A Question of Faith  

Pure Flix  

Sober religious drama in which a minister (Richard T. Jones) grapples with a tragedy involving his young son (Caleb T. Thomas) that shakes his fundamental beliefs. As he gradually discovers that the mishap has linked his family’s fate with those of several strangers, including a restaurant owner (Jaci Velasquez), her daughter (Karen Valero) and a cash-strapped contractor (C. Thomas Howell), the clergyman benefits from the steady support and guidance of his wise wife (Kim Fields). Director Kevan Otto leavens the sometimes tearful proceedings with upbeat gospel music. Though the plot of his film, as written by Ty Manns, is farfetched in some of its details, audiences will appreciate its showcasing of a strong marriage, as well as its emphasis on forgiveness and interracial harmony. Mature themes. A-II; PG  

American Made 

Universal 

Wild fact-based story of a TWA pilot (Tom Cruise) recruited by a CIA operative (Domhnall Gleeson) in the early 1980s to fly guns to the U.S.-backed contra forces fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Diverted from this mission by the chance to smuggle cocaine for the leaders of the nascent Medellin drug cartel (Alejandro Edda and Mauricio Mejia), he develops an elaborate scheme to supply the weapons to the gangsters and the narcotics to the guerrillas who, it turns out, would rather get rich than fight. The immense wealth he amasses as a result delights his loyal wife (Sarah Wright Olsen) but draws the suspicion of local (Jesse Plemons) and national (E. Roger Mitchell) law enforcement officials. Director Doug Liman and writer Gary Spinelli revel in the improbability of their tale and the law-flouting skills of their protagonist. But after further complications set in, they try to have it both ways where the white powder is concerned, condemning government hypocrisy while letting the flyboy off the hook. Add to this ambivalence their explicit portrayal of the passionate nature of the central pair’s bond and the constant vulgarity that marks the script, and the result is a free-for-all that makes apt fun for few. Strong sexual content, including graphic scenes of marital lovemaking, a glimpse of full nudity and implied aberrant behavior, some stylized combat and other violence, a drug theme, several uses of profanity, pervasive rough and much crude language. L; R  

Friend Request 

Entertainment Studios  

Second-rate horror flick in which a popular college student (Alycia Debnam-Carey) briefly befriends an isolated peer (Liesl Ahlers), dumps her when she behaves too strangely, and then is shaken to hear that the young woman has killed herself. But death fails to stop the occult-loving loner: Wreaking revenge from beyond the grave, she targets a succession of her erstwhile buddy’s closest pals (Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Sean Marquette and Brooke Markham) as well as the aspiring coroner (William Moseley) with whom the heroine sometimes cohabits. Lots of blood and little sense characterize director and co-writer Simon Verhoeven’s routine creeper, which includes a few genuinely jumpy moments but fails to establish any grounding in logic and becomes ever gorier as it unspools. Excessive bloody violence, a suicide theme, a premarital situation, some gruesome images, several uses of profanity, occasional rough language, a few crude terms. O; R </span id=”12″>

The Lego Ninjago Movie 

Warner Bros.  

A few flashes of wit relieve the noisy tedium of this martial arts-themed animated adventure. With his home town constantly under attack by his villainous father (voice of Justin Theroux), a schoolboy (voice of Dave Franco) leads a double life by battling bad Dad, disguised as a ninja warrior. He does so as part of a team of fighters trained by his wise and virtuous uncle (voice of Jackie Chan). As directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan, the latter two also co-writers along with four others, the attempt to blend a children’s feature and an action movie proves awkward, resulting in a forgettable series of explosions and other disturbances that drown out such themes as the possibility of personal conversion and the value of family reconciliation. Additionally, some vague mumbo-jumbo about humans harnessing the power of the elements is not for the easily confused. Perilous situations, a bit of mild scatological humor, a couple of mature references. A-II; PG  

USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classifications:  

A-I – General patronage  

A-II – Adults and adolescents  

A-III – Adults  

A-IV – Adults, with reservations 

L – Limited adult audience 

O – Morally offensive  

Motion Picture Association of America ratings:  

G – General audiences; all ages admitted  

PG – Parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children  

PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned to give special guidance for attendance of children under 13; some material may be inappropriate for young children 

R – Restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian  

NC-17 – No one under 17 admitted