Original Cin

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Wild Rose (2018) Kim Hughes A dramedy of incredible heart and humour, buoyed by a fantastic performance by Jessie Buckley as the mercurial, flawed but irresistible title character. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
Dogman (2018) Liam Lacey Director Garone's dark drama is fueled by allegory and a standout performance by actor Marcello Fonte in his debut lead role. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
C-plus The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir (2018) Jim Slotek A French, Indian, Belgian co-production, a French-Canadian director, with random elements of Bollywood, Western musicals and unlikely episodic plot contrivances, it's made to please everybody with inoffensive results. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2019
Shaft (2019) Liam Lacey As with many of these slapped-together action-comedy hybrids, Shaft is a game effort by a talented cast but a shame about the movie. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
C-minus Men in Black: International (2019) Jim Slotek A creativity vacuum, contracts fulfilled, nearly two hours, part of which can be filled by debating in one's head whether this or Hellboy was the bigger waste-of-time narcoleptic reboot in an underwhelming summer. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
B Watergate (2018) Liam Lacey A problem is that Watergate, while good at getting into the muck and weeds, fails in overview. The success of Watergate prosecution seems to have owed at least as much to luck as to Nixon's dogged adversaries. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
C-plus Late Night (2019) Karen Gordon Not much here adds up. Given the host's career is hanging by a thread, and everyone's job with it, what are the chances her senior producer would hire a completely green writer with zero experience and no references? EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
B-plus The Dead Don't Die (2019) Karen Gordon The humour is dry, pointed and very funny. But Jarmusch is too clever a filmmaker to simply toss off a genre film for laughs. There's Trump-era subtext, where facts are not warmly received as facts. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
C-minus Dark Phoenix (2019) Thom Ernst Dark Phoenix isn't just the last in the X-Men saga, it's fallen 12 stories from the height of the original, to the bottom of the heap. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
C-plus The Tomorrow Man (2019) Jim Slotek The film labours under the double task of presenting a believable seniors' romance and humanizing a species of online hominid many of us encounter and dislike in our daily lives. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
B-plus The Souvenir (2019) Thom Ernst Were this a project that came out of chutzpah or inflated self-importance then The Souvenir would likely fall flat. It's Hogg's steadfast dedication and confidence in her story that makes the movie worthwhile. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
B Echo in the Canyon (2018) Karen Gordon Perhaps a bit random in its selection of artists, but it doesn't claim to be definitive. It captures an influential sliver of time in the evolution of pop music, and is worthwhile viewing for music fans. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
B-plus Framing John DeLorean (2019) Jim Slotek Effectively a 110-minute plea for someone to make a movie about John DeLorean. Somehow this odd doc works, and tells a story others have tried to tell and failed. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
Pavarotti (2019) Liam Lacey Director Ron Howard's experience and resources ensure this sentimental doc about the Italian classical music superstar is well-paced and researched for memorable archival tidbits. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
B-minus Sorry for Your Loss (2018) Jim Slotek No surprise that director Friesen is a sometime story editor on Schitt's Creek (a show I love), with characters who are basically the sum of their neuroses. But a series has time to develop characters. Ninety minutes here seems rushed. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
C-plus Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Jim Slotek When a movie has you squinting at a dark IMAX screen for two hours-plus like a Battle of Winterfell with behemoths, I'm thinking, "It's 2019, folks. Can we lighten up?" And I mean that in more ways than one. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Rocketman (2019) Kim Hughes As debauched and kaleidoscopic as the life it portrays, Rocketman is truly thrilling experience. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
Netemo sametemo (2018) Liam Lacey This bittersweet Japanese oddity doesn't quite work as a romantic melodrama but succeeds in illuminating anxiety-ridden millennial generation. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
C-plus Aladdin (2019) Liam Lacey It runs 128 minutes - though it has enough digressions, chases, musical numbers and virtual fly-overs through bazaars, minaret-and-domed skylines, that is feels it may actually last 1001 Nights. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
C-plus Brightburn (2019) Liam Lacey The movie rattles through 90 minutes of episodic jolts and jumbled visual style, distinctive only in having a better effects budget than your average demons-in-the-attic quickie. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
C+ () Jim Slotek ...it seems like a Seven Stages of Concern movie for parents of missing offspring...the three segments (from three directors), though quite watchable on their own, are stylistically and narratively incompatible. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2019
B-minus Peterloo (2018) Thom Ernst There are enough speeches in the movie to make the film seem more curated than directed. But hang in until the third act, and you are likely to find that the lecture has a significant payoff. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
A Dog's Journey (2019) Thom Ernst The sequel to 2017's A Dog's Purpose is equally saccharine and emotionally manipulative and yet somehow less interesting... which is saying something. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
B-minus The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Liam Lacey Without ever feeling like an "issue movie," it balances a coincidence-riddled romantic fantasy against a plausible backdrop of immigrants' struggles. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
Meeting Gorbachev (2018) Liam Lacey Director Herzog- famous for his films about impossible dreamers - is uniquely qualified to document Gorbachev, the man who dreamed of reinventing the Soviet Union... and ending up triggering its dissolution. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
C-plus Aniara (2018) Jim Slotek For a film that's about decades of interstellar aimlessness, Aniara seems hopelessly rushed and superficial. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
This Is North Preston (2019) Liam Lacey It's an interesting story but This Is North Preston's cinematic approach (think music video) undermines its gravitas. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
The Biggest Little Farm (2018) Liam Lacey A beautiful film with a surprisingly strident message and broad-based appeal. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
B-plus John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Jim Slotek Stahelski and Reeves have taken the fluid action of the series to a point of "how are they going to top that last insane thing they did?" And there's an imagination at work that's straight out of Looney Tunes. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2019
A-minus Shadow (2018) Liam Lacey While the thematic scheme may be ancient and remote, Zhang's poetic compression and technical pizazz feels as fresh as a splash in a mountain stream. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
C-plus Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Thom Ernst Pokemon Detective Pikachu doesn't quite manage to create a coherent story out of its convoluted mythology. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
C-plus Tolkien (2019) Karen Gordon Tolkien is quietly enjoyable on its own merits, though fans looking for deep insights into what might have inspired the great writer likely won't find many clues. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
B-minus Poms (2019) Kim Hughes A dynamite ensemble cast and a truckload of heart keep the sentimental comedy from crumbling beneath multiple well-thumbed clichés. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
C Red Joan (2018) Jim Slotek Where will Joan's heart lead her? The future of the free world and global existential fear of being incinerated hang in the balance (though this dull soapy drama never finds a way to underline this reality). EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
Long Shot (2019) Kim Hughes Seriously funny and very much of-the-moment, Long Shot showcases strong on-screen chemistry between Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron while raising the bar on the romantic comedy. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy (2018) Liam Lacey Colourful performances by Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart fail to find any urgency in retelling the tale of this incredible early-2000s literary fraud. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
B-plus Hail Satan? (2019) Liam Lacey Though it occasionally gets a little repetitive in its use of archival devil movie and tab TV clips, Lane's film is mordantly funny and persuasive in making the case that religion should be kept out of politicians' dirty hands. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
C The Intruder (2019) Jim Slotek The sort of thriller where the audience is in on pretty much everything from the beginning, as the non-psycho central characters take at least an hour to piece it all together - a recipe for eye-rolling and face-palms. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
C-plus UglyDolls (2019) Karen Gordon UglyDolls isn't particularly inventive or outstanding. It's also less diverse than you'd expect. Still, a movie that teaches kids that they're okay just as they are packs a pretty powerful message. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2019
B- Acquainted (2018) Jim Slotek Zavitz's situations and dialogue ring true, and he seems to understand the destructive power being "in love" (as opposed to just "love") can exert on people's better judgment. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
B-plus Diane (2018) Liam Lacey Yes to everything about Place, whose performance is wonderfully specific. Her face, away from other characters' eyes, collapses into a semaphore of disappointment, with a down-turned mouth, and a far-away stare. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
A Avengers: Endgame (2019) Karen Gordon Endgame asks, "What does it mean to be a hero and to feel heroic? Can you get up again, and what does that look like?" These big questions are answered, I'd argue, lovingly in this film. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
The Public (2018) Kim Hughes Though noble in spirit and with a terrific ensemble cast, The Public isn't nearly as impactful as it should be and rarely rises above middling. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2019
B The Grizzlies (2018) Jim Slotek Yes, the premise is a trope, but its cast of local Indigenous kids seem incapable of inauthentic moments, and it's so unflinching in its handling of Native teen suicides that it breaks its narrative strait-jacket. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Liam Lacey Despite bearing the stamp of horror king James Wan, La Llarona is dreadful, predictable and truly a must-miss. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
High Life (2018) Liam Lacey At once repellant and fascinating, French director Claire Denis's English-language debut evokes other science fiction films but is unsurpassed in its high-concept weirdness. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
C-plus Teen Spirit (2018) Jim Slotek Minghella's directorial debut is awash with mean girls, pretty boys, seizure-inducing club scenes, headache-inducing auto-tune, and a thin plot that unfolds (and ends) dizzyingly quickly. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
C-plus Penguins (2019) Thom Ernst Disney is not happy leaving nature to stand on its own devices, and so it does what Disney has been doing for years-haul nature onto a storyboard to see if their writers can't do it one better. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
B Missing Link (2019) Jim Slotek It has the feel of a light-hearted old movie telling an even older story as a series of antic episodes... a display of how fluid stop-motion physicality has become, with its slapstick and physical comedy in bar brawls, gunfights, etc. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
B Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018) Liam Lacey Hong Kong fight choreographer, Woo-Ping Yuen directs, though action is more his forte than dialogue. Brace for a bravura battle among the neon signs above a recreated section of Hong Kong's famous Bar Street. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019