Culture

Diverse writers see parents, children as vehicles for grace

Four new books about being a mom (and not being perfect), a dad (how to be good at it) and parents of an autistic 5-year-old son offer much to Catholics with or without children.

Malfunctioning icons make for techy, madcap ‘Emoji Movie’

Set within the smartphone of a high school freshman, this wacky animated comedy with themes of friendship follows three misfit emojis on their quest to reach the internet Cloud.

Degrading ‘Atomic Blonde’ wields sadistic violence, exploitative sex

Tough on the men and tender with her lady, the main character's adventures embody a pornographic adolescent fantasy anyone committed to a Christian view of human dignity should shun.

Unlikely plot turns don’t nullify good intent of ‘The Tribunal’

The marriage annulment process provides the unusual courtroom setting for this romantic drama whose Catholic values are strong, though filtered through some faulty filmmaking.

‘The Last Tycoon,’ July 28, Amazon Prime

A few significantly objectionable moments, reflecting the worst excesses of contemporary TV and film production, mar the otherwise appealingly old–fashioned storytelling of "The Last Tycoon."

‘Dunkirk’ tells of evacuation as one of war’s greatest stories

While the film about the 1940 evacuation of British troops in the face of the Nazi onslaught is not for the fainthearted, it is a compelling historical drama marked by heroic pluck and generosity of spirit.

‘The Exception’ might stretch credulity, but it’s still exceptional

Historical kitsch applied to World War II espionage doesn't get more gloriously over the top than in this strange little story, which is so well-crafted, the stale elements simply fall away.

When not in the gutter, ‘Girls Trip’ offers some bonding time

Buried underneath several layers of crass gags, the film has a substantial story about loyalty and moral decisions. But libidinous raunch is the evident lure for moviegoing women.

‘Planet of the Apes’ meets ‘Apocalypse Now’

Sentient ape hero Caesar enters the heart of darkness in "War for the Planet of the Apes," the climactic third film of the rebooted franchise that features some troubling spiritual messages.

Harry Potter still captivates fans, cultivating theological conversations

Two decades since the publication of its first book, the seven-book series by J.K. Rowling continues to draw countless readers, gaining ground among some faithful initially put off by the themes of magic and witchcraft.