Review: ENDER'S GAME Is Not Worth Playing

I had some time during the generally tedious Ender's Game to let my mind drift, hearkening back to a time when I would have been genuinely excited to see this kind of film on screen. I'd have been a young teen,... More »

Review: FREE BIRDS Hits Plymouth Rock Bottom

In a rare occurrence, American narcissism trumps Hollywood's modern global cash-grab mentality, but still maintains all the lowest common denominator tropes of the latter with Free Birds - an obnoxious 3D animated children's misfire that's throwing its gizzard in... More »
By Jim Tudor   

Review: THE COUNSELOR, Deranged, Dazzling, And Diabolical

I was slack-jawed and spellbound while watching Cormac McCarthy's first original screenplay unfold on screen. Diabolically unpredictable and wildly discursive, problematic yet bold, the story itself is not the thing: it's the characters and the words, and the twisted criminal... More »

Review: CARRIE Remake Stays Close to the Original, Still Works

It's been 37 years since Brian De Palma turned Stephen King's first published novel, Carrie, into a bloody camp classic, more than enough time for the idea of a remake to become palatable (not to mention financially appealing). And its... More »

Review: ESCAPE PLAN Is Escapist Fun

Let's be super clear right from the top: Escape Plan is a film that you will enjoy in direct proportion to your expectations. If you're expecting some transcendent breakdown of action tropes, pitting two aging action stars against their own... More »

New York Film Fest 2013 Review: Spike Jonze's HER Is The New Anthem Of The Millennial Generation

It's hard to believe that Her is only Spike Jonze's fourth feature film since he has been in our pop-culture consciousness for a long time. With his innovative music videos and films, he's always been creating worlds that are both... More »

Review: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, A Remarkably Rich And Thrilling Tale Of Piracy On The High Seas

In April 2009, Captain Richard Phillips was aboard the MV Maersk Alabama, a container ship bringing supplies and donations to Kenya. Passing through international waters off the coast of Somalia, the ship was commandeered by a small band of pirates,... More »

Review: MACHETE KILLS, Drilling Grindhouse Viewers Into Submission

Self-aware, self-referential, and self-abusing, Machete Kills splatters a full load of gooey grindhouse goodness onto the screen even before the main titles roll. Having turned the volume up to 11, however, that leaves more than 100 minutes to be filled... More »

Review: DIANA Is A Minefield Of Poor Decisions And Missed Opportunities

From its risible dialogue to its strangely affected central performance, Oliver Hirschbiegel's dramatisation of Diana's final years is an uncomfortable and mostly tedious affair that feels perpetually in fear of revealing anything even remotely interesting about the ill-fated People's Princess.... More »

Review: RUNNER RUNNER, Flush With Hollywood Contrivances

Oh, Hollywood. Just as festival season wraps up for us here in Toronto, you give us this false sense that things are all good in the cinematic world. Last week gave us Rush, this week Gravity, two extraordinary films, among... More »

Review: Eugenio Derbez's INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED Recalls The Laziest And Sappiest Adam Sandler Movies

Eugenio Derbez was once an irreverent television comedian. At least that's how I recall him from the time I was growing up (the nineties), watching stuff like Televisa's coverage of the 1998 FIFA World Cup with Derbez mocking the serious... More »

Review: THANKS FOR SHARING Seeks Sympathy For Sex Addicts

Are you a sex addict? Do you know a sex addict? Would you like to know more about the subject, but wish someone would make a movie about it, rather than publish another book? According to Stuart Blumberg's new film... More »

TIFF 2013 Review: ENOUGH SAID Simply Falls Flat

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... More »

TIFF 2013 Review: In THE F WORD, F Is For Fresh

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... More »

TIFF 2013 Review: BAD WORDS, Jason Bateman's Dark And Funny Debut

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).... More »

Review: INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 Teeters On The Edge Of Horror Hokum

Less nerve-jangling than nerve-nudging, Insidious: Chapter 2 nontheless tweaks horror conventions with verve and surety of craft, taking the sequel into the realm of confrontational thrillers with a supernatural twist. It is a very bizarre realm, indeed. James Wan has... More »

TIFF 2013 Review: WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE Is A Smart Slice Of Small-Town Noir

The feature debut from directorial siblings Simon and Zeke Hawkins is a tense and earthy film noir that wears its pulp influences proudly on its sleeve as it weaves a tale of love, betrayal and escape through the underbelly of... More »

TIFF 2013 Review: MCCANICK Brings Old-School Grit To Screen

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... More »

TIFF 2013 Review: RUSH Burns Rubber, Makes Hearts Race

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... More »

TIFF 2013 Review: DEVIL'S KNOT Adds Little To Tragic Story

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... More »
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