Released on: September 9, 2016 (at the Toronto International Film Festival)
Directed by: Tony Elliott
Written by: Tony Elliott
Starring: Robbie Amell, Rachael Taylor, Shaun Benson, Gray Powell, Jacob Neayem, Adam Butcher
When director and writer Tony Elliott was working on 2008’s Orphan Black, he came up with the initial concept of ARQ, which had its debut this year at the Toronto International Film Festival. And though this low-budget film was only released on Netflix after years of being in development hell, it’s not short on good writing, good plot, and great acting from the likes of rising stars Robbie Amell and Rachael Taylor.
But this isn’t a film that can just be watched as “background noise”; rather, this is a complex film with a twisting plot that, if you’re not careful, can leave you lost. Though difficult to summarize in one sentence, the best way we can do so is by telling you that this is a film where a man creates a time loop as a result of a tech invention, and it’s up to his ex-girlfriend to save him. While this may sound hokey on the surface, John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter called it “a tricky little time twister that makes the most of its limited resources.” This truly makes this Canadian offering a fine addition to a rather limited sci-fi canon on Netflix, and certainly a good Canadian film overall.