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Author Michael Parnell

Michael Parnell is pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is married and has two boys. His love is for movies, and he can be found in a theater most Fridays.

‘First Man’

‘First Man’ is not like any “man in space” movie you have ever seen. It’s a very quiet movie about a very quiet man, Neil Armstrong, who became a hero to every child in his generation. […] Read More


Some may claim we live in a post-racial society, but director Spike Lee shows us in his new film, “BlacKkKlansman,” that racism is alive and well. […] Read More

‘Eighth Grade’

Middle school is an awkward yet magical time that few adults want to revisit, yet writer and director Bo Burnham captures those feelings in his new film, “Eighth Grade.” […] Read More

As other nations are clamoring for movies and other pop culture from the U.S., the most sought-after exports often aren’t wrapped in “Americanisms.” A lesson for the U.S. church, perhaps? […] Read More

Being a pastor means that if a movie comes to the local theater about a pastor, I have to go see it. Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” presents a pastor who has lost his way. Ethan Hawke is Rev. Ernst Toller, a pastor at an old historic church in upstate New York. About to celebrate its […] Read More


Change is a dangerous thing. Rapid change is more dangerous because you cannot easily account for what is taking place. “Annihilation” is a movie about change. It is about rapid change taking place on a coastline somewhere in the southern United States. The area where the change is taking place is called “Area X.” It […] Read More

‘Black Panther’

The character of T’Challa / Black Panther has existed in the canon of Marvel Comics since his debut in Fantastic Four No. 52 in 1966. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created him as the first black superhero in the Marvel Universe. They did so with a clear vision of wanting to avoid all the cliches […] Read More

‘Darkest Hour’

The narrative of history provides many a story worthy of capture on film. It is a rare narrative moment that provides for two stories to be placed on the screen, but the events of May 8 to June 4 in 1940 have yielded two best-picture nominees. Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” tells the story of what happened […] Read More

It is hard to describe “The Shape of Water.” On one level, it is a horror movie, with a character that looks like the Gill Man from those “Creature from the Black Lagoon” movies. Then it looks like a fable about a scrub woman, a la Cinderella, who moves through the paces of her life […] Read More


A first word: This movie is not like how it is advertised. It looks like a comedy, but the comedic elements are really more of the dark variety. You may have seen the trailer for this film and thought, “Oh, milk chocolate.” But what you get is dark chocolate, and dark chocolate is an acquired […] Read More