The Clip That Proves Ethan Hawke’s Performance in First Reformed Is Worth the Buzz

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Who’s in the mood for a good, old-fashioned spiritual crisis? Ethan Hawke, star of Paul Schrader’s masterful new movie First Reformed, is more than game. He stars as Toller, a former military chaplain who’s been appointed the minister of a small, historical church on the cusp of its historic reconsecration. A quiet, lonely life, mostly—which, in this case, is enough to drive a man to a crisis of faith.

In this exclusive clip, you can start to see Toller wearing away at the seams—which is why he’s been called into the office of Pastor Jeffers (Cedric Kyles—a.k.a. Cedric the Entertainer—in a surprising but incredibly apt feat of casting), of the nearby mega-church. It seems like your normal, spiritually angsty drama, but as this clip shows, run-of-the-mill bleakness wouldn’t have that Schrader touch. The humor, danger, and bitterness all have to be there, too.

First Reformed, which also stars Amanda Seyfried, Philip Ettinger, and Michael Gaston, is out in theaters May 18.

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