01/30/2015 11:27 EST | Updated 04/01/2015 05:59 EDT

Black or White contains 'a few treasures'

Academy Award winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer are locked in a racially-charged custody battle in the new family drama Black or White.

​Costner plays a grieving widower fighting to raise his bi-racial granddaughter (Jillian Estelle), while Spencer plays the paternal grandmother determined to raise her granddaughter closer to her African American roots.

As far as new movies go "this is not a good one," says CBC film critic Eli Glasner, "but you might find a few treasures in the middle of the muck."

The film from The Upside of Anger director Mike Binder is "sentimental, schmaltzy and heavy-handed but underneath are some great performances and a conversation about race that's worth having."

Black or White (which premiered at TIFF under its alternate title Black and White) is in theatres this weekend.

- VIDEO | Talking race on the Black and White Red Carpet

Watch Eli's full review in the video titled "3 stars for Black or White" above.