CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
May 21, 2021  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. Though it’s adapted from a book that’s over a decade old, “Monster” (R, Netflix), director Anthony Mandler’s screen version of Walter Dean Myers’ 1999 novel for young adults, feels remarkably timely. This tale of a Harlem youth caught up in the criminal justice system gains credibility, moreover, by avoiding pat answers.


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May 7, 2021  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. “The Father” (Sony Classics) has nothing new to say about the challenges of dementia.

Yet, in adapting his play with co-screenwriter Christopher Hampton, director Florian Zeller does succeed in presenting the difficulties resulting from that illness in an innovative way. His drama portrays the mental confusion of a man in his 80s by keeping the viewer off-balance as well.


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May 7, 2021  |  By RICHARD DOERFLINGER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Most people have heard of the slippery slope. After making what seems a limited exception to a moral principle, we may find over time that it logically becomes far broader than we had in mind.


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April 16, 2021  |  By SISTER HOSEA RUPPRECHT, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON. A musical romance with an evangelical Christian twist, “A Week Away” (Netflix) could be described as “High School Musical” meets summer camp. Written by Kali Bailey and Alan Powell, the streaming service’s first faith-based film is directed by Roman White


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April 2, 2021  |  By MARK PATTISON, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON. The new biblical epic “Resurrection” is the kind of movie where “families can get together” to watch it, said one of its producers, Roma Downey, still best known for her on-camera role in the television series “Touched by an Angel.”

Families will indeed have that chance, as “Resurrection” (PG-13, MGM) debuts in streaming form March 27 on the Discovery+ subscription service.


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March 19, 2021  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. “If you could read my mind, love/What a tale my thoughts could tell.” So mused Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot in a hit song from a half-century ago.

The downside of such a situation bedevils the hero of the dull dystopian science fiction drama “Chaos Walking” (PG-13, Lionsgate). He inhabits a world where men’s thoughts — though not women’s — take audible and sometimes visible form, and thus can only be concealed with great difficulty. While that proves troubling for him and those around him, the effect on the film’s audience is nothing short of torturous.


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March 5, 2021  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. The fact-based film “The Mauritanian” (R, STX) doesn’t adhere to the conventions of a legal drama or a police procedural. Instead, it focuses on the moral implications of the struggle to free a falsely accused prisoner — with brilliant results.


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February 5, 2021  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. As the director of such films as “Up” (2009) and 2015’s “Inside Out,” Pete Docter has taken cartoons to the heights of artistry, proving that an animated feature can be touching, emotionally rich and memorable.

And that’s to say nothing of his involvement in the four “Toy Story” movies.


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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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December 4, 2020  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. The interest high-ranking officials in the Third Reich showed in collecting valuable art — more often by foul means than fair — has proved a rich source of cinematic material in recent years.


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November 20, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. The drama “Let Him Go” (R, Focus), writer-director Thomas Bezucha’s adaptation of Larry Watson’s 2013 novel, showcases a successful, if sometimes tense, marriage.

But it’s also a morally dicey affair in which characters’ good and evil instincts are intertwined in a way that can only be untangled through subtle ethical assessment.


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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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October 16, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. “The family that prays together stays together.” Although he popularized rather than originated that pithy saying, the sentence aptly sums up the message of Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton (1909-1992), who advocated it both tirelessly and with great success.


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October 2, 2020  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK.  The early medieval “Ballad of Mulan” tells of the exploits of a heroine who, disguised as a man, distinguished herself as a warrior.

In 1998, this classic of Chinese folk literature served as the basis for an animated feature that gained both popular and critical success. Now, director Niki Caro’s live-action take, “Mulan” (Disney), is available for a fee on the streaming service Disney+.


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September 18, 2020  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK.  Of the numerous film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ autobiographical 1850 novel, “The Personal History of David Copperfield” (PG, Fox Searchlight) may rank as the happiest.

As directed by Armando Iannucci, who adapted the screenplay with Simon Blackwell, the movie finds Copperfield (Ranveer Jaiswal and Jairaj Varsani as a boy, Dev Patel as a man) facing life’s challenges, which include child labor, rocky romances, financial instability and duplicitous colleagues, with a hero’s grace and the joy of a secular saint.

 


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