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Transcendence falls flat

TRANSCENDENCE: Starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman. Directed by Wally Pfister. 119 minutes. Rated M (Science fiction themes and violence) Reviewed by John Mulderig for Catholic News Service DESPITE its lofty title, the muddled sci-fi drama Transcendence sinks rather than rises. Among the burdens weighing it down are a host of misguided notions – either embedded in the action ... Read More »

Anderson delivers another gem

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTELStarring: Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton and Tony Revolori.Directed by Wes Anderson. 100 minsRating: M (Violence, sexual references, coarse language). By Kurt JensenCatholic News Service THE Grand Budapest Hotel is writer-director Wes Anderson’s triumph of smug artifice over substance and storytelling. As a collection of deadpan segments, it’s likely to please Anderson’s fans. However, this saga of a ... Read More »

Noah not a model of faith but unbalanced zealotry

NOAH: Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins. Directed by Darren Aronofsky. 138 minutes. Rated M. (Mature themes and violence) Reviewed by John Mulderig NOAH, which begins as a fairly straightforward recounting of the biblical story of the flood, eventually veers off into a grim, scripturally unfounded drama about a family dispute. This clan conflict is driven by the titular ... Read More »

Adventure out of Egypt

MR PEABODY & SHERMAN (animation): Starring Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Lauri Fraser, Stephen Colbert. Directed by Rob Minkoff. 97 minutes. Rated PG (Mild themes and animated violence) Reviewed by John Mulderig for Catholic News Service BABY boomers old enough to recall an animated moose named Bullwinkle and his flying-squirrel sidekick, Rocky, will also likely remember the titular characters of Mr ... Read More »

Historical drama set before WWII

The Wind Rises: (Animation) Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Hideaki Anno), John Krasinski (Hidetoshi Nishijima), Emily Blunt (Miori Takimoto). Directed by Hayao Miazaki. 126 minutes. Rated PG (Mild themes) Reviewed by Joseph McAleer for Catholic News Service MASTER Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki takes to the skies in what has been announced as his final animated film, The Wind Rises, an historical drama ... Read More »

Suspense and action non-stop

NON-STOP: Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Scott McNairy, Anson Mount. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. 110 minutes. Rated M (Violence and infrequent coarse language) Reviewed by John Mulderig for Catholic News Service TIRED of airport pat-downs? They’re nothing compared to the severe smackdowns administered by troubled air marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) as he slams his way through the ... Read More »

Old-fashioned tale fights hard to retain credibility

Pompeii: Starring Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kiefer Sutherland. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. 104 minutes. Rated M (Violence) Reviewed by Joseph McAleer, for Catholic News Service “STILL more imagined there were no gods left, and that the universe was plunged into eternal darkness for evermore,” wrote the Roman author Pliny the Younger on the day after the cataclysmic ... Read More »

Monumental cast wasted

THE MONUMENTS MEN: Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville. Directed by George Clooney.110 minutes. Rated M. Reviewed by John Mulderig for Catholic News Service WESTERN civilisation owes an incalculable debt to the real-life figures behind the fact-based Second World War drama The Monuments Men. Yet, despite honourable intentions and a cast ... Read More »

Human spirit prevails against crushing odds

12 YEARS A SLAVE: Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson. Directed by Steve McQueen. 134 minutes. Rated MA15+ (Strong themes and violence) Reviewed by Joseph McAleer for Catholic News Service IF you thought Alex Haley’s Roots was the definitive take on antebellum slavery in the United States, prepare for a harsh wake-up call ... Read More »

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