If You Can Tear Yourself Away From the News …

Obviously we’re all a little distracted right now, but if you find yourself needing a break and Star Trek Into Darkness doesn’t do it for you, there’s plenty of other stuff playing in Toronto’s cinemas.

The Angels’ Share: And now, the comedy stylings of Ken Loach! No, wait; this turns out to be a really charming change of pace from the godfather of dour social-realist drama as an angry young man (Paul Brannigan) discovers the joys of high-stakes whisky tasting. Sure, there’s the odd head-butting and the occasional knife to the throat, but it’s all in good fun.

Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children: Authentic Canadian hero Romeo Dallaire’s work with former child soldiers in Congo is celebrated in a documentary that doesn’t quite trust its audience to understand the narrative without some really condescending animated sequences. Cut those out and it’d be a lot more effective.

Greetings from Tim Buckley: I like Jeff Buckley’s music. I’m okay with Tim Buckley’s music, too. But I had absolutely no patience — like, not an iota — for Dan Algrant’s superficial, slapdash snapshot of both men’s lives, which leaves us nothing but the memory of Penn Badgely wearing a series of T-shirts.

The Iceman: Ariel Vroman’s true-crime picture has a conceptual and formal dullness that just screams “straight to DVD”, but Michael Shannon’s take on the contract killer Richard Kuklinski is a master class in playing a brick wall and still being interesting. But you can wait for the DVD.

Mud: Jeff Nichols follows Take Shelter with a simple coming-of-age drama about a 14-year-old boy (Tye Sheridan) who befriends a self-described “hobo” (Matthew McConaughey) and edges into a world of potential hurt. Michael Shannon’s in this, too, bless him.

Please Kill Mr. Know-It-All: Colin Carter and Sandra Feldman’s romantic comedy about an advice columnist (Lara Jean Chorostecki) who accidentally identifies a hitman (Jefferson Brown) as the writer of her column is basically a ten-minute sketch inflated into a feature film. And the jokes fell out along the way.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist: I missed Mira Nair’s political drama at TIFF — it had Kate Hudson in it, so I figured that was a red flag — but Susan really liked it.

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s: Glenn is not terribly impressed with Matthew Miele’s all-star celebration of the illustrious Manhattan department store. But it’s narrated by William Fichtner! Wait, what?

The We and the I: Michel Gondry’s tale of a busload of Bronx teens stuck together for one last ride home was one of the more contentious titles at Cannes last year, but Rad thinks it’s a winner. I may actually have to watch the damn thing now.

That’s everything, right? No more surprises? Good. Carry on.

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