Culture

You won’t nap in the noisy, vulgar and violent ‘Sleepless’

A script awash in blood (and silliness) tries to keep viewers guessing until the very end as loyalties shift and true identities are revealed. The last-minute message that crime doesn't pay barely salvages this film.

If they say ‘The Bye Bye Man’ one more time, you’ll scream

A monster who causes hallucinations that set each of three college friends against the others ought to be terrifying, but it's just tiresome. That may be viewers' reaction to the ad nauseum repetitions of the title name.

‘Patriots Day’: opposing evil of terrorism with love, decency

The carnage shown in this dramatization of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its violent aftermath is not gratuitous, while the film's courageous message is powerfully delivered by Mark Wahlberg's Everyman character.

With book on sex abuse, author hopes to help himself, others heal

Through 236 pages divided into two parts and 32 chapters, "Shrinking the Monster" is one more effort by author and poet Norbert Krapf to contribute his "small part in the larger collective effort to prevent child abuse."

Actor did St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises to prepare for priest role

Andrew Garfield, whose ancestry is Jewish but who was raised in a nonreligious household, did the 30-day retreat as part of his preparation for playing a Jesuit priest in Martin Scorsese's new film, "Silence."

‘Monster Trucks’ takes kids on a raucous ride

The action sequences of this comedy contain an environmental message but little logic. But trucks are merrily racing around, so the target viewers who still pronounce the vehicles "twuks" are unlikely to mind.

‘Live by Night’ shines a light on gangster’s inner life

Director Ben Affleck navigates the moral rapids of 1930s gangland, only to get distracted by an overstuffed story while moving on to the next shootout. Morality, social commentary and Christianity get lost in a hail of bullets.

Unrelenting intensity of ‘A Monster Calls’ diverges from book’s pace

The film intends to be a faithful adaptation of the award-winning novel's observations on accepting the inevitability of life's passages. But the result is an uncompromisingly dark melodrama, somewhere beyond gothic.

Coming soon: Archbishop Charles Chaput’s new book

"Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post Christian World" is a forthcoming book by Archbishop Charles Chaput on how Christians can reclaim the joy, the beauty and the grandeur of life in the world.

Despite flaws, book has much to offer parishes dealing with diversity

John Francis Burke in his book "Building Bridges, Not Walls" offers pastoral suggestions for how parishes can build inclusive communities where everyone is welcome and all gifts can be used.