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Movie Reviews

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    TIFF Review: 'Cloud Atlas' Is Bold, Messy & Disappointingly Unimaginative

    With The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer literally throwing a critic off the roof of a building to his death in the opening moments of the nearly three-hour "Cloud Atlas," it's clear that they aren't concerned in the slightest with how this ambitious effort will be received. And you certainly have to give...

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    Toronto Review: Derek Cianfrance's 'The Place Beyond the Pines' Is Sad, Powerful and Strengthened By Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper

    Derek Cianfrance's latest feature, "The Place Beyond the Pines," covers four overlapping character arcs over the course of 15 years.

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    TIFF Review: Manic & Meta 'Seven Psychopaths' Both Exhausts & Delights

    It would seem that following the success of "In Bruges," writer/director Martin McDonagh went to Hollywood -- and didn't like the experience. A meta riff on making movies "Seven Psychopaths" is a sneering send-up of the industry that also revels in its action movie clich&eacu...

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    Toronto 2012: Martin McDonagh's 'Seven Psychopaths' Is a Gloriously Absurd Satire of the Writing Process

    Playwright Martin McDonagh's writing hits a unique pitch between dark, bloody satire and interpersonal conflicts that makes his finest work play like a combination of Quentin Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin. From "The Pillowman" to "A Behanding in Spokan," McDonagh's plays ten...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'

    In Stephen Chbosky’s largely endearing adaptation of his own young-adult novel, nothing says “I love you” like a painstakingly crafted mix tape. The early-‘90s setting for The Perks of Being a Wallflower means that the potentially precious references to Smiths songs are appropriate to the period even if the film – which touches on issues of sexual identity and mental illness – exhibits a more contemporary sort of frankness in regards to portrayals of teens on screen. Institutionalized after the suicide of his best friend, our loner hero Charlie (Logan Lerman) is none too happy about starting high school....

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Watchtower'

    The two central characters in this modest but effective drama by Turkish director Pelin Esmer want nothing more to be left alone. And until circumstances force them into each other’s lives in Watchtower’s later stages, they are largely able to achieve this goal. That said, it’s an easier task for Nihat (Olgun Simsek), a grief-stricken man who has taken a job as a fire warden keeping watch over the wilderness from his perch in a mountainside tower. A sullen young woman who works at a nearby bus station, Seher (Nilay Erdonmez) has abandoned her university studies for reasons that remain opaque until an angry confrontation w...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Home Again'

    Jamaica is anything but an island paradise to the characters who’ve just been deported there in this well-intentioned but unconvincing drama by Toronto-based director Sudz Sutherland. All three have run afoul of recent legislation in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. that allows foreign-born persons who are convicted of criminal offences to be sent back to countries that many have not seen since they were children. Fresh from a stint at Rikers Island, Dunston (Lyriq Bent) soon finds himself working for a Trenchtown gangster and reluctantly sliding back into a criminal lifestyle. Meanwhile, Marva (Tatyana Ali) copes with the pain of being...

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    TIFF Review: 'The Gatekeepers' Tells Story Of Israeli Security Services Through The 'Truth Of Their Own Voices'

    It’s almost impossible to walk into "The Gatekeepers" without already feeling intrigued. Director Dror Moreh has taken care of that with the premise of his new documentary alone. Six ex-leaders of Israel’s top counterterrorism and security organization, Shin Bet, describe their experiences through a...

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    102 Reviews From the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

    The Toronto International Film Festival continues through next weekend, but Indiewire has already reviewed a significant portion of the program at various other festivals over the past year.

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'War Witch'

    Canadian director Kim Nguyen's intense portrait of a young African woman Komona (Rachel Mwanza, who won an acting prize for her performance at the Berlin International Film Festival) kidnapped from her village and forced to become a child soldier is both light on details and rich with them. Her country of origin never revealed, Komona endures a series of hardships that unquestionably play off Western perceptions of African strife. At the same time, as Komona takes on the role of a keen survivalist, escaping forced marriage to a gangleader and finding her way back home, "War Witch" develops into a thoroughly suspenseful tale t...

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