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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has always found a way to make people laugh through short films and literature.  For their next trick, creators Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate effortlessly expand on their concept to include more of an emotional core to Marcel’s world in this self-titled, feature-length debut.

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Men

Following in similar footsteps as his previous feature Annihilation, Alex Garland’s Men offers an unsettling premise with visuals to match that are eventually hampered by an unnecessarily cryptic and complicated narrative.

Reviews

After Yang

After Yang chronicles the in-between of a family tragedy. Set in the not-so-distant future (similar to Spike Jonze’s Her), an assistive android named Yang (Justin H. Min, in one of this year’s strongest supporting roles) suddenly malfunctions. Yang’s assigned family are shaken up as they grasp for an action plan. The search for a satisfying resolution falls on the father, Jake (Colin Farrell), who slowly discovers more of Yang’s purpose as he shops around for repair…

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Red Rocket

Filmmaker Sean Baker follows up his American masterpiece The Florida Project, a drama about a helpless community living on the fringe of fantasy, with Red Rocket, another winner that dabbles in the same wheelhouse but broadening its scope to a rural population.  And much like how The Florida Project found humour in innocence, Red Rocket finds humour in ignorance.

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The Humans

The Humans is the type of movie that makes you want to jump through the screen.  Not because the film has transported you and swallowed you up, but rather because you want a better seat and you want to tell everyone to speak up.

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Zola

Zola, to an extent, is experimental with its narrative.  While it flows coherently, the film is very much still in tune with its source material – a series of tweets explaining a story that’s “strange yet true” – and presents itself as someone spinning you a wild yarn (intercut with tangents and outbursts).

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Minari

In Minari, a Korean family travels from California to build a new homestead in Arkansas;  in hopes that they’ll be able to create a farm and make a decent living selling their culture’s food to local markets.  This premise, however, is merely a clothesline for writer/director Lee Isaac Chung to hang up different moments in this family’s life that will, eventually, piece together their memories and future.

Reviews

The Lighthouse

After wowing audiences with his feature-length debut The Witch, writer/director Robert Eggers takes a big swing with The Lighthouse – a film with more specifications and fewer actors.  His latest film connected with many (our own Shahbaz Khayambashi loved it at TIFF), but it didn’t work for me.  I can appreciate the dedication of Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe (which translates into their memorable performances), but the actors are wasted on a movie that’s too muddled…