• Can film be sacred art? For one Catholic, the answer is a resounding 'yes'

    When T.J. Berden and his film crew set out to produce “Full of Grace,” they knew they wanted to do something different.

  • Concussion

    Neither the National Football League nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation comes off particularly well in the fact-based drama “Concussion” (Columbia).

    But the film’s central figure, the Nigerian-born coroner Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), certainly does.

  • The Revenant

    If your idea of entertainment is watching Leonardo DiCaprio gorge on the raw liver of a freshly killed buffalo, then “The Revenant” (Fox) is for you.

    This wilderness survival drama, directed and co-written by Alejandro Inarritu (“Birdman”), is chock full of squeamish moments.

  • The Gospel according to Luke… Skywalker

    In what might qualify as a Christmas miracle, my wife and I actually managed to have a date night. What we didn’t know is that the restaurant we chose included a floor show. The eatery was adjacent to a multi-screened movie theater and it just so happened to be the opening night for the new Star Wars movie.

  • Rivers and tides

    Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time” is a 2001 documentary about an artist who makes “sculptures” out of, among other things, leaves, rocks, sand, sticks, roots and skeins of sheep’s wool, many of which fall in upon themselves, or melt, or are borne away on the incoming tide.

  • ‘The Letters’ filmmaker discusses faith, changing the world

    In his prior career as a newsman for CBS, William Riead had an unusual knack for finding himself smack in the middle of historic moments. For instance, he was covering President Gerald Ford when Ford had not one, but two assassination attempts made on his life in the space of three days.

  • Nobody knows for sure

    William Goldman is a great writer of screenplays. He wrote “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” for one thing. For our younger viewers this was a movie that starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who were the Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise of their day. Actually, they are what Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise wish they could be, but that might be me editorializing a bit too much. Goldman also wrote many other noteworthy screenplays that were translated into iconic movies, like “The Princess Bride,” “Misery” and “Marathon Man,” to name a few.

  • Scientific ‘Breakthrough’

    If you are of a certain age, you hear the old theme music for the “National Geographic Specials” and immediately images of grizzly bears cavorting in Yellowstone, sherpas scaling Everest or Egyptian tombs being investigated fill your head. Well, at least my head. here was a time when “National Geographic Specials” were actually special.   

  • ‘The 33’: A movie ‘about having faith … and coming back to life’

    “This movie is about being trapped and alone and facing death, but it is equally about having faith and, in a way, coming back to life,” stated director Patricia Riggen. “It’s about rebirth and the strength of the human spirit and so much more.”

  • Spotlight

    The clergy abuse-themed drama "Spotlight" (Open Road) is a movie no Catholic will want to see. Whether it's a film many mature Catholics ought to see is a different question entirely.

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Iowa and us in a Year of Mercy

Kathryn Jean Lopez

It was in the general-purpose room of St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines that Donald Trump made his last pitch to Iowa voters, inside a caucus room. He wanted to make sure people remembered that not only will he build the wall on our border with Mexico, but that he’s the only candidate who will make Mexico pay for it.


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