A guy sets up a camera on his balcony… and magic happens

Pawel Łoziński offers us the privilege of meeting his neighbors in a documentary full of chance encounters and surprises.


0 Comments8 Minutes

How to Blow Up a Pipeline: a call to arms to save the world

Daniel Goldhaber's film about desperate measures for desperate times is one of the year's most critically acclaimed films, and it's now available for rental on AppleTV+ and other streaming platforms.


0 Comments20 Minutes

Return to Seoul: a personal crisis of mistaken identity

If we don't know the context we came from, or the biology from which we were born, we might face particular challenges in figuring out who we are. That's the idea that drives Freddie on an erratic journey of self-discovery and reinvention in this riveting film.


0 Comments13 Minutes

Down in “the miry clay” of the documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

This Oscar-nominated documentary exposes corporate cruelty from a voice of experience and a heart of compassion.


0 Comments11 Minutes

Overstreet Archives: Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002)

A flashback to a curious moment at the crossroads of Christianity and the big screen: a VeggieTales movie that actually scored "fresh" on... wait for it... Rotten Tomatoes.


0 Comments16 Minutes

The Quiet Girl (2023)

No, this isn't about a girl who doesn't speak. Cáit has plenty to say throughout. This is, instead, a movie about the extraordinary power of people who have the patience and generosity to listen — to the soft-spoken, the uncertain, and the insecure.


0 Comments11 Minutes

Overstreet’s Favorite Films of 2022 — Part Three: The Top Ten

The day has finally come — I've seen enough films from 2022, and spent enough time reading about them, talking about them with thoughtful moviegoers, and writing about them that I'm ready to post my favorite films of 2022. (Just in time for the Oscars!)


0 Comments14 Minutes

Overstreet’s Favorite Films of 2022 — Part Two: Top-Ten-Worthy Runners-Up

This list of fifteen more represents all of the movies that I cannot believe I’m not including in my final Top Ten list.


0 Comments41 Minutes

Overstreet’s Favorite Recordings of 2022: The Top Ten

This year, my countdown of the previous year's best music has been a marathon of four posts: Honorable Mentions, #36 through #21, #20 through #11... and now this one. Here are my ten favorite albums of 2022. Sample tracks from each one and see if any of them speak to you. Then, post notes about your own favorites in the Comments if your favorites differ from mine!


0 Comments32 Minutes

Favorite Recordings of 2022: #20 – #11

Are you up for a treasure hunt? Here we go with one of the last two parts of my 2022 musical review.


0 Comments21 Minutes

Overstreet’s Favorite Films of 2022 — Part One: Honorable Mentions

The Academy Awards are about to hand out a bunch of Oscars, and they're going to throw around the term "best" a lot. That's a relatively meaningless term. I want to know about the films that moved and inspired you. Here's Part One of a three-part post on my own favorite films of 2022.


0 Comments40 Minutes

Is this the “best first film” for very young children?

This Oscar-nominated animated short is a rare wonder that will likely become an early-childhood treasure for young viewers and families.


0 Comments4 Minutes

Living (2023)

The great Bill Nighy is masterful in a strangely simplified adaptation of "Ikiru."


0 Comments7 Minutes

Leveling up! Subscribe for free to Overstreet’s new online journal.

Now, Looking Closer has a companion Substack newsletter!


0 Comments3 Minutes

Favorite Recordings of 2022: #36 – #21

You're likely to find some new favorites here in this wildly diverse list of albums and selected tracks from my favorite 2022 recordings.


0 Comments36 Minutes

Favorite Recordings of 2022: Part One — Honorable Mentions

As I'll need some time to prepare my post on my Top 30 Favorite Recordings of 2022, I hope that this substantial feast of "Honorable Mentions" leads you to many hours of new musical discoveries.


2 Comments29 Minutes

Twas the season of “comfort food” movies…

A flashback to the '80s: Here's a new reflection on a "comfort food" movie worth revisiting during the holidays.


1 Comment25 Minutes

A conversation with Frederick Buechner in my quiet, snowbound house

Wondrous things can happen at Christmastime. And so it was that I found myself in deep conversation with the late Frederick Buechner just before Christmas. I wrote it down, and as it's probably relevant for many of us, I'm sharing it.


0 Comments6 Minutes

Overstreet Archives: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Ten years ago, I wrote about The Muppet Christmas Carol for another website, marking the film's 20th anniversary. Here, at the film's 30th anniversary, I'm bringing that review to Looking Closer.


0 Comments9 Minutes

The Wonder (2022)

On the week that I watched The Wonder , I had a challenging encounter with a stranger that brought the movie's central tension vividly to mind. It seems that the best way I can highlight my admiration for the movie is to share my experience alongside my review.


0 Comments31 Minutes

All-Stars: Steven D. Greydanus and 20+ years of extraordinary writing on film

Star-gazing again, I'm pointing to one of the brightest in the cosmos of criticism: Steven D. Greydanus. I'd be hard-pressed to think of a critic who has had a more consistently inspiring influence on me over the last 20 years of my engagement with film and with film essays.


1 Comment9 Minutes

My Father’s Dragon (2022)

The source material, a 1948 children's book by Ruth Stiles Gannett, is whimsical and funny, and has clearly influenced storytellers for generations, but it's a meandering and episodic tale that lacks a certain gravity. Can Cartoon Saloon storytellers revise it into something resonant?


0 Comments17 Minutes

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

Do we need another epic war movie in 2022? Yes, if it serves to strip away any sense that battlefields are about heroes or glory. All Quiet has always been about telling the truth, and this new German-made adaptation on Netflix is no exception.


0 Comments15 Minutes

Stuck in the middle with Tár

Director Todd Field's return to the big screen is an unforgettable spectacle. And it is, almost inarguably, the greatest performance of Cate Blanchett's remarkable career. Some will call it a masterpiece. I'm not so sure.


0 Comments15 Minutes

Looking Closer All-Stars: Sarah Welch-Larson on The Rings of Power

Star-gazing, I'm highlighting Sarah Welch-Larson as the first Looking Closer "all-star" — a writer whose wisdom and wit set her apart as exceptional in guiding us to the best in art and culture. Here, she finds her way to insight about why Amazon's The Rings of Power is such a fascinating and frustrating show.


0 Comments2 Minutes

Nothing Compares (2022)

It has taken three decades — 30 years to the month! — for the truth to come into focus. In the early '90s, Sinead O'Connor risked her career to speak truth to power. She was condemned by Christians, by pop culture, by almost everyone. And now we've seen her laments justified, her prophecies coming true. Here, thank God, is a movie that loves her and grieves for her.


0 Comments12 Minutes

Two new essays in one week: The Enlightened Replicant and the Liberated Marionette

New writing is heating up my laptop these days. I have two new essays — my first ever contribution to my favorite film-essay website, Bright Wall Dark Room, and the second in my new series on faith and fantasy at The Rabbit Room, a reflection on Disney's 1940 feature Pinocchio.


0 Comments1 Minutes

Where Did My Community Go? Marcel the Shell Offers Insight at The Rabbit Room

After posting my initial review of Marcel the Shell With Shoes One here at Looking Closer, I've contributed a second consideration of the film (after seeing the film twice more) to the wonderful website hosted by my friends at The Rabbit Room.


0 Comments1 Minutes

The Duke (2022)

Roger Michell's final film* is an endearing epilogue to an impressive career, but even the headliners Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren can't make this one memorable.


0 Comments7 Minutes

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022)

The great Leslie Manville proves that she can make even a cloying crowdpleaser like this worth watching. You might find this "power of positive thinking" fairy tale a blessed relief it is from the punishing darkness and violence of almost everything else this summer. (Or, if you're like me, you might find it too sticky sweet for its own good.)


0 Comments14 Minutes

Shadow in the Cloud (2021)

This isn't a one-woman show, but it's close: Chloë Grace Moretz gives this cartoonish action film a far stronger central performance than it needs, and that turns an otherwise forgettable action thriller into surprisingly compelling experience.


0 Comments9 Minutes

Hit the Road (2022)

The son of the great Jafar Panahi has become a promising filmmaker himself. Panah Panahi's first movie takes backroads that lead to laughs, surprises, and troubling revelations.


3 Comments12 Minutes

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

A conversation between moviegoers Cravis Frankly and Jeffrey Overstreet about the most complicated and most exciting multi-verse movie of the year.


0 Comments22 Minutes

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (2022)

Marcel is the kind of film that I suspect Jim Henson would have loved: It's childlike, playful, hopeful and wise — and all of this without ever stooping to sentimentality. Its characters seem to have been brought to life with patience, attention, and love. Just as I have learned more from Kermit the Frog about living a meaningful life than I have from most movie characters, I'm adopting Marcel as a mentor during dark times.


0 Comments21 Minutes

Emergency (2022)

Can this friendship survive the worst night ever? Kunle and Sean — and, to a degree, the cannabis-clouded Carlos — are spiraling down into crisis as they try to save a stranger in this funny but sobering "calamity comedy."


0 Comments13 Minutes

Crimes of the Future (2022)

In Cronenberg's latest sci-fi nightmare, human bodies are evolving and surgeons are bringing brand new organs out into the spotlight... in public, as performance art. It's unsettling. It's meaningful. And it's hilarious.


0 Comments19 Minutes

Looking Closer with Jeffrey Overstreet

(now the ears of my ears awake andnow the eyes of my eyes are opened)

– e. e. cummings, “i thank You God for most this amazing”