Movie: ‘Race’

  NEW YORK (CNS) — Run, don’t walk, to the nearest multiplex and see “Race” (Focus), a supremely entertaining biopic about Olympic track and field legend Jesse Owens (Stephan James). Eighty years have passed since Owens, an African-American, won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, single-handedly dealing a devastating blow to […]

Movie: ‘The Witch’

NEW YORK (CNS) — Let’s get this much out of the way first: “The Witch” (A24) is not an instructional film for Satanic practices. So whatever ballyhoo moviegoers may have come across in that regard is best ignored. The picture is instead a slim, disturbing, darkly lit mood piece about 17th-century New England. Notably, however, […]

Movie: ‘Deadpool’

NEW YORK (CNS) — There’s punk in the fancy, cultural, Johnny Rotten sense of the term, and then there’s the plain old meaning of the word before it went all meta on us. The latter perfectly captures the character who lends his name to the vengeance-driven Marvel Comics adaptation “Deadpool” (Fox). Sarcasm and splatter predominate […]

Movie: ‘How to Be Single’

NEW YORK (CNS) — There’s a disconcerting moral snag in “How to Be Single” (Warner Bros.), an otherwise appealing, if slightly raunchy, romantic comedy. This ethical stumbling block fatally impedes the positive overall trajectory of the film, which finds its characters testing their capacities to settle into monogamous relationships and genuine adulthood. Director Christian Ditter’s […]

Movie: ‘Zoolander 2’

Above: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Kyle Mooney star in a scene from the movie “Zoolander 2.” The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Paramount) NEW YORK (CNS) — […]

Movie: ‘Hail, Caesar!’

NEW YORK (CNS) — The February release date of writers and directors Joel and Ethan Coen’s comedy “Hail, Caesar!” (Universal) could hardly be more appropriate. That’s because this loving sendup of golden-age Hollywood represents nothing short of a supersized valentine presented by the sibling collaborators to the Tinseltown of bygone days, specifically the early 1950s. […]

Movie: ‘The Choice’

NEW YORK (CNS) — Ever since “The Notebook” in 2004, film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks’ novels have descended into benign, prepackaged comfort food. So it is with “The Choice” (Lionsgate). In keeping with the Catholic writer’s work overall, the movie tells an agreeably picturesque love story, with likable characters who briefly consider the morality of […]

Movie: ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’

NEW YORK (CNS) — Though it boosts family values and the importance of teamwork, the animated adventure “Kung Fu Panda 3” (Fox) also incorporates non-scriptural philosophical ideas that might confuse the impressionable youngsters at whom it’s primarily aimed. At least some of these concepts could have been spotted lurking in the background of the movie’s […]

Movie: ‘Fifty Shades of Black’

NEW YORK (CNS) — Witless and aggressively foulmouthed, the supposedly comic “Fifty Shades of Black” (Open Road) ultimately registers as torturous. Though obviously intended as a rollicking spoof of its “Grey” counterpart, which sought to take sadomasochism mainstream, the movie develops instead into an infernal endurance test of tedium, a device as mortifying as any […]

Movie: ‘Pair who were in Benghazi say they felt God’s protection in firefight’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Not only are there no atheists in foxholes, but some of the denominational differences seem to disappear, too, once you’re under heavy fire. That was the situation that Mark Geist and Kris Paronto found themselves in working as military contractors in Benghazi, Libya. It was their book, co-written with other members of […]

Movie: ‘Room’

NEW YORK (CNS) — “The mind is its own place, and in itself/Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” These words from poet John Milton’s 17th-century epic “Paradise Lost” capture at least one theme of the poignant, multifaceted drama “Room” (A24). As a tale of confinement and isolation with far-reaching and universal […]