Rhymes For Young Ghouls

Rhymes For Young Ghouls

Directed By: Jeff Barnaby


“The day I found my mother dead I aged by one thousand years.” So begins this harrowing, explosive debut from Jeff Barnaby. The backstory may be unfamiliar to audiences – the post-genocide period of our countries treatment of its Native population was governed by the Indian Act, words from which serve as the introductory passage [...]

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Enough Said

Enough Said

Directed By: Nicole Holofcener


I saw Enough Said at a festival screening surrounded by several of my colleagues. They laughed at the jokes (there are many), they fell for the characters, and they left the film happy and content with this presumably insightful and warm portrayal of a woman coming to terms with her foibles. I, on the other [...]

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Starred Up

Starred Up

Directed By: David Mackenzie


Starred Up is a gritty, intense, and shockingly unique take on the prison drama genre. Yes, there are echoes of the likes of HBO’s OZ, but David MacKenzie’s take on the family dynamics in jail is executed in a fresh and vital fashion. When we meet Eric (Jack O’Connell), he has just been transferred from [...]

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12.12.12 / Made In America

12.12.12 / Made In America

Directed By: Amir Bar-Lev, Charlie Lightening, Meghan O'Hara / Ron Howard


There are loads of ways to do a concert documentary. One is to simply shoot the goings on that take place on stage – set up a bunch of cameras and be done with it. Given that the majority of big shows are shown via video screens anyway, this is hardly an uncommon process, as [...]

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Sunshine on Leith

Sunshine on Leith

Directed By: Dexter Fletcher


What would happen if Ken Loach or Mike Leigh made a musical? You know, cast a bunch of hardscrabble Brits in a family drama, add a bit of grit and friction, and set it all within the context of a jukebox musical? It shouldn’t work at all, yet Dexter Fletcher’s Sunshine on Leith manages, almost [...]

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The F Word

The F Word

Directed By: Michael Dowse


Ah, the 20-something romantic comedy. A genre usually filled with twee Emo-soundtrack tunes, magical or manic pixie dreamgirls, and the shuffling boys who win their love through good heartedness. Some are decent, some utterly wretched, but most follow a pretty narrow path. It’s to Michael Dowse’s credit that The F Word manages to feel so [...]

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Bad Words

Bad Words

Directed By: Bad Words


The career of Jason Batemen is rather fascinating. Rising from a sidekick on Silver Spoons early in his career, he stumbled through a number of films that his sister’s sit-com sibling would pass on (including the truly egregious Teen Wolf Too). He showed up as a minor character in a few projects here and there but [...]

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Enemy

Enemy

Directed By: Denis Villeneuve


With film, things often come in pairs. Sometimes the doubles are explicit; some studio vying with another for a given plot, be it a tale of animated insects or impending asteroid impacts. Sometimes, the twinning takes the form of accidental synergy; say the back-to-back S&M Asian romps of Moebius and R100 that I experienced earlier [...]

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A Touch Of Sin

A Touch Of Sin

Directed By: Jia Zhangke


Almost a week after I screened A Touch Of Sin, I’m still trying to come to grips with my reaction to it. There’s plenty to admire about Jia Zhangke’s film, from its stark violence through its sweeping scope, but I can’t help but come back to the fact that its 129 minute running time made [...]

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Man Of Tai Chi

Man Of Tai Chi

Directed By: Keanu Reeves


It’s not entirely simply a matter of being snarky to refer to Keanu Reeve’s directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, as a vanity project through and through. Constructed as a showcase for martial artist Tiger Hu Chen, this is hardly the first time in the history of action films that an entire project has revolved [...]

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Oculus

Oculus

Directed By: Mike Flanagan


The Midnight Madness slate usually has a few rules – keep things snappy, keep them gory, and you’ll do well to keep the denizens of the dark with you for a running time that stretches well into the very early morning. Splatters of blood and blaring horns are often key, and often mood is sacrificed [...]

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McCanick

McCanick

Directed By: Josh C. Waller


Once upon a time, our screens were littered with one-name cops – Serpico, Canon, Columbo, Kojak, all with hard C-sounding consonant names that bespoke of a grittiness or hard hardheadedness. It’s no surprise that McCanick borrows both the power of the single named title and many of the same consonants, as it plays as a [...]

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Rush

Rush

Directed By: Ron Howard


There’s a dilemma about any “based on a true story” film. First, the movie has to work for those unfamiliar with actual events, those neophytes completely unaware of actual historical facts. Most movies often coddle these people, spending far too much time situating plot with interminable exposition that it all becomes a bit pedantic. Secondly, [...]

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Devil’s Knot

Devil’s Knot

Directed By: Atom Egoyan


For each of the last three years, the story of what transpired in West Memphis, Arkansas on May 5, 1993 has been the subject of a film that has played the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2011, we saw the third installment of the Award winning Paradise Lost series. After an initial documentary that brought [...]

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Gravity

Gravity

Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón


You’re going to hear a lot about this film, gushing hyperbole about how Alfonso Cuarón has created a new masterpiece of such wonderful elegance that it’s a sight to behold. You’ll hear that it’s the best set-in-space film of all time. You might hear talk of the lengths they surely went through filming the thing. [...]

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The Dog

The Dog

Directed By: Allison Berg, Frank Keraudren


The Dog is a highly entertaining if slightly indulgent look at the life of John Wojtowicz, the man who was portrayed by Al Pacino in Lumet’s classic Dog Day Afternoon. Wojtowicz is a pretty fascinating guy who crammed more than his share of lives into his time on earth, and we learn from a series [...]

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Break Loose

Break Loose

Directed By: Aleksey Uchitel


All the ingredients are here for a fine thriller – political discord, corrupt cops, ruthless proto-oligarchs, and car chases, all set against the backdrop of the waning years of Yeltsin, and the massive social and political change that would take place under Putin ushering Russia into the new Millennium. Alas, despite its slick facade and [...]

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The Square

The Square

Directed By: Jehane Noujaim


Let’s cut right to the chase – Jehane Noujaim’s epic, astonishing documentary The Square is easily one of the most complex, most nuanced, and frankly most important documentaries made about the ongoing political developments in Egypt. Heck, I’ll go further, it’s one of the finer historical documentaries I think that’s ever been made, period. I [...]

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Triptych

Triptych

Directed By: Robert Lepage, Pedro Pires


Québecois filmmaker and theatre director Robert Lepage is one of Canada’s truly great artists, a man of astonishing visual style. Since then he has achieved great acclaim, often playing larger on the international stage than he does in most of English Canada. For his latest film, Lepage has teamed up with award-winning short film director [...]

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Tim’s Vermeer

Tim’s Vermeer

Directed By: Teller


For decades now, Penn & Teller have made a living pricking the balloon of illusion, showing the skill and sheer tenacity behind magical performances that’s as compelling as any level of deceipt or subterfuge. What makes their shtick so engaging is that they go out of their way to show you how the trick was [...]

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The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate

Directed By: Bill Condon


Over the weeks leading up to the Toronto International Film Festival, I’ve been asked repeatedly about the choice of this film as an opening Gala. Many have questions whether the opening film somehow speaks to a great theme at the fest, as if a single title can speak for the hundreds of films from all [...]

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Parkland

Parkland

Directed By: Peter Landesman


It’s not really a surprise that the Kennedy Assassination continues to hold so much sway some half century after its occurrence. A young, charismatic President cut off in his prime, a picture-perfect doting wife, and all the mystery and machinations surrounding his death have made for generations of responses to the events of November 22, [...]

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Talking G.I. JOE, THE HOST and more!

Talking G.I. JOE, THE HOST and more!

Directed By:


While I had to skip a press screening of the latest in the G.I. Joe franchise because of this week’s “Seder” thing, I ended up paying good money to see The Rock fight some bumblebees (really, it was kind of hard to pay attention to what was going on after a while). While I enjoyed [...]

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THE HOST Makes One Hate Cinema

THE HOST Makes One Hate Cinema

Directed By:


It’s rare that I see a film as patently awful as The Host. I mean, sure, I’ve stomached the likes of Identity Thief in the last few months, but this latest “film” from the “mind” of Twilight “author” Stephenie Meyer may well go down in history as one of the worst things ever screened to [...]

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Podcast – Talking OLYMPUS, ADMISSION and More With Movie Knight

Podcast – Talking OLYMPUS, ADMISSION and More With Movie Knight

Directed By:


I was a guest on the Movie Monarchy podcast with Matt Rorabeck and Eric Marchen, where we talked…and talked… and even got to discuss such things at Olympus Has Fallen, Admission, and a bunch of other stuff. Click here to download MP3. Check out Movie-Knight.com

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Beyond the Spectre of HBO’s PHIL SPECTOR

Beyond the Spectre of HBO’s PHIL SPECTOR

Directed By:


All the ingredients are there – a salacious crime and trial that captivated tabloids, centered around a man that has had the name genius about him for half a century. A quirky, charismatic dwarven weirdo that helped shape the sounds of a generation, caught up in a sordid celebrity case that L.A. is ground zero [...]

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I’ve Fallen For OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

I’ve Fallen For OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

Directed By:


I think the only proper way to fully convey the power, the majesty, the sheer awesomeness of Olympus Has Fallen is to do so with the same level of bombastic hyperbole that the film exhibits. It’s as if the only way you can really sum up your experience of seeing this Die Hard-in-the-Whitehouse masterpiece is [...]

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DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ Traces Remarkable Journey

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ Traces Remarkable Journey

Directed By:


The story is so remarkable you almost can’t help but being skeptical that it wasn’t crafted just to be the basis of a film some day — massive international touring band loses their second main lead singer, and needs to find a guy to fill some pretty massive footsteps. Then, tooling around Youtube, one of [...]

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THE GATEKEEPERS Is A Piercing Documentary

THE GATEKEEPERS Is A Piercing Documentary

Directed By:


It came as no surprise in retrospect that The Gatekeepers is a film celebrated by Errol Morris. Having missed the film when it played TIFF last September, I had assumed, incorrectly, that it’d be a dry piece, merely talking heads parsing out careful responses. Instead, we get something quite remarkable, a decidedly open and honest [...]

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JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Boldly Slashes Forth, Free Of Irony

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Boldly Slashes Forth, Free Of Irony

Directed By:


Color me surprised, because if Jack the Giant Slayer isn’t quite the best movie of the year so far, it’s at least a damn good one. It’s fair to say the movie had a stink about it. It was meant to come out last summer, and got pushed back for a variety of reasons, ostensibly [...]

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