2 Best Movies to Watch by Matt Johnson

Staff & contributors

Unlike other films about great inventions of a bygone era, BlackBerry isn’t nostalgic nor sentimental in the least bit. Instead, it’s chilly, calculating, and surprisingly comic (it has to be, with comedians Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton as leads). And it’s less about the brilliance of this one product than the cycle of greed, corruption, and vanity that eventually traps its too-ambitious creators. 

It's a smart film that refuses to dumb down the tech and business side of things, and what it lacks in characterization (there is little to no backstory to be found), it more than makes up for in drama and a superb pace, which propulsively and practically brings you to its wonderful peak and bleak end. Equipped with a no-nonsense yet thrilling approach to facts, BlackBerry is a refreshing entry into the biopic genre.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, History

Actor: Al Bernstein, Ben Petrie, Cary Elwes, Conor Casey, David Christo, Dillon Casey, Elena Juatco, Eric Osborne, Ethan Eng, Evan Buliung, Glenn Howerton, Greg Calderone, Gregory Ambrose Calderone, Gwynne Phillips, Jay Baruchel, Kelly Van der Burg, Laura Cilevitz, Lauren Howe, Lyndon Casey, Malakai Fox, Mark Critch, Martin Donovan, Matt Johnson, Michael Ironside, Michelle Giroux, Pranay Noel, Rich Sommer, Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll, Saul Rubinek, Sean Jones, Stephanie Moran, SungWon Cho

Director: Matt Johnson

Rating: R

A character study in the absolute purest sense, Anne at 13,000 Ft. doesn't even have the kind of satisfying closure one would expect from any story, nor does it explain anything about its protagonist's difficult, erratic behavior in the context of mental health. It's an exercise in testing how much empathy a character can earn solely on account of their being a human being having a hard time. Appropriately, the filmmaking on display makes for a deliberately uncomfortable experience, with tension ratcheting up in practically every given situation, enhanced by the fact that director Kazik Radwanski and star Deragh Campbell improvised much of the movie as they were making it.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Deragh Campbell, Dorothea Paas, Helly Chester, Joseph Simon, Lawrene Denkers, Lisa Aitken, Matt Johnson, Michael Kuthe, Suzanne Pratley, Tiffany Blom

Director: Kazik Radwanski