Culture

‘Tom & Jerry’ offers pleasantly silly escape for families

Cat and mouse remain natural-born enemies as the mania ensues in this animated and live-action film with lots of slapstick humor and benign mayhem.

Brilliant, unconventional ‘The Mauritanian’ explores dignity in face of torture

A highly balanced plot neither minimizes the true story of a 9/11 suspect nor undermines its effectiveness by indulging in impassioned monologues. The aim is to build the audience's outrage without preaching.

The arduous birth pangs of ‘Roe v. Wade’

Like the landmark ruling that legalized abortion in the U.S., the new film has -- predictably -- been the subject of much controversy. It debuted at the CPAC conference last week.

Olives: Valued gift from God makes an ancient oil

Although olives have been cultivated and crushed for oil for at least 2,000 years before the Christian era, they're still relatively new to American tables. See a recipe utilizing this small, bitter fruit with biblical pedigree.

‘Nomadland is ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ for our times

Lonely migrants wandering America seeking jobs and human connection in contemporary America is the backdrop for the film with an unforgettable lead role by Frances McDormand.

Book sees ‘passivity’ as cause of crises in the church

Scholar Ralph Martin gives an in-depth analysis of the ecclesial, doctrinal and moral dimensions of the church's crisis, and outlines how to attain “real and deep renewal.”

Nintendo scores family-friendly hit with new ‘Super Mario’ game

In "Bowser's Fury" -- an updated expansion of 2013's "Super Mario 3D World" -- the new Nintendo Switch port allows players to join up with local or online pals.

Documentary on soccer’s greatest star show his gifts, flaws

"Pele" charts the life of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who gave his sport its nickname, the beautiful game. The film on Netflix fails to take a consistent stand on the role he played in the troubled history of his Brazilian homeland.

Don’t let its size intimidate you; this is a great book on prayer

When most books on prayer keep it brief, the 386 pages in Jesuit Father James Martin's new book show depth can be more valuable. The author articulates theological topics in language the average person can understand.

New books demonstrate majesty, power of Vatican through the years

A new book on the Vatican's secret archives is well-written and well-illustrated, and two other books articulate the struggle that popes have had with evolving modernity.