Cinema Scope

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Inheritance (2020) James Lattimer A playful, erudite, and boundary-blurring examination of what performing Black theory, literature, music, and testimony in a contemporary Philadelphia commune might set in motion. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
Akilla's Escape (2020) Adam Nayman Akilla's Escape is nicely photographed by Maya Bankovic... as the storytelling stays resolutely and ultimately boringly on beat. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
Beans (2020) Adam Nayman An accessible, unsanitized drama foregrounding Indigenous experience - one that doesn't hedge on depicting embedded Québécois racism and discrimination - [director Tracey Deer] is staking out a fertile patch of filmmaking terrain. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
() Adam Nayman A showcase for [Michelle] Latimer's own developing chops as a formalist, a journalist, and a polemicist, it's dazzling. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
Violation (2020) Adam Nayman A well-made, full-frontal provocation pivoting on a literally tortuous act of vengeance. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
Shiva Baby (2020) Adam Nayman [Rachel Sennott)] is more or less hilarious as a distaff failson trying to navigate murky social waters without drowning in situational self-loathing. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) Courtney Duckworth This pressurization and sense of purpose makes Never Rarely very different from Hittman's other work... EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
Blood Quantum (2019) Mallory Andrews Despite the tonal awkwardness, it is undeniable that Barnaby has, in his words, "indigenized zombies" and confronted viewers with uncomfortable truths about Canada's history... EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
Notturno (2020) Mark Peranson Notturno seeks out and finds the humanity in the victims of this war... EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2020
Fauna (2020) Jordan Cronk Fauna is a resolutely sly and humorous film, especially in these introductory scenes where the chemistry between the actors... is free to spark in moments of both casual conversation and unspoken discomfort. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2020
White Lie (2019) Madeleine Wall The tension in White Lie comes from the threat of Katie's exposure, an anxiety accentuated by Lev Lewis' snaky musical score. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2020
Fourteen (2019) Anna Swanson Rather than any catastrophic, overacted blowout, he more realistically charts the gap that slowly forms between his protagonists... EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
The Irishman (2019) Robert Koehler Zaillian (and most likely Scorsese, in concert with his abiding editor Thelma Schoonmaker) structures The Irishman along three tracks of time that wind in and out of each other. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
Queen of Diamonds (1991) Erika Balsom Queen of Diamonds-refreshingly, vitally, radically-is part of another women's cinema, one that knows that any feminism worthy of the name cannot be grounded in an ideology of individual achievement... EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
Collective (2019) Jay Kuehner Collective is more record than remembrance, an investigative procedural that's equally observational and true to its genre. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
The Twentieth Century (2019) Josh Cabrita I find it hard not to be attracted, even moved by, its skewed sentimentality, which immediately differentiates itself from the burlesque of a comparable (and admittedly more accomplished) work... EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
Just Don't Think I'll Scream (2019) James Lattimer Essay film, documentary and collage; solitude, helplessness and anxiety: the personal and the collective; cinema itself-all are taken up, refracted, and bent back by the merciless flickering of the screen. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
Wilcox (2019) Jordan Cronk Opening up space for thought and reflection on a well-worn subject, Wilcox quietly bears witness to a life that, in a lesser filmmaker's hands, might have been deemed worthy of interest only if it ended in premature death. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2020
Suburban Birds (2018) Phoebe Chen There's no reliance on the easy nostalgia of period markers or a childhood boxed away as idyll; both storylines seem thoroughly contemporary. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Joker (2019) Barbara Wurm Even if blank despair and the inability of being funny is its topic, Joker never fails to please. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
Uncut Gems (2019) Ella Kemp Uncut Gems isn't just a sadistic portrait of mistakes and punishment. There's a curiosity to dig deeper behind all that glitters; deep inside the gem, far under the skin. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
() Caitlin Quinlan Kogut's script allows gentle comedy to seep into her observations of the resilience of those working in the service of others. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Meg Shields It's a silly, sleuthy time at the movies, an autumnal caper and a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Adam Nayman If all of Waititi's smirking fascist slapstick is meant to take away Hitler's power 70 years after the fact... it's the satirical equivalent of dunking on a two-foot hoop (or a basketful of deplorables). EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Hope (2019) Michael Sicinski Hope is clear-eyed, frank, and at times pitiless. In an alternate dimension, one that valued truth and clarity in popular art, this film might be considered an Oscar contender. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
The Laundromat (2019) Mark Asch Soderbergh aims for punchy populism, and ends up making a movie more cartoonish than his most recent iPhone fisheye dramas. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Wasp Network (2019) Clara Miranda Scherffig It's too bad for the stellar cast, who are sacrificed for the film's admirable but undeveloped entry points: entertain telling a lesser-known story and draw parallels with todays' global migration debates. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019) Josh Cabrita It's for this reason-the close, real-time attention to behavioural nuance-that Hepburn and Tailfeathers have risked a formal gambit that could've easily seemed fraudulent. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Resin (2019) Michael Sicinski Something sticky this way comes: Resin is not a very good film judged on its own merits, but it also has the additional misfortune of demanding a side-by-side comparison. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
() Phoebe Chen Glassie appears as an intermittent talking head, relaying principles that sound aphoristic, but charm with their generous reading of the world. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
August (2019) Caitlin Quinlan This debut feature is indicative of a director with a skillful eye for composition and framing, and there is an added affection for these landscapes here, the sights of the director's own hometown. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Proxima (2019) Mark Asch Between Proxima and the subjective-headspace thriller Disorder (2015), with Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger, Winocour has proven she has a talent for eliciting task-oriented movie-star performances in versatile modes. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Anna Swanson The craft of the film is undeniable, but with a central romance that never becomes the emotionally resonant experience it is set up to be, no amount of skilled assemblage can make Portrait of a Lady on Fire more than a beautiful decoration. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
The Antenna (2019) Madeleine Wall The Antenna functions as an odd parable, one which may be a bit too late. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
() Michael Sicinski This is one of the year's very best. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Easy Land (2019) Anna Swanson Easy Land depicts an experience that will speak to many and does so with sensitivity and a clear affection for its headstrong characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
() Madeleine Wall Meddeb is the narrator, and her authorial voice is never hidden, but her willingness to let others speak on par with her is what sets this documentary apart. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Ema (2019) Clara Miranda Scherffig Like her new relatives, we observe with awed, questioning eyes. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Disappearance at Clifton Hill (2019) Adam Nayman Following up his palatably artful (and widely garlanded) Korean-language debut In Her Place, Albert Shin shows a willingness to plunge headlong into genre waters, an immersion that's bracing, if not quite purifying. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Sun (2019) Clara Miranda Scherffig Sole is a reserved film, its rhythm controlled by silent, hyper-composed, mostly still shots, ut the otherwise flat narrative is stirred by several nearly imperceptible movements. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Entwined (2019) Madeleine Wall There is a lot of space here to do something different than the norm, but instead the film wanders through the lush woods, never able to truly progress from its starting point. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Color Out of Space (2019) Adam Nayman What's less assured is the tone, which could generously be described as "elastic..." but strikes one more precisely as desperate, unable to commit to either full-on gross-out comedy or apocalyptic melancholy. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Clemency (2019) Meg Shields When the most interesting scenes in a film criticizing the death penalty are the executions, that isn't just sloppy, that's a moral failing. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Hustlers (2019) Daniel Reynolds True to its title, Hustlers races through its story, often only skimming what could have been its richest material; the muddled pacing doesn't give it much chance to exceed its gender-flipping novelty. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Collective (2019) Michael Scoular What sets Colectiv apart isn't just the emotional heft of its story... but how it never simply adopts the POV of any of its subjects, instead judiciously choosing scenes in offices and press rooms that represent what all the information and reports can't. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
This Is Not a Movie (2019) Steve Macfarlane Even if This is Not a Movie appears to be yet another magazine profile-style hagiography in doc form, it also uses Fisk as a litmus test for the last quarter-century's crisis of journalistic integrity. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
Tammy's Always Dying (2019) Adam Nayman There are all kinds of ways to display directorial chops, and even if Tammy's Always Dying isn't much to look at, Johnson manages her cast well. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
1982 (2019) Mark Asch Mouaness sustains this momentum for much of the second half, riding along the crest of a high-tension early-release day with a logjam of buses and parents outside, unreliable attendance sheets, and the school secretary working the phones like a champ. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
Coppers (2019) Angelo Muredda Zweig's reluctance to prod his interviewees on subjects about which they are clearly eager to speak... does yield some unguarded testimony, moments where the masks of therapy, inter-officer bravado, and media training fall away. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
Australian Dream (1987) Beatrice Loayza Nevertheless, it's hard not to be moved by The Australian Dream, though it's plainly obvious this is less a major feat of documentary filmmaking than a tremendous story passionately and empathetically told. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019