October 16, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton

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
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Mulan

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
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Personal History of David Copperfield

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
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The 24th

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
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Secret Garden

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
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Flannery

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
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Space Force

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
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Artemis Fowl

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
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Scoob!

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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FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Big hits, little-seen gems

Ten films that were among best of 2019 offer options for home viewing until theaters re-open
May 15, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Big hits, little-seen gems

NEW YORK. The year 2019 saw the release of quality films across a wide range of genres, from a comic book-based extravaganza and a family drama about a Chinese American clan to a crackerjack murder mystery.

Below — in alphabetical order — are the Media Review Office of Catholic News Service’s picks for last year’s Top 10 movies overall.


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May 1, 2020  |  By SOPHIA MARTINSON, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Pandemic prompts makers of ‘Fatima’ film to delay its release to theaters

NEW YORK. Moviegoers anticipating the feature film about the story of the children of Fatima will have to wait a few more months to see the famous miracle story on the big screen.

The historical drama, with a screenplay written by Barbara Nicolosi, is directed by Marco Pontecorvo, produced by Origin Entertainment and distributed by Picturehouse. Origin Entertaiment’s CEO is Dick Lyles, brother-in- law of Father Jim Williams of the Diocese of Colorado Springs.


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April 17, 2020  |  By SISTER HOSEA RUPPRECHT, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Way Back

NEW YORK. Whose life doesn’t involve a crazy mixture of heartbreak and joy, despair and hope, death and life, weakness and redemption? Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck), the protagonist of the sports drama “The Way Back” (R, Warner Bros.), can surely relate to all those shared highs and lows.


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April 3, 2020  |  By SISTER HOSEA RUPPRECHT, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: I Am Patrick

NEW YORK. The reasons the church continues to honor the Apostle of Ireland more than 1,500 years after his death shine forth in the film “I Am Patrick” (Unrated, CBN), a docudrama that will be screened in theaters on dates to be announced.

Written and directed by Jarrod Anderson, the profile — subtitled “The Patron Saint of Ireland” — seeks to debunk many of the myths and legends that have grown up around its subject over the centuries. The goal is to capture who Patrick really was as a man and a follower of Christ.


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March 20, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Emma

NEW YORK. “Emma” (PG, Focus) is a delightful screen version of Jane Austen’s classic novel, lovely to look at and abounding in gentle humor.

Only the momentary introduction of a bit of visual earthiness, presumably meant to balance off the overall painterly elegance of the picture, hinders endorsement for younger viewers. That’s a shame because this is otherwise a perfect entree into Austen’s delicate world.


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March 6, 2020  |  By JOSEPH McALEER
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Call of the Wild

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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