Culture

As a message, ‘Roe v. Wade’ works. As a movie, not so much

Stories designed to win an argument rarely make for effective entertainment. Such is the case with this treatment of the landmark abortion ruling, which is more ambitious and earnest than successful.

‘Voyagers’ take a long and not very interesting trip

The tedious sci-fi parable, whose teen characters give a nod to "The Lord of the Flies," seems designed to prove that in space, no one can hear you yawn.

New books offer unique perspectives on long road to sainthood

Two recent books inform the understanding of the canon of saints, and those in the making, including American Black Catholics and Korean War hero Father Emil Kapaun.

What would St. Thomas Aquinas think of marijuana?

"How to Feel Good and How Not To" offers a Thomistic framework for thinking through the ethics of using marijuana, alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.

‘American Oz’ peeks into flawed wizard behind the curtain

The adventurous and complicated life of Frank Baum, who wrote the children's novel that transformed into the beloved "The Wizard of Oz" film, is the subject of a PBS documentary.

On life’s ‘off-ramp,’ Archbishop Chaput offers timely thoughts

The retired archbishop's new book is like a chat with a grandfatherly friend who in the final decades of his life is encouraging a young person how to approach death, life and meaning in a culture of irony.

Latest ‘Crash Bandicoot’ video game is a timely hoot

The fourth installment of the franchise features smooth, detailed graphics, a vivid world environment and rewarding mechanics. It's entertaining, accessible and technically excellent.

Graduate program aims to reverse decline seen in Catholic art, literature

A new master's of fine arts degree program in creative writing at the University of St. Thomas in Houston may mark a resurgence of Catholic literary arts, said its founders, including a poet at Villanova University.

‘Hemingway’ on PBS traces life of literary genius, colossal jerk

Despite the artistry that Ken Burns and his team bring to bear in telling the tale of Ernest Hemingway, the shortcomings of the writer make this six-hour documentary series a long, depressing slog.

Strength of ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ isn’t the human characters

Despite mounting plot twists and vulgar dialogue, the titular big brutes set against top-flight special effects and crashing skyscrapers remain the film's only stars.