Culture

Sci-fi thriller takes a dark, moody look at ‘Life’

A new human-versus-alien adventure features Jake Gyllenhaal and an ensemble cast as astronauts who confront a vicious extraterrestrial. The film offers action, suspense and thoughtful reflection, but little hope.

Misunderstanding of Catholic scholarship mars book on Bible’s influence

Kenneth Briggs' Methodist background deeply influences his story of mainline Protestant and evangelical readers of the Bible. He argues, contrary to reality, that the Catholic Church discourages its members from reading the Bible and allows only the clergy to interpret it.

Glories abound for ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ with one exception

The live-action adaptation of Disney's 1991 animated film arrives amid controversy over the updating of one of its characters into an openly gay man. That objection aside, the film is imaginative and visually arresting.

A story of love, race and world politics in ‘A United Kingdom’

Viewers will need patience to process the multiple plot lines of the historical film portraying the story of an African royal who faced down racial prejudice to marry Ruth Williams, a white office worker he met in post-World War II London.

In new audio drama, St. Patrick ‘comes alive brilliantly,’ says actor

"The Trials of Saint Patrick" is an eight-part audio dramatization produced by Augustine Institute Radio Theatre about his holiness and dedication to the people of Ireland.

Examination of Mencken’s writings on religion has lessons for today

D.G. Hart is faced with writing both an interesting biography of Mencken and one that examines Mencken's comments on religion so that they help the reader better understand today's religious issues.

Friar-turned-lawyer writes novels about lawyer-turned-friar

Even though William Brodrick gave up the monastic life in the Augustinian order, just before priestly ordination, to be a lawyer, another call also had been tugging at him. It was persistent, and it didn't let go.

With new Nintendo game system, you may rather wait than switch

The hype about the new Nintendo Switch gaming system has been building for months, and the company marketing it is the most family-friendly in the industry. Yet adult players and the parents of younger gamers alike may want to hold off on buying this vaunted product.

On the journey of spiritual renewal, this book smooths a path

Honest writing and a willingness to share personal experiences mark spiritual writer Dolores Leckey's stories of interior journeys, especially when life doesn't "move along smoothly."

‘Kong: Skull Island’ is impressive monster movie with a message

A campy tone and a sense of dread drive this action film set in the waning days of the Vietnam War -- which serves as a cue for its exploration of the destructive human aggressiveness that gives rise to armed conflict.