Radheyan Simonpillai

Radheyan Simonpillai
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/5 25% Men in Black International (2019) The two actors, with their comic charisma and cosmically good looks, worked magic together in Thor: Ragnarok. Nothing MIB International does can convince me they shouldn't headline more movies, even if it almost completely wastes their talents. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
4/5 80% Late Night (2019) It's got rom-com trappings, but the unexpected relationship here is that between a brown woman and a workplace that's behind the times. There's chemistry and fun, but Late Night never forgets that there's still a lot of work to be done. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
2/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) Sophie Turner's expressions - alternating between a teen uncomfortable in her own skin to a femme fatale possessed with apocalyptic fervour - can be over-analyzed thanks to the camera's intimacy with every curve and angle on her face. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
3/5 78% Photograph (2019) Batra's artistry has its own distinct, soft-spoken personality and soulfulness. It's a pity he couldn't share some of that with the people in his picture. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
3/5 97% Booksmart (2019) There's a near-total lack of toxic behaviour in Booksmart, as if such attitudes have been eradicated. It's an admirable social dynamic that feels like it's set a generation ahead of our own, and as a result feels slightly detached from what we know. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
1/5 20% This Is North Preston (2019) If this were a film about sex trafficking, it might have spent more time with the victims, really listening to their stories. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
3/5 66% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) That the movie can serve both its fandom and those of us left baffled on the outside is a remarkable feat. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2/5 51% Tolkien (2019) If only the film could live in these relationships a bit more and see something inspiring in them instead of constantly searching these moments for something, anything that inspired Middle Earth. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3/5 57% J.T. LeRoy (2019) Dern and Stewart do the heavy lifting. Their performances parse through the layers in Albert and Knoop's everyday showmanship, adding shades that suggest a truth that will always remain out of reach. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
2/5 9% Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) You'd think a movie based on a video game would have more streamlined action sequences instead of the muddled shootouts here. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
No Score Yet Prey (2019) Unfortunately, there's a focus on lawsuit proceedings and the pursuit of a sizable settlement here that feels like PR for MacLeod's attorney and threatens to cheapen the issue. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
2.5/4 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Endgame is the participation trophy you get after committing 11 years to these characters. - CTV's Your Morning EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
4/5 89% Sir (2018) If you take away the slow-brewing attraction that serves as an appealing logline, you still have a mighty fine picture about a village girl who wants to defy the patriarchy and stand on her own two feet in the city. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2019
3/5 80% Always In Season (2019) Director Jacqueline Olive follows the Lacy family's pursuit for a more thorough investigation into the teen's death, but the film itself doesn't probe deep enough. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
2/5 77% Guava Island (2019) The plot about an island's people revolting against slave labour and celebrating freedom with a music festival is essentially the story of Caribbean Carnival. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2019
4/5 90% Shazam! (2019) It invests in how the young (or young at heart) characters interact with all the ridiculous superhero mechanics thrown at them. They do it with heavy dollops of humour, excitement and wonder. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
2/5 47% Dumbo (2019) At its best, Dumbo is an imaginative visual treat. Burton's baroque style flourishes during the larger set pieces. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Tito (2019) Grace Glowicki exerts total command over the material and mood, dredging up anxieties, discomforts and laughs with both the film's style and her own physical performance. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
3/5 71% Run This Town (2019) Tollman manages to pull a muscular dark comedy from all this horrid behaviour. The debut writer/director shows off the confidence, skill and style we saw in Jason Reitman's Thank You For Smoking. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
2/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Captain Marvel effectively makes feminism a target, a goal to be achieved in ways that feel more self-congratulatory than progressive. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
2/5 12% Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral (2019) Family Funeral isn't the best outing with Madea, and even that isn't a high bar to clear. But it's as good a farewell as we've come to expect. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
5/5 95% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) They tell a classic rise-and-fall crime story as elliptically as a dream while giving spiritual visions and traditional interpretations as much authority as a loaded gun. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2019
2.5/4 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Alita is powered by James Cameron's visionary world-building. But the last thing you want to use to sell something is "written by James Cameron". - CTV's Your Morning EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2019
2/5 68% Isn't It Romantic (2019) Isn't It Romantic just thumbs its nose at the genre before relenting to it, like a self-inflicted defeat. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
3/5 45% What Men Want (2019) This movie relies completely on Henson, cutting loose as a woman who's both on top and bugging out uncontrollably. She's a riot with broad comedy... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
3/5 22% Miss Bala (2019) This time things are slicker and sexier, with a touch of girl power and room for sequels. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
3/5 76% Wonders of the Sea (2019) ...there's no denying that what the film gently says does matter. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
3/4 87% Freaks (2019) Working with limited sets and a tight scope, Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein conjure a movie that's fresh, fun and feels epic. - CTV's Your Morning EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
4/5 93% Village Rockstars (2017) Kids pass the time climbing trees or sinking into the marsh, Das's camera capturing them as lively extensions of nature. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
1/5 19% Serenity (2019) Knight's showy contraption is built on a narrative about domestic abuse and the subsequent trauma, and it feels reckless. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
22% Mile 22 (2018) Almost all of this message is drowned out by the sound of big guns heaving. - Daily Hive EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
3/5 100% Inventing Tomorrow (2018) Inventing Tomorrow feels more urgent and invested... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
93% Bumblebee (2018) The metal-on-metal violence here won't blow you away, if that's what the Bay movies did. Bumblebee is much smaller in scale, and all the better for it. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
2/5 70% The Mule (2018) Sure, The Mule is an improvement on Gran Torino, but you know that's not saying much. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/5 52% Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) The movie is not without its flaws, but its failures are far more fascinating than whatever made Favreau's safely engineered adaptation a success. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3/5 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) The movie feels hollow whenever it strays from the gravitational centre that is Blunt's Mary, which is thankfully not often. That's the character we're here to fawn over, reminisce with and step in line for. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
2/5 25% Love Jacked (2018) The chemistry is never there between Anderson and West, probably because the latter is stuck trying to make sense of a character written to repel sensible people and decisions. West makes a valiant effort. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
3/5 100% Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (2018) Filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner are blessed with a subject who regularly recorded herself in video blogs. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/5 100% Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz (2018) The talking heads are a gathered chorus singing Ferencz's praises. What's clear in Prosecuting Evil is that Ferencz is far more convincing when speaking for himself, and for those who didn't survive. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
2/5 59% The Grinch (2018) The new pleasantly animated Grinch, from the company that brought you the Minions, is a quaint, frictionless bauble. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
1/5 32% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) This Nutcracker dies of asphyxiation after having the formula that once worked in Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland cynically shoved down its throat. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
5/5 94% Burning (Beoning) (2018) This is a soulful, hypnotic drama about a young man who obsessively seeks answers but has no way of grasping that kind of control over his own narrative. It's also one of the year's very best films. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
3/4 87% First Man (2018) There's more interesting and dramatic material orbiting Neil Armstrong. But those characters remain on the margins while Chazelle (as he did in Whiplash and La La Land) privileges the story of a single-minded white male reaching for the stars. - Daily Hive EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
2/5 27% Night School (2018) Instead of leaning into the very funny people populating it, the movie gets distracted with a laborious setup... and then a heist... and a prom... all just so it can keep skipping class. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
2/5 50% Disappearance (Verdwijnen) (2017) Director Koole shows off pristine imagery and lush sound design, but he doesn't have much to hang it on. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
3/5 32% The Predator (2018) The Predator delivers a good time without demanding that we think too hard about anything. But the fallout just goes to show how some of us don't think things through well enough. - Daily Hive EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
4/5 58% White Boy Rick (2018) Rick's whiteness, and the advantage that gives him, doesn't go unnoticed. The movie shows it without dwelling on it, leaving us to debate the politics of a wild and incriminating situation as it hustles along. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
3/5 80% Mid90s (2018) Hill shows his caution sometimes comically but also with preciousness in how he handles Na-Kel Smith's Ray. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
2/5 33% The Innocent (Der Unschuldige) (2018) Jaquemet cycles through all this mystery at an insufferably slow pace with a drab aesthetic. Yes, there are some images to ponder over, but they never cohere together in a satisfying way. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
2/5 38% Donnybrook (2019) Sutton's skill is making you care for these characters and keeping you rooting for them to find some redemption. But then he punishes you for such hopes, all to get across a blunt and hollow message. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018