviews
Dawn of the Dead
Movie Reviews
This is Not a Film
Movie Reviews
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Movie Reviews
The Shawshank Redemption
Movie Reviews
Knives Out