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First Reformed (2017)

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A minister of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past.

Director:

Paul Schrader

Writer:

Paul Schrader
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1,852 ( 20)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 56 wins & 93 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Toller
Amanda Seyfried ... Mary
Cedric the Entertainer ... Jeffers (as Cedric Antonio Kyles)
Victoria Hill ... Esther
Philip Ettinger ... Michael
Michael Gaston ... Balq
Bill Hoag ... Elder
Kristin Villanueva ... Nurse
Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz ... Middle-Aged Tourist
Ken Forman ... Middle-Aged Man (as Ken Foreman)
Christopher Dylan White ... College Student
Frank Rodriguez ... Sheriff
Gary Lee Mahmoud ... Doctor
Joseph Anthony Jerez ... War Vet in Wheelchair (as Joseph Jerez)
Sue Jean Kim ... Suriya
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Storyline

Forty-six year old Reverend Ernst Toller is the pastor at the historic First Reformed Church in upstate New York. It is seen as the "tourist" church or the "souvenir shop" (its historical significance partly it being a stop on the underground railroad before the slaves crossed into Canada) by Abundant Life, which owns the church and which operates a modern self-named five thousand seat church overseen by Reverend Joel Jeffers. First Reformed is celebrating its two hundred fiftieth anniversary this year, for which a major event is planned, modest in size only at First Reformed itself although the dignitaries like the governor and mayor will be at attendance there, while the event will be simulcast at Abundant Life. Most of the speech-making will be done by local industrialist Ed Balq, a major benefactor of Abundant Life and who is the major donor for the necessary upgrades at First Reformed to be able to hold the event there, and for the event itself, while Toller's participation will ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Forgive us, for we have sinned. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | UK | Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

First Reformed See more »

Filming Locations:

Hicksville, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$97,562, 20 May 2018

Gross USA:

$3,448,256

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,862,498
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film of the year to be nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar and not be nominated for Best Picture. See more »

Goofs

When Toller runs a search engine query for "Hanstown Kills", the tab's title bar shows "Handstown Kills." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Reverend Ernst Toller: I have decided to keep a journal. Not in a word program or digital file, but in longhand, writing every word out so that every inflection of penmanship, every word chosen, scratched out, revised, is recorded. To set down all my thoughts and the simple events of my day factually and without hiding anything. When writing about oneself, one should show no mercy. I will keep this diary for one year; 12 months. And at the end of that time, it will be destroyed. Shredded, then burnt. The...
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies You Missed in 2018 (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Going to Stand Up and Save the Earth
Written by Neil Young
Published by Silver Fiddle Music (ASCAP)
Performed by Ronald Peet, Juliet Schlefer, Olivia Rose Cohenher (as Olivia Rose Cohen), Eric Lockley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good, with a too-crazy ending
21 December 2018 | by jadavixSee all my reviews

With "Taxi Driver", Paul Schrader made a movie that was clearly inspired by Bresson's "Diary of a Country Priest". Both films were about increasingly isolated men who kept journals documenting their mental (and, with "Priest", physical) disintegration.

"First Reformed" is almost like a remake of the latter, with unnecessary nods to the former. It's also about a seriously ill clergyman who keeps a journal, which is read to us in voiceover. This one is tormented by the death of his son, who died in Iraq, and is approached by a young married man who is convinced we are going to lose the world to climate change.

The movie becomes more incoherent as it goes on, when the reverend becomes less like the country priest than the New York taxi driver. We know he is coming apart physically, and has some inner demons. But his actions at the end seem crazier than he is.

I just found this last act too hard to believe, and too surprising. But it was a good movie up until that.


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