Movie: Thor: Ragnarok
PG: intense sequences of violence, and brief suggestive material
Take the neon of the 80s, Roman gladiators, and the god of thunder, and what would you get? Thor: Ragnarok, that’s what. Marvel’s favorite Norse hero returns for a crazy interplanetary adventure, teaming up with his mischievous brother Loki and fellow avenger, the Hulk, to stop the goddess of death from conquering Asgard. The film is fun and comedy-filled, albeit to the detriment of the plot and a bit self-defeating. There are scarcely any scenes without a joke; about halfway through the film, the jokes become predictable, lessening their effect. It was hard for me to truly grasp any sort of important or serious moment, since it would be immediately smothered by a laugh. That said, the film expands upon Thor’s story and character in meaningful and entertaining ways, which is sure to appeal to both casual viewers and dedicated Marvel fans alike.
Movie: Murder on the Orient Express
PG-13: violence and thematic elements
After another successful case, Hercule Poirot’s vacation upon the Orient Express is cut short when a fellow passenger winds up dead. The mystery in Murder on the Orient Express is compelling, thanks in part to the various shots and filters used to show what’s important as Poirot sleuths around. The unknown fun doesn’t end there; in addition to the main conundrum, each suspect has their own slew of intriguing secrets, and with an all-star cast containing the likes of Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, as well as many other high profile talents, it’s easy to become invested in the characters and their motivations. I’ve been a fan of murder mysteries for a long time, especially those of the British variety, so Murder on the Orient Express was a refreshing break from the overabundance of action/adventure movies. This remake reintroduces the famous and unorthodox Belgian detective, Poirot, from the Agatha Christie novel, and I highly recommend it.
Movie: Forever My Girl
PG-13: thematic elements, some bullying, war images, and brief language
Country superstar, Liam Paige, is a man that has everything he ever wanted—except for the only girl he has ever loved. Forever My Girl, based on the novel by Heidi McLaughlin, is a romantic drama that plays out like a country song. Directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf, the plot centers around Liam and his ex-fiancée, Josie, as they come face-to-face for the first time in a decade. The film reveals that for every decision—whether good or bad—unintended consequences may follow. Galatians 6:7 says “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” As Christians, we must be wise in the decisions we make. Whether for better or worse, every action we take impacts our witness for Christ, and affects not only ourselves, but those close to us.
Micah Trimmer | Salt Lake City | Intermountain Division