Hal Conklin serves on numerous non-profit Boards, including USA Green Communities (President), Eden Reforestation Projects, Environmental Media Association of Hollywood (Corporate Board Co-Chair), Center for Transformational Leadership (Board Chair), Green Seal, Institute for Local Government, Santa Barbara Center  for Performing Arts, Arlington Center for the Performing Arts, Turn The Page Uganda, and the Free Methodist Church (FMC) – USA (Board Chair), as well as the FMC, Southern California (Board Chair), and the FMC, Santa Barbara.  

He served in local government office for 18 years, including Mayor of the City of Santa Barbara, California, President of the California League of Cities in Sacramento, California, and Vice President of the National League of cities in Washington DC.  In his business life, he retired in 2013 after two decades as the Director of Public Affairs for Southern California Edison.




Denny Wayman is Lead Superintendent for the Free Methodist Church in Southern California. A Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling, Rev. Wayman brings the training of both theology and psychology to the cinematic experience. During his graduate education at both Asbury Seminary (MDiv) and Fuller Seminary (DMin) Dr. Wayman studied film and its impact on culture.

He is also credited with writing the screenplay for the short-film: LIVED EXPERIENCE: Female Pastors in the Free Methodist Church (2018).

Cheryl Wayman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  As the editor of the column, Cheryl brings insight and literary skill.



Good cinema is not just entertaining, it is most often the presentation of people struggling with the deeper issues of life. These struggles are universal. The framing of the struggles is the genius of the cinematographer. Whether people are avid movie buffs, or just occasionally view a film on television, the fact is that the movies today impact the values throughout the world in a way never before possible. This impact permeates the very fabric of our families, culture, and society. To be a thoughtful person today requires knowing and discussing the values that are being viewed by almost all of us through this medium. It is our desire for the reader to explore with us each week the values portrayed in contemporary films, to be drawn into discussions about the deeper experiences of life and to consider how those experiences are changing us. We provide a subjective social and spiritual commentary on a variety of current films in an attempt to stimulate this conversation. Using a system of four stars, we rate the films based on its impact on family values, community life, and spiritual development.  Although we may comment on the quality of the directing, acting, screenwriting, musical score, editing and other aspects of the cinematic art, we are primarily concerned about the social and spiritual values being presented.  Writing from a Christian worldview we appreciate viewpoints that are different from our own and may rate a film high simply because it causes us and other viewers to think about deeper issues, not because we agree with the values presented. 


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Reviews contain plot discussion and may include spoilers.



We rate movies on a 1 to 4 star system.  To read about the criteria we use to assess a movie, see this page.