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May 2007
Despite Flaws, Spider-Man 3 Works Hard to Amaze

You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking to be wowed by heretofore unseen action sequences in Spider-Man 3. But if it's more of the poignant storytelling of the first two films that you want, you may be dissatisfied.

 
Age Bests Beauty in Lucky You

Actors Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana have both recently made People magazine’s “most beautiful” list. But in Lucky You, it is the performance of their older, wiser co-star Robert Duvall that is the most beautiful by far.

April 2007
Lackluster Script Overshadows Message in Hidden Secrets

While there’s certainly some important, timely lessons to be learned about how not to evangelize or the power of forgiveness, the worst flaw of Hidden Secrets is the lackluster script.

 
Royal Roles the Subject in Engaging Queen

The Queen provides the perfect opportunity to discuss the role of our leaders. Do they exist to lead or serve us? And how might that look, during our times of national crises? This well-made, amusing and thoroughly engaging film nudges us to wonder.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 27, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Invisible Looks More Like a TV Drama

Together with screenwriters Mick Davis and Christine Roum, director David S. Goyer has, however unwittingly, created more of a CW television drama than the ghostly thriller The Invisible has been promoted as.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 27, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Suspension of Disbelief Needed for Next

If you like Nicolas Cage, and if you’re into movies like Minority Report, The Lake House, and Memento - and you don’t mind engaging in a lot of “willing suspension of disbelief” - you’ll love Paramount’s new thriller, Next.

 
Stage-to-Screen Leap Not Successful for “History Boys"

Some plays make the transition to the big screen with great triumph. Others, like "The History Boys," are not as successful. On-screen, the six-time Tony-award winning play feels like a filmed play without any cinematic adaptation.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 20, 2007 |
  • comments
 
“Last King" More About Arrogance, Less About Dictatorship

In "The Last King of Scotland," director Kevin MacDonald shows a bit too much torture and dismemberment, but his talent is evident and his message is important. It’s not so much about brutal dictators as it is about Western arrogance.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 20, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Shameful Vacancy Earns Timely Condemnation

A horrible tragedy such as the Virginia Tech massacre has, in a strangely unexpected way, opened the door for Christian critics to state what’s blindingly obvious: That some films, like Vacancy, are bad for the soul.

 
A Heartless Hopkins Gives Steely Edge to Fracture

Fracture gives Anthony Hopkins his juiciest role in years. Although lagging for stretches, the movie is worth seeing for its portrayal of villainy and the cat-and-mouse legal game that will keep viewers guessing until the final moments of the film.

April 2007
Hot Fuzz Sure to Please Parody, Horror and Cop Fans

Written, directed and acted by the same team that gave us the hilarious zombie spoof, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is sure to please fans of parody as well as horror and cop movies. Think Monty Python meets Bad Boys II meets Halloween IV, and you’ll get the idea.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 20, 2007 |
  • comments
 
No Need to Visit the "Land of Women"

The trailer for “In the Land of Women” tries to convince us that this is a fun romantic comedy. It’s not. Rather it is a mostly depressing Lifetime-movie-of the-week story with all the brooding characters trying to “find themselves.”

 
“Notes” a Reminder of Our Vulnerability to Sin

"Notes on a Scandal" reminds us how vulnerable we all are to sin – even the most egregious kind. We may think we’re impervious, but we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be so naïve.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 19, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Hi-Tech Disturbia Aims Lo-Fi Morality at Teens

In what’s essentially a modern retelling of Rear Window, Disturbia has plenty going for it in terms of sheer entertainment value. But when it’s all said and done, the slickly-edited flick ends up being nothing more than a commercial for voyeurism and teenage rebellion.

 
Brisk Pacing Not Enough to Ignite Slow Burn

Slow Burn moves along at a brisk pace. Too brisk, really, at just 93 minutes, which adds to the challenge of trying to follow the plot. Some will be put off by the film’s overt sexuality as well—an overt contrivance which takes every advantage of the leading lady’s curves.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 13, 2007 |
  • comments
 
No Remedy to Soulless Living in Everything's Gone Green

Unfortunately, screenwriter Douglas Copeland never offers a remedy to the soulless living he so devastatingly describes in Everything’s Gone Green. It ends on an extremely nihilistic note—which is, of course, the curse of this postmodern age.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 13, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Perfect Stranger Is Perfectly Awful

The best movies can become like old friends, a pleasure to see from time to time. Others are like uninvited guests - perfect strangers who deserve to be shown the door, never to be welcomed again. Can you guess which category this movie falls into?

 
Only Liars and Billionaires Win in The Hoax

Though the plot is mildly interesting and the filmmakers do a good job of creating tension, The Hoax leaves audiences with a slimy feeling and a cynical assurance that gifted liars and powerful billionaires do win out in the end.

 
Quirky “Volver” Delivers Ambiguous Moral Message

If you enjoy foreign films, you might like the latest by acclaimed Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodóvar. It’s a bit quirky and melodramatic, like all of his films, with an ambiguous moral message. Overall, however, it’s good filmmaking.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 09, 2007 |
  • comments
 
Brutal “Good Shepherd” Explores C.I.A.'s Beginnings

"The Good Shepherd" revolves around the creation of the C.I.A. It’s the WASP version of a Mafia film, where characters kill one another without a thought, and like “The Godfather,” it’s brutal.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 06, 2007 |
  • comments
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