Norman Wilner

Norman Wilner
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/5 55% The Last Full Measure (2020) It's comfort food about wartime death. If that's what you're looking for, have at it. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2020
2/5 83% What Did Jack Do? (2020) It is all very silly. It will be embraced as a puckish masterwork from a beloved cultural figure. And sure, what the hell, why not. Look, I don't know what to tell you. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2020
3/5 84% What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2019) ...that's a problem: for all of the history it packs into an hour and a half, What She Said still feels like a superficial look at a very complicated person. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
4/5 86% Les Misérables (2020) The resonance is there where it counts: the film is set in the same district of Paris where Hugo wrote his epic tale of persecution and obsession, and it has the same determination to see the humanity in all of its characters... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
2/5 50% Underwater (2020) For all the work the filmmakers have put into the structure and the aesthetic, they've failed to do much with the characters. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2020
3/5 17% The Grudge (2020) The jumps are well-managed, the film feels of a piece with the other movies in the series, and [Nicolas] Pesce orchestrates one exquisite twist that offers a completely different angle on the whole life-after-death thing. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2020
2/5 42% The Song of Names (2019) François Girard's historical drama is an empty box of a movie. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
3/5 100% Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin (2020) Is it essential Herzog? Not really. But it's watchable, and lovers of Chatwin's spirit will find plenty of him here. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
1/5 37% 6 Underground (2019) Michael Bay's Netflix dud is even less coherent than the worst of his Transformers movies. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2019
3/5 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) It's a pleasant enough comedy, even if the outcome is never in doubt. The WWE doesn't make movies about candidates who wash out, after all. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
5/5 100% Knock Down the House (2019) I cheered. You will, too. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet She Never Died (2019) Audrey Cummings's companion piece to the 2015 horror oddity He Never Died is gruesome and darkly funny... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Brotherhood (2019) There's a nagging sense that Brotherhood is, ultimately, less than the sum of its parts. Maybe it should have been a radio play. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
2/5 5% The Kindness of Strangers (2020) Lone Scherfig's everything-is-connected ensemble film never comes together. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
3/5 100% Assholes: A Theory (2019) It's maybe not as funny as Walker wants it to be - a burbly jazz score tries very hard to force some lightness into the material - but it'll leave you thinking... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
2/5 89% The Two Popes (2019) For all the dialogue they volley back and forth (in four languages apiece!), you'll notice neither of them really says much of anything. Neither does the movie. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
4/5 91% Dark Waters (2019) The filmmaker's willingness to show us the toll of DuPont's malfeasance in the flesh and bones of its victims, rather than turn the camera away, gives this legal procedural an immediate, almost tactile quality... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
4/5 97% Knives Out (2019) Knives Out is best experienced knowing as little as possible. It is also best experienced with a large crowd, because there are few things as enjoyable as laughing or gasping or wincing along with a few hundred people in the dark. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
4/5 96% I Lost My Body (2019) That we can still hope they find happiness, or at least peace, is a minor triumph, and one worth appreciating as the film makes its way to a genuinely moving conclusion. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
4/5 95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Marielle Heller's biopic about children's TV host Fred Rogers is a graceful look at patience and loving-kindness. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
2/5 77% Frozen II (2019) The animation looks great, but Disney's unnecessary continuation of the story is merely a blatant brand extension... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
3/5 70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) The most disturbing element of all is the creeping sense that this franchise has become its own Skynet, relentlessly trying to rewrite its own history in order to guarantee a successful future. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
3/5 96% The Cave (2019) This doc about an underground hospital trying to save victims of the Syrian civil war is immediate and dramatic - even with shameless flourishes. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
2/5 52% Black and Blue (2019) [It] has all the ingredients to work, but gets the recipe wrong... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
4/5 100% Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (2019) Robespierre sets up a playful rhythm between the performance material and the straight documentary that turns the project's two halves into a kind of conversation. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3/5 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) That's what Double Tap offers...a chance to hang out in the world you presumably enjoyed the first time, with celebrity references and inventive zombie kills and a general sense that you don't need to invest very much in anything... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
2/5 81% Greener Grass (2019) Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe's indie is full of gifted comedy players but doesn't have anything to say. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
2/5 71% The King (2019) Chalamet is miscast - and while Edgerton has a good grasp of Falstaff, the mechanics of the story keep him on the sidelines for much of the first two acts. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
1/5 26% Gemini Man (2019) It hurt me to watch Gemini Man, and I mean that literally: I'm typing this through a splitting headache. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
1/5 11% Lucky Day (2019) ...production value alone is no reason to see Lucky Day. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
96% Harpoon (2019) Rob Grant's genre-stretching film is both a barbed comedy of manners and a survival picture. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
4/5 100% MS Slavic 7 (2019) Audrey seems more real with each appearance - stubborn, thoughtful, focused to the point of fixation - and as ever, I'm curious to see where she goes next. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 37% In the Tall Grass (2019) It's less derivative than affectionate, which makes a world of difference. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
4/5 96% First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) The Japanese auteur's latest gangland thriller contains a core of delicate nobility at its centre. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
4/5 82% Judy (2019) Rupert Goold's biopic about Judy Garland's last months is a moving look at art, love and sacrifice. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
4/5 93% Monos (2019) Monos is a masterful, visceral film. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
23% Zeroville (2019) Zeroville is a very weird beast, caught somewhere between wild comedy, incomprehensible cinephilia and shameless directorial excess. Someday it might be a cult movie, but I think that day may be a long time coming. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
4/5 74% Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019) Scott Aukerman's weird little Funny Or Die web series has evolved into a narrative feature film while still keeping its weird, spiky charm. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
1/5 27% Rambo: Last Blood (2019) A wheezy old thriller about an old guy punching his way into and out of trouble; it's less 90s Eastwood than 90s Bronson, which is a far cheesier variation on the theme. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
No Score Yet Honey Bee (2019) Honey Bee doesn't break new ground for this sort of drama, but it distinguishes itself in its slow accumulation of small moments. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
5/5 84% Ad Astra (2019) Of all the things I thought Ad Astra might be, I never would have predicted that James Gray would make an interplanetary riff on Apocalypse Now. But here it is, and here we are. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
2/5 50% The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020) It's all very pretty, and the conversations about the nature of art and truth will let people come away thinking they've seen something deep. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
4/5 80% There's Something in the Water (2019) Behind the conventional approach, Page and Daniel give their project a political conscience through the people they choose to interview... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Crazy World (2019) Shot on location in Kampala, with civilians wandering around in the background of every wide shot, it's alive and aware in ways most mainstream movies simply aren't - even if technically it's also kind of a mess. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/5 64% Guns Akimbo (2020) It doesn't really have anything to say, but the soundtrack is loud and the carnage is constant. That's what the kids want, right? - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/5 22% Lucy in the Sky (2019) Natalie Portman delivers one of the most moving performances of her career... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/4 81% Sea Fever (2019) While the film breaks no new ground, it's a satisfying run through familiar territory, offering reconfigured versions of scenes horror fans will know by heart, and interesting variations on the mix of characters. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
3/5 57% Resin (Harpiks) (2019) Holm is a fascinating young performer, and Plaugborg is alternately tender and terrible as her sworn protector. I would have liked a resolution worthy of the eerie, cryptic atmosphere, but you can't have everything. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
5/5 91% Sound of Metal (2019) The assaultive, near-experimental sound design goes a long way towards putting us in Ruben's head, but Ahmed's performance makes us understand his character with a clarity that eludes Ruben himself. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
5/5 95% Marriage Story (2019) Noah Baumbach's devastating semi-autobiographical work is one of the best films of the year. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019