Culture

A look at the top movies of 2021

As the film industry works its way back from near paralysis because of the coronavirus pandemic, here are the 10 best overall and seven best family films of last year.

Fourth ‘Hotel Transylvania’ closes lid on film’s franchise

The family-safe action of the latest and last film of the animated, friendly dad Count Dracula takes him on an adventure with his family in a story that lacks, eh hem, bite.

Can religion and politics get us beyond the culture wars?

This book's 14 essays mostly by academics doesn't solve any of today's problems, but it shows lessons we may learn about polarization and culture wars by studying the past.

‘The 355’ shakes up James Bond storyline with heroines

Who needs one Agent 007 when you can have five Jane Bonds? That's the premise behind this entertaining action thriller featuring a quintet of lady spies.

Christmas recipe: Soup for your soul and loved ones

Hosting or bringing a Christmas meal this year? No need to be "anxious and worried about many things," like Martha in the Bible. Here's simple one-pot, made-in-advance hearty minestrone soup that packs goodness and flavor.

In ‘The Matrix Resurrections,’ what’s old is Neo, again

Viewers unfamiliar with the elaborate backstory get little help in navigating the series' trademark combination of fights and philosophizing. And, while the mayhem is predominantly bloodless, some is disturbing.

‘American Underdog’ traces NFL star’s path from obscurity

The sports-themed, faith-tinged biopic of once-obscure NFL quarterback Kurt Warner goes light on matters of religion, focusing instead on the steep challenge of building a career in the NFL.

Novel offers daring speculation on Christ’s middle years on earth

Catholic readers might have some problems with author Roland Merullo's associating Christ with an embrace of Eastern spirituality, but this is an otherwise thought-provoking and inspirational piece of fiction.

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ weaves web of action, fun

Die-hard fans and first-timers alike will be drawn into the lavish final installment of a trilogy of films starring Tom Holland as the Marvel Comics superhero.

‘Being the Ricardos’ portrays unfunny side of ‘I Love Lucy’

Between power plays, grim executives, tactful diplomacy, simmering scandal and general misery among the players, the set of the iconic 1950s comedy appears a toxic workplace, in the new Aaron Sorkin-directed film.