Toronto Star

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
2/4 Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Peter Howell When did Jack Black stop being funny? He's now just a tiresome version of Oscar the Grouch. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/4 Richard Jewell (2019) Peter Howell Eastwood knows what he's doing here, and he does it well, especially with the casting of Hauser, Rockwell and Bates, excellent actors all. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/4 The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019) Peter Howell Quietly illustrates the eternal conundrum of trying to be good without being a do-gooder, and trying to be independent while also recognizing the need for a helping hand. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/4 In Fabric (2018) Peter Howell Is "In Fabric" amusing, terrifying or instructive? That cackle you hear, with another twist of the dial, is Strickland's maniacal laughter. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
3.5/4 () Peter Howell "Antigone" views the plight of desperate immigrants through the lens of Greek tragedy, wringing compelling drama out of a situation that too often resembles catastrophe in the real world. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
2/4 Stand! (2019) Peter Howell "Stand!" unfolds as more of a series of teachable moments than as cohesive drama. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
3/4 Dark Waters (2019) Peter Howell It's enough to make you want to chuck all of your non-stick and waterproofed products after seeing this movie. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2019
3/4 () Peter Howell There's much humour but also a few swift kicks to the derriere delivered in the doc, including to supposedly mild-mannered Canadians. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2019
3/4 Queen & Slim (2019) Peter Howell "Queen & Slim" has more than a few dialogue clangers and narrative contrivances... but the felicitous pairing of Turner-Smith and Kaluuya makes the flaws easy to forgive. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
3/4 Knives Out (2019) Peter Howell "Knives Out" is as much a 'toon as it is a hat tip to the elaborate mechanics of an Agatha Christie mystery. It's silly and suspenseful in equal measure. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
3.5/4 Marriage Story (2019) Peter Howell It's not quite as bleak as a Bergman film, although the late Swedish auteur is clearly an influence on Baumbach, as well as on Robbie Ryan's austere cinematography. But it leaves similar scorch marks upon the mind and heart. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
3/4 Frozen II (2019) Peter Howell One thing that really sets "Frozen 2" apart from its predecessor is the visuals, which are as gorgeous and awe-inspiring as computer animation can possibly get. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
1/4 Charlie's Angels (2019) Peter Howell Many such scenes are shot in claustrophobic close-up, possibly in a vain attempt to disguise how fake they look or because most people will just end up watching this dumb movie on their smartphones, if they bother with it at all. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
2.5/4 Last Christmas (2019) Peter Howell Feig just wants to make people smile, and also to solve all the terrible "isms" of the world. So must all who come into his cuddly embrace. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
2/4 Doctor Sleep (2019) Peter Howell It just leaves you starving for something better. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
4/4 The Irishman (2019) Peter Howell It's a cinematic tour de force in form and substance, representing late-career high points for director Scorsese and his lead actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
3.5/4 The Cave (2019) Peter Howell "The Cave" is a stark reminder of the toll of war, but also of the tenacity of the human spirit. God may not be watching, but we all should. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
2/4 Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Peter Howell Manages to seem like a paint-by-numbers detective story even as it ambles through a byzantine narrative. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
2.5/4 Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Peter Howell Nostalgia, chemistry and some sneaky "Deadpool" sarcasm help carry the load. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
3.5/4 Western Stars (2019) Peter Howell "Western Stars," Bruce Springsteen's best album in years, makes for an enchanting movie that looks bravely ahead at the open road while casting a longing glance in the rear-view mirror. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
2.5/4 Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Peter Howell "Double Tap" ultimately staggers to the finish line through a combination of personal chemistry and audience good will - this was a sequel most fans of the original actually wanted - but there are so many instances where it could have been better. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
2/4 The Addams Family (2019) Peter Howell All this talent, but an empty crypt of a committee-written script, which goes in mainly for cornball one-liners and sight gags working the eternal Halloween conceit of the Addams saga. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
2/4 Gemini Man (2019) Peter Howell It doesn't have much of a story to tell, and it has a needlessly complicated high-tech way of telling it. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3.5/4 Joker (2019) Peter Howell The supervillain origin story to beat all origin stories. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
3/4 Monos (2019) Peter Howell It's an intoxicating descent into anarchy that alarmingly suggests the bonds of civility are all too easy to shuck off. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/4 Roger Waters: Us + Them (2019) Peter Howell This is more than just a Pink Floyd's greatest-hits show, but not much more than that. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/4 Ad Astra (2019) Peter Howell Stellar acting, along with the pretty pictures, overrides the film's structural limitations. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
3/4 Downton Abbey (2019) Debra Yeo If you are a Downton fan, you will lap this movie up as if it were served to you with a silver spoon carefully polished by butler Barrow EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
3/4 Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) Peter Howell The film is kind of brilliant in the way it covers and contextualizes more than 50 years of groundbreaking music in barely two hours. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
2/4 The Whistlers (2019) Peter Howell A great idea, badly executed. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
2/4 A Hidden Life (2019) Peter Howell Malick falls prey yet again to the voice-over whispering and dreamy cloud-watching he relies on too much. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
1.5/4 () Peter Howell Coogan's one-note riff gets old quickly and the anti-exploitation message lacks punch. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
1.5/4 The Goldfinch (2019) Peter Howell A movie as inert as the famous oil painting it is titled for. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
2/4 Frankie (2019) Peter Howell Any film that wastes the great Isabelle Huppert is a crime. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 Waves (2019) Peter Howell Waves takes us on a real journey, leaving us breathless but also marvelling at the end. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 The Two Popes (2019) Peter Howell This is a crowd-pleaser for believers and agnostics alike. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2019) Peter Howell This... is very much guitarist/songwriter Robertson's version of the truth, but it rings true as it accounts how drugs, petty jealousies and other demons ultimately undid these Fab Five musicians. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 Just Mercy (2019) Peter Howell Strong performances, especially by Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Tim Blake Nelson, help make the message a movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 Judy (2019) Peter Howell Renée Zellweger wasn't the obvious choice to play the late Judy Garland, the joyful Wizard of Oz ingénue turned adult captive of addiction and anxiety, but she makes it seem like there's no place like her home. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/4 Jojo Rabbit (2019) Peter Howell Taika Waititi knocks it out of der park with the meaningful lunacy of his anti-hate satire, which is equal parts Mel Brooks, Wes Anderson and Waititi's own whimsical brilliance. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
2.5/4 Hustlers (2019) Peter Howell If you want to see JLo in her best role in 21 years, since she dallied with George Clooney in Out of Sight, you've come to the right naughty place. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 Ford v Ferrari (2019) Peter Howell The story's great and the racetrack action leaves skid marks on the eyeballs. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Peter Howell Can you dig it? Consider it dug. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Peter Howell Tom Hanks fits the red sweater like he was born in it, but Marielle Heller's unique take on Fred Rogers' magnetism exceeds impersonation. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 The Wild Goose Lake (2019) Peter Howell It's an exercise in pure cinema, an abstract painting of a crime story. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 Varda by Agnès (2019) Peter Howell A master class on filmmaking by the late, great Agnès Varda, by way of a tour of her 64 years behind and in front of the lens, as a leading force of the French New Wave. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 () Peter Howell Take those Canadian history books, pile them up with maple-tree bark and set them ablaze. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 The Traitor (2019) Peter Howell This mob tale steals our attention. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 Sorry We Missed You (2019) Peter Howell Bleak even by Loach's no-guff standards, but it kicks like a mule. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Peter Howell The film could be considered Exhibit A for essays on the female gaze. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019