• Searching



    "I didn't know her, I didn't know my daughter."

    Searching shows that, when done right, this can be a super interesting way to tell a story. There are a lot of movies that have tried this kind of "computer-based" storytelling, but none have done it this well.

    The reason it differs from, say Unfriended is because instead of a straight up horror film, Searching is more of a mystery-type movie, where the characters are using technology to unravel clues. As…

  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project


    Part of Essential Films To Watch

    "You know why this is my favourite tree? Cause it's tipped over, and it's still growing."

    There's a quality to all of Sean Baker's films that makes them unique. I don't think anyone crafts real characters quite as well as Sean does, as he casts non-actors in both Tangerine and The Florida Project, and somehow gets them to turn in some amazing performances. It extends a sense of authenticity the film, which is one…

  • Annihilation



    Part of Essential Films To Watch

    "If I knew what happened, I could save his life."

    Alex Garland's Annihilation is truly an experience; one that I'm sure I won't forget anytime soon. It plays out like a science fiction version of The Lost City of Z, with Natalie Portman in the lead. The result? A slow-moving, atmosphere-driven science fiction phenomenon.

    While I was a fan of Garland's debut Ex-Machina, it didn't blow me away like it did with others. After…

  • Ernest & Celestine

    Ernest & Celestine


    Part of Essential Films To Watch

    "Then I took care of you. You seemed happy, so I decided to keep you. You made yourself at home and we started living together. And that’s how we met."

    Part of being a film-lover means understanding that some years you'll see more films than others. One of my peak years was 2014, logging a whopping 420 new watches, and nearly 736 hours worth of films. This is what I refer to as the…

  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story


    "We build our legacy piece by piece and maybe the whole world will remember you or maybe just a couple of people, but you do what you can to make sure you're still around after you're gone."

    David Lowery, throughout the few films he’s made, has proved himself to be a unique, distinctive voice – one heavily inspired by the works of filmmakers such as Terrence Malick and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, yet still retaining enough of his individual style to be…

  • Moonlight



    "At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you're going to be. Can't let nobody make that decision for you."

    When I saw this film for the first time, seated at TIFF Bell Lightbox, I wasn't mentally prepared for an experience like this one. The lights dim, and the film opens with a funky Boris Gardiner song, and an introduction into the characters of Chiron and Juan.

    Right from the get-go, we are aware of the direction and atmosphere…

  • Memento



    "We all lie to ourselves to be happy."

    Making a film as good as Memento is hard enough. Structuring the story the way Christopher Nolan did is even harder. And on top of that, making a film with re-watch value as good as this one is damn near impossible. But somehow, Nolan pulls it off, and Memento, though early in his career, is perhaps his best film to date.

    Now, even the people who haven't seen the film likely know…

  • It Comes at Night

    It Comes at Night


    "You can't trust anyone but family."

    It Comes At Night is, without a doubt, my favourite film of 2017 thus far. Riveting, engrossing, spellbinding - just a few words to describe It Comes At Night. With great performances from the entire cast, namely Joel Edgerton as a quiet, mysterious, "whatever needs to be done to protect my family "type of character. And honestly, that's the most refreshing thing about this film - Edgerton's character is driven by human emotion, and…

  • Silence



    "You see Jesus in Gethsemane and believe your trial is the same as His. Those five in the pit are suffering too, just like Jesus, but they don't have your pride. They would never compare themselves to Jesus. Do you have the right to make them suffer?"

    Few films are as emotionally riveting as Silence, Martin Scorsese's spellbinding achievement, advertised being an uncompromising epic. Well, they're not wrong. Silence is a film that will be remembered and studied in generations…

  • Moana



    Part of Essential Films To Watch

    "I am not a princess."

    I haven't written for a long time. Nearly 5 months exactly - quiet lurking around Letterboxd, but I never had the inclination or desire to write about any of the films I saw. Yet, there's something particularly magical about Disney's newest release, Moana, that drives me to write about film again.

    On the surface, Moana seems like a formulaic, generic Disney film, which is in part why I delayed…

  • Nerve



    "Are you a watcher or a player?"

    I'm conflicted with Nerve. Though not necessarily bad, it doesn't quite live up to the potential of its unique premise. The first 20 minutes of the film are probably the weakest of the film - it's not until Dave Franco shows up that Nerve becomes interesting. The chemistry between Emma Roberts and Franco is great, which is the film's greatest strength. But, due to a weak beginning and ending, the film sits in…

  • A Brighter Summer Day

    A Brighter Summer Day


    Part of Essential Films To Watch

    "Are you lonesome tonight,
    Do you miss me tonight?
    Are you sorry we drifted apart?
    Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day"

    Those are the words to Elvis Presley's "Are You Lonesome Tonight," and it sets the stage for Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day, an epic made in an era where epics were relatively rare. Mesmerizing in scope, the film chronicles a period of time in Xiao Si'r's life, a seemingly…