An intense and intelligent psychological thriller, family drama, and sci-fi epic all rolled into one, writer-director James Gray’s Ad Astra is one of the most original and moving big budget pictures of the year.
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band – which recently became the first ever Canadian documentary to open the Toronto International Film Festival – is a one-sided, boilerplate, but somewhat personable look at one of rock and roll’s most divisive figures.
After working as a documentarian and journalist for over twenty years, Spurlock wants viewers to still see him as a jovial everyman with a few choice cards up his sleeve. I’m not lovin’ it, and while there are plenty of facts on display throughout Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken that bear repeating, I’m not buyin’ it.
A moving film about love, friendship, and impending loss that never panders or gives in to unwarranted emotional manipulation, The Friend is a delicate and thoughtful take on material that could’ve easily been turned into an empty tearjerker.
Austere and restrained almost to a fault, the Danish thriller and family drama Resin is a fairly forgettable tale told with plenty of brooding style, great performances, and not much else worth recommending.
A clever, twisty, and consistently exciting bit of high concept sci-fi, the Canadian thriller Freaks takes great pleasure in never giving audiences what they expect, but instead giving them what they never knew they needed.
Adapting something as sprawling, highly detailed, strange, and twisty as Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning 2014 novel The Goldfinch for the big screen might’ve been an impossible task for anyone to attempt, but director John Crowley and screenwriter Peter Straughan certainly give their all with this uneven, sometimes bizarre, but never boring literary epic.
The German domestic thriller Pelican Blood starts off by employing a more psychologically based approach to a Bad Seed story of a child with violent impulses, but quickly devolves into monotony and cliches, despite the best efforts of all involved.
The Audition has a story that’s bound to draw comparisons to Damien Chazelle’s breakthrough film Whiplash, but director Ina Weisse’s approach is decidedly less showy and melodramatic.
Walk, drive, bus, or bicycle down any road in North America long enough, and you’re likely to stumble upon a church. In some cases, there will be more than one. But few roads compare to No. 5 Road in Richmond, British Columbia, the subject of filmmaker Sandra Ignagni’s short documentary, Highway to Heaven: A Mosaic in One Mile