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Movie review: Fury

Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Brad Pitt, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal star in a scene from the movie "Fury." (CNS photo/Columbia Pictures) Posted on October 22nd, 2014

Brutal realism in the depiction of combat and scripturally inspired spirituality hardly make an obvious pairing.

Chapels on campus seen from religious, architectural perspectives

Posted on October 17th, 2014

During the mid-1990s, while my oldest son was shopping for a college, we toured Washington University in St. Louis. There in the heart of the campus was Graham Chapel — a stately edifice that could have been a European cathedral. Our guide informed us that it was used for concerts, lectures and plays. She did not mention it being a site for prayer and worship.

Movie review: The Book of Life

This is a scene from the animated  movie "The Book of Life." (CNS photo/Fox) Posted on October 17th, 2014

Who knew the Day of the Dead could be so much fun? The Mexican method of observing All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2, is the backdrop for “The Book of Life” (Fox), an entertaining and visually stunning 3-D animated film.

Whole family gets to share in Alexander’s very bad day

Ed Oxenbould stars in a scene from the movie "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." (CNS photo/Disney) Posted on October 13th, 2014

If you can look beyond the relentless physical gags, a peeing baby and a vomiting teenager — and a long film title — there’s a small lesson in how a family pulls together through adversity in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

For a warmhearted film with seamy underside, you be ‘The Judge’

Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall star in a scene from the movie "The Judge." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (CNS photo/Warner Bros.) Posted on October 10th, 2014

The movie’s most troubling element is treated so nonchalantly that ethically acute moviegoers are likely to shake their heads even as they squirm.

A cleaner Dracula story that still raises red flags

Dracula Untold Posted on October 10th, 2014

If viewers dig beneath “Dracula Untold’s” special effects-driven mowing down of Islamic extremists — perhaps sending a message — they might discover the movie’s moral and spiritual ambiguities.

Readers get a thrill with book’s unique plot and spiritual message

Posted on October 10th, 2014

The novel “The Rising” tells of the power of a 9-year-old boy who, after whispering three words to a deceased woman at her wake, causes her to rise from the dead. It examines the good and bad motives of people surrounding him.

Movie review: Left Behind

Nicolas Cage stars in a scene from the movie "Left Behind." (CNS photo/Teddy Smith, courtesy Stoney Lake Entertainment) Posted on October 6th, 2014

Catholic viewers will likely feel left out by “Left Behind” (Freestyle).

Movie review: Gone Girl

Ben Affleck stars in a scene from the movie "Gone Girl." (CNS photo/Merrick Morton, courtesy Twentieth Century Fox) Posted on October 6th, 2014

A jaundiced view of marriage permeates the abrasive drama “Gone Girl” (Fox).

Books probe past and future of Christianity in China

Posted on October 3rd, 2014

Two new books help readers understand how different the Chinese experience with religion and the state is from the traditional Western view, and how it affects cultural expression and evangelization in China.

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