Snitch (Ric Roman Waugh) is a tense, reasonably efficient thriller about a construction-supply magnate (Dwayne Johnson) who infiltrates his city's drug organization to get his son out from under a DEA arrest. Enlisting an ex-con employee (Jon Bernthal), he gets an introduction to a local kingpin (Michael Kenneth Williams, The Wire's Omar) and starts working his way up the line, consulting with a manipulative U.S. attorney (Susan Sarandon) and a grizzled but ultimately sensible cop (Barry Pepper). Director/co-writer Waugh doesn't let the action beats overwhelm the character stuff, giving Snitch a grimy 70s vibe that carries through to its cynical portrayal of authority figures and its modest dramatic ambitions. Too bad Johnson's such an outsized leading man - both literally and in terms of his strengths as a performer. He's perfectly convincing firing a shotgun through the window of a semi; he just can't pass for ordinary. Some subtitles. 95 min.
Rating: NNN (NW)
Opens Feb 22 at 401 & Morningside, Beach Cinemas, Carlton Cinema, Coliseum Scarborough, Colossus, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Grande - Steeles, Grande - Yonge, Queensway, Rainbow Promenade, Rainbow Woodbine, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Yonge, SilverCity Yorkdale. See here for times.
Tower (Kazik Radwanski) is a tight character study of a slight character. Ryerson student Radwanski's impressive debut stars Derek Bogart as Derek, an awkward 34-year-old Toronto loner who lives in his parents' basement and shrugs off relationships just as he does goals and responsibilities. He's a repellent person who spends more time telling people he works in animation than he actually does working. Its a testament to Bogart's inspired performance that such an inconsequential character can hold our attention. Radwanski shoots the entire movie in claustrophobic close-ups, a technique that helps him budget wise (he doesn't have to worry about what else is in the scene) and keeps us glued to Derek. The talented young filmmaker dares us to look closely to find something to like in Derek and the movie. Oblige him. 78 min.
Rating: NNN (RS)
Opens Feb 22 at Royal. See here for times.
Dark Skies (Scott Stewart) stars Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton as suburbanites whose peaceful existence is interrupted by a deadly aliens. Director Stewart did visual effects for Iron Man and Night At The Museum. 95 min.
Opens Feb 22 at 401 & Morningside, Canada Square, Coliseum Mississauga, Coliseum Scarborough, Colossus, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Empire Theatres at Empress Walk, Grande - Steeles, Queensway, Rainbow Woodbine, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Fairview, SilverCity Mississauga. See here for times.
The Metropolitan Opera: Aida Encore is a high def broadcast from the Met of Verdi's grand opera, starring Liudmyla Monastyrska, Roberto Alagna and Olga Borodina. 234 min.
Opens Feb 23 at Beach Cinemas, Coliseum Mississauga, Coliseum Scarborough, Eglinton Town Centre, Grande - Yonge, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Yonge. See here for times.