TFCA Friday: Week of Friday, March 9th, 2018

March 9, 2018

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

Opening this Week

A Wrinkle In Time (dir. Ava DuVernay)

An oddly pedestrian [movie], given its interstellar locations” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Beautiful, visually imaginative, a magical mystery tour for teenage girls” — Karen Gordon,

A fantasy picture missing the element of wonder” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Gringo (dir. Nash Edgerton)

May not break new ground for comic thrillers, but it offers the delightful spectacle of a talented cast running around making fools of themselves for our enjoyment” — Norm Wilner, NOW

One of those high-speed, series-of-coincidence caper films that sails by on ironic humour and caricatures” — Jim Slotek,

Hannah (dir. Andrea Pallaoro)

A depressing film involving a character that can never seem to redeem herself as everything else around her is going wrong” — Gilbert Seah, Toronto-Franco

Juggernaut (dir. Daniel DiMarco)

The stilted dialogue might feel like a deliberate, stylized choice; at nearly two hours, it’s infuriating because you’re watching a simple detective thriller that insists it’s Dostoyevsky” — Norm Wilner, NOW

A morally ambiguous slow burn” — Jim Slotek,

Meditation Park (dir. Mina Shum)

Shum mines her favourite theme – the immigrant experience in Canada – in what seems at first to be a gentle slice of life but eventually develops a powerful emotional force” — Susan G. Cole, NOW

Shum slips effortlessly back into another gently comedic tale of Hong Kong immigrants in Vancouver” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Mina Shum’s best work” — Gilbert Seah, FestivalReviews

My Enemy, My Brother (dir. Ann Shin)

If you saw the short, you’ll be surprised by the feature’s relative flatness” — Norm Wilner, NOW

An extraordinary story about the friendship between two former combatants in the Iran-Iraq war gets a heartfelt, if awkward, documentary treatment” — Liam Lacey,

Nothing short of inspiring” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

The Strangers: Prey At Night (dir. Johannes Roberts)

There’s nothing original about the film, the performances are merely competent, and the overall effect is numbing and banal” — Glenn Sumi, NOW

Actually ranks just below its precursor in critical quality” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Roberts ran out of jump-at-you scares dealing with sharks (in 47 Metres Down). You can imagine how much more limited his options are in a trailer park” — Jim Slotek,

Nothing really to scream about” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Thoroughbreds (dir. Cory Finley)

An arch, darkly funny comedy about two teenagers plotting to rid the world of a person they deem too horrible to live” — Norm Wilner, NOW

Delivers the kind of dark-funny that will have different parts of your brain independently deciding whether or not it’s OK to laugh” — Chris Knight, The National Post

There’s nothing stale about the precision of the performances and nerve-jangling sound design. Most of the action is set in a giant coffin-box of a suburban mansion, where the camera glides about like a ghostly servant” — Liam Lacey,

If you like your entertainment twisted, you are in for quite the ride!” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Walk With Me (dirs. Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh)

Perhaps not the most gripping cinematic experience – there’s only so much tension you can get out of people sitting in quiet contentment – but there are moments that elegantly illuminate Thich’s teachings quite nicely” — Norm Wilner, NOW

Sidney Lumet – TIFF Bell Lightbox Retrospective

At Toronto-Franco, Gilbert Seah previews five of the films playing in TIFF’s latest retrospective (including Serpico)