Toronto 2014 Review: CHARLIE'S COUNTRY, Wild Vistas, Remarkable Performances, And Assured Direction

When I saw Rolf de Heer's Bad Boy Bubby in an arthouse theatre back in the mid-90s, I was totally unprepared for such raw and nihilistic filmmaking. A violent and dark film, it was clear from that one film... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: SPRING Is No Sophomore Slump

"You saw me all fucked up and I am still here." So says Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) to his Italian girlfriend, Louise (Nadia Hilker), after discovering that her 'little secret' is well outside his comfort zone. It is this moment, well... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: SONG OF THE SEA Is A Timeless Delight For All Ages

Irish animator Tomm Moore made - to put it mildly - a very large impression with his 2009 feature debut The Secret Of Kells, a gorgeous piece of work with rich storytelling high in adventure and genuine emotion that earned... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE DEAD LANDS, An Epic Yet Intimate Action Journey

As is often the case with a classical heroic journey, what you get out of the quest is often what you bring to it. With some humility and patience, you'll be rewarded; wanting rewards without putting in the work... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE CONNECTION Misses Its Mark

The Connection (titled La French in its native county) has the makings of a great film, which is what makes the final product such a disapointment. Drawing upon the same case that was the basis for the William Friedkin... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Jason Reitman Weaves An Ambitious, Enjoyable Tapestry In MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN

Jason Reitman is having an identity crisis. As one of the most prolific voices in his generation of filmmakers, Reitman has been a model of consistency, pumping out smart and snarky dramedies every two years from Thank You For Smoking... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: BIG GAME, Big Fun That Feels Totally Fresh

It's such a delight to see a film that plays by its own rules, fulfilling the premise that it sets up, and delivering right through to the conclusion. This is especially true for Midnight movies, as often you get... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Stylish And Well Performed, SCARLET INNOCENCE Surprises And Delights

Adapted from a Korean folk tale and starting off as a softly lensed romantic melodrama, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Scarlet Innocence, the latest work from noted visual stylist Yim Pil-sung, must be primed for a local audience. Yet... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Roskam's THE DROP Is A Top Notch Crimer And Fitting Goodbye For Gandolfini

Michael Roskam burst onto the scene three years ago with his Belgian bovine crime drama Bullhead. The film thrilled audiences from Berlin to Fantastic Fest and went on to score a nomination for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. We've been... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: NIGHTCRAWLER Out Networks NETWORK

Soon after seeing this film, I just kind of blurted out what this film meant to me when talking to fellow critics - it may be premature to declare it as such, but what the hell: Nightcrawler is my... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE LITTLE DEATH, Kinky, Tragic, Hilarious

Josh Lawson is a charming and cheeky fellow. His goofiness on screen and well-mannered presence has permeated execrable dross from Australia and made it watchable. His painful turn as Doug, the loser partner in Showtime's black comedy series House of... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE PRICE WE PAY, One Of The Most Compelling Docs Of The Year

It's not often that something as dry as tax theory can result in an engrossing night at the movies, but credit Harold Crooks and his team for providing an exceptional articulation about the vagaries of "off shoring" in an... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA Will Age Gracefully

The eponymous image of Clouds of Sils Maria features a heavenly mist snaking its way through mountain peaks like a river, the rocks frozen in time, immutable, the clouds in perpetual motion.It is shown as shot for Olivier Assayas in 2014,... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS, Cluelessly Earnest

The patron saint of smashing entitlement into smithereens, Louis C.K., has a great bit about being Caucasian. The gist of it is that he can hop in a time machine and go back in history, and there will be a... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Sono's TOKYO TRIBE Is The Best Musical Of The New Decade

Disclaimer: I don't like hip hop. In fact, most of the time I can't stand it. This movie is a hip hop musical. I love this movie.Right now Tokyo Tribe is my choice for the best movie of 2014. Fascinating... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Miike's OVER YOUR DEAD BODY Fuses Both Sides Of The Maverick Director Into A Stunning Whole

Through his early years Japanese cult auteur Miike Takashi built himself a very well earned reputation as a sort of patron saint of the id, the feverish imaginings of his subconscious spilling out in wild and unpredictable gusts of blood,... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Telluride 2014 Review: ROSEWATER, Jon Stewart's Debut Is Earnest, If Middling

It's safe to say that for the last several decades Jon Stewart has been one of the most powerful voices in comedy. Since taking over The Daily Show, his show has been the beacon for popular American political satire,... More »
  

TIFF 2013 Review: WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY, A Serious (And Funny) Testament To A Lost Age

Once upon a time, Jews were funny. You'd turn on Ed Sullivan, and some Ashkenaz from the Lower East Side would be kvetching about his wife (please), or slyly kibitzing about slurping soup in a deli. Alan Zweig's documentary makes... More »
  

TIFF 2013 Review: UNFORGIVEN, A Remake That Acts As Love Letter Rather Than Redux

The cross-pollination between Japanese chambara films and the traditional Hollywood-style Western has resulted in some of the most important films in cinema history. As Kurosawa looked to John Ford for inspiration, the cycle would continue in the 60s and 70s... More »
  

TIFF 2013 Review: MANAKAMANA Transcends The Simplicity Of Its Journey

Two elderly women sit in a gondola while it travels down a verdant Nepalese mountain.  Having visited the Manakamana temple earlier in the day, they have purchased ice cream on a stick for the ride down and it is melting... More »
  
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