Writer-director Sara Colengelo’s remake of Nadav Lapid’s 2014 Israeli drama The Kindergarten Teacher is a delicately, but darkly crafted morality tale that’s elevated to even further greatness and nuance thanks to an exceptional leading performance from the always reliable Maggie Gyllenhaal.
A hokey, inauthentic biopic of one of the biggest names in bodybuilding and fitness, George Gallo’s frequently risible and always unfortunate Bigger has a pair of unique leading performances and very little else worth talking about.
Writer-director Drew Goddard’s talky, delicately constructed, but dangerously overstuffed 60s set suspense mystery Bad Times at the El Royale is an overlong, but curiously still underdeveloped bit of entertainment that wins one over through the sheer force of the performances contained within it and a handful of good ideas.
An impassioned, emotional, and vital look at a young person of colour growing up in America, George Tillman Jr.s’ The Hate U Give isn’t a perfect piece of cinematic activism or even a narratively balanced bit of storytelling, but it’s still perfect in all the ways that matter most.
A personal, terrestrial, and sometimes even bracingly experimental look at the historical race to reach the moon, Damien Chazelle’s First Man is a technically dazzling and dramatically satisfying work from one of this generation’s finest filmmakers.
More of the same only considerably less, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween does away with most of the ingenuity and fun of its predecessor in favour of a limp rehash of the first movie’s high spots that are delivered with half the ingenuity and half the energy.
The 2018 Toronto After Dark Festival kicks off this week (and runs through to October ) with a screening of one of the best foreign films of the year, writer-director Issa López haunting, violent, and resoundingly timely modern fairy tale Tigers Are Not Afraid.
All About Nina is a mediocre, unsurprising look at the darkness lurking in the hearts and minds of many stand-up comics that’s elevated considerably by a note-perfect and blistering leading performance and one timely scene that’s one of the year’s best stand alone moments.
Gareth Evans, the Welsh director of The Raid and its subsequent sequel, successfully switches filmmaking gears with Apostle, a slowed down and initially restrained sort of period horror film.
Writer-director Paul Greengrass is quite familiar with mounting reality based stories of everyday people suffering through physical and emotional tortures (Captain Phillips, United 93, Bloody Sunday), but his latest effort, 22 July, mines unspeakable tragedy for a more poignant, incendiary, and thought provoking look at everyday freedoms that some take for granted, and others try to twist to fit their own sickening ideologies.