Mark Ruffalo stars in a scene from the movie "Dark Waters." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. CNS photo/courtesy Focus Features
Mark Ruffalo stars in a scene from the movie "Dark Waters." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. CNS photo/courtesy Focus Features
NEW YORK – The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Dec. 27. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.

Sunday, Dec. 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. EST (Lifetime) "The Fault in Our Stars" (2014). Lush adaptation of John Green's novel about two teen cancer patients (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) who meet at an Episcopal Church-sponsored support group in Indianapolis (led by Mike Birbiglia). They bond over a novel that also concerns the disease and, accompanied by her mother (Laura Dern), travel to Amsterdam to seek out its author (Willem Dafoe). But the scribe turns out to be an abusive drunk. The remainder of director Josh Boone's drama – which, through Woodley's performance, presents its audience with an appealingly literate and sensible teen heroine – is a rumination on the harsh reality of dying in which religious faith gets only oblique mentions. Though sexuality and language put his film on the adult side of the ledger, it may be acceptable for the most mature adolescents. Implied premarital sexual activity, fleeting crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 5:45-8 p.m. EST (TCM) "Bells Are Ringing" (1960). Faithful adaptation of the Broadway musical about an overly helpful telephone answering service operator (Judy Holliday) who gets involved with her customers' lives, and falls in love with one of her clients, a composer (Dean Martin) struggling with writers' block, while fending off the police who think the service is a front for illegal activities, including a bookie operation. Director Vincente Minnelli failed to open the movie up cinematically and the result is rather static, but Holliday's performance is treasurable and the Jule Styne-Comden & Green songs top notch. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I – general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 6:15-8 p.m. EST (TCM) "Flipper" (1963). After a young boy (Luke Halpin) rescues an injured dolphin, his fisherman father (Chuck Connors) releases it back into the sea but later, when his son's life is in danger, the grateful dolphin returns to save the lad. Directed by James B. Clark, the story is simple but well-told, the scene-stealing title character is as personable as any in the cast and the Florida nature footage, including a hurricane, is very watchable. Solid family fare with special appeal for youngsters. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I – general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating was G –general audiences. All Ages Admitted.

Thursday, Dec. 31, 7-9:30 p.m. EST (AMC) "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005). Entertaining and stylish remake of 1971's "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," as sweet-natured young Charlie (Freddie Highmore), along with four bratty children, wins a visit to a mysterious emporium, run by the reclusive candy-maker Wonka (Johnny Depp). Tim Burton's take on the Roald Dahl tale is predictably darker than the bright Gene Wilder version, but it's hugely inventive, combining Dickensian atmospherics with mordant wit and featuring an understated, slyly humorous performance by Depp. The plot contains positive messages about family, loyalty and unselfishness, and only a few scenes of tongue-in-cheek peril that might upset the very youngest viewers. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I – general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG – parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

Friday, Jan. 1, 5:55-8 p.m. EST (Showtime) "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" (2010). A well-behaved vampire (Robert Pattinson) and an equally courtly werewolf (Taylor Lautner) overcome their natural antipathy and temporarily unite to protect the teen mortal (Kristen Stewart) they both love from the threat posed by a vengeance-driven bloodsucker (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her plasma-hungry minions. Director David Slade's third installment in the hugely popular Gothic romance franchise – based on the best-selling novels of Stephenie Meyer – draws on self-referential humor to leaven its potentially ridiculous, and occasionally over-familiar, proceedings as it ramps up the mostly bloodless supernatural battling, but shifts the basis of the main couple's chaste interaction from a matter of constraint to one of choice. Considerable stylized violence, an off-screen rape, a scene of nongraphic sensuality, a birth control reference and a few mildly crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II – adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (Followed by the sequels "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1" (2011) 8-10 p.m. EST and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2" (2012) 10 p.m.-midnight EST.)

Saturday, Jan. 2, 8-9:55 p.m. EST (HBO) "The High Note" (2020). An aspiring music producer (Dakota Johnson) finds herself caught between the demands of her day job working as a personal assistant to a famous rock star (Tracee Ellis Ross) and her desire to nurture the career of the promising singer-songwriter (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) with whom she also becomes involved romantically. Glossy and generally upbeat, director Nisha Ganatra's blend of comedy and drama, penned by Flora Greeson, supplies an ensemble of appealing characters around its perky heroine and, though it follows a well-traveled arc, does so smoothly and with satisfying results. The fact that the main couple's bedding down together is taken for granted, along with a large dose of coarse dialogue, flags this as grown-up fare. A couple of premarital bedroom scenes, a few profanities, several milder oaths, at least one rough and many crude and crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Saturday, Jan. 2, 8-10:15 p.m. EST (Cinemax) "Blackhat" (2015). A computer hacker (Chris Hemsworth) serving time in federal prison can win his freedom by helping a team of Chinese and American investigators – including Wang Leehom, Tang Wei and Viola Davis – track down the programmer responsible for a lethal cyberattack on a nuclear power plant. Director Michael Mann's characteristically stylish, moody crime portrait succeeds up to a point thanks to kinetic visuals that suit the morally shaded material. Yet, while free of grossly offensive elements, the film ultimately turns out to be a standard action-thriller that glorifies physical violence and unintentionally demonstrates that hacking is far from a novel or elevated form of criminality. Considerable, moderately graphic, action violence, a mostly implied premarital sexual relationship, some crass language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was R – restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Saturday, Jan. 2, 9-11:15 p.m. EST (Showtime) "Dark Waters" (2019). Fact-based drama about poisoned water, similar to 2000's "Erin Brockovich," has a single crusading lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) taking on a powerful company – in this case, DuPont – that's been dumping industrial waste from the manufacture of Teflon around Parkersburg, West Virginia, the loyal company town where the coating is made. The ambitious attorney, who used to represent chemical companies, becomes involved in the situation at the urging of a stubborn local farmer (Bill Camp) who knows his grandmother (Marcia Dangerfield). Director Todd Haynes and screenwriters Mario Correa and Matthew Michael Carnahan limn a rural landscape where the sun seems never to shine and the wealthy exploit and poison the poor with seeming impunity. Some rough and profane language, occasional animal gore. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.