The TIFF 2012 Final Review Index

So I went to Toronto and I ended up being horrendous at keeping up to pace with everything that was going on. I had a great time and posted a good amount (I’ll do better next year) of reviews over at Film School Rejects. However I thought it’d be nice to do a little round up review section where I go through every film I saw and do a 1 line decision here.

So in alphabetical order:

  1. 9.79* (dir. Daniel Gordon) - a mediocre documentary that never tries to contextualize it’s content into the future of the sport.
  2. Aftershock (dir. Nicolas Lopez) - average horror film that happens to be fun enough to be enjoyable.
  3. At Any Price (dir. Ramin Bahrani) - heavy handed but with gems of a sub-culture for those who don’t know about that part of life.
  4. Cloud Atlas (dir. Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski & Tom Tykwer) - fantastic grand science-fiction/period piece epic film that will be loved by many when released wide.
  5. Dangerous Liasons (dir. Jin-ho Hur) – nice adaptation, love the first hour and half and the final forty minutes are ok.
  6. Everyday (dir. Michael Winterbottom) - fantastic emotional film that doesn’t need the narrative to win me over.
  7. Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (dir. Brad Bernstein) – great subjects make great documentaries, here’s a great example of that.
  8. Ghost Graduation (dir. Javier Ruiz Caldera) – Breakfast Club references aside the film is fun, just not great.
  9. Hellbenders (dir. J. T. Petty) – boring satire of Ghostbusters and the Exorcist but never gets anything going.
  10. Here Comes the Devil (dir. Adrian Garcia Bogliano) – creepy horror film that enjoys it’s grindhouse feel and is more frightening than I expected.
  11. The Iceman (dir. Ariel Vromen) – dark strong performances and a fun hitman tale makes for a great movie starring the Michael Shannon.
  12. In Another Country (dir. Sang-soo Hong) – boring, but I did walk out after an hour…so won’t rail it too bad.
  13. John Dies at the End (dir. Don Coscarelli) – boring horror film which thinks it’s being Fight Club level of clever.
  14. Key of Life (dir. Kenji Uchida) - hilarious screw ball comedy which I feel everyone should see.
  15. The Last Supper (dir. Lu Chuan) – epic historical tale, walked out after 90 mins due to timing problems but slow as all hell.
  16. A Liar’s Autobiography — The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (dir. Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson & Ben Timlett) – uneventful documentary that never makes any sense or entertains.
  17. Like Someone in Love (dir. Abbas Kiarostami) – fantastic film where we follow two characters in this slice of life moment that engages throughout.
  18. Looper (dir. Rian Johnson) – great blend of science-fiction/action movie making that will wow audiences.
  19. The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) – grand, fantastic, brilliant, hypnotic, and also emotionally draining.
  20. Motorway (dir. Pou-Soi Cheang) – vapid Hong Kong film that never quite gets the correct balance of stupid story and amazing action.
  21. Much Ado About Nothing (dir. Joss Whedon) – great adaptation with lots of Whedon fun.
  22. Passion (dir. Brian De Palma) – good remake that will remind you why you’ll never like working in an office.
  23. Pieta (dir. Ki-duk Kim) – brilliant revenge film which plays with a lot of ideas.
  24. The Place Beyond the Pines (dir. Derek Cianfrance) – a look at two characters and what makes them good or bad and the same in the same instance.
  25. Pusher (dir. Luis Prieto) – trite and mediocre film that doesn’t quite have the momentum it wants to be fun.
  26. Reality (dir. Matteo Garrone) – interesting look at celebrity and obsession.
  27. Rust and Bone (dir. Jaques Audiard) – a draining drama with a few manipulative points and great performances.
  28. The Sessions (dir. Ben Lewin) – hilarious grown-up sex comedy that knows how to make you cry.
  29. Seven Psychopaths (dir. Martin McDonagh) – amazing study of writing and use of horror sub-genres to play with audiences in the best way imaginable.
  30. Sightseers (dir. Ben Wheatley) – dark comedy that makes you hate yourself for laughing, then laugh at the fact that you hate yourself.
  31. Smashed (dir. James Ponsoldt) – rushed story that has a great performance by Winstead.
  32. Thanks for Sharing (dir. Stuart Blumberg) – underwhelming film that never quite makes any impression.
  33. Thermae Romae (dir.Hideki Takeuchi) - fun silly comedy that was probably fifteen minutes too long.
  34. To The Wonder (dir. Terrence Malick) – everything you expect from a Malick film and nothing more. I still await his return to Badlands style storytelling.
  35. The We and The I (dir. Michel Gondry) – lack of a story and no interesting characters makes for the worst film I saw all festival.
  • ruth

    Cool! I’m going to check out some of the reviews. How awesome you got to watching so many good movies at TIFF. TCFF as in Twin Cities Film Fest is coming next month so I’m looking forward to seeing some good movies there, too!

  • http://www.gmanreviews.com Andrew Robinson

    I hope there’s a good lineup for your fest. TIFF was so fun. Been hoping to do it since 2009 and finally got the chance. Hope you like the coverage.