TIFF 2013: Compelling, Cookie Cutter Cop Drama


By: Addison Wylie

In terms of being a worthwhile cop drama, McCanick won’t astound movie goers, but it certainly does the trick.

The problem with McCanick is that it has a really hard time trying to escape the shadow of other more successful cop dramas like Training Day and more recent middle-of-the-road fare brought to us by Antoine Fuqua.

Josh C. Waller’s film allows David Morse to take a break from being a quirky supporting character and take the stage as the renegade title role.

Daniel Noah’s screenplay utilizes many tired clichés unfortunately, which dampens the intimidation the film and McCanick are supposed to give off.  Morse is still nerve-wracking as an unstable loose canon, but anyone can be scary when they’re randomly pointing a gun at thugs – asking the audience to question who the real villain is in a scene.

However, a lot of McCanick is saved by its riveting performances.  The characters may lack originality, but the powerful acting by Morse and the remaining cast pack a successful punch.

Waller and Noah’s edginess is introduced during the final stretch, and the film becomes interesting and provocative; offering hidden intentions with tons of ambition on the filmmaker’s part.  I also liked the film’s greasy cinematography – adding a layer of grime to the shadiness.

Finally, Monteith’s last performance is exceptional and bittersweet.  It’s a well-handled role for the actor, making a sensible transition to more adult features with real consequences.  It’s a strong reminder that Monteith could’ve easily been a contender.


McCanick has its world premiere at TIFF on September 9 at 7:15 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre as well as an encore screening on September 10 at 10:15 p.m. at Isabel Bader Theatre.

Rating: 14A
Language: English
Runtime: 96 minutes

Realted Links:

For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.

Check out the McCanick TIFF page here.

Buy tickets here.

More TIFF13 Coverage:

Read my Wylie Writes review of Don Jon here.

Read my Film Army review of Faith Connections here.

Read my Film Army reviews of RolandParadise FallsAnatomy of Assistance, and We Wanted More here.

Read my Film Army review of The Dick Knost Show here.

Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:

Film Army: @FilmArmy
Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

Trackbacks & Pingbacks (1)

  1. Wylie Writes Reviews 'Hollow in the Land'

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.