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chem­istry that works like co­gnac on a win­ter’s night, warm­ing the film from the in­side out. It’s okay to get drunk on it. 106 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Kingsway The­atre, Yonge & Dun­das 24 Clara (Akash Sher­man) mixes hard science and fuzzy spir­i­tu­al­ity for a drama about a Toronto as­tro­physi­cist (Suits’ Pa­trick J.

Adams) whose ob­ses­sion with find­ing life be­yond our so­lar sys­tem threat­ens to blind him to the pos­si­bil­ity of a mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ship with his em­pa­thetic as­sis­tant Clara (Troian Bel­lis­ario). It has its mo­ments, but an out­side ob­server might see the whole of this film as pre­lude: it’s a story that stops just where it ought to be­gin. 105 min. NNN (NW) Canada Square, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Var­sity, Yonge & Dun­das 24 Creed ii (Steven Caple Jr.) remixes the plots of Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV for a story in which Don­nie (Michael B. Jor­dan) quickly wins the heavy­weight cham­pi­onship, only to be chal­lenged by Vik­tor Drago (Flo­rian Mun­teanu) – the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lund­gren), the Soviet mon­ster who killed Don­nie’s fa­ther, Apollo, in the ring back in 1985. Creed II is a re­ally sat­is­fy­ing Rocky movie. It’s just that I think I pre­fer the Creed movies now. Some sub­ti­tles. 130 min. NNN (NW) 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 di­vide aNd CoN­quer: The sTory oF roGer ailes (Alexis Bloom) is a doc­u­men­tary about the con­tro­ver­sial me­dia mogul. 107 min. Opens Dec 7 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cin­ema dr. seuss’ The GriNCh (Scott Mosier, Yar­row Cheney) is a quaint, fric­tion­less bauble. Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch voices the cur­mud­geon whose heart is two sizes too small, which this time leaves him with barely a pulse. Apart from some rude in­tro­duc­tory ex­changes, Cum­ber­batch’s Grinch ex­presses his an­noy­ance with Christ­mas in rather po­lite ways. He avoids con­fronta­tions and even en­ter­tains light con­ver­sa­tions with Whos while wear­ing only a gen­tle scowl. Par­ents might ap­pre­ci­ate the bet­ter ex­am­ple even as they suf­fer through the su­per­fi­cial cute­ness in the lead up to an ad­mit­tedly nifty Christ­mas heist. 90 min. NN (RS) Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Imag­ine Prom­e­nade Mall, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24 FaN­Tas­TiC BeasTs: The Crimes oF GriNdel­wald – The imaX 2d eX­pe­ri­eNCe (David Yates) teases out the even­tual stand­off be­tween frosty, fas­cist wizard Gellert Grindel­wald (Johnny Depp) and his neme­sis Al­bus Dum­ble­dore (Jude Law) aka Harry Pot­ter’s Yoda. Get­ting there means en­dur­ing this over­stuffed, ex­haust­ing and te­dious place­holder, which con­tin­ues its pre­de­ces­sors Poké­mon GO plot­ting, though this time ev­ery­one’s run­ning around in cir­cles search­ing for dif­fer­ent peo­ple. 134 min. N (RS) 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

ñ The FavouriTe (Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos)

119 min. See re­view, page 43. NNNN (NW) Opens Dec 7 at Var­sity

ñ FirsT maN (Damien Chazelle) finds

Chazelle and Ryan Gosling fol­low­ing the ex­u­ber­ant La La Land with a project both big­ger and smaller, track­ing eight years in the life of Neil Arm­strong, the first man on the moon. Gosling gives one of his most con­tained per­for­mances, tun­ing out the world like a ra­dio to fo­cus on the task at hand, and Claire Foy matches his quiet com­mit­ment as Janet Arm­strong. And the space stuff is mag­nif­i­cent: see this in IMAX. It mat­ters. 138 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Kingsway The­atre, Sco­tia­bank The­atre

ñ Free solo (El­iz­a­beth Chai Vasarhe­lyi,

Jimmy Chin) is a doc­u­men­tary about moun­tain climber Alex Hon­nold’s at­tempt to be­come the first free soloist (no ropes, har­nesses or equip­ment) to climb the sheer 3,000-foot El Cap­i­tan rock face in Yosemite Na­tional Park. The cin­e­matog­ra­phy is suit­ably awe-in­spir­ing (co-di­rec­tor Jimmy Chin and the crew are climbers them­selves), but the movie’s main draw­back is Hon­nold, who’s not very in­sight­ful about him­self and why he climbs. While the film’s out­come is a given, the scenes are still whiteknuckle ex­cit­ing. 100 min. NNNN (GS) Canada Square, Fox, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Sco­tia­bank The­atre, Var­sity The Girl iN The spi­der’s weB (Fede Al­varez) re­launches the Dragon Tat­too fran- chise as mass-mar­ket en­ter­tain­ment, piv­ot­ing away from David Fincher’s mood­ier, su­per-styl­ized take and into more con­ven­tional ac­tion-thriller ter­ri­tory, to the point where it’s ba­si­cally a Bond or Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble film with Claire Foy’s Lis­a­beth Sa­lan­der in the lead. It’s all still lu­di­crous – but when di­rec­tor/co-writer Al­varez finds the right gear, it’s en­joy­ably so. And “en­joy­able” was not a word one could use for any of the pre­vi­ous Lars­son adap­ta­tions. 117 min. NNN (NW) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Kingsway The­atre

The Go-GeTTers (Jeremy LaLonde) ñ

83 min. See re­view, this page. NNNN (NW) Opens Dec 7 at Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema

GreeN Book (Pe­ter Far­relly) is a road ñ

movie, a buddy com­edy and a pres­tige stu­dio re­lease all at once. You’ll al­most be able to mouth the di­a­logue along with the char­ac­ters – and none of that mat­ters be­cause you get to watch Ma­her­shala Ali and Viggo Mortensen as jazz pi­anist Don “Doc” Shirley and Bronx hus­tler Tony Val­le­longa, Shirley’s driver on his tour of the Deep South in the fall of 1962. Their per­for­mances are so tex­tured and alive that they knock the film up the scale from “pretty good” to “god­damn tran­scen­dent.” Of course it won the Peo­ple’s Choice Award at TIFF. 130 min. NNNN (NW) Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Sil­verCity Yonge, Var­sity, Yonge & Dun­das 24 heNCh­meN (Adam Wood) is an an­i­mated com­edy about pre­vent­ing a vil­lain from dom­i­nat­ing the world. 89 min. Opens Dec 7 at Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema hos­pi­Tal­iTy (Nick Chak­win, David Guglielmo) 80 min. See re­view, page 43. NN (NW) Opens Dec 7 at Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Yonge & Dun­das 24 iN­sTaNT Fam­ily (Sean An­ders) is a dram­edy about a com­fort­able sub­ur­ban cou­ple (Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne) who adopt three sib­lings (Is­abela Moner, Gus­tavo Quiroz, Ju­lianna Gamiz). If you think that sounds like a cringe­wor­thy idea for a Mark Wahlberg com­edy, you’re not wrong – but di­rec­tor/co-writer An­ders, who spun the story out of his own home life, doesn’t flinch from the com­plex­i­ties of the adop­tion process, and the jokes grad­u­ally fall away so the story can earn its heart­warm­ing end­ing. 117 min. NNN (NW) Beach Cin­e­mas, Canada Square, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24

love JaCked (Al­fons Ade­tuyi) is made as smooth and ge­nial as pos­si­ble on Shamier An­der­son’s shoul­ders. For rea­sons too pre­pos­ter­ous to ex­plain, An­der­son’s Mal­colm agrees to de­cep­tively pose as a South African fi­ancé to Maya (Am­ber Stevens West, bur­dened with chan­nelling the most shrewish Kather­ine Heigl per­for­mances). The na­tive Toronto ac­tor’s easy­go­ing charms and comic tim­ing are among the few el­e­ments keep­ing this silly rom-com from div­ing off a cliff. 93 min. NN (RS) Opens Dec 7 at Yonge-Dun­das 24, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre mid90s (Jonah Hill) cat­a­logues as many sound­track and vis­ual sig­ni­fiers as it can from the pe­riod it nos­tal­gi­cally evokes in the ti­tle. Thir­teen-year-old Ste­vie (Sunny Suljic) and his friends fill out the con­tours of a comic and charm­ing com­ing-of-age tale in a film that doesn’t re­ally bother with show­ing much mea­sur­able growth on­screen or cast­ing an opin­ion on life­style, be­hav­iour and the ca­sual use of racial and ho­mo­pho­bic slurs. The film’s too en­am­ored of the mid-90s to bother hav­ing a crit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion about it. 84 min. NNN (RS) Fox, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Kingsway The­atre, Re­vue, Sco­tia­bank The­atre mowGli: le­GeNd oF The JuN­Gle (Andy Serkis) is a live ac­tion retelling of Rud­yard Ki­pling’s tale about a child raised by wolves. 104 min. Opens Dec 7 at TIFF Bell Light­box The NuTCraCker aNd The Four realms (Lasse Hall­ström, Joe John­ston) is yet an­other E.T.A. Hoff­man adap­ta­tion about Christ­mas toys com­ing to life, but the film shows no such signs of life. This Nutcracker dies of as­phyx­i­a­tion af­ter hav­ing the for­mula that once worked in Tim Bur­ton’s Al­ice in Won­der­land cyn­i­cally shoved down its throat. Hey, they’re both 19th cen­tury clas­sics about young girls in fan­ta­sy­lands. Why should any­one bother think­ing about what makes these sto­ries dis­tinct? 99 min. N (RS) Canada Square, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24 ralph Breaks The iN­Ter­NeT 3d (Rich Moore, Phil John­ston) is en­gag­ing for a cou­ple of min­utes at a time, oc­ca­sion­ally heart­warm­ing and evap­o­rates as soon as you leave the the­atre – so in a sense, it’s a per­fect rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the on­line uni­verse in which it takes place. But it’s also ut­terly un­nec­es­sary, ex­ist­ing only as a long, lumpy brand ex­ten­sion in which John C. Reilly’s ogre-like hero and Sarah Sil­ver­man’s can­dy­land racer ven­ture onto the World Wide Web. 112 min. NNN (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

roma (Al­fonso Cuarón) is an en­gross­ing ñ por­trait of live-in nanny Cleo, a young woman of Mix­teco her­itage (played by first-time ac­tor Yal­itza Apari­cio), and the up­per-mid­dle-class fam­ily she works for. Shot in black and white and set in the early 1970s in Mex­ico City, the film touches on the po­lit­i­cal is­sues of the time, like land dis­putes and class wars, but with­out ever los­ing fo­cus on Cleo. In the end, she’s the heart of Roma. 135 min. NNNNN (Saman­tha Ed­wards) TIFF Bell Light­box searCh­iNG For iNG­mar BerGmaN (Mar­garethe von Trotta) is an af­fec­tion­ate por­trait of one of cin­ema’s tow­er­ing fig­ures. Von Trotta first dis­cov­ered Bergman’s films when she moved to Paris in 1960 and cred­its him for in­spir­ing her to be a di­rec­tor. Liv Ull­mann and other Bergman col­lab­o­ra­tors pro­vide work­ing anec­dotes. Von Trotta dis­sects the films and tosses off in­sights: Bergman was more in­ter­ested in his own child­hood than in his own nine chil­dren, for ex­am­ple. What we’re ul­ti­mately left with is the power of the films them­selves, still ra­di­ant and vig­or­ous. Subti­tled. 99 min. NNN (Paul En­nis) Opens Dec 7 at TIFF Bell Light­box

a sTar is BorN (Bradley Cooper) ñ

casts Lady Gaga as the in­génue and di­rec­tor/pro­ducer/co-writer Bradley Cooper as the burnout who dis­cov­ers her both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally. They’re per­fectly suited to one an­other, and so is the movie, which wraps a big stu­dio pro­duc­tion around an in­ti­mate char­ac­ter drama. Yes, you’ve seen this movie be­fore. It worked then, it works now. Maybe it’s never worked bet­ter. 135 min. NNNN (NW) Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank The­atre, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Var­sity, Yonge & Dun­das 24

wid­ows (Steve McQueen) trans­poses ñ Lynda La Plante’s 30-year-old BBC se­ries about women who band to­gether to pull off the heist that would have been their dead hus­bands’ next job to present-day Chicago – and de­liv­ers on pretty much ev­ery level. McQueen’s fol­low-up to his Os­car-win­ning 12 Years A Slave is a propul­sive, art­ful genre work that finds some­thing elec­tric and un­nerv­ing in fa­mil­iar ma­te­rial, el­e­vat­ing ev­ery mo­ment with per­fectly con­sid­ered cast­ing (Vi­ola Davis, Michelle Ro­driguez, El­iz­a­beth De­bicki, an all-star cast of sup­port­ing play­ers) and a will­ing­ness to find un­con­ven­tional choices and run with them. 129 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank The­atre, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24 3

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