Radheyan Simonpillai

Radheyan Simonpillai
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 81% Queen & Slim (2019) A sensuous moment is repeatedly, intentionally and frustratingly interrupted by cutaways to a protest, where Black citizens clash violently with police. Even in sex, their pleasure is punctured with the strife and tension facing Black lives. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2019
3/5 50% 21 Bridges (2019) It muscles through with movie star swagger brought to you by Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman and Scarborough's own Stephan James. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2019
1/5 52% Charlie's Angels (2019) The post-#MeToo Charlie's Angels tries to enjoy the brand's silliness while justifying its existence today. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2019
5/5 96% The Irishman (2019) Many characters enter the movie just as onscreen text briefs us on how they die. People's deaths are introduced before they are, ensuring that every encounter carries the weight of an obituary. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
3/5 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Eddie Murphy's take on Rudy Ray Moore is also a nuts-and-bolts look at what goes into a comic performance - and it's coming from one of the world's greatest comedians. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
5/5 95% Uncut Gems (2019) The movie is dark and wickedly funny. And Uncut Gems is long but never drags; there's so much propulsive, forward momentum even when the characters never get anywhere. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
2/5 84% Downton Abbey (2019) Serves a fond nostalgia for the British monarchy in the same way that Gone With the Wind served the Old South. - CTV's Your Morning EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
2/5 85% Waves (2019) Waves doesn't seem particularly concerned about how a story about fatherhood and toxic masculinity becomes a conversation about Black fathers and Black masculinity. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2019
2/5 82% Just Mercy (2019) As a heroic lawyer, Jordan (who also served as producer) is more refined and dignified than all the movie lawyers (and perhaps real-life lawyers) before him. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
3/5 88% Hustlers (2019) Hustlers is a Goodfellas-style caper. But here, the fellas are easy marks. It's the women who - to quote cast member Cardi B - make the money moves. The satisfaction is undeniable. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
2/5 62% It Chapter Two (2019) Who could care for nearly three hours? Muschietti's faithful adaptation, with all its creative and creepy set pieces, can't justify that numbing run time... - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
4/5 70% Disappearance at Clifton Hill (2019) Niagara's clash between gaudy neon lights, dingy diners, shadowy alleys and general David Lynch vibes sets the stage for a mystery that may only be imagined. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 2, 2019
3/5 88% Aquarela (2019) The film is 89 minutes of undeniably beautiful iceberg, tidal waves and waterfalls. But that gets redundant...but Aquarela makes it all worthwhile for those choice sights (captured at 96fps) and sounds presented in Dolby Atmos. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
3/5 80% Good Boys (2019) What does it mean to be "good boys" in a raunchy comedy set post-American Pie, post-Superbad and post-#MeToo? I'm not accusing the filmmakers of thinking too hard about this. But the film does bear witness to a moment. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/5 90% Luce (2019) Luce is less an empathetic character and more an idea, a functional conduit in a plot that is eager to tee up loaded conversations about race, wokeness, over-policing and rape culture. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
4/5 86% Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019) Ansari's gags, whether poking fun at himself or his gullible audience, have a soul-searching feel, as if the tainted comic is exploring where he fits amidst all these debates and controversies. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2019
3/5 98% Maiden (2019) The movie is catnip for the gender parity conversation that ends on a triumphant note. - NOW Toronto EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
2/5 23% 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 79% 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 68% 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 54% 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 88% 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 83% 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 75% 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 96% 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 61% 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 70% 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 43% 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 88% 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 20% 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
23% 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
92% 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