The dust has settled and a total of twelve movies have made it into Toronto theatres today — unless something else jumped in or out, which is certainly possible. Let’s survey the landscape.
The Belko Experiment: Office Space meets Battle Royale in this deeply satisfying high-concept thriller, which finds writer/producer James Gunn indulging the same retro-pulpy instinct that powered Slither.
Bon Cop Bad Cop 2: I don’t know who was clamoring for another one of these, but here it is … and somehow, it’s over two hours long. As Rad explains, the running time is hardly the largest of its failings.
Buster’s Mal Heart: Despite the presence of a compelling Rami Malek, Sarah Adina Smith’s Richard Kelly riff never transcends its reference points. So that’s disappointing.
Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary: A host of critics and celebrities discuss the life and legacy of the jazz legend in the latest famous-person documentary from John Scheinfeld, who made The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson?, among others. People seemed to like it at TIFF last year.
Hounds of Love: Ben Young’s psychological thriller is a too-glossy tale of a teenage girl abducted by a monstrous couple … and you know what, I think I have to tap out on Australian torture porn.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: “Guy Ritchie’s making a Camelot movie? With Charlie Hunnam? That’s bound to be better than the Antoine Fuqua one with Clive Owen, right?” Here’s Rad to shatter your dreams.
Mom & Me: Irish documentarian Ken Wardrop explores the relationships between several macho men and their mothers in Oklahoma.
Risk: Laura Poitras follows Citizenfour with a documentary about Julian Assange and her own unexpected connections to the world of WikiLeaks. Kevin finds it worthwhile, though perhaps not for the reasons Poitras intended.
Snatched: Turistas meets Trainwreck, sort of, as Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn are abducted on an Ecuadorian vacation. Glenn calls it the perfect Mother’s Day movie, which raises more questions than it answers.
Violet: Bas Devos’ dreamlike study of a Belgian kid reeling after a traumatic experience is one of the best first features I’ve seen in a while. Don’t miss it.
The Wedding Plan: Glenn really likes this Israeli dramedy about a suddenly unaffianced woman (Noa Koler) convinced that God will supply her a husband by her already scheduled wedding date.
The Wall: Doug Liman’s cat-and-mouse thriller — starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena as an American sniper team who stumble into an Iraqi killing ground — is really good, right up until it isn’t.
There we go! Aren’t you happy I’m here for you?