Skip to site content

Author Mike 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.

Fred Rogers worried at the end of his life if he was a sheep. That worry was grounded in Jesus’ telling of judgment in Matthew 25 where he speaks of the judgment as being the separation of the sheep from the goats. The sheep were the ones who would enter into the kingdom prepared for […] Read More


There are times when a movie becomes something more, something greater than a consumed and quickly forgotten confection. Too often, we do not realize that movies touch something deep within. Watching “42” I confronted this. There was more taking place than a group of people watching a movie. The story is that of Jackie Robinson […] Read More

If you grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, you watched the yearly airing of “The Wizard of Oz.” You knew all the words to the songs and you had a favorite character. Mine was the Cowardly Lion. I never heard anyone say they liked the Wizard most, but he is the lynchpin of the […] Read More

“The Impossible”

In a former church, I worked two major natural disasters. Both were related to hurricanes. While working in the first, a veteran of that kind of work said something profound: “Disasters are such that if there is something good in people, it will come out. And if there is something bad, it will come, too.” […] Read More

“Zero Dark Thirty”

A movie that deals with the hunt for Osama bin Laden has a great big elephant sitting in the narrative room. That elephant is torture. We all know it was there in the real world, so what do you do with it in the movie world? In “Zero Dark Thirty,” director Kathryn Bigelow and writer […] Read More

“Les Miserables”

I have a real problem: I love the story of “Les Miserables.” The songs are magnificent. There are great actors doing wonderful scenes. But I hate the way this movie was made. There. I said it. The movie, which received eight Oscar nominations including one for best picture, is an adaptation of the musical “Les […] Read More

Director Peter Jackson returns moviegoers to the land of Middle Earth as he presents the first installment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” We are welcomed into the story by Bilbo Baggins, uncle of Frodo (the main character from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy). Bilbo tells us the story as he is writing to Frodo. […] Read More

“Life of Pi”

I have not enjoyed many of the movies that have come to us in the 3-D format; there are too many hokey effects, the screen is too dark. But then some filmmakers use it as more than just a faddish attempt to make more money. “Life of Pi” belongs to the latter category. Directed by […] Read More

“Wreck-It Ralph”

“Wreck-It Ralph” explores what happens in video games after the arcade closes. Like “Toy Story,” we see that these characters have a life beyond the action that precedes “Game Over.” Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, is the villain in a game called “Fix-It Felix Jr.” In the game, Ralph is this really large creature […] Read More


Sometimes a movie’s marketing doesn’t do it justice. “Flight” is a good example. Watching the trailers and ads for it makes it seem like the movie is about a plane crash and how a brave pilot saved the passengers. But the crash is really only the vehicle to tell the story. To use an old […] Read More