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Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018) Liam Lacey Imperfect but insightful and engaging... rather like its subject. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Dolittle (2020) Liam Lacey This third remake of Hugh Loftings' early-20th century children's books possesses no charm despite its very starry voice (and acting) cast and impressive CGI. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
A Cunningham (2019) Liam Lacey The film is kinetic and elliptical, with clips from different eras juxtaposed in panels, moving back to a single frame of dancers' feet, or artfully posed in instants of euphoria. It makes you want to absorb the language of dance EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2020
Like a Boss (2020) Liam Lacey What might have scanned as a potent female empowerment message is torpedoed by a lame script and slavish devotion to schtick. Likeable lead performances, though. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
C-minus Underwater (2020) Jim Slotek A dull piece of off-season horror flotsam, the umpteenth film warning about messing with the ocean bottom, where, apparently, there be dragons rather than blind albino shrimp. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
B-minus Just Mercy (2019) Jim Slotek If Just Mercy doesn't aim high as a film, it tells its story effectively, and the story itself is powerful enough to overcome the movie's shortcomings. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
A-minus Uncut Gems (2019) Karen Gordon Exhilarating filmmaking, like a two-hour anxiety attack. It's unlikely you'll see anything this tightly-wound at the theatre anytime soon. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
1917 (2019) Kim Hughes Mendes' intense saga about a perilous two-man mission during the Great War brings the terror of battle thrillingly to bear. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
Little Women (2019) Thom Ernst Gerwig's excellent retelling of the classic tale makes the case for revisiting the literary canon and for championing female directors. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
B-plus The Song of Names (2019) Jim Slotek Powerful music and powerful thoughts about religion, inhumanity, and the inescapability of one's Jewishness, are what raises the film above its prosaic, old-school narrative. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2019
B-plus Invisible Life (2019) Liam Lacey The film looks and sounds beautiful... colour-saturated cinematography and a score pulsing with the piano of Chopin, Liszt and Beethoven. Your reaction depends on your degree of acceptance of the potboiler style. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Cats (2019) Thom Ernst Yup, it's a dog alright. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
A-minus A Hidden Life (2019) Liam Lacey One of the year's most ambitious films and an arguable masterpiece, though, admittedly, your receptivity to it depends on your capacity to experience three solemn hours of waving fields of wheat, theology and Nazi cruelty. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
B-plus Nomad: In The Footsteps Of Bruce Chatwin (2019) Jim Slotek As much about Herzog as it is about his subject. You can be a fan of either and enjoy the film and its voice, so seamlessly did they apparently share a vision of the world. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
63 Up (2019) Liam Lacey The latest, winning entry in director Michael Apted's series following a group of individuals over the course of their lives succeeds on every level. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Bombshell (2019) Kim Hughes Not quite as impactful as it maybe should be, Bombshell is still highly watchable in the stranger-than-fiction mould of Hollywood biopics. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
B Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Liam Lacey With another billion dollar box office movie on the line, it feels as though Abrams plays things safe, finding ways to wind up loose ends, mollifying the fan base and going for the tie rather than the win. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Thom Ernst It won't blow your mind or outpace its predecessors but Jumanji: The Next does does offer some fun for kids. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
6 Underground (2019) Kim Hughes Overblown, outrageous, exceedingly violent and visually exhausting, director Michael Bay's latest is also kind of dumb; pretty much what you'd expect despite its strong cast. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
B-minus Kingsway (2018) Jim Slotek Kingsway is a light comedy, despite its underpinnings of depression and anxiety (which I think are required by law to be in Canadian movies). But I would watch Rose and Sullivan play mom-and-daughter in any sitcom they chose. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
B-minus Richard Jewell (2019) Jim Slotek What can you say about a film that tells an amazing story about unlikely heroism and lynching-by-media, but also incidentally betrays everything that story is supposed to teach us? EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
B-plus She Never Died (2019) Jim Slotek Canada's increasingly self-assured oeuvre queen Cummings gives us a stylish, violent film with comic overtones about an invulnerable "fallen angel" with off-putting habits like eating people's fingers for the marrow. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
B-minus () Jim Slotek An entertaining survival adventure, though Bell makes some puzzling choices that literally keeps the viewer in the dark for much of the movie, with night shoots during the canoe tragedy and in flashbacks, by campfires and in tents. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
A Varda by Agnès (2019) Liam Lacey The documentary is both Varda's last testament and, paradoxically, a perfect introduction to the work. Charm, humanity and a passel of filmmaking insights are all here, rewarding dedicated fans and newcomers alike. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2019
B-minus () Liam Lacey Walker spreads himself wide in this lightly sociological, somewhat silly doc, focusing on many locales where homo anus flourishes: Fraternities, social media, Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) Kim Hughes With its torn-from-the-headlines theme and excellent leads, Queen & Slim should be a taut and engaging drama, but it falters from the start on an improbable premise. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Thom Ernst Looper director Johnson's clever, funny, and star-studded film subverts and elevates the mansion murder mystery genre with aplomb. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
B-minus Frozen II (2019) Jim Slotek Children will take what they what they will out of the message. What they likely won't be is bored. Frozen 2 makes up in pace and on-the-fly distractions what it no longer has in the depth of its story. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
A-plus Marriage Story (2019) Karen Gordon This is a powerful performance by Driver. And it's evident that Johansson has matured as an actor - thoughtful and willing to go deep. But, everywhere in this movie, there are actors doing award-worthy work. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
Waves (2019) Liam Lacey Though well-intentioned, this messy, overwrought family drama demands emotion but arouses antipathy. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
A-minus Atlantics (2019) Liam Lacey A magic realist fantasy, a ghost story, a love story and political allegory, Atlantics packs a deceptive amount of complexity in a gauzy, slender film. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
C-plus 21 Bridges (2019) Jim Slotek Flawed script writing has a go-to distraction, called non-stop action. That is to say, when your plot is full of holes, just keep things moving and keep shooting. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Charlie's Angels (2019) Thom Ernst Director Elizabeth Banks' reboot is fun(ish) but it fails to capture pizzazz of its many precursors. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
C-plus The Good Liar (2019) Jim Slotek There's nothing like actors-with-gravitas slumming, all bemused smiles and droll delivery, even as the material descends clunkily into unintentional comedy. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
B-plus Ford v Ferrari (2019) Jim Slotek For all the formulas it rides on, it passes and laps the one key test of any car movie. It fairly puts you inside cars making hairpin turns at 200 mph. And it brings that sense of metal-mangled death being a split-second away. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
C-plus Doctor Sleep (2019) Jim Slotek Any argument that mainstream moviemaking has fundamentally changed should include the fact that a sequel to The Shining has come out that is about good guys with super powers repelling an attack by bad guys with super powers. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
A The Irishman (2019) Liam Lacey This is some of De Niro's most moving work in years. His performance, full of anxious misfit energy, grimaces and haunted gaze feel entirely correct. He's a character who recognizes the depths of his sin but is unable to see redemption. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
B-minus Midway (2019) Jim Slotek No aliens or monsters or preposterous disaster scenarios are needed to excuse excess. The story automatically comes with the sinking of aircraft carriers and battleships, blazing aerial dogfights and vertigo-inducing dive-bombing. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
B-plus Synonyms (2018) Liam Lacey Synonyms episodic structure can grow wearying, but Mercier's aggressively kinetic performance and Lapid's take-no-prisoners dismantling of Israeli macho mystique and French hypocritical superiority are, in the best way, outrageous. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2019
The Cave (2019) Kim Hughes Fayyad's masterful doc may be the saddest, most infuriating chronicle of the ghastly ravages of war on children ever made. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
Harriet (2019) Karen Gordon Co-writer/director Kasi Lemmons' biopic is long and somewhat melodramatic but gives the heroic slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman her due. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
B Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Jim Slotek It's not exactly clearing a high bar to say that Terminator: Dark Fate is the most effective and entertaining franchise instalment since 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
B Blood Quantum (2019) Thom Ernst Blood Quantum is not short on social, and cultural observations as it flips the myth of the Hollywood Western, but neither does it scrimp on zombies gorging on lengthy intestines. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
Black and Blue (2019) Kim Hughes Race relations, police brutality, and the still-forsaken state of post-Katrina New Orleans is a lot of thematic heft for one movie but Black and Blue tackles it all and is buoyed by highly committed performances. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
B-plus The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019) Thom Ernst The film is gentle, subtle, patient and wholly authentic. Its strength is not only its ability to create a drama that's real, harrowing, haunting, and hopeful but its ability to keep playing in our heart long after it's over. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
A-plus Jojo Rabbit (2019) Karen Gordon A beautifully crafted film, one that that, for much of its running time, maintains a measure of lightness and sweetness without flinching from the ugliness at the center of the story. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
A The Lighthouse (2019) Karen Gordon Is this about madness? Nature unleashed? A fever dream? Are we in hell? You can make a case for any or all of these and more. It's bonkers and a hell of a film. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
A Dolor y gloria (2019) Jim Slotek This is a less purposefully provocative Almodovar film, evocative and understatedly emotional, acted with a mature grace by Banderas. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
B-plus Grâce à Dieu (2018) Liam Lacey Resolution hardly seems possible: Ozon's film is about how the children he harmed remain stuck in adult Limbo, both legally and psychologically. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
B Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Jim Slotek Plenty of sequels are made for no good reason. Zombieland: Double Tap may be the first I've seen to implicitly (and hilariously) admit it. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019