Act of Valor (Relativity)
Earnest but graphically violent dramatization of the work of the Navy's SEALs unit. Co-directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh employ real-life, necessarily anonymous members of that elite corps to enact a fictional story in which the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative (Roselyn Sanchez) reveals a terrorist plot to smuggle advanced explosives across the Mexican border. Suspenseful action sequences are interspersed with a narrative ramming home macho values and lead up, all too frequently, to unsparingly portrayed bloodletting. Pervasive, often gory violence, including torture, a couple of uses of profanity, about a dozen instances each of rough and crude language. (L, R)
Painfully inept thriller in which a Portland, Ore., waitress (Amanda Seyfried) goes in search of her missing sister (Emily Wickersham), fearing that the same serial killer who abducted her a year previously has returned to kidnap her sibling. Although its main character is forced to pursue justice outside the law --- no evidence of the earlier crime could be discovered, so the police think she's crazy --- there's nothing really wrong with director Heitor Dhalia's flimsy flick. But there's absolutely nothing right about it either. Vigilantism, brief, shadowy partial nudity, an incidental gay situation, a few uses of profanity, at least one instance of the F-word, some crude and crass language. (A-III, PG-13)
Tyler Perry's Good Deeds (Lionsgate)
Less heavy-handed than the eponymous writer and director's other morality plays but considerably slower in pace, this romance --- of sorts --- focuses on a single relationship, and carries a steady reminder that the wealthy and powerful have to work much harder than the less privileged to approach the kingdom of Heaven. Perry plays a computer software tycoon whose well-ordered life is upended by a widowed office-cleaner (Thandie Newton) and her 6-year-old daughter (Jordenn Thompson). An implied premarital relationship, fleeting crass language and sexual banter. (A-III, PG-13)
A young New York couple (Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd) find themselves living in a rural commune where free love, drugs and an absence of boundaries are the order of the day. While the conclusion of director and co-writer David Wain's insubstantial and distasteful comedy affirms the beauty of monogamy, viewers must endure a gauntlet of gross-out humor and relentless lashings of tawdry language before reaching this relatively pleasing wrap-up. Strong sexual content, including full nudity and explicit vulgar dialogue, adultery theme, drug use, occasional profanity, frequent rough and some crude language, an obscene gesture. (O, R)
Catholic News Service classifications: A-I ---- general patronage; A-II ---- adults and adolescents; A-III ---- adults; L ---- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling; O ---- morally offensive. Full-length reviews: www.catholicnews.com/movies.htm.
Prayer of the MonthPapal intentions for November: That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.
Papal intentions for December: That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.