TFCA Friday: Week of Friday, March 16th, 2018

March 16, 2018

Welcome to TFCA Friday, a weekly round-up of film reviews and articles by TFCA critics.

Opening this Week

7 Days in Entebbe (dir. José Padilha)

Boasts a strong international cast doing its best to keep an occasionally tense but too often turgid historical thriller from playing like a poor man’s version of Steven Spielberg’s thorny vengeance essay Munich” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

The meandering narrative never seems certain where to focus. It’s entirely possible to reduce seven days to less than two hours, but you need to know which seconds count” — Chris Knight, The National Post

At best, it’s moderately helpful as a memory jog of about the mission that became emblematic of Israel’s reputation for military efficiency” — Liam Lacey,

The individual scenes are well directed, but the problem is that they all do not come together as a whole or for the right purpose” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Dear Dictator (dirs. Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse)

Has a legitimately great performance from Michael Caine and a truly ridiculous premise” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

A smaller budget comedy with many laugh-out-loud moments” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

The Death of Stalin (dir. Armando Iannucci)

This is satirical history that invites prophecy — imagine a future Trump Administration version” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

When it lands you’ll choke on your laughter—which is precisely the point” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

It reminds viewers that some things in this world are universal — comedy is one, political ineptitude another” — Chris Knight, The National Post

There comes a time in the life of all great satirists when they must skewer reality head on, damn the consequences. With the blackly hilarious The Death Of Stalin, that time has come for Armando Iannucci” — Jim Slotek,

Foxtrot (dir. Samuel Maoz)

Metaphors emphasize the pointlessness of war and its impact on victims and perpetrators. It’s a movie that stays with you long after the credits roll” — Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine

A movie that invites but ultimately transcends analysis, delivering its final, poignant emotional punch directly to the soul” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Audio: “Everything in this movie is subtle, but the result is profound” — Karen Gordon, CBC

A marvel of precision filmmaking, heartbreak and blistering absurdity” — Liam Lacey,

A very different film audiences have never seen before” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

I Can Only Imagine (dirs. Andrew and Jon Erwin)

Has better production values and a less overt message than many a Christian-themed movie; the screenplay name-checks A New Hope almost as often as it does the New Testament” — Chris Knight, The National Post

The Leisure Seeker (dir. Paolo Virzì)

Offers the frustrating experience of watching two magnificent actors give utterly real performances in a cloying dramedy that embraces all the worst aspects of the One Last Trip sub-genre” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Not the most exciting film you’ll see this year; well, unless you see just the one. But it just might be the most comfortable” — Chris Knight, The National Post

It has finally come the time (UGH!) when both Mirren and Sutherland star in a old fart film, and one that goes all the way” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Love, Cecil (dir. Lisa Immordino Vreeland)

A fascinating look back at the flamboyant fashion photographer/artistic director/gay icon Cecil Beaton, best known for creating the look of My Fair Lady and Gigi” — Jim Slotek,

beautiful biography of Cecil Beaton and many who have not known him will at least now be able to appreciate his 60 years of work” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Love, Simon (dir. Greg Berlanti)

It’s common to hear laughter and tears at advance movie screenings. But after the climax and conclusion of Love, Simon, the theatre also erupted in cheers and applause” — Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine

Tomb Raider (dir. Roar Uthaug)

While Vikander plays a competent Lara Croft, she’s also a surprisingly joyless one. And if you can’t have fun at a movie like this, what’s the point?” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

The action sequences are solid, the puzzles and traps are complicated but credible, and the Junkie XL score is lively throughout. It’s no masterpiece, but it could have been so much worse” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

The one novelty is the new star, Alicia Vikander, making her full-on action-hero debut” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Audio: “The longer it goes on, the sillier and less interesting it gets” — Karen Gordon, CBC

I’ve enjoyed Vikander in almost everything, and I still think she’d make a decent action heroine. It may be a while before she gets another chance, though” — Jim Slotek,

Too serious; a plot so convoluted it turns out confusing and unbelievable” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Fond Memories

In the Toronto Star, Peter Howell remembers his late father, a man who raised him on movies