CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
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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September 4, 2020  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK.  “The 24th” (Not rated, Vertical) is the rare historical drama that plays out like a horror film. The story succeeds best in giving names, faces and context to the participants in what became known as the Houston Riot of 1917.


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August 21, 2020  |  By SISTER HOSEA RUPPRECHT, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. “The Secret Garden” (PG, STX) is the fourth film adaptation of the beloved 1911 children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924). It joins such recent films as 2019’s “Little Women” in introducing today’s children to classic tales.


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August 7, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK.  Despite a tragically brief and illness-plagued career, Catholic author Flannery O’Connor, who died in 1964 aged just 39, is recognized as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, excelling especially in her short stories.


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July 3, 2020  |  By CHRIS BYRD, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. Greg Daniels, co-creator of the U.S. version of “The Office,” collaborates with that program’s lead, Steve Carell, to launch the new limited-series comedy “Space Force.”

Fans of the popular and award-winning earlier show, which ran on NBC 2005-13, will likely be hugely disappointed in this new offering.


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June 19, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. In the hands of such great artists as British novelist J.R.R. Tolkien or Irish poet W.B. Yeats, the elements of medieval lore have been deployed to great effect.

Such, alas, is not the case with “Artemis Fowl” (PG, Disney), director Kenneth Branagh’s crowded, off-key screen version of Eoin Colfer’s 2001 fantasy novel for young adults that’s streaming now on Disney+.


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June 5, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. Baby boomers may remember whiling away their Saturday mornings, beginning in 1969, by watching the Hanna- Barbera cartoon series “Scooby- Doo, Where Are You!”


Beyond the fact that its ensemble of teen sleuths always discovered a perfectly reasonable explanation for apparently occult events, however, their memories of the show may be blurry.


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