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Hardcore is Toronto's first under-the-radar sensation

Joshua Rothkopf
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Joshua Rothkopf

"Have you seen Hardcore yet?" movie snobs are asking with a shy smile at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, now in progress (see our expanding coverage here). If you're a fest veteran seeing four or five titles a day, crashing in meals and sleep when you can, hardcore describes more than just a film. But this year, the term fits the festival's buzziest event: an action-cinema triumph wholly shot from the camera's first-person eye. You are Jackie Chan, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger—and the body count is high. The feature debut of Russia-born Ilya Naishuller, Hardcore is based on his 2013 viral short "Bad Motherfucker," which suggested his gimmick could be expanded. The movie has come to Toronto for its world premiere without a distributor (expect that status to change momentarily), and after Hardcore's Saturday night screening at the cavernous Ryerson Theatre, the midnight crowd erupted in lengthy applause. That's a reminder that for all of Toronto's prestige appeal (and constant Oscar drumbeat), the audience has a voice of its own. Read our five-star Hardcore review here.

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the Toronto Film Festival

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