JOSEPH McALEER

JOSEPH McALEER
January 15, 2021  |  By JOSEPH McALEER

NEW YORK. Everyone’s favorite Amazonian princess returns to save the planet in “Wonder Woman 1984” (Warner Bros.), an entertaining follow-up to the DC Comics superhero’s 2017 outing.

Director Patty Jenkins is once again at the helm, and this time has co-written the screenplay with Geoff Johns and David Callaham. Naturally, the plot is silly, at times preposterous. But that’s not unexpected for an old-fashioned popcorn movie, a Saturday-matinee serial writ large.


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December 18, 2020  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOSEPH McALEER

NEW YORK. The most entertaining Stone Age family since the Flintstones returns to the big screen in “The Croods: A New Age” (PG, Universal), a delightful animated comedy suitable for almost all ages.

This follow-up to the 2013 original is based on a story by that film’s co-directors and screenwriters, Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco. Joel Crawford takes the helm from them with gusto, and the result is a sequel that ramps up the humor and vibrancy while preserving key lessons about family and tolerance.


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November 6, 2020  |  By JOSEPH McALEER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. The title may be an oxymoron, but there’s nothing paradoxical about “Honest Thief” (PG-13, Open Road); it’s a solid, entertaining action thriller.


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March 6, 2020  |  By JOSEPH McALEER

NEW YORK. “Never was there such a dog,” says grizzled Yukon explorer John Thornton (Harrison Ford), admiring the antics of Buck, the canine star of “The Call of the Wild” (PG, Twentieth Century).

Indeed not. For the Buck in this, the seventh film adaptation of Jack London’s 1903 novel, is a computer-generated marvel, a big sloppy St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix as lifelike and convincing as the creatures in recent CGI films like “The Jungle Book” and “The Lion King.”


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February 1, 2019  |  By JOSEPH McALEER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. The Arthurian legend gets an inventive updating in “The Kid Who Would Be King” (PG, Fox), a thrilling adventure that casts schoolchildren as latter-day Knights of the Round Table, destined to save the world.
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June 15, 2018  |  By JOSEPH McALEER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. The first family of superheroes returns in “Incredibles 2” (PG, Disney), the highly anticipated sequel to a much-loved 2004 animated film.
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February 16, 2018  |  By JOSEPH McALEER
NEW YORK. That rustling sound you hear is famed children’s author Beatrix Potter spinning in her grave, distressed at what has been done to her beloved characters in “Peter Rabbit” (PG, Columbia).
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September 1, 2017  |  By JOSEPH McALEER
NEW YORK. Ballet enthusiasts of all ages should jump at the chance to see the charming animated film “Leap!” (PG, Weinstein). Set in 1880s France, and originally entitled “Ballerina,” this French-Canadian movie, produced by L’Atelier Animation and directed with brio by Eric Summer and Eric Warin, is a visual wonder.
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August 3, 2017  |  By JOSEPH McALEER
NEW YORK. Monkey business turns deadly serious in “War for the Planet of the Apes” (PG-13, Fox), the climactic installment of the rebooted film franchise based on the work of French science-fiction author Pierre Boulle (1912-1994).
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May 4, 2017  |  By JOSEPH McALEER
NEW YORK. The relatively little-known genocide of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Turks 100 years ago is brought into sharp focus by “The Promise” (PG-13, Open Road).
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April 7, 2017  |  By JOSEPH McALEER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. Disney’s live-action adaptation of its beloved 1991 animated film “Beauty and the Beast” arrives in theaters amid a swirl of controversy over the updating of one of its characters into an openly gay man.
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February 17, 2017  |  By JOSEPH McALEER
NEW YORK. The incredible true story of one orphan’s 20-year odyssey to find his way back home roars to cinematic life in “Lion” (Weinstein).
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February 3, 2017  |  By JOSEPH McALEER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. In chronicling the early history of McDonald’s, “The Founder” (PG-13, Weinstein) makes compelling food for thought, if not exactly a happy meal.
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December 2, 2016  |  By JOSEPH McALEER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. The same tropical setting that provided the backdrop for the 1949 musical “South Pacific” now lends its exotic flavor to the animated feature “Moana” (PG, Disney).


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