First Reformed is solid gold. The film is striking on a visual level because every shot is rich with balance, depth and artful levels of symmetry; despite the fact that the film is presented in an unusual aspect ratio, it pulls its viewers in with nonstop beautiful photography. Meanwhile, a thought-provoking story unfolds with some of the best acting we’ve seen from each elite performer. The entire cast (from Hawke to Seyfried to Cedric Kyles) delivers fantastic performances that are essential in bringing the chilling messages of the film home.
The story is expectedly spiritual and surprisingly political. The pace of the film is deliberate and switches seamlessly between snapshots and extended takes. The scoring slowly builds its ominous tone and the effects are tastefully done. Every aspect of First Reformed is built with intention that serves its sobering themes. Ultimately, First Reformed‘s elite qualities combined into an experience that is more than a movie, it is a piece of art. If you like technique, you will love First Reformed.
Production Design: 8/10
Overall Score: 9.1/10