Culture

Faith learned young has lingering hold on emerging writer

Novelist Julie Courtney Sullivan drifted from her Catholic faith in her 20s. But an encounter with cloistered sisters changed her. Now she is raising a family, writing novels and has become "the most Catholic person in our family" because "no one has wrestled with (faith) in the family like I have."

Despite long odds, ‘King Richard’ built a mighty court

Actor Will Smith aces his vivid performance as the titular father of two future tennis greats, Venus and Serena Williams. This intriguing fact-based sports drama promotes an array of positive values.

‘Belfast’ contrasts Troubles with beauty of family love

Writer and director Kenneth Branagh's film set in Northern Ireland in 1969 is grounded in the strength of a devoted marriage and intergenerational care amidst the outbreak of sectarian violence.

Grumps can skip sweet, silly ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’

The mostly harmless film mixes computer animation and live action to tell of a lonely girl who gets a huge surprise when her new puppy grows overnight to gigantic proportions, with fun hijinks in store.

PBS presents intriguing tale of 17th century ‘Samurai in the Vatican’

The series "Secrets of the Dead" tells the largely forgotten tale of a Japanese samurai, hoping to rehabilitate his family name, and a Spanish Jesuit visiting Mexico, Spain and Italy in a diplomatic gambit that ended with Christian persecution in Japan.

Large-scale ‘Eternals’ a mixed bag; seems to run eternally

Only some of this sci-fi adventure's values are on target. There's the occasionally laugh, but overall, there's more space than substance despite lavish production values over two and a half hours.

Writers offer tools for hope in post-COVID-19 times

During our current mental health pandemic comes three helpful survival guides from the pope, a cardinal and lay people reminding us about where our hope in anchored.

‘Deathloop’ keeps violence on spin cycle

Despite its innovative design, the gritty action-puzzle game featuring a band of reveling criminals circles harsh terrain and morally shaky ground.

‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’ gets a lot of things right

The animated comedy about a wayward robot toy teaches valuable lessons about the nature of friendship, and the dangers of consumerism and peer pressure.

‘Dune’ brings beloved sci-fi saga back to the big screen

The latest adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic novel blends costume drama, an against-the-odds quest and a parable into a mysterious and gripping film for older teens and adults.