Norman Wilner

Norman Wilner
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 88% The Trials Of Muhammad Ali (2013) A solid if undistinguished documentary that's content to show a series of incidents rather than dig into the cultural ramifications of Ali's stand. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2021
96% Chop Shop (2008) Ramin Bahrani's low-budget studies of people on the margins of American society. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
88% Man Push Cart (2006) [A] modern classic... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
89% Smooth Talk (1985) Intimate, incisive and very specific American drama... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
3/5 90% The Vigil (2021) The context in which it's all happening and the intensity of Davis's performance makes it a worthy exercise in Midnight Madness horror... and if you watch it with the lights off and the sound up, it'll work just as well at home. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
4/5 88% The Obituary of Tunde Johnson (2019) Silver's performance also shows us exactly how many facets of Tunde are in play at any given moment, and how this experience shatters him over and over again. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
5/5 98% Minari (2020) While Chung doesn't flinch from the darker aspects of this story, he always makes sure to show us where the light is. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
3/5 98% Shiva Baby (2021) Sennott and Gordon have chemistry to burn, and the world Seligman builds out around Danielle feels suffocatingly authentic. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2021
4/5 79% Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) You have to experience it for yourself, and while I'm sure it would be a lot more fun to watch this movie with 500 other people who are similarly unprepared for the live-action cartoon of it all, it's pretty damn funny on its own. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
5/5 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield star in Shaka King's utterly contemporary drama about the end of the American civil-rights movement...this is one of the best movies of the year, collapsing America's past and present into one awful continuous moment. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2021
2/5 47% The Little Things (2021) John Lee Hancock's dated procedural features three Oscar-winning actors, and does nothing interesting with any of them. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
4/5 88% The Dig (2021) The Dig comes together beautifully: it may be a modest film, but it's one that carries surprising power. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
4/5 90% PG: Psycho Goreman (2021) Say what you will about Steven Kostanski's movie, people will remember it for the rest of their lives... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
4/5 92% Baby, Done (2021) ...interesting actors who give Rose and Tim a fun, flinty chemistry, and it was a pleasure to spend an hour and a half watching them figure their stuff out. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
4/5 87% Violation (2021) Sims-Fewer's performance is a catalogue of damage: we watch as Miriam registers new levels of hurt and horror over the course of the film, and it's like compound interest is accruing on her soul. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2021
4/5 46% Locked Down (2021) The surprise movie drop is becoming a staple of the pandemic - and you know what, I'm all for it. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
3/5 90% Promising Young Woman (2020) There are problems with Promising Young Woman that no cello cover of Britney Spears's Toxic can paper over. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
3/5 95% Soul (2020) [It] has its moments, but slammed together into one feature, they feel like they're fighting for dominance from one scene to the next, resulting in a film that, for all the work that's clearly gone into it, just doesn't seem to know what it wants to say. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2020
2/5 51% The Midnight Sky (2020) Clooney plays an ailing astronomer staring down the end of the world in this terminally flawed Netflix drama... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2020
2/5 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) WW84 ends up being this cycle's Superman III, trying to be everything to everyone... and coming up short in every way. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
4/5 94% Palm Springs (2020) Maybe Palm Springs should be the last time-loop movie. It certainly sends the genre out on a high. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
4/5 89% Let Them All Talk (2020) As always, [Soderbergh] technical choices are both inventive and perfectly suited to the subject matter - but he's also hiding the story's real dramatic arc in plain sight, and it's one that pays off surprisingly well. You'll see. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
3/5 83% Freaky (2020) The latest from Happy Death Day director Christopher Landon is basically Freaky Friday The 13th - and it's a lot of fun... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
4/5 100% The El Duce Tapes (2019) A grimy, prickly found-footage project that looks at the shock-rock scene of the early 90s through the story of The Mentors... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
2/5 83% Mank (2020) Ultimately, Mank feels a lot like Fincher's 2011 adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: every detail has been worked out to within an inch of its life, but you never get a sense of why he wanted to make the thing in the first place. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet The Curve (2020) Benzine's project acts as an explainer. It doesn't just present the Trump administration's disastrous incompetence in the face of the novel coronavirus, but digs into the reasons for that incompetence, both ideologically and strategically. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
1/5 57% Come Play (2020) Gillian Jacobs does her level best to save Jacob Chase's incredibly dumb horror movie about an internet monster. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
3/5 72% LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020) Life Day is about family, after all, and the stories of the Star Wars movies are so deeply entangled in family. And it's a little frustrating to watch this special fail to capitalize on any of that stuff, even for the sake of a gag. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
4/5 96% Dating Amber (2020) [It] creates moments of empowering connection. And the film builds a world around them that feels oppressive without overdoing it... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2020
3/5 98% Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds (2020) I can't fault Herzog for finding a way to finance his curiosity... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2020
67% Game Change (2012) There are fascinating levels of fact and fiction in this TV movie - but the script struggles between docudrama relevance and the sense that some of the survivors are pushing their own narratives. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
78% Burn After Reading (2008) Washington farce...with a perfectly cast Brad Pitt... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
93% Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) Of all the versions of Jack Finney's sci-fi novel The Body Snatchers, this is the best by a mile, as screenwriter W.D. Richter ties the book's insidious alien-invasion plot to the self-help movement... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
87% Three Days of the Condor (1975) ...it narrows its focus entirely to the cat-and-mouse chase at its core, boiling its post-Watergate theme of governmental indifference to human life down to the relationship between two professionals... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
80% The Manchurian Candidate (2004) Demme's 2004 remake, which moved the action into the present day and cast Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber and Meryl Streep in the key roles...tweaked the ending just enough to make things feel even more hopeless. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
97% The Manchurian Candidate (1962) John Frankenheimer's cracked masterpiece... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
91% The Martian (2015) [Damon] is supported by a top-flight cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Aksel Hennie... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
90% Galaxy Quest (1999) Everyone has their own specific definition of comfort food. Dean Parisot's pitch-perfect send-up/embrace of Star Trek fandom sits near the top of my list. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
94% Charade (1963) Honestly, if you're looking for a glossy, weightless diversion, this is a fine one. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
3/5 100% Watson (2019) Watson is a vivid storyteller and a charismatic screen presence, fully conscious of the power of media. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
5/5 94% Memories of Murder (2003) It's a knockout. Don't miss it. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet Happy Place (2020) It might seem counterintuitive to watch a movie about people under impossible stress right now, but if you're up for a well-crafted trip through the wringer, Happy Place does the job. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
2/5 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Maybe it's just an issue of diminishing returns... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
3/5 39% Rebecca (2020) Netflix's Rebecca remake can't escape Hitchcock's shadow... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2020
98% David Byrne's American Utopia (2020) Spike Lee's stirring film version of Byrne's recent Broadway show adds additional emotional heft to the former Talking Heads frontman's jukebox musical-cum-political soapbox about despair and compassion in today's America. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
4/5 84% Scare Me (2020) Most of Scare Me is simply the two leads performing for one another, with the remarkable Cash having a marvelous time as the versatile, committed Fanny. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
4/5 89% Save Yourselves! (2020) ...while writer/directors Fischer and Wilson don't quite stick the landing, they do end on a final image of eerie, ambiguous beauty. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
3/5 90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) All arguing all the time, which plays to Sorkin's strengths as a writer, though his directorial chops are still undeveloped. And he doesn't have much of a point...but you can appreciate the work the actors do to make their characters more than types... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
3/5 93% Possessor: Uncut (2020) Riseborough and Abbott are both fascinating here... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
3/5 87% On The Rocks (2020) The plot just sort of evaporates, which is a little frustrating, but the moments of clarity between Felix and Laura have a pleasant way of hanging around. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020