Culture

Like teen of its title, ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ plumbs deep well of emotions

Always intense though sometimes awkward, the movie's star-studded cast brings gravitas, and sometimes too much, to this film adaptation of the stage hit that throws a spotlight on the real-life problems of young people.

Poet sees renewed appreciation of fine arts as way to deepen devotion

James Matthew Wilson, formerly a professor at Villanova University, recognizes that people may find contemporary literature "obscure and abysmal," but he leads a program designed to promote good poetry "with the resources of the Catholic tradition."

Ken Burns retells story of ‘Muhammad Ali’ that’s largely been told

It wouldn't be fall without a new PBS documentary series by the famed director, who turns his gaze to Ali. Since more than a dozen films have already been made about the boxer, fans might have preferred more on Ali the activist and humanitarian.

Analysis of church’s diplomatic work is a must-read for many

In the new book "God's Diplomats," the author examines the church's global efforts to build dialogue and peace by avoiding partisan alignment, and looks at diplomacy in recent conflicts.

Witty ‘Shang-Chi’ brings good fun, good fights

The latest Marvel Comics-derived adventure, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," offers up plenty of bloodless dust-ups in a simple-though-subtle plot of good vs. evil.

Netflix doc on Bob Ross paints in beauty, darkness

Despite the ugly turns in the tale in "Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal and Greed," streaming on Netflix, the late painter remains a figure of unusual, enjoyable and infectious tranquility.

‘PAW Patrol’ brings big adventure to the big screen

The hugely successful Nickelodeon TV series finds its way to theaters, as a band of plucky dogs aids a boy's quest for justice in this breezy, tenderhearted film suitable for all.

‘The Night House’: A thinking person’s horror film

Subtle, creative, mostly free of gore and employing menace in favor of mayhem, the psychological thriller finds its lead character trying to sort reality from illusion -- with an elusive resolution.

As social commentary, ‘Candyman’ misses its mark

Unlike director Jordan Peele's earlier films, this new movie's revenge-killer theme does little to provide viewers with insight or to advance dialogue about the vital topics on which it touches.

‘What is truth?’: Authors address pressing question for today

Two new books discuss how lies and deceptions misguide people today. We can speak truthfully and allow truth to shape our lives -- but will we? Truthfulness, insists an author, "is a fundamental faith issue."