Hot Takes

Benedict Men (Quibi): What Hurts My Brother

By Jacob Sahms From producer Steph Curry, Quibi’s Benedict Men presents a hybrid look at basketball and faith, with a healthy influence of racial justice. The documentary from director Jonathan Hock, who has filmed the stories of Duke Basketball, Chris Herren, Sebastian Telfair, and others, chronicles a season in the life of Newark’s (NJ) St. […]

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs: Image Issues

By Jacob Sahms A mash-up of the Grimm Brothers’ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and a Danish fairy tale called Red Shoes, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs finds the principal characters meeting again, but in a whole new way. Snow White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is the kind and chubby daughter of King White, […]

Mulan’s Character, From Esther to Jesus

By Jacob Sahms The live-action remake of Walt Disney’s animated classic from 1998, Mulan, bears the main spirit or the marks of the original while also carving more than a little new ground. Mulan (Liu Yifei) stands in for her father, who is too old and too feeble to take his familial spot in the […]

The One and Only Ivan (Disney+): Finding Your Place & Purpose

By Jacob Sahms At the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, dwindling crowds came to see the silverback gorilla Ivan (Sam Rockwell), the elephant Stella (Angelina Jolie), the baseball-playing chicken Henrietta (Chaka Khan), and other novelty animals, under the watchful eye of the mall owner Mack (Bryan Cranston). But when Mack acquires the baby […]

Words on Bathroom Walls: Wrestling with the Voices

By Jacob Sahms Charlie Plummer is an actor on the way up. He’s tackled heavy subjects in his teenage acting career, from Lean on Pete to All The Money in the World. But under the direction of Thor Freudenthal (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), Plummer tackles mental illness, manifested as schizophrenia in the highschooler Adam, the […]

Boys State: What Have We Taught Them?

In the follow-up to his documentary The Overnighters, director Jesse Moss teamed with Amanda McBaine to track several key students at the Boys State in Texas. A thousand teenagers assemble each summer to run against each other for made-up political positions mirroring real-life ones, working, scheming, discussing, campaigning, and crying over their rise and fall […]

The Grizzlies Tackles Teen Suicide with More Than Sports

By Jacob Sahms Some films require a level of discernment that exceeds a Dove review, when the project’s themes, language, violence, or sexual content clearly exceed the levels of family friendly material that Dove has determined. But viewers choosing to use their discernment can find meaning nonetheless. Canadian director Miranda de Pencier’s feature debut,The Grizzlies, […]

Muppets Now (Disney+): Past and Present

By Jacob Sahms Created by Jim and Jane Henson in 1955, The Muppets have seen several iterations throughout the last sixty-plus years. Short-form episodes early on led to late-night show appearances and spots on Sesame Street; from 1976-1981, The Muppet Show launched the furry creatures into homes during prime time, netting twenty-one Emmy nominations and four wins. Beginning […]

Father Soldier Son (Netflix): The Cost of War

By Jacob Sahms Father Soldier Son may be the most gut-wrenching film about war that I’ve ever seen, even though very little screen time is devoted to wartime scenes. In fact, the film receives an R rating primarily for language and some thematic discussions, rather than anything the audience is shown. So what makes it such […]

Greyhound (AppleTV): Faith Under Fire

By Jacob Sahms When we meet Commander Ernest Krause on the Fletcher class destroyer, USS Keeling, he’s praying Luther’s prayer from the Small Catechism, “Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.” He’s a spiritually deep man who tells a pair of his sailors to […]