NOW Toronto

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
5/5 The Irishman (2019) Radheyan Simonpillai 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. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
3/5 Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Norman Wilner The most disturbing element of all is the creeping sense that this franchise has become its own Skynet, relentlessly trying to rewrite its own history in order to guarantee a successful future. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
3/5 The Cave (2019) Norman Wilner This doc about an underground hospital trying to save victims of the Syrian civil war is immediate and dramatic - even with shameless flourishes. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
2/5 Black and Blue (2019) Norman Wilner [It] has all the ingredients to work, but gets the recipe wrong... EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
4/5 Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (2019) Norman Wilner Robespierre sets up a playful rhythm between the performance material and the straight documentary that turns the project's two halves into a kind of conversation. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
3/5 Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Norman Wilner That's what Double Tap offers...a chance to hang out in the world you presumably enjoyed the first time, with celebrity references and inventive zombie kills and a general sense that you don't need to invest very much in anything... EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
2/5 Greener Grass (2019) Norman Wilner Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe's indie is full of gifted comedy players but doesn't have anything to say. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
2/5 The King (2019) Norman Wilner Chalamet is miscast - and while Edgerton has a good grasp of Falstaff, the mechanics of the story keep him on the sidelines for much of the first two acts. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
1/5 Gemini Man (2019) Norman Wilner It hurt me to watch Gemini Man, and I mean that literally: I'm typing this through a splitting headache. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
1/5 Lucky Day (2019) Norman Wilner ...production value alone is no reason to see Lucky Day. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Harpoon (2019) Norman Wilner Rob Grant's genre-stretching film is both a barbed comedy of manners and a survival picture. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
4/5 MS Slavic 7 (2019) Norman Wilner Audrey seems more real with each appearance - stubborn, thoughtful, focused to the point of fixation - and as ever, I'm curious to see where she goes next. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 Matthias & Maxime (2019) Kevin Ritchie Men who struggle to be vulnerable is a big theme in cinema lately (Ad Astra being a major example), but Matthias & Maxime goes deeper than most - even if it fumbles, albeit fittingly, toward its conclusion. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Radheyan Simonpillai 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. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 In the Tall Grass (2019) Norman Wilner It's less derivative than affectionate, which makes a world of difference. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
4/5 First Love (2019) Norman Wilner The Japanese auteur's latest gangland thriller contains a core of delicate nobility at its centre. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
4/5 Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Glenn Sumi ...Hanging over much of the film is the singer's illness, which is dealt with tastefully and without exploitation. The final 10 minutes are poignant. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
4/5 Judy (2019) Norman Wilner Rupert Goold's biopic about Judy Garland's last months is a moving look at art, love and sacrifice. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
4/5 Monos (2019) Norman Wilner Monos is a masterful, visceral film. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
5/5 Uncut Gems (2019) Radheyan Simonpillai 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. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
4/5 Downton Abbey (2019) Glenn Sumi The film's merely high-toned soap opera, but veteran TV director Michael Engler successfully blends humour, pomp and pathos. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Zeroville (2019) Norman Wilner Zeroville is a very weird beast, caught somewhere between wild comedy, incomprehensible cinephilia and shameless directorial excess. Someday it might be a cult movie, but I think that day may be a long time coming. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
4/5 Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019) Norman Wilner Scott Aukerman's weird little Funny Or Die web series has evolved into a narrative feature film while still keeping its weird, spiky charm. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
1/5 Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Norman Wilner A wheezy old thriller about an old guy punching his way into and out of trouble; it's less 90s Eastwood than 90s Bronson, which is a far cheesier variation on the theme. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Honey Bee (2018) Norman Wilner Honey Bee doesn't break new ground for this sort of drama, but it distinguishes itself in its slow accumulation of small moments. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
5/5 Ad Astra (2019) Norman Wilner Of all the things I thought Ad Astra might be, I never would have predicted that James Gray would make an interplanetary riff on Apocalypse Now. But here it is, and here we are. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
2/5 () Norman Wilner It's all very pretty, and the conversations about the nature of art and truth will let people come away thinking they've seen something deep. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
4/5 () Norman Wilner Behind the conventional approach, Page and Daniel give their project a political conscience through the people they choose to interview... EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/5 () Norman Wilner Shot on location in Kampala, with civilians wandering around in the background of every wide shot, it's alive and aware in ways most mainstream movies simply aren't - even if technically it's also kind of a mess. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/5 Guns Akimbo (2019) Norman Wilner It doesn't really have anything to say, but the soundtrack is loud and the carnage is constant. That's what the kids want, right? EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/5 Lucy in the Sky (2019) Norman Wilner Natalie Portman delivers one of the most moving performances of her career... EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
2/5 Waves (2019) Radheyan Simonpillai Waves doesn't seem particularly concerned about how a story about fatherhood and toxic masculinity becomes a conversation about Black fathers and Black masculinity. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2019
2/5 Just Mercy (2019) Radheyan Simonpillai 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. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
3/5 Hustlers (2019) Radheyan Simonpillai 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. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
3/4 Sea Fever (2019) Norman Wilner While the film breaks no new ground, it's a satisfying run through familiar territory, offering reconfigured versions of scenes horror fans will know by heart, and interesting variations on the mix of characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
3/5 () Norman Wilner Holm is a fascinating young performer, and Plaugborg is alternately tender and terrible as her sworn protector. I would have liked a resolution worthy of the eerie, cryptic atmosphere, but you can't have everything. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
5/5 () Norman Wilner The assaultive, near-experimental sound design goes a long way towards putting us in Ruben's head, but Ahmed's performance makes us understand his character with a clarity that eludes Ruben himself. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
5/5 Marriage Story (2019) Norman Wilner Noah Baumbach's devastating semi-autobiographical work is one of the best films of the year. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/5 Harriet (2019) Chaka V. Grier Erivo strikingly embodies all of Tubman's stages to glory, from enslaved-yet-defiant young woman, to bold survivor and commanding leader. It's a moving performance that lingers long after the film is over and will leave many feeling empowered. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/5 Freedom (2019) Kevin Ritchie What's shocking about Liberté is that its documentary-like images are actually more banal given that breaking taboos, extreme porn imagery and trolling have been par for the course for a while now. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
4/5 Ordinary Love (2019) Glenn Sumi Owen McCafferty's script is moving because the dialogue and situations seem so ordinary. But the two actors bring depth and compassion to their characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
3/5 Human Capital (2019) Kelly Boutsalis Human Capital is a drama that aims high - tackling risk, desire and secrets, using a narrative device that splits the story into three chapters with new POVs - but it leaves too many threads and characters unexplored. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
3/5 The Truth (2019) Kevin Ritchie Ultimately, this is an insider-y movie about movies, memory and truth in art that doesn't quite transcend its Rich People Problems trappings. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
2/5 () Kevin Ritchie ...the standard talking-heads-and-news-clips execution puts the whole story at a remove, as though Kopple is expecting us to watch her movie on a screen in the kitchen while we're doing something else. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
4/5 Martin Eden (2019) Kevin Ritchie Martin Eden does what few artists or commentators care to do: attempt to grasp, rather than capitalize on, the fraught humanity and circumstances that lead to self-defeating political ideologies. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
4/5 Atlantics (2019) Kelsey Adams Through intimate camerawork, Diop creates a gentle and empathetic view of the migrant crisis and frames Dakar, with its problems and its glory, in ways that evoke her personal connection to the city and its youth. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
2/5 Bad Education (2019) Norman Wilner It's a role [Jackman] wears well, but Bad Education doesn't give him anywhere to take it. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
3/5 Synchronic (2019) Norman Wilner I gave myself over to the ride, trusting the filmmakers and actors to find a coherent through-line, and I'm pretty sure it worked out for the best. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
2/5 Ford v Ferrari (2019) Norman Wilner It's a perfectly cromulent studio entertainment, I guess, but it's not about anything. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
2/5 Joker (2019) Norman Wilner Despite Joaquin Phoenix's performance, this super-serious stand-alone origin story is very expensive and utterly hollow. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019