Toronto Star

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/4 Late Night (2019) Peter Howell Thompson and Kaling don't even need to be acting here. Like all women, they've long had to navigate real-world misogyny. But they also know how to find the humour in it. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
3/4 The Dead Don't Die (2019) Peter Howell A movie where character defines plot, not the other way around - although this is much more of a genre exercise than Jarmusch has previously essayed. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
2.5/4 Shaft (2019) Peter Howell We can dig what Barbershop's Tim Story is up to with his 2019 version of Shaft, if only for the excellent chemistry between Roundtree, Jackson and new hire Jessie T. Usher... EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
1.5/4 Men in Black: International (2019) Peter Howell Lightning fails to strike twice in Men in Black: International, let alone for a fourth time. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Wild Nights With Emily (2018) Deborah Dundas The legend that she rarely left her house and was a spinster and recluse is recast in this ribald production. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
2.5/4 The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Peter Howell As momentarily enticing and as intellectually deficient as a box of Timbits. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
1.5/4 Dark Phoenix (2019) Peter Howell Seeking to tie up loose ends and correct past errors, Dark Phoenix instead comes across as more of a collection of forgettable outtakes, like Pink Floyd's The Endless River LP. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
3.5/4 The Souvenir (2019) Peter Howell Swinton Byrne and Burke make for one of the year's most intriguing screen couples, although this is a romance based on anxiety, narcissism and opportunism rather than anything resembling genuine affection. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
3.5/4 Mouthpiece (2018) Carly Maga A haunting, self-reflective dream that looks at the pressures and expectations women place on themselves and particularly on each other. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/4 Echo in the Canyon (2018) Peter Howell There are no huge revelations, but there are funny stories. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
The Lighthouse (2019) Peter Howell A psychological nightmare that gnaws at the brain long after the disturbing final image assaults the retina. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
3.5/4 () Peter Howell [A] powerful work of activist cinema. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
1/4 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Peter Howell The film is so murky, it looks as though it was put through a dark blue Instagram filter. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
3/4 Rocketman (2019) Peter Howell This is rock storytelling as entertainment, not a social chronicle like Woodstock or Gimme Shelter. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood (2019) Peter Howell Tarantino is in absolutely no hurry to tell his story. He luxuriates in the recreation of a world that clearly fascinates him. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2019
3.5/4 Booksmart (2019) Peter Howell It's an early contender for the best comedy of the summer. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
3/4 Aniara (2018) Garnet Fraser The spaceship is an existential trap like in a J.G. Ballard novel, and the ending might not be entirely satisfying, but it's not a cheat. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
2.5/4 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Ryan Porter Check your grounded Harrison Ford-era action ideals at the door: this is the biggest and most bonkers John Wick yet. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
2/4 Tolkien (2019) Peter Howell Tolkien is to filmmaking what spoon-feeding is to infants. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
2/4 The Hustle (2019) Peter Howell The third time for this tale is not the charm. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
3/4 Hail Satan? (2019) Peter Howell These outspoken occultists consider themselves not so much part of a religion as a politically active agency espousing individualism, self-expression and liberty. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
1.5/4 Long Shot (2019) Peter Howell It's more than a little disturbing that a woman as smart and capable as Field would deem it necessary to hire an arrogant jerk like Flarsky to "punch up" her speeches. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
3/4 Knock Down the House (2019) Peter Howell The definitive AOC doc awaits, but Knock Down the House provides a bracing first draft. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2019
3/4 Diane (2018) Peter Howell Diane is a sublime puzzle of a movie, resolving itself without completely yielding its secrets. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
3.5/4 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Peter Howell Mathematicians say infinity has no end. Avengers: Endgame thrillingly and movingly proves them wrong. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
0.5/4 The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Peter Howell This is what happens when franchise greed is put ahead of storytelling basics. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
3.5/4 High Life (2018) Peter Howell The vastness of space is such a natural fit for the free-floating narratives of Claire Denis, it's a wonder she hasn't embraced sci-fi before now. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
3/4 Rafiki (2018) Peter Howell Rafiki hardly breaks new narrative ground, but Kahiu's fluid direction and wholly empathetic performances by Mugatsia and Munyiva make the movie special. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
2.5/4 Girls of the Sun (2018) Peter Howell It doesn't stint on war-movie tropes and cliché-filled speeches, sometimes to its detriment. It fares better in recognizing the humanity and determination of the female soldiers. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
2/4 Hellboy (2019) Peter Howell It's in tune with the current public taste for over-the-top horror. But it seems pointless regardless, as does the CGI overkill that turns every battle into a bloodbath leaving mutilated and decapitated bodies. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
3/4 Her Smell (2018) Peter Howell A fame-to-flameout movie that leaves scorch marks on the brain. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
2/4 Little (2019) Peter Howell If only Jordan could have directed some of her drill-sergeant fury toward the writers and makers of Little, it might have been a better movie. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
3.5/4 Amazing Grace (2018) Peter Howell The film still isn't technically perfect - the editing is rough, technical snafus sometimes slow the flow and the camera crew is all too visible - but the sound and emotion power over any ragged spots. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
2.5/4 Missing Link (2019) Peter Howell The animation is almost too good for a story this slender - the water imagery is especially impressive. But it helps make this pleasant diversion all the more enjoyable, for bigfeet and smallfeet alike. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
2.5/4 The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018) Peter Howell Visually heroic, narratively tilting at windmills, Terry Gilliam's 25-year obsession with Miguel de Cervantes' eccentric knight-errant embraces illusion with such devotion I ended up liking The Man Who Killed Don Quixote more than fighting it. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
1/4 Pet Sematary (2019) Peter Howell Pet Sematary still isn't very scary, but it's gotten a lot more stupid. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/4 Shazam! (2019) Peter Howell Shazam! is irreverent in a sweet way, not a cynical way like Deadpool. There's more reason to fear a "suitcase wedgie" (don't ask) than the threatened planetary destruction (yawn). EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/4 Carmine Street Guitars (2018) Peter Howell Mann is the hipster fly on the wall, just happy to be there and drink it all in - and to share the joy of the experience with us. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/4 Hotel Mumbai (2018) Peter Howell Hotel Mumbai is part survival thriller, part docudrama - and all of a confusion. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 Dumbo (2019) Peter Howell The film's a joy to behold, if not to ponder. Burton and his crew find magic in their paintbox that's missing in the story. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
1/4 The Beach Bum (2019) Peter Howell The Beach Bum might have worked as a fish-out-of-water comedy or redemptive story of a loser who finally learns how to win. Neither of these genre staples would appeal to a bête noire like Korine, the filmmaking equivalent of a bull in a china shop. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
3.5/4 Giant Little Ones (2018) Bruce DeMara Finally, a film about teenage sexuality and its inherent fluidity that has something authentic and intelligent to say. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 Through Black Spruce (2018) Peter Howell The movie stands on its own merits, as a simmering whodunit where plot basics are secondary to personalities, thanks to a superb cast. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 Falls Around Her (2018) Peter Howell An unexpected homecoming becomes a mystery story in Falls Around Her, a movie marking the first lead film role for Tantoo Cardinal in her 48-year career. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
3.5/4 Firecrackers (2018) Peter Howell One of the best new Canadian films in a long while... EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 The Highwaymen (2019) Peter Howell Gets the job done in as ruthless a fashion as its subjects. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/4 Us (2019) Peter Howell The film relies on the brilliant-times-two acting of Nyong'o, who slips between protective mom and devilish double with a facility that keeps everybody on edge, both on and off the screen. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/4 Ash Is Purest White (2018) Peter Howell The narrative occasionally wavers but not Zhao's performance, her best yet. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/4 The Aftermath (2019) Peter Howell From the title on down, most of the drama in The Aftermath seems to have already happened off-screen. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/4 Gloria Bell (2018) Linda Barnard Because of Moore's open-hearted, captivating portrayal of the title character, repetition won't be a drawback for those who've seen Gloria. She makes the role her own with brio and woman-power strength. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019