TFCA Friday: Week of May 4th, 2018

May 4, 2018

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

Opening this Week

Backstabbing for Beginners (dir. Per Fly)

It’s all very detailed, and it’s all very dull, hampered even further by a weightless central performance from Divergent co-star Theo James, who proves utterly uninteresting as the fictionalized version of [memoirist Michael] Soussan” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Bad Samaritan (dir. Dean Devlin)

Has exactly 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 the biggest David Tennant fans? Nah” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Genuinely scary… delivers quite a few jump-out-of-your-seat moments” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Arguably, only truly gifted actors can be this bad, and Tennant’s turn is absurd enough to be almost fun” — Liam Lacey,

Tully (dir. Jason Reitman)

Honestly, Young Adult was a masterwork compared to this” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Cody’s third-act twist threatens to unravel Theron’s hard work; yet, somehow, the power of Tully remains firmly in Theron’s skilled and capable hands” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail, including an interview with Reitman

Could have been a crowd-pleaser with an insightful message to make the world a better place, but the film lacks the magic to make this happen” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

[Cody’s] strongest screenplay since Juno, and Reitman handles it with a delicacy missing in his recent parenting-themed movies Labor Day and Men, Women & Children” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Hot Docs 2018

In The Globe and Mail, Barry Hertz interviews The Trolley director Stephen Low on filming in IMAX, which Liam Lacey says is “a poetic celebration of the history and future of the electric street car” over at

POV Magazine’s Pat Mullen has reviews of Grit (“the great eco doc of Hot Docs 2018“), This Mountain Life (“a love letter to the outdoors“), and The Reckoning: Hollywood’s Worst Kept Secret (“calls out Hollywood’s complicity in the Weinstein affair and the enabling of other predators who have fallen in the seismic shift“), while Marc Glassman wishes Hot Docs a happy silver anniversary (25 years!) while capping the final weekend of the festival

Summer Movie Previews! (AKA: Summer is nearly here!)

First up: Peter Howell asks: Will 2018 be the best summer for movies? That’s the billion-dollar question

Next, Chris Knight: From Solo to Ocean’s Eight to Deadpool 2, yet another summer feast of sequels and remakes awaits

Finally, Barry Hertz tallies up the summer’s biggest tickets