Parents may have some explaining to do with ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Problematic material occasionally mars the otherwise serviceable adventure sequel "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" (Fox). Parents will want to be aware, for instance, that the mythological elements underlying the franchise as a whole seem to be emphasized with increased forcefulness in this go-round, and that a passing reference to Christianity in the script is at best ambiguous.

Movie review – Planes

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Having conquered the world of "Cars," Disney waves its anthropomorphic wand skyward in "Planes," a delightful 3-D animated adventure. Directed by Klay Hall ("Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure") from a clever, pun-filled script by Jeffrey M. Howard, "Planes" excels on two ... well, planes. The animation dazzles with exhilarating air races over beautiful scenery, while the entertaining plot offers good lessons for kids about friendship and overcoming obstacles.

Movie review – We’re the Millers

NEW YORK (CNS) -- "We're the Millers" (Warner Bros.) would like to be taken as both a conversion story and a comedy celebrating family togetherness -- albeit through the exploits of an improvised clan of quirky misfits. In reality, however, director Rawson Marshall Thurber's tawdry project falls short on both scores.

Movie review: The Way, Way Back

NEW YORK (CNS) -- A potentially nostalgic summer vacation spent by the sea is tinged with family problems and teen angst in "The Way, Way Back" (Fox Searchlight).

Buddies of ‘2 Guns’ shoot through corruption, betrayal, crime — with laughs

NEW YORK (CNS) — If the buddy movie “2 Guns” (Universal) is to be believed, the government of the United States is riddled with greed, venality, law-flouting and violent immorality. Fortunately, however, this genre-melding blend of action and comedy clearly revels in its own outrageousness. So its freewheeling political cynicism need not be taken too […]

Top 10 parables of faith on screen

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Since the advent of cinema in the late 1800s, faith has been treated on film in a wide variety of ways, from the respectful to the satiric. As any number of pictures from Hollywood's golden age might be used to demonstrate, however, a reverential approach to the subject of religious belief does not by itself a thoughtful -- or artistically successful -- movie make.

Movie review – The Smurfs 2

NEW YORK (CNS) -- If summer's speedy passing has you feeling blue, then head to "The Smurfs 2" (Columbia) for a jolly pick-me-up. The lighthearted tone of this 3-D sequel -- which, like its 2011 predecessor, mixes animation with live action -- comes courtesy of the familiar azure-hued elves of the title. Young children will be enchanted and laugh themselves silly, while their parents will appreciate the script's positive messages about friendship and family -- potty jokes notwithstanding.

The Wolverine

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Does the idea of a giant suit of samurai armor made out of an indestructible -- but, alas, fictional -- alloy called adamantium strike you as the coolest thing ever? If so, then the macho superhero adventure "The Wolverine" (Fox) might just be the movie for you.

‘RED 2’: Seniors up to challenge of saving the world, again

NEW YORK (CNS) — Those “retired and extremely dangerous” (RED) secret agents are back on the case in “RED 2” (Summit), a lively sequel to the 2010 film based on the graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. In a summer multiplex filled with superheroes and cartoon characters, “RED 2” is a refreshing change […]

‘The Conjuring’ skews exorcism as creepy carnival

NEW YORK (CNS) — Movies involving demonic possession and Catholic faith practices always are an uncomfortable mix, as in “The Conjuring” (Warner Bros.). The demons get a presumption of truth and the run of the plot, while the solemn rite of exorcism is reduced to a kind of voodoo practiced by entrepreneurial ghostbusters with dubious […]