6-9-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: FIRST REFORMED (2018)

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6-9-2018 MOVIE REVIEW: FIRST REFORMED (2018)

Paul Schrader, who wrote screenplays for classics such as "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull," returns to write and direct Ethan Hawke ("Gattaca") in a story that follows a series of climatic events that unfold in the life of a reverend of a small church in upstate New York.  When Reverend Toller is confronted by a member of his congregation about her husband who is contemplating ending his life because of environmental destruction, it is up to Toller to convince him otherwise.  Just as the case with mentally deranged Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver," Toller gets swept up in the cause.  Wonderfully shot, Schrader's haunting drama captivates viewers emotions with only the slightest movements of the camera.  *** (1/2)