On film as in reality, epic scale of ‘The Great Wall’ dwarfs the person

Emotion, characterization and plausibility pale to the grand visual spectacle of this film starring Matt Damon. On the upside, its central romance is completely chaste and its dialogue mostly free of cursing.

Collection of essays offers insights into church, societal differences

The essays in this volume represent an excellent cross section of the views of American Catholics today on what divides our church and what might be done to bring us together.

The envelope, please: The 10 best movies and family films of 2016

The quality of the best Hollywood films was higher in 2016 than in some recent years, writes our reviewer. He lists his film favorites that deal with an array of challenging, and enjoyable, subject matter.

John Wick: Chapter 2

The stylized, nearly cartoonish nihilism and resulting high body count in "John Wick: Chapter 2" (Lionsgate) create most of the apparent appeal of this second drama about a professional assassin.

A self-absorbed Batman goes ‘Lego’ again, for laughs

"The Lego Batman Movie" shows an amusing Caped Crusader in this fast-paced animated treat for viewers of almost every age. The dialogue of good guys, black hats and monsters is enlivened by sly wit.

Book on faith, culture, politics of past 50 years is essential reading

Longtime religion journalist Kenneth Woodward writes a rich account of America from the 1940s through the '70s. Those who lived in that period and those who didn't will feel they "were there" after reading "Getting Religion."

‘Superior Donuts,’ Mondays, 9-9:30 p.m. EST, CBS

The outstanding chemistry between lead actors Judd Hirsch and Jermaine Fowler sustains "Superior Donuts," CBS' promising -- if uneven -- new comedy.

An odd things pops up in horror flick ‘Rings’: Compassion

Before their time runs out, two would-be victims of a deadly (and dead) villain set out to find justice for her among a town's secretive locals in this third installment of "The Ring" horror franchise.

Inspiring tale of loving adoption roars to life in ‘Lion’

Transported from rural India to Australia, this true story of the main character's 20-year odyssey to his homeland shows a strong celebration of family and adoption. Bring a lot of hankies for this emotional film.

Where does ‘The Comedian’ die? On stage and screen

The mirthless Robert DeNiro vehicle presents the titular stand-up comic who, while trying to revive his fading career amidst big anger issues, pointlessly dishes out abuse upon everyone around him.