Culture

‘The Photograph’ takes a sharp, but flawed, view of romantic love

Beautiful but morally lax, writer-director Stella Meghie's exploration of two relationships romanticizes premarital sex, undercutting the film's powerful, intelligent performances.

‘Les Miserables’ reflects on racism, poverty

Set in a rundown Paris suburb with a large community of Muslim immigrants, director Ladj Ly's drama (which shares the title of Hugo's classic novel) traces the slow breakdown of its public order amid repression.

Even before airing, Dorothy Day film tops Amazon chart

A documentary about the Catholic social justice activist has, more than a month before the film reaches the PBS airwaves in March, made it to the top spot on the Amazon documentary sales chart.

Spy-vs.-spy game play makes Cold War cool

The "Two Spies" mobile video game pits two agents facing off in a mock scenario across 1960s Europe. The board-game style and James Bond-like music makes for a unique -- and incredibly fun -- experience.

Break a leg, Harley Quinn: DC Comics brings the showbiz mayhem

Only the inhuman wickedness of the bad (really bad) guy in "Birds of Prey" makes the film's alliance of female characters seem not so bad. They're an unethical gray against a lurid, dark background.

Book examines the interwoven nuances of the Crusades

Author Dan Jones presents a balanced view of the two centuries of war between Christians and Muslims over land and hearts, a battle with profound implications more than 800 years later.

‘The Turning’ veers all over the screen

The thriller film is most suitable for mature viewers, but they and youngsters will struggle with making head or tail of this incoherent adaptation the novel, "The Turn of the Screw."

‘Parasite’ worms its way from sly comedy to social commentary

The South Korean thriller and Oscar nominee has much to say about the resentments of the poor, the indifference of the rich and the ability of the latter to pit the less fortunate against one another as they fight for survival.

‘Marriage Story’ deals with divorce but affirms commitment

The hard-hitting movie covers a broad range of emotions, from gentle affection to blind rage. And each of these moods is carefully calibrated and skillfully evoked in remarkably fine performances.

‘Underwater’ ends up all wet

Dim and murky, the tedious survival slog, which stars Kristen Stewart, lacks oxygen due to cardboard characters and a flimsy plot.