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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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782 ( 25)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 55 wins & 94 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:

The kingdom come undone. 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,448,256, 2 August 2018
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

There is a scene in which Toller, at breakfast, pours hard liquor into a bowl and dips bread into it. This is very similar to a moment in Taxi Driver (also written by Paul Schrader, more than four decades earlier), in which the main character pours liquor over bread chunks and eats them. 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...
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Connections

References Winter Light (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward, Christian Soldiers
Written by Sabine Baring-Gould
Composed by Arthur Sullivan
Performed by Brian Williams (as Lustmord)
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User Reviews

 
A somber masterpiece
28 May 2018 | by guytowereSee all my reviews

One not to miss. The priest personifies the world's intense conflicts between the unstoppable forces of destruction (our planet, our relationships, the consequences of the Iraq war, the brutality of corporate polluters, slavery, churches more attuned to materialism than spirituality) and the receding forces of gentleness, compassion, prayers. This isn't a religious movie, though profoundly spiritual. It reminded me of Dostoyevsky, Camus and the anguish of existing in a universe so corrupted that even the thought of bringing a child seems like a sin to his father. Both Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried are amazing to watch. And my admiration to Paul Schrader..


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