Gory details of war mark ‘Lone Survivor’

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Honoring the sacrifices made by the men and women of America's military is the major impetus behind the action movie "Lone Survivor" (Universal). In theory, paying tribute to troops is laudable. Yet it matters how one voices that appreciation. The film, which chronicles an ill-fated mission by Navy SEALs inside Afghanistan in 2005, does so bluntly and superficially.

Not a stitch of clothing on this vicious ‘Wolf’

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Like the animal of its title, "The Wolf of Wall Street" (Paramount) is a predatory piece of cinema that inculcates values directly antithetical to those of Scripture and sacred tradition.

Books recount how people opt for poor, following liberation theology

In the second half of the 20th century, liberation theology stood traditional Catholic social teaching on its head. Three new books retell how people made the "option for the poor" a part of their personal and professional lives by helping empower poor people to determine their own destinies as individuals and as members of a wider community facing common problems.

Is Keanu Reeves the One to save ’47 Ronin’?

A band of outcast samurai warriors tries to save the day in a film that might be beyond hope of comprehension.

‘Justin Bieber’s Believe’: Stop looking for meaning

Pop phenom Justin Bieber's concert documentary/self-promotion vehicle doesn't go very deep, so just sit back and enjoy the footage of singing and dancing.

Inside the vivid imagination of ‘Walter Mitty’

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a strange blend of comedy, drama and travelogue. Early scenes in the film showcase humor about awkward workplace situations and executive bullies; later ones present a serious study in self-realization.

Saving Mr. Disney, along with Ms. Travers

"Saving Mr. Banks" packs many surprises as the film veers from comedy to tearjerker and back again. Its welcome wholesomeness also lays a battle of wills worthy of a grand Shakespearean drama.

Books discuss link between religion, violence from varied viewpoints

Like it or not, religion has always taken a central place in the world's violence. While William Abraham's "Shaking Hands with the Devil" and John Allen's "The Global War on Christians" discuss very different issues, the authors share the same aim of reducing religious stereotypes that seems a constant in our secularized world.

Movie review: Walking With Dinosaurs

NEW YORK (CNS) -- For those who can't tell a Gorgosaurus from a pterosaur, the 3-D, mostly animated adventure "Walking With Dinosaurs" (Fox) is out to set you straight.

Movie review: American Hustle

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Writer Tom Wolfe famously dubbed the 1970s the "Me Decade," and director David O. Russell's latest film, "American Hustle" (Columbia), illustrates why the label stuck. Morally and artistically, it's a mixed bag.