playing this week
How to find a listing Movie listings are comprehensive and organized alphabetically. Listings include name of film, director’s name in brackets, a review, running time and a rating. Reviews are by Norman Wilner (NW), Susan G. Cole (SGC), Glenn Sumi (GS), and Radheyan Simonpillai (RS) unless otherwise specified.
The rating system is as follows: NNNNN Top 10 of the year NNNN Honourable mention NNN Entertaining NN Mediocre N Bomb
Critics’ pick (highly recommended) Movie theatres are listed at the end and can be cross-referenced to our film times on page 37 or online at movies.nowtoronto.com ANOTHER KIND OF WEDDING (Pat Kiely) See Also Opening, page 35. 86 min. Opens May 18 at Yonge & Dundas 24 AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo) is, as promised, the thing to which it’s all been building – an assemblage of nearly every Marvel hero to battle the alien brute Thanos (Josh Brolin), who seeks to wipe out precisely half of all life in the galaxy. With the cosmos-spanning scale, the unimaginable stakes and the everything-bagel nature of the cast, Infinity War sets up a state of breathless emergency and keeps heaping crisis upon crisis – and while individual sequences are solid, the whole thing borders on exhausting. 149 min. NNN (NW) Beach Cinemas, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Eglinton Town Centre, Imagine Market Square, Imagine Promenade Mall, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale, Varsity, Yonge & Dundas 24 BAD SAMARITAN (Dean Devlin) has one clever shot and one great line, and they’re about 90 minutes apart. Is it worth slogging through the dull, uninspired movie in between, even for David Tennant’s most dedicated fans? Nah. Producer/director Devlin has no feeling for the cat-and-mouse genre at all – and worse, he’s got nothing to work with: Brandon Boyce’s script is entirely lacking in complexity or innovation, with underdeveloped characters the cast simply can’t turn into interesting people. This is just junk. 110 min. NN (NW) Canada Square, Eglinton Town Centre, Queensway, SilverCity Yorkdale, Yonge & Dundas 24
BEIRUT (Brad Anderson) is a solid little ñ thriller about a burnt-out former diplomat (Jon Hamm) pulled back into the rat’s nest of Lebanon circa 1982 when an old friend is taken hostage. Hamm’s great as a man desperately trying to piece together a massively complex operation from the outside, and director Anderson surrounds him with a top-flight supporting cast, including Rosamund Pike, Shea Whigham and Dean Norris. All in all, a very pleasant surprise. 109 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Imagine Carlton Cinema
BLACK PANTHER (Ryan Coogler) is to ñ
the ongoing Marvel project as director/co-writer Coogler’s Creed was to the Rocky movies – a film simultaneously beholden to its franchise and alive to every possibility within it, creating a new world within the existing master narrative. Chadwick Boseman remains magnetic as hell as King T’Challa, and the knockout cast includes Michael B. Jordan, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira. Go see it. Some subtitles. 134 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Eglinton Town Centre, Im-
agine Carlton Cinema, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Yonge Blockers (Kay Cannon) is a messy, frantic comedy about three parents (Leslie Mann, John Cena, Ike Barinholtz) trying to keep their teen daughters (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon) from having sex on prom night. Maybe first-time director Cannon (who wrote the Pitch Perfect trilogy) needed more time to rework Brian and Jim Kehoe’s script to find the right balance of feeling and farce. Instead, interesting character beats are buried under a flood of awkward nude scenes and gross-out stunts. 102 min. NN (NW) Canada Square, Fox, Imagine Carlton Cinema, Queensway, Yonge & Dundas 24 Book cluB (Bill Holderman) See Also Opening, page 35. 104 min. Opens May 18 at Beach Cinemas, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Eglinton Town Centre, Imagine Market Square, Imagine Promenade Mall, Queensway, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale, Varsity, Yonge & Dundas 24 Boom for real: The laTe TeeNage Years of JeaN-michel BasquiaT (Sara Driver) 79 min. See review, this page. NN (KR) Opens May 18 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Borg vs. mceNroe (Janus Metz) turns the famous confrontation between Björn Borg and John McEnroe at Wimbledon in 1980 into a generic biopic drama, quickly establishing that the real only difference between Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf) was that McEnroe had yet to learn to control the single-mindedness that made him a great tennis player. I appreciate whatever Robert Emms is doing in the margins as Vitas Gerulaitis; that guy’s in a much more interesting movie. Some subtitles. 108 min. NN (NW) TIFF Bell Lightbox BreakiNg iN (James McTeigue) inverts the Panic Room scenario in a simple enough premise ripe for B-movie thrills. Gabrielle Union’s Shaun finds herself on the outside of a heavily fortified mansion, while her two children are held hostage within by criminals. The house is decked out with cameras, motion sensors, protective shields and a really terrific sound system, but the slack movie spends more time explaining the impressive tech than actually having fun with it. 88 min. NN (RS) Eglinton Town Centre, Queensway, Silver-
City Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale, Yonge & Dundas 24 The child remaiNs (Michael Melski) is a simple, effective horror movie about an expectant couple spending a really bad weekend in a haunted inn, with great performances from stars Suzanne Clément and Allan Hawco and a fine sense of East Coast atmosphere courtesy of Nova Scotia writer/ director Melski (Charlie Zone). No one’s trying to reinvent the wheel here; the machinery works just fine. 107 min. NNN (NW) Opens May 18 at Canada Square deadpool 2 (David Leitch) 119 min. See review, this page. NNN (NW) Opens May 18 at Beach Cinemas, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Eglinton Town Centre, Imagine Market Square, Imagine Promenade Mall, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale, Varsity, Yonge & Dundas 24
The deaTh of sTaliN (Armando ñ
Iannucci) reimagines the chaos within the Soviet Central Committee after the death of Stalin as a ballet of desperate quislings and backstabbers, each one scrambling to be the man who fills the power vacuum. The difference between this one and director/co-writer Iannucci’s previous vivisections of UK and American politics is that every last person in the room has blood on their hands, and no compunctions about adding a little more. 107 min. NNNN (NW) Fox, Imagine Carlton Cinema, Regent Theatre, Varsity disoBedieNce (Sebastián Lelio) 114 min. See review, page 36. NNN (SGC) Opens May 18 at Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Varsity
The eNdless (Justin Benson, Aaron ñ
Moorhead) walks a tightrope between itchy psychological thriller and playful sci-fi experiment, and walks it very well indeed. Co-directors Benson and Moorhead (Resolution, Spring) play Justin and Aaron, former members of a California apocalypse cult who return to the camp a decade later. The less you know about the central mysteries of The Endless, the more effective the experience will be. You need to be locked in the dark with it. 112 min. NNNN (NW) Yonge & Dundas 24 godard moN amour (Michel Hazanavicius) is a breezy love story about a film director who’s recently married his leading lady and is set in France in the months leading up to the massive anti-government street protests of May 1968. The story is based on real events depicted in a memoir by Anne Wiazemsky. If you don’t know who Jean-Luc Godard is, you might be drawn in by the charm of their budding relationship. But most do know Godard
(Louis Garrel) and the facile treatment of a turning point in the artistic and political life of this cinematic icon does it no justice. Subtitled. 107 min. NN (Paul Ennis) TIFF Bell Lightbox The heaT: a kiTcheN (r)evoluTioN (Maya Gallus) spotlights the obstacles faced by seven women trying to build careers as chefs and create change from within a macho industry. Among them are locals Suzanne Barr, who Gallus catches in transition between restaurants; ex-cook Ivy Knight, who shares a jaw-dropping tale of abuse in the kitchen; and Charlotte Langley, who points out that female chefs, too, face the temptation to trash-talk, bully and objectify as they gain power. Gallus doesn’t go too deep on any one of the film’s subjects, which limits the film in terms of dramatic push and pull, but viewers will still walk away with a deeper understanding of a complex systemic issue. Some subtitles. 75 min. NNN (Natalia Manzocco) Screening select days at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema i feel preTTY (Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein) takes some interesting ideas about insecurity and empowerment and buries them in a high-concept, low-yield comedy where Amy Schumer’s drab, unhappy Renee bumps her head at SoulCycle and wakes up convinced she’s been transformed into a fashion model. Schumer does her best with the material, and she gets some decent scene partners in Rory Scovel as Renee’s bemused love interest and Michelle Williams as a perpetually underestimated cosmetics heir who hires Renee as a receptionist. But they’re all trapped in a movie that just isn’t doing what it thinks it is. 110 min. NN (NW) Beach Cinemas, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Eglinton Town Centre, Imagine Carlton Cinema, Imagine Market Square, Imagine Promenade Mall, Queensway, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale, Yonge & Dundas 24
iNdiaN horse (Stephen Campanelli) adapts the late Richard Wagamese’s novel about an Ojibwe kid who gets a chance to escape a residential school by playing hockey. Well-meaning but ultimately superficial, the film relates the events of the story but misses out on the resonance as it tries to pack as much of Wagamese’s book
into the space of a feature. It has its moments, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the story would be better served at miniseries length. 101 min. NNN (NW) Canada Square, Imagine Carlton Cinema, Imagine Market Square
Isle Of DOgs (Wes Anderson) finds ñ
writer/director Anderson returning to stop-motion animation almost a decade after Fantastic Mr. Fox and delivering a film with even more heart and beauty – it’s as glorious and layered an entertainment as Anderson’s last live-action venture, The Grand Budapest Hotel. And Bryan Cranston’s rueful turn as a masterless stray slowly bonding with a 12-yearold boy (Koyu Rankin) gives the film a warmth that lingers long after the lights come up. Isle Of Dogs. Say it slowly. Some subtitles. 101 min. NNNNN (NW) Fox, Kingsway Theatre, Regent Theatre, Varsity, Yonge & Dundas 24 KUsAMA: INfINITY (Heather Lenz) packs a lot into 76 minutes about the life of ubiquitous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who shot to fame more than two decades after she should have. It’s a straightforward doc biopic, but the art-world voices whose sound bites effectively write her back into the history of pop art and minimalism – which she was left out of due to sexism and racism – make this film a satisfying watch. Some subtitles. 76 min. NNN (Kevin Ritchie) Mt Pleasant, TIFF Bell Lightbox lIfe Of THe pARTY (Ben Falcone) is a lot like Melissa McCarthy’s last solo vehicle, The Boss, which she also co-wrote and coproduced with her husband, director Falcone,
in that it’s less of a movie than a collection of sketches organized around a character, slapped together with little regard for structure or continuity. It’s a mess, but it works, and McCarthy is genuinely great at finding the honest moments in the personal evolution of her Midwestern housewife turned middle-aged college senior. 105 min. NNN (NW) Beach Cinemas, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Eglinton Town Centre, Imagine Carlton Cinema, Imagine Market Square, Imagine Promenade Mall, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale, Yonge & Dundas 24
A MAN Of INTegRITY (Mohammad Rasoulof) See Also Opening, page 35. 117 min.
Opens May 18 at TIFF Bell Lightbox PoPe Francis: a Man oF His Word (Wim Wenders) is shamelessly cuddly and genuinely inspiring. We see Francis kissing the feet of Philadelphia’s incarcerated and petitioning U.S. Congress to accept immigrants. Francis advocates solidarity with the LGBT community and gender equality and champions ecological preservation. Francis is a radical – but radicals deserve dissent, too, and there’s none in Wenders’s portrait. Nothing is said about reproductive rights or how Francis’s message might affect policy. Still, see this film, argue with it, try to take it at its word. 96 min. nnn (José Teodoro) Opens May 18 at Eglinton Town Centre, Varsity a Quiet Place (John Krasinski) is a postapocalyptic horror film in which a family strives to be as quiet as possible to avoid being consumed by carnivorous creatures who are blind but possess highly sensitive hearing. There’s no genius at work in the film; rather, its effectiveness arises from the elimination of everything inessential and a steady focus on teamwork both on and off-screen. 90 min. nnn (José Teodoro) Beach Cinemas, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Eglinton Town Centre, Imagine Market Square, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale, Varsity, Yonge & Dundas 24
raMPage (Brad Peyton) is exactly what it wants to be: a movie made from the 90s video game where a bunch of monsters smash a city, with Dwayne Johnson and a few other people running around trying to minimize the carnage. Is it art? Nah. But people who found Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla too oblique in its monster battles are going to love it. 107 min. nnn (NW) Canada Square, Imagine Carlton Cinema, Imagine Promenade Mall, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yorkdale rBg (Betsy West, Julie Cohen) 97 min. See review, page 35. nnn (NW) Canada Square, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, TIFF Bell Lightbox ready Player one (Steven Spielberg) adapts Ernest Cline’s geektastic novel about people attempting to solve an intricate puzzle in a virtual reality world where all the clues involve 80s pop culture. As in the novel, the real world dystopia is vague, but the challenges – mostly involving movies and video games – are lots of fun. The action sequences are impressively realized but often monotonous. And director Spielberg, although he helped create the universe the characters are celebrating, directs without exuberance. 140 min. nnn (GS) Canada Square, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Eglinton Town Centre, Fox, Imagine Carlton Cinema, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge
ñ revenge (Coralie Fargeat) is a confident, feminist execution of the raperevenge exploitation genre, with writer/ director Fargeat filtering sexist garbage like I Spit On Your Grave through the lens of the New French Extremity. A young American (Matilda Lutz) survives an assault at a desert getaway to exact bloody revenge on the men who betrayed her. It’s an almost elemental treatment, reducing the story to action and reaction, suffering and retribution – and Fargeat does not skimp on the gore. Subtitled. 108 min. nnnn (NW) Yonge & Dundas 24 tHe rider (Chloé Zhao) is writer/producer/director Zhao’s latest examination of masculinity and self-image in the modern West, casting Brady Jandreau as a version of himself: a South Dakota horseman trying to resume his old life after a suffering a devastating head injury. Zhao situates The Rider in a fully lived-in world, and the story’s arc is clear and engaging. But while Jandreau and several other cast members are entirely convincing as rodeo cowboys and horse trainers, they struggle with their dialogue – and with the film’s larger metaphor. 103 min. nnn (NW) TIFF Bell Lightbox tHe seagull (Michael Mayer) is a rare foray into moviemaking from Tony-winning stage director Mayer (Spring Awakening), who casts Annette Bening, Brian Dennehy, Elisabeth Moss, Corey Stoll and On Chesil Beach co-stars Billy Howle and Saoirse Ronan in an adaptation of the Chekhov classic about the emotional tangles of an extended family in the Russian countryside. Everyone’s very good – except for Howle, who goes full Redmayne as the indignant Konstantin and nearly derails the film. 99 min. nnn (NW) Varsity sHerlock gnoMes (John Stevenson) is a snooze-worthy sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet in which the formerly star-crossed lovers (voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt) help out Baker Street’s most famous detective (Johnny Depp) and his assistant, Dr. Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), when London’s gnomes start mysteriously disappearing. The story plays out with all the excitement of a Scooby-Doo episode. Unlike the first film, there’s no compelling theme underlying this follow-up, and several sequences serve no discernible purpose except to rip off the Toy Story movies. 84 min. nn (GS) Canada Square, Eglinton Town Centre, Fox, Kingsway Theatre, Queensway, Revue, SilverCity Fairview, Yonge & Dundas 24 sHoW dogs (Raja Gosnell) See Also Opening, page 35. 92 min. Opens May 18 at Beach Cinemas, Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Eglinton Town Centre, Imagine Carlton Cinema, Imagine Market Square, Queensway, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale, Yonge & Dundas 24
tully (Jason Reitman) reunites Reitman with his Young Adult screenwriter Diablo Cody and star Charlize Theron for a plodding, lifeless drama about an exhausted mother of three whose life is made easier by the arrival of an open-hearted night nanny (Mackenzie Davis). Theron and Davis do everything they can to bring their characters to messy life, but Cody’s script never raises itself above room tone – and then tries to justify its muddled blandness with a plot twist so tired that it’s basically an insult to a paying audience. 95 min. nn (NW) Canada Square, Eglinton Town Centre, Imagine Promenade Mall, Queensway, SilverCity Yonge, Varsity, Yonge & Dundas 24 venus (Eisha Marjara) 95 min. See review, page 36. nnn (Kevin Ritchie) Opens May 18 at Yonge & Dundas 24 a Wrinkle in tiMe (Ava DuVernay) follows Meg, a rare mixed-race heroine on a journey that is as much about self-love and finding strength in what makes her unique as it is about skipping through dimensions that intermittently resemble Oz, Pandora and Leave It To Beaver’s America. The latter stuff is a distracting series of CGI-heavy scene changes that, while nifty to look at, can’t work up wonder or excitement. But young kids probably won’t mind all that. Meg represents! Her clear emotional bass line is something to hang and hold onto. 109 min. nnn (RS) Canada Square, Eglinton Town Centre, Queensway, Yonge & Dundas 24
you Were never really Here ñ
(Lynne Ramsay) is both pulp revenge thriller about a finder of lost children whose latest job goes sideways, and an artful study of a man desperately seeking an end to his own torment. Writer/director Ramsay’s eccentricities serve the material, infusing standard action beats with queasy dread and an unnerving obliqueness, and Joaquin Phoenix delivers a masterful performance as the weary, hulking hero. 90 min. nnnn (NW) Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Imagine Carlton Cinema
Diane Keaton (left), Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen explore shades of Grey in Book Club.
Frances Fisher (left) and Kathleen Turner experience Another Kind Of Wedding.