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Film Reviews Your weekend movie guide: The latest theatre openings, from Acquainted to Shazam!

Diamantino

Maria & Mayer

  • Written and directed by: Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt
  • Starring: Carloto Cotta
  • Classification: N/A; 96 minutes

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Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s Diamantino opens on a Portuguese soccer star (Carloto Cotta) in the middle of a World Cup match. Part political satire, part fantasy, part I-don’t-even-know-what, Diamantino is exactly the type of surreal concoction that begs to be discovered by unsuspecting audiences, writes Barry Hertz.

Edge of the Knife

TIFF

  • Directed by: Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown
  • Written by: Gwaai Edenshaw, Jaalen Edenshaw, Graham Richard and Leonie Sandercock
  • Starring: Tyler York, William Russ and Adeana Young
  • Classification: N/A; 100 minutes

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The intense Edge of the Knife is the first feature ever produced entirely in the endangered Haida language. Add to that the fact the film had only $1.8-million at its disposal, and it’s a coup that it was completed at all. Yet co-directors Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown turned a seemingly simple story of human nature into a captivating and at times stunning work, writes Barry Hertz.

Carmine Street Guitars

Sphinx Productions

  • Directed by: Ron Mann
  • Written by: Len Blum
  • Classification: PG; 80 minutes

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This pleasantly casual documentary is an ode to Rick Kelly, owner of Carmine Street Guitars in Greenwich Village, a quiet craftsman who lives without smartphones and computers and who uses repurposed wood from New York landmarks to build his electric guitars, writes Brad Wheeler.

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The Invisibles

Peter Hartwig/Tobias Film / Courtesy of Films We Like

  • Directed by: Claus Rafle
  • Written by: Claus Rafle, Alejandra Lopez
  • Starring: Max Mauff, Alice Dwyer, Ruby Fee, Aaron Altaras
  • Classification: PG; 110 minutes

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The subtitled The Invisibles tells the stories of four of the 7,000 Jews living illegally and frightened for their lives in Berlin during the Second World War. Part-feature film and part-documentary, interwoven into the scripted presentation are the four actual survivors narrating the chilling stories of their younger selves, writes Brad Wheeler.

Pet Sematary

KERRY HAYES/Paramount Pictures

  • Directed by: Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer
  • Written by: Stephen King (novel), Matt Greenberg and Jeff Buhler
  • Starring: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow
  • Classification: R; 101 minutes

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Unlike Stephen King’s 1983 novel, which was deeply committed to fleshing out the details and lived experience of an isolated family coping with the death of their family cat, Pet Sematary’s script is so flighty, plot-driven and expositional that the movie barely has time to catch its breath, let alone wallow in the graveyard, writes Chandler Levack.

Acquainted

Courtesy of Red Eye.

  • Directed by: Natty Zavitz
  • Written by: Natty Zavitz
  • Starring: Giacomo Gianniotti, Laysla De Oliveira, Rachel Skarsten, Raymond Ablack
  • Classification: 14A; 101 minutes

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In the for-couples-only drama Acquainted, boyfriend Drew (Giacomo Gianniotti, from Grey’s Anatomy) and girlfriend Claire (Rachel Skarsten) buy a house together. It is unexciting domesticity and a relationship plateau, writes Brad Wheeler, but when Drew meets a gorgeous girl he went to high school with, she represents an escape.

Sunset

Sony Pictures Classics / Mongrel

  • Directed by: Laszlo Nemes
  • Written by: Laszlo Nemes and Clara Royer
  • Starring: Juli Jakab, Vlad Ivanov and Evelin Dobos
  • Classification: 14A; 144 minutes

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Set in 1913, Sunset follows a young woman (Juli Jakab) in Budapest who falls deeply into a family mystery – one whose structure feels as unfocused as Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes’s camera is steady, writes Barry Hertz.

Shazam!

Steve Wilkie/Warner Bros.

  • Directed by: David F. Sandberg
  • Written by: Henry Gayden
  • Starring: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer and Djimon Hounsou
  • Classification: PG; 132 minutes

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Shazam!, the latest of DC Comics’ intellectual properties to clumsily soar into multiplexes, was the first superhero to ever appear on the big screen, John Semley writes. But this new iteration is brought to life on screen by an utterly charmless lead (Zachary Levi) and rendered in all his superpowered heroics by dense CGI computer code.

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