‘Luca’: Even little monsters want a good adventure

Colorful, touching and humorous, the consistently appealing characters and picturesque visuals combine to make this Pixar production top-flight. The tension of characters' carefree, Tom Sawyer-Huck Finn lifestyle with the desire to go to school is well handled.

Sweeping, upbeat ‘In the Heights’ keeps a dream alive

The film adaptation of the 2008 Broadway hit touches on themes of racial dignity and the plight of immigrants who lack legal papers, the generally uplifting film maintains a solid moral core.

With ‘F9,’ Fast and Furious saga speeds into a new turn

Religious flourishes and an emphasis on the value of family offset occasionally intense showdowns and some unsavory vocabulary in "F9: The Fast Saga," in which hero Dom Toretto comes out of retirement to foil an evil plot.

‘A Quiet Place Part II’: Not as silent, more predictable than predecessor

Gone from the 2018 original film are the suspense, analogies and underlying message -- and sparse dialogue -- replaced in this sequel by familiar sci-fi tropes and much gunfire.

‘Profile’ offers brave peek into jihadist recruitment

The film recounts a French woman's online infiltration of Muslim radicals in ways that are thoughtful but not harrowing. The barbarous cruelty of ISIS is depicted with restraint.

Catholic travel guide is a keeper, whether you’re hitting the road or not

You're not likely to find a more complete resource than this one -- perhaps the best of its kind ever written -- if you want to include Catholic holy places in your vacation plans this year or for years to come.

‘Monster’ doesn’t settle for easy answers to complex issue

In a tale of urban criminal justice, the complex interplay of peer pressure, positive reinforcement and bravado of the film's lead character sustains attention and evokes sympathy.

It’s comedy, it’s serious, it’s ‘Here Today’

The film starring Billy Crystal, an aging comedian with a grave secret, has honorable intentions but so often misses the mark that it falls flat as both drama and comedy.

Rom com ‘Finding You’ finds way to the heart, through Ireland

The main character of the teen-friendly film finds new friends in adopted Ireland as she learns to look beneath the surface and see into people's hearts, thus enabling her own heart to heal.

A look at labor justice through a Catholic lens

In her new book, author and theologian Christine Firer Hinze calls for an American economic system that ensures "dignified work and a good livelihood to every family and household without exception."