February 21, 2020  |  By SISTER HOSEA RUPPRECHT
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Harriet

NEW YORK. “Harriet” (PG-13, Focus) is a long overdue drama chronicling the exploits of the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad, Maryland-born Harriet Tubman (c.1822-1913).

The film’s greatest asset comes in the form of Cynthia Erivo, a veteran of the London stage who breathes spirit and pathos into the titular character.


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February 7, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Dolittle

NEW YORK. Exactly a century ago, British author Hugh Lofting published “The Story of Doctor Dolittle,” the first in a long series of books for children that have won lasting popularity for their protagonist, a physician-turned-veterinarian who has, need it be said, the unique ability to communicate with the critters he treats.


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January 17, 2020  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: A Hidden Life

NEW YORK. In 2007, Franz Jagerstatter (1907-1943), a devoutly Catholic Austrian farmer martyred by the Nazis for his stance as a conscientious objector, was declared blessed. In the luminous, though deliberately paced, drama “A Hidden Life” (PG-13, Fox Searchlight), writer-director Terrence Malick paints a striking and memorable portrait of Jagerstatter, one that will be especially prized by believing viewers.


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December 20, 2019  |  By DENIS GRASSKA
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Buttons: A Christmas Tale

SAN DIEGO. When it debuted in late 2018, “Buttons: A Christmas Tale” boasted an impressive number of famous names and familiar faces, and it was shown in select theaters only Dec. 8, 2018.

Fortunately for the many who missed their one chance to see it last year, the film is being released on DVD Dec. 3, just in time for the holidays. It was released on digital platforms Nov. 19.


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December 6, 2019  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Ford v Ferrari

NEW YORK. “Ford v Ferrari” (PG-13, Fox) revels in its 1960s gender stereotypes, evoking a “Great Man” age of auto racers in which the men were men and the women glad of it.

The historical truth of that is, of course, far more complex. But this film doesn’t try to justify old inequalities. Ties and lapels are skinny, tires squeal, engines roar, vintage sunglasses are everywhere — and death lurks around every sharp turn. It’s a groaning board of vroom-vroom cliches, but told without cynicism, and with some moral core to the principal characters.


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November 15, 2019  |  By SISTER HOSEA RUPPRECHT, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Arctic Dogs

NEW YORK. “Arctic Dogs” (PG, AMBI Group) serves up family-friendly fare, scoring high on the cuteness meter despite its lack of originality.

The little ones will love Swifty (voice of Jeremy Renner). He’s a fox who always dreamed of being top dog for the Arctic Blast Delivery Service (ABDS).


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November 1, 2019  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

NEW YORK. The moral probing and feminist revisionism that characterized its 2014 predecessor are mostly absent from the routine follow-up “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” (PG, Disney). So much so, that ethical straightforwardness makes its title seem somewhat misleading.


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October 18, 2019  |  By MARK PATTISON, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Love and Mercy: Faustina

WASHINGTON. A new film on the life of St. Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun whose visions of Jesus led to the Divine Mercy devotion, will have a one-night-only showing Oct. 28 on more than 700 screens across the United States.

The 90-minute movie, “Love and Mercy: Faustina,” will also have some features about St. Faustina surrounding it, according to Marian Father Chris Alar, who is seen on-screen during the film.


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October 4, 2019  |  By JOHN MULDERIG
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Downton Abbey

NEW YORK. Those who’ve been yearning for a fix of interwar elegance ever since the popular ITV and PBS television series “Downton Abbey” went off the air in 2015 can rejoice.

Program creator Julian Fellowes serves as screenwriter for Focus Features’ big-screen (PG) addition to his saga and, predictably, he keeps his well-loved ensemble of characters waltzing in perfect time. The result will be catnip to fans of the franchise.


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September 20, 2019  |  By JOHN MULDERIG
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Bennett's War

NEW YORK. Loosely based on the case histories of real-life wounded veterans, writer-director Alex Ranarivelo’s endearing sports drama “Bennett’s War” (PG-13, Forrest) is a portrait of courage in the face of adversity. Well-suited to an audience of grown-ups, the film may also pass muster with the parents of older teens willing to overlook some barracks-style talk in the dialogue.


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September 6, 2019  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Angel Has Fallen

NEW YORK. Good personal values vie with relentless gory combat in “Angel Has Fallen” (R, Lionsgate). The result is an action sequel that’s too graphic for those seeking casual entertainment.


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August 16, 2019  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Art of Racing in the Rain

NEW YORK. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” (PG, Fox 2000), an otherwise benign drama about a man and his dog, adapted from the novel by Garth Stein, is marred by a treatment of reincarnation that prevents endorsement of it for impressionable viewers.


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August 2, 2019  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Lion King

NEW YORK. Advances in moviemaking technology allow a story that could only previously be told as a cartoon to be enacted, so to speak, by animals. And so we get “The Lion King” (PG, Disney).


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July 5, 2019  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Toy Story 4

NEW YORK.  Just how good are the hotshots behind “Toy Story 4” (G, Disney)? So good that, by the time the closing credits roll, moviegoers will likely feel more emotional connection to an animated spork than they have to the vast majority of live-action human characters they’ve ever seen on screen.


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June 21, 2019  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Secret Life of Pets 2

NEW YORK. Lessons about overcoming fear and helping those in need are featured in “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (Universal).

Given that they come amid generally amusing antics that unfold at a lively pace, returning director Chris Renaud’s follow-up to his 2016 original rates as an entertaining cartoon suitable for all but the youngest kids.


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