Weekend Movies: By the Sea, Love, Spotlight and more

A quick scan of new releases in theatres this week.


Man Vs. is about this guy, Doug Woods, and his thing is that he goes into the wilderness on his own for a specified length of time, films himself surviving and calls it a TV show. Doug’s latest sojourn is a five-day meander into northern Ontario, along the Canadian Shield. And it isn’t long at all before he realizes he isn’t alone. (See full review here).

Opens November 14. See listings

Rating: NN


By the Sea is a historical romance starring Jolie (who also directs) and Brad Pitt. If you’re looking for another Mr. And Mrs. Smith, don’t bother with By The Sea. This excruciating 70s-set melodrama about an estranged couple trying to escape to a hotel in the south of France has zero sizzle.  (See full review here).

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating: NN


Love the Coopers offers ideal festive entertainment for anyone who felt Love Actually was too subtle and funny. A talented ensemble cast is wasted in a feast of holiday clichés and nauseating sentiment as parents on the eve of a divorce (Diane Keaton and John Goodman) host a dysfunctional family dinner in which every relative has a tragic problem that can only be solved through holiday magic. (See full review here). 

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating: N


Mavis! is pretty much flat-out hagiography, but you can see why documentary director Edwards couldn’t help herself. Gifted singer Mavis Staples, a force for peace and racial harmony since she began singing with the Staple Singers at age nine, is irresistibly charismatic.(See full review here). 

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating:NNNN


The Reflektor Tapes is less a documentary about the making of Arcade Fire’s 2013 album than a feature-length collage that does neither the band nor its fans any service. (See full review here). 

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating: NN


Love is a 3D hardcore sex film with an overly soft centre. A filmmaker yearns for his free and easy ex-lover. He remembers her bringing in another woman for a threesome and how the other woman got pregnant. Now he’s a family man, his original lover long gone. (See full review here).

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating: NN


The Games Maker is an unbelievably incompetent Harry Potter knockoff about an orphan boy on a magical adventure. Gotham’s David Mazouz stars as Ivan Drago (no apparent relation to the Rocky IV villain), a child who ends up in a cruel, fantastical orphanage – a sort of Hogwarts by way of Oliver Twist – after his parents disappear in a freak accident. Ivan is not a boy wizard but a whiz at inventing board games, coming from a long line of games makers who operate from a magical town not unlike Santa’s North Pole. (See full review here). 

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating: N


The 33 clumsily dramatizes the 2010 Copiapó mining accident. The bizarrely selected international cast includes Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips and Gabriel Byrne as broadly sketched characters who speak English with accents that sound more Chicano than Chileno. (See full review here). 

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating: NN


Spotlight is a simmering docudrama about the Boston Globe’s 2001 investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover-ups of predatory priests in the Boston archdiocese. There isn’t a single showy moment in Spotlight, which is named for the four-person department that worked the story – embodied here by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian D’Arcy James. (See full review here).

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating: NNNN


Heist contains at least two movies. One of them is the usual VOD fodder: Robert De Niro and Jeffrey Dean Morgan slum it as an aging casino owner with a murderous temper and a card sharp strong-armed by a thug (Dave Bautista) into robbing the place. That movie’s okay. But the other one, a bananas mashup of Heat and Speed, has a wild, unpredictable energy. (See full review here). 

Opens November 14. See listings.

Rating: NNN

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