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film review

The Sinners is a Canadian tribute to the likes of Jawbreaker and Heathers.Globetrotter Pictures

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  • The Sinners
  • Directed by Courtney Paige
  • Written by Courtney Paige, Erin Hazlehurst and Madison Smith
  • Starring Kaitlyn Bernard, Brenna Llewellyn and Tahmoh Penikett
  • Classification N/A; 96 minutes

In a small town oppressed by Christianity, seven schoolgirls begin leaning into teen rebellion. With each nicknamed after one of the seven deadly sins (greed, lust, sloth, pride, wrath, gluttony and envy), they create a near-mythic public image that’s threatened when a schoolmate begins airing their dirty laundry to the pastor father of the group’s most popular member (Kaitlyn Bernard).

Unfortunately, it gets worse. One by one, each girl is murdered by a mysterious assailant whose M.O. is based on said sinful personas. Worse yet? Everybody has a motive, which makes the suspect list abundant ... and bleak. (Dun, dun, dun.)

Co-written, directed and produced by Courtney Paige, The Sinners is a Canadian-made tribute to the likes of Jawbreaker and Heathers, and the film works hard to give its teen characters agency. That said, to have had more time with each would’ve made the story even more compelling – especially since in its 90ish minutes, the movie delves into themes like sexuality, gender roles and the patriarchy. Ultimately, The Sinners would make for a better miniseries. With so much story to tell and so many characters to root for (or against), we could use a deep dive into the risks of unchecked misogyny.

The Sinners is available on-demand, including Apple TV/itunes, starting Feb. 19

In the interest of consistency across all critics’ reviews, The Globe has eliminated its star-rating system in film and theatre to align with coverage of music, books, visual arts and dance. Instead, works of excellence will be noted with a Critic’s Pick designation across all coverage.