Catholic Commentary: Reviews

Mike Shaw: Movie Review: Noah
Familiar biblical source material can't make up for an awful script.

Joseph Susanka: Two Different Good Friday Films
A pair of films likely to be overlooked during Holy Week.

John Zmirak: How to Train Your Gargoyle
In the spirit and much the same voice as The Screwtape Letters.

Martin Morse Wooster: The Home Lives of the Founding Fathers
An enjoyable book that deepens our understanding of the their lives and character.

Monica Migliorino Miller: Inside the Abortion Machine
Conversion from abortion facilitator to abortion protester is a compelling narrative.

Joseph Susanka: The Life You Live May Be Your Own
Two films with eerily similar questions and drastically different conclusions.

Joseph Susanka: The Specter of Broken Fatherhood
An intriguing message amid a sea of problematic mannerisms.

Deal Hudson: The Worst Book I Ever Read
Annoyed and exhausted from the effort of reading so much nonsense.

Ralph McInerny: Mountain Man
It is good to settle down again with this marvelous and saintly author.

Joseph Susanka: The Brutality of Grace
Moments of grace and the violence that surrounds them.

H. Crocker III: What Might Have Been
A future wherein the world has come to be really and intelligently Christian.

Deal Hudson: The Pro-Life Leader Who Is Also an Exorcist
The occult is not innocent entertainment.

F. H. Buckley: An American Tragedy
More levels of meaning than one finds in an entire contemporary blockbuster.

Sandra Miesel: The Myth of Pope Joan
Readers with a taste for sophisticated history will find a fine diversion.

Benjamin Wiker: Delusional Atheism
So many bad arguments on behalf of a most serious subject.

Benjamin Wiker: The Case Against Christianity
Only as strong as his case for atheism, and that is not very strong at all.

Benjamin Wiker: The Atheists' Benchwarmer
Stenger's arguments read like a collage of standard atheists' quips.

Joseph Susanka: The Western Is Dead; Long Live the Western
Styles and themes from both the new and old eras that has been evolving.

Deal Hudson: Glee and the Search for Postmodern Innocence
The ability to keep three generations of viewers in front of the TV together.

Russell Shaw: Early Chronicles of a Post-Christian Age
Also shed light on the situation of faith today.

Elizabeth Scalia: Stalking the Ten-Pronged Divine Nod
A likeable, valuable book, but it may be more useful in portable audio form.

Ronald Rychlak: The Plot to Kidnap Pope Pius XII
Should be a significant book in the Pius war.

Monica Migliorino Miller: Why an All-Male Priesthood Remains
Some helpful responses to the most common objections to the Church's teaching.

Sandra Miesel: Dismantling The Da Vinci Code
Brown's mega-best-seller rips the Grail away to the realm of esoteric history.

Anna Mathie: Love and Trespasses in Kristin Lavransdatter
"Ever since I read it, it has never left me for a moment."

Meghan Keane: Lake of Fire
Some of the most emotionally fraught sentiments on abortion caught on film.

George Sim Johnston: Benedict's Jesus
Readers expecting an easy tour of the New Testament won't find it here.

Patrick Hynes: Faith, Hope, Love, and Welfare Reform
Study of charitable giving in America from an entirely pragmatic perspective.

Deal Hudson: M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable Success
Unbreakable may be too much of a mental stretch for most people.

Thomas Hibbs: Our Contemporary Nihilism
The significance of popular cultural artifacts for our self-understanding.

Thomas Hibbs: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Economics
We do not have the sort of book about conservatism that we desperately need.

Thomas Hibbs: England at Prayer
Enables the reader to participate actively in the piety of the late Middle Ages.

Cynthia Grenier: Philip Pullman's Dark Materials
A disturbing — not to say dangerous — vision.

H. Crocker III: How the English-Speaking Peoples Saved Civilization
-- and will do it again.

H. Crocker III: Tocqueville's Catholic America
A wonderfully consuming portrait of Tocqueville and his ideas.

Kevin Schmiesing: The Long Road to Civil Rights
One of the most sensational crimes and trials in Alabama history.

Jason Boffetti: Politics from Parables
Consider whether the Gospels are the source-text for our modern political values.

William Baer: Zodiac
The difficulty of making movies about well-known unsolved crimes.

Michael Ard: Kirk among the Ruins
A strong exposition on the range of Kirk's thought.

William Doino Jr.: When Love Conquers Politics
The kind of book that might actually help heal a broken relationship.

Martin Morse Wooster: The Lessons of Lawrence
An effective introduction to the life -- and the ideas -- of T. E. Lawrence.

Eve Tushnet: Tolstoy Dies, Goes to America
It shows the shackles of wedlock -- and the love that forges them.

John Zmirak: Everybody Loves a Secret
We all crave the mysterious, and hope to have its secrets opened to us.

Fr. James Schall: A Man of Words and Deeds
Churchill was a statesman, a man of action with the prudence that goes with it.

Deal Hudson: The Laughter That Binds Us All
Feminism of life does everything in support of life from the perspective of love.

Russell Shaw: A Changing Church?
A close-up look at ten trends that will largely shape Catholicism.

Arturo Vasquez: The Fall of the Archbishop
The official spokesman of the Catholic Left for more than two decades.

Thomas Howard: Augustine's Pears
A great antidote for all that is confused and squalid about our own epoch.

Deal Hudson: Bill Donohue Takes Aim at the Secular Left
Secular Sabotage could not arrive at a more opportune moment.

Robert Reilly: Shine On, Mendelssohn
It is beyond my imagination why anyone would not wish to see this light.

Martin Morse Wooster: Resurrecting Religion
Religious news is, more often than not, the most important news of the day.

Thomas Hibbs: 'Where the Truth Lies'
Mad Men illustrates some of the concerns central to Caritas in Veritate.

John Chalberg: Rescuing Lincoln
His ambitions and mistakes never let him steer away from his great goal.

David Mills: Chesterton and Lewis for Beginners
The bookish Christian's rock stars.

Gerald Russello: Mary as Global Icon
Mother of God ranges across the centuries, from the Gospels to the Reformation.

Deal Hudson: Catholic Writer Tells a Pro-Life Horror Story
Fighting to live in the face of a creator who wants to murder him.

Eve Tushnet: We'll Burn That Bra When We Come to It
Florence King's 1982 novel When Sisterhood Was in Flower.

Deal Hudson: Evil, In the Name of God
Will leave you changed and forever on guard against the abuse of divine law.

Joan Frawley Desmond: Fathers and Sons
Reveals something more than the author may have intended.

Fr. Roger Landry: The Benefit of Doubt
This movie shows that in many cases it's hard to discover the truth.

Martin Morse Wooster: Evolutionary Art
Reasonable conclusions through an unprovable belief.

Brian Saint-Paul: Politics as Applied Theology - A Conversation with Peter and Helen Evans
"Whoever said Christianity was nice?"

Deal Hudson: A Catholic Writer Who Does Not Turn Away
The Body of This: Stories by Andrew McNabb

Danielle Bean: Soul-Healing Humor
An unabashedly honest peek into the life of a homeschooling mother of many.

Christopher Scalia: An Odd Bird
O'Connor's life is an inspiration to any writer...and a model for any Catholic.

Anthony Esolen: The Disappearance of Song
The work of Ford -- is irrepressibly biblical and epic no matter where it is set.

Cynthia Grenier: The Great and Terrible Year
The power and style of the Russian original.

John Zmirak: Brideshead Redecorated
Lush and musical prose conveys to us the intensity of perfect, lyrical moments.

Pope Benedict XVI: Guardini on Christ in Our Century
"That which is truly real...will lead us to the One who is truly real."

Fr. James Schall: The Lord of the World
"Wonderfully conveys the flatness and boredom of a world without God."

Christopher Scalia: Appalachian Gothic
A haunting depiction of greed, inhumanity, and single-minded ambition.

David Mills: Reading the Signs
"A telling of the good news in symbols that would speak to many people."

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Heretical Times
Good, solid, reliable history written in a no-nonsense style.

Joan Frawley Desmond: The Twilight of Clint Eastwood
A radical response to the problem of evil in the world.

Cortes DeRussy: The Difference Between Observing and Exploring
The Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County

Joan Frawley Desmond: Of Certainty and Doubt
Doubt evokes a haunted time before "the deluge."

Matthew Lickona: I Want to Believe
Film Review - X-Files: I Want to Believe

John Zmirak: Our Age's Reigning Sin - Now on DVD
This vice is misguided compassion.

Martin Morse Wooster: Gandhi, Churchill, and India's Troubles
One cannot fully understand Churchill without studying his views on India.

Matthew Lickona: Vampire Love
Love isn't safe, especially when you love someone supernatural.

Joseph Susanka: The People Behind the Politics
The Visitor -- a little film about a quiet little man overcome by deep suffering.

Deal Hudson: Why Hitler Stole the Art of Europe
He sought total domination of the culture, especially its art and architecture.

Todd Aglialoro: Bourne, James Bourne
A conspicuous moral ambiguity infects Quantum of Solace.

Matthew Lickona: Jesus Discovered
"Redeemed" talks about conversion, the turn toward Christ, as a lifelong work.

John Zmirak: Kneeling Before the World
We have the bishops we deserve.

Fr. Roger Landry: Preaching Christ's Passion
Caviezel's portrayal was of a Savior whom today's men would follow.

Jeffrey Tucker: A Novel for All Souls
Oscar Wilde's, "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

Mike Shaw: The Da Vinci Code
A review of the movie based on Dan Brown's book.

Joan Frawley Desmond: From Darkness Into Light
Departs from the set conversion story, with its happily-ever-after denouement.

Eve Tushnet: The Serenity Player
Hermann Hesse's 1943 novel, The Glass Bead Game.

Matthew Lickona: Subtletyproof
The sweetness was so relentless, so utterly without guile.

Jeffrey Tucker: The Debt We Owe to Trade
The book is even more important than the author knows.

Matthew Lickona: Ridiculous
Mostly, it's an entertaining run...

Joseph Susanka: Taking Up Arms
A film filled with many complex, conflicting messages.

Joan Frawley Desmond: 'Big Tent' Catholicism
A conflicted approach to Catholic moral teaching.

Anna Mathie: Outside "Catholic"
Ushpizin, or The Holy Guests

John Zmirak: How to 'Render' without Surrender
Archbishop Charles Chaput's Render Unto Caesar

Christopher Scalia: Chesterton's Overrated Novella
It is not a masterpiece, and Chesterton's reputation should not obscure that fact.

Michael Ard: The House of War
Throughout her compact book, Moczar narrates engagingly.

John Zmirak: The Ale-Drinker's Answer to Hegel - Chesterton's The Everlasting Man
The convert nabs this narrative from 2,000 years ago and makes it new.

Susie Lloyd: Dostoyevsky on Steroids
A conspiracy to destroy Christ's Church from within?

Elizabeth Scalia: 'Greater Than' Is Pretty Great
Sound argument against the considerations of four prominent atheists.

Logan Gage: A Good Book About Bad Books
A quick course on the Great Books or to inoculate a child going off to college.

Joan Frawley Desmond: Resisting the Temptations of Power
Archbishop Charles Chaput's Render Unto Caesar

Jeffrey Tucker: Peace-Loving Conservatives
A super-entertaining, very well-researched, and enormously enlightening history.

Christopher Scalia: A Pattern, Somewhere
If you can handle Brideshead Revisited, you can handle this novel.

Joseph Susanka: The Little Way of the Samurai
A film about the importance and value of one's family.

Michael Baruzzini: Fighting the Wrong War
Ignores the far greater danger of evolutionism.

Eve Tushnet: When I Was Cruel
A Small Killing: A frightening, lovely, and creepy comic.

Todd Aglialoro: The Government, Divorce, and the War on Fatherhood
As unique as it is disturbing...

Marjorie Campbell: Listening to the Children of Gay Parents
Her candid account of life growing up "under" an exploitative father.

Joseph Susanka: The Devil Went Down to Gotham
Nolan discovered the combination that eluded the franchise for so many years.

the InsideCatholic Staff and Friends: Notes from the Author - Ron Hansen on Exiles
What is "Catholic" fiction?

Elizabeth Scalia: Willing America Right
His sensibility is both consistent and thoughtfully measured, whatever the stimulus

Martin Morse Wooster: Page-Turning American History
"A refreshing change" from "gloomy, depressing, jargon-laden tracts."

Joseph Susanka: A Person Is A Person, No Matter How Broken
A perfect example of a director using the documentary form to its full potential.

Mark Stricherz: Grabbing Religious Voters
Democrats are making a play for some "values voters."

Joan Frawley Desmond: The Bonds of Friendship
The most intimate and profound moments of a great pontiff's life.

Deal Hudson: Ralph Reed Writes a Novel?
To recreate an election in the imaginary world of fiction.

Gerald Russello: The All-Powerful Presidency
Shatters conventional illusions about what we think the presidency is for.

Joseph Susanka: Of God and Guests
The miraculous power of prayer and maintaining a simple, childlike faith.

Russell Shaw: Through a Glass, Darkly - Secrecy and the Catholic Church
Is the problem larger than secrecy?

Meghan Keane: Growing Pains
Lacks some of the intimate detail of the first film.

Genevieve Kineke: The Idol of Age
No regrets, no humility, no real wisdom.

Eve Tushnet: Tainted Love
What is done out of love is beyond good and evil.

Logan Gage: Delusions of Grandeur
I do wish the rest of the scientific community would join us.

Joan Frawley Desmond: The Clash of Civilizations 2.0
A discussion regarding the civilizational challenge that now confronts the West.

Joseph Susanka: The Skinhead and the Priest
Reminds us, no one is ever beyond hope.

Fr. James Schall: Orthodoxy
The single-best book published in the last hundred years.

Jeffrey Tucker: The Real Catholic Songbook
It contains the music for every Sunday of the year.

Randy Boyagoda: The Real Scandal in Boston and Beyond
The faithful not called to the fullest possible living out of the gospel...

Gerald Russello: Toward a More Just Law
Some of the best recent Catholic thinking on the law.

Mark Stricherz: Exposing Culture of Death, Inc.
Review: Embryo: A Defense of Human Life

Joseph Susanka: What Price Perfection?
A warning for that time when humans will control their own "evolution."

Martin Morse Wooster: The Last Days of Jefferson
Will help us understand his greatness as a Founder and as a president.

Eve Tushnet: The Conscience of Manners
She's developed manners into something akin to a spiritual discipline.

Elizabeth Scalia: Almost Catholic Is Not Quite Enough
A nourishing read...which some Catholics will find entertaining and helpful.

Joseph Susanka: The Boiler House Saint
A masterpiece of cinematic restraint and spiritual depth.

Susie Lloyd: Funny and Effective
A blend of logic and ridicule, producing orthodoxy.

Eve Tushnet: Theology of the Body in Pain
Shows how torture violates every single aspect of the created world.

Gerald Russello: 'The Break' - Dawson and the Modern World
Helpfully brings together the disparate strands of Dawson's work.

Meghan Keane: Notes from Sundance
Plenty of highlights of the ten-day festival.

David Warren: Against Pluralism
Third edition of After Virtue by the great living philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre.

Elise Ehrhard: Movies for the Next Generation
2007 saw a flurry of secular films that were unabashedly pro-life in their outlook.

Logan Gage: Shedding the Galileo Complex
A fine introduction to design perhaps the best to date.

Joanna Bogle: Holy Land
About the future of Europe and it's a worryingly good read.

Cynthia Grenier: A Handsome Lie
The theology in the film is murky to say the least.

Benjamin Wiker: Moses Who?
See the Ten Commandments in a new way.

Meghan Keane: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Rather than depression, it invokes awe and appreciation.

Sean Dailey: A Firefly Named 'Serenity'
And so it goes. You can't help but fall in love.

Eve Tushnet: Grace Is the Hardest Pillow
The best poems in this collection are among the best poems I've read.

Joan Frawley Desmond: Bella
Transformative power of relationships anchored in truth rather than sentimentality.

Meghan Keane: Gone Baby Gone
An engrossing detective thriller that displays a nuance Affleck lacks as an actor.

Martin Morse Wooster: The Forgotten Failures of FDR
An important attempt to re-examine the ideas and the legacy of the New Deal.

Ronald Rychlak: The Priests of Dachau
Provides insight into history, human nature, and faith.

Cynthia Grenier: Louis XIV's Saving 'Solidity'
"Kings have majesty and popes have sanctity, but you have solidity."

William F. Buckley: God's Irony
It is God's irony to find holiness in a sinner, and perhaps to forgive the sin.

Benjamin Wiker: The Best Mind of the 18th Century
Little substance beyond what one would hear murmured in Enlightenment salons.

Thomas Howard: 'Brideshead Revisited' Revisited
A story about sin and grace.


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