January 15, 2021  |  By JOSEPH McALEER
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Wonder Woman 1984

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.


 
December 18, 2020  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOSEPH McALEER
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Croods: A New Age

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.


 
December 4, 2020  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Vermeer

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.


 
November 20, 2020  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Let Him Go

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.


 
November 6, 2020  |  By JOSEPH McALEER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
FEATURED MOVIE REVIEW: Honest Thief

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.


 
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.


 
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+.


 
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.

 


 
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.


 
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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