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Film Festivals

Review: ‘I Am Not a Witch’

I Am Not a Witch (Sundance) In Nigeria, within Keats State, a Goat was arrested as an armed robbery suspect. A vigilante group apprehended the Goat with the impression that human thief engaging in witchcraft turned himself into an animal to avoid detection. The belief in witchcraft is common in Nigeria and many other parts of Africa to include the …

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Review: ‘Sorry to Bother You’

Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson in Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You (Annapurna) Coonery, buffoonery, toxic masculinity, feminism, identity, and Black lives matter are among the many themes tackled in Boots Riley’s directorial debut film Sorry To Bother You. Think of this as an avant-garde, dystopian, social satire that uses racial dynamics in the workplace as a catalyst for exploring …

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Review: ‘Assassination Nation’

Abra, Odessa Young, Hari Nef and Suki Waterhouse appear in Assassination Nation by Sam Levinson (Courtesy of Sundance Institute) In Sam Levinson’s new film Assassination Nation, Lilly, Em, Sarah, and Bex are four teenaged high school girls so in love with themselves and obsessed with social media they ignore the world around them. Their hometown of Salem has lost its …

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Toronto Review: ‘Boy Erased’ (★★★½)

Joel Edgerton has crafted a compassionate family drama with extraordinary performances from Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe In Boy Erased, based on Garrard Conley’s best-selling memoir of the same name, Jared, a 19-year old college student, is whisked away from his Arkansas home in the dark, early hours of the morning by his mother to 12-day gay conversion …

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Toronto Review: ‘Green Book’ (★★)

Peter Farrelly’s race relations road movie may be safe and conventional but winning performances from Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali make it a crowdpleaser “Inspired by a true story” as an opening title card often says more about what a film is not about rather than what it’s about. An even looser term than “based,” we know going in that …

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Toronto Review: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (★★★★)

KiKi Layne and Stephan James in ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Barry Jenkins follows up his Oscar-winning Moonlight with another masterpiece;  a lush, visual love story and the first ever film adaptation of James Baldwin’s work It doesn’t take long to fall in love with Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk. In the film’s opening shot, a gorgeous crane movement …

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Toronto Review: ‘Beautiful Boy’ (★★★)

 Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet both give Oscar-worthy performances as a father and son dealing with the son’s drug addiction in this affecting true story Stories about drug and alcohol addiction almost come ready with no empathy assembly required. We want to see people overcome this disease and are automatically rooting for them to do so. But, we also know that …

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Toronto Review: Nicole Kidman in ‘Destroyer’ (★★★½)

In Karyn Kusama’s gritty and grimy crime thriller Destroyer, Nicole Kidman plays Erin Bell, a grizzled LA detective only James Ellroy could love and gives one of the best performances of her career. Kusama, with her best film since her 2000 Sundance debut Girlfight (starring a then-unknown Michelle Rodriguez), wastes no time getting to it opening with an unrecognizable Kidman; …

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Toronto Review: ‘Widows’ (★★★½)

Steve McQueen’s twisty thriller finds room for a heist, family drama, racial politics and violence, and gender issues all led by a powerhouse performance from Viola Davis Widows doesn’t waste any time setting itself up. In a virtuoso opening sequence, a heist gone wrong led by Harry (Liam Neeson) with his cohorts Florek (Jon Bernthal) and Carlos (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), is intercut …

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