• Black Panther

    Black Panther

    It should be mentioned off the top that, as a black man who loves to watch comic book films, Black Panther was always going to be more than just another movie. I’m someone who was happy to see that Spawn was actually a black character, that Blade got three films, and that, at the beginning of the MCU, I would actually get to see Rhodey in Iron Man. So it means a lot to me that Black Panther is a…

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    The legacy of colonization, which offered important subtext in the original film, and the damaging ripples it still causes to this day are among several themes with which Wakanda Forever grapples. These stakes rooted in real world history are among the reasons why Coogler’s Black Panther films resonate with audiences more than many of the other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) do.

    Killmonger’s plans in the original Black Panther was partly fuelled by the knowledge that Wakanda turned…

  • Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

    Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

    Anyone with “appearance by Mussolini” on their Pinocchio Bingo card deserves a gold star. The plot point involving “il Duce” is among the most unexpected twists of Guillermo del Toro’s dark re-imagining of Carlo Collodi’s beloved fable. This Pinocchio, directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson (animation director of The Fantastic Mr. Fox), brings the fairy tale to life unlike any film before. It is a visual wonder that demands to be seen on a big screen before its Netflix…

  • Villeneuve Pironi

    Villeneuve Pironi

    Formula One racing is, by design, a self-destructive sport. Cars are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, often forgoing safety for speed, and the simplest mistakes can cause the deadliest crashes. But the destruction isn’t just physical.

    Most racers view the danger as merely a side effect of the sport. What matters most is crossing the finish line first at any cost. As the velocity goes up, so too does the passion and, subsequently, the ego. This drive, both…

  • Manifest West

    Manifest West

    The casting of Manifest West is superb, with the ensemble showing dynamic on-screen chemistry. Lexy Kolker shines in the role of young Riley, showing true dramatic range and depth. Mahendru (wife of Louie Gibson) manages to convey so much with simple facial expressions, she is a revelation as Alice as she battles her inner demons. Milo Gibson, too, is dynamite in the role with a performance that sees him showcase everything from vulnerability to rage. Not to be forgotten, the…

  • Armageddon Time

    Armageddon Time

    Nearly a decade ago, James Gray deconstructed the myth of the American dream presented by Lady Liberty as immigrants arrived at Ellis Island. Gray’s new film Armageddon Time makes a fine companion to its predecessor The Immigrant. Gray again looks deep within the soul of America, the supposed land of opportunity. What he sees in this potent trip to Reagan-era USA, like his glimpse into 1920’s New York in The Immigrant, is not pretty. It’s authentic, though, and it’s honest.…

  • Close

    Close

    “Are you two together?” a classmate queries Léo and Rémi in Close. Léo (Eden Dambrine) stares back at the girl. “We’re just friends,” he replies. The young boy fiercely and assertively denies her suspicions while Rémi (Gustave De Waele) shifts uncomfortably beside him. This tense moment ultimately transforms the boys’ relationship.

    Close, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year and is Belgium’s bid in the Best International Feature Oscar race, masterfully observes intimacy and heartache between friends. Directed…

  • The Banshees of Inisherin

    The Banshees of Inisherin

    In The Banshees of Inisherin, award-winning writer/director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) asks a fundamental question: is it actually important to be known or remembered as a nice person? Wisely leaving that for us to decide, he chooses instead to lead audiences on a farcically convoluted yet infinitely rewarding journey through the trials and tribulations of not loving thy neighbour.

    In the filmmaker’s capable hands, this pitch-black comedy ingeniously paints a picture of human foibles running amok. Having…

  • Ticket to Paradise

    Ticket to Paradise

    What does one need for a successful rom-com? The tried-and-true formula has always included charming leads, good ol’ chemistry and cheesy lines that are worth melting over. In the case of George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ latest, Ticket to Paradise, you’ve got a few of those ingredients, or maybe just one, but still makes it a fun and charming low-key watch.

    The film follows David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts), a once-married couple who fell in love 25 years ago and…

  • Raymond & Ray

    Raymond & Ray

    Casting Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke as estranged brothers seems like a no brainer. Both have enjoyed decades in the spotlight, weathered their heartthrob years, and time and again surprised audiences with their performances. If “aging like a fine wine” had a picture in the dictionary, it might very well be of these two actors.

    For these reasons and more, it pains me to inform you, dear reader, that Raymond & Ray is a waste of both McGregor and Hawke’s fine talents.

    Read Rachel West's full review: thatshelf.com/raymond-ray-review-o-brother-where-art-thou/

  • Here For Blood

    Here For Blood

    Horror audiences will cheer as the chaos escalates and Tom finds himself up against demonically-possessed killers, reanimated corpses, and yes, even a ravenous talking skull. Borrowing from several horror genres and tropes, Here for Blood dips into the supernatural and home invasion genres with a side of zombie lore and a dash of Cabin in the Woods-meets-Evil Dead. Genre fans will get a kick out of the blood and gore by Hamilton’s Butcher Shop FX Studio which belie the film’s…

  • Black Adam

    Black Adam

    Bringing the intense, furrowed-brow performance style that’s become synonymous with his acting, onetime wrestler-turned-movie-star Dwayne Johnson embodies Black Adam, an old-school, DC Comics superhero near and dear to his three-times-too-large heart. The film is finally arriving in multiplexes around the globe after the better part of a decade in development. For Johnson, Black Adam is a labour of love, but for audiences with little or no connection to an admittedly second- or third-tier DC Comics anti-hero, the response should be far more muted, if not outright indifferent, to the punch-first, plot-and-character-second end result.

    Read Mel Valentin's full review: thatshelf.com/black-adam-review-dwayne-johnson-gets-a-super-anti-hero-franchise-to-call-his-own/