Philip Kemp

Philip Kemp

Agrees with the Tomatometer 91% of the time.

Publications:
Sight and Sound , Total Film
Total Reviews:
209

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Showing 1 - 50 of 209
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
4/5 69% Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) " Fritz Lang's last American movie is an edgy study in moral ambiguity. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Oct 15, 2014
3/5 89% While the City Sleeps (1955) " Dour, disillusioned stuff -- easy to admire, harder to love. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Oct 15, 2014
3/5 70% Gone Too Far! " A lively Brit-comedy of manners full of crackling dialogue. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Oct 6, 2014
4/5 78% What We Did on Our Holiday " Connolly's on top form too, and the chemistry between Tennant and Pike convinces. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Sep 28, 2014
3/5 89% Wise Blood (1979) " Funny, tragic, philosophical, farcical -- this is Huston near the top of his form. A useful batch of interviews, including one with Dourif. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Sep 19, 2014
No Score Yet By The Bluest of Seas " Barnet's gentle lyricism and reluctance to propagandise separate him from the tub-thumping mainstream of Soviet cinema, but make him all the more appealing. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Sep 9, 2014
100% M (1931) " Extraordinary and shocking - still. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Sep 1, 2014
5/5 96% Charulata (1964) " So little's openly stated, so much implied - as in Ray's own wistfully romantic score. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Aug 18, 2014
3/5 95% To Catch a Thief (2009) " It's all slight, charming and fairly forgettable. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Aug 4, 2014
4/5 80% The Illumination (Iluminacja) (1973) " Polish director Krztsztof Zanussi's third feature and his most experimental crosses narrative cinema with filmed essay in an exploration of truth, knowledge and the elusive nature of happiness. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Jun 19, 2014
5/5 100% Spring in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun) (2007) " One of the finest Chinese movies ever made, lauded for its utmost delicacy and subtlety. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Jun 16, 2014
3/5 86% Bright Days Ahead (2014) " It's all a tad slight and glossy, but the performances redeem it ... " ‐ Total Film
Posted Jun 16, 2014
4/5 83% Belle (2014) " Mbatha-Raw gives a luminous performance, aided by a script that creates a powerful tension between the formality of the language and the passion of the sentiments. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Jun 9, 2014
3/5 33% A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) " Seth MacFarlane's comedy western boasts gags galore - some a lot cruder than others. But the hits outnumber the misses. " ‐ Total Film
Posted May 30, 2014
4/5 92% A Farewell to Arms (1932) " Cooper was never more handsome, and the chemistry between him and Hayes glows from the screen. " ‐ Total Film
Posted May 26, 2014
5/5 95% Sanma no aji (An Autumn Afternoon) (The Widower) (1964) " Mellow and rich in ironic humour, the film carries an undertow of gentle melancholy; as so often with Ozu, its ultimate message is that loneliness is the human condition. " ‐ Total Film
Posted May 13, 2014
3/5 81% The Two Faces of January (2014) " Intelligent, stylish adaptation of a Highsmith thriller with a crack cast and superbly photographed period locations. But it misses the essential element of tension. " ‐ Total Film
Posted May 13, 2014
4/5 83% Silent Sonata (Circus Fantasticus) " Slovenian filmmaker Janez Burger's dialogue-free poetic fable doesn't dig deep (circus as metaphor for life, thanks Fellini) but there's a gentle surreal charm that's hard to resist. " ‐ Total Film
Posted May 5, 2014
5/5 94% Paths of Glory (1957) " The scenes of trench warfare are frighteningly vivid, and Kirk Douglas gives a searing performance as the officer assigned to the hopeless task of defending the three men. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Apr 27, 2014
5/5 96% Rebel Without a Cause (1955) " Nicholas Ray's 1955 film extends sympathy to all its characters, not just the kids, though the central trio of Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo focus our emotions. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Apr 14, 2014
3/5 95% Giant (1956) " The combination of director George Stevens and source novelist Edna Ferber, both given to expressions of overblown high seriousness, yields a long, slow, achingly self-important movie. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Apr 14, 2014
3/5 88% East of Eden (1955) " Catches fire in the clashes between Dean (as the bad brother) and Raymond Massey as his stiff-necked dad. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Apr 14, 2014
4/5 53% The Zero Theorem (2014) " The future as candy-coloured paranoid nightmare: not quite Gilliam's best, but still the most satisfying movie he's made for years. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Mar 10, 2014
92% The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) " It's Fiennes who coolly walks off with the film. Switching seamlessly between courtliness and profanity, he displays a gift for comic timing that's rarely been unleashed since his Essex gang boss in 2007's In Bruges. " ‐ Sight and Sound
Posted Mar 7, 2014
4/5 100% Roma, città aperta (Open City) (1946) " Made on a tiny budget with a largely non-professional cast and filmed on the streets where similar events had just occurred, the rawness of the movie give it an immediacy that still hits home. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Mar 3, 2014
4/5 100% Wake in Fright (2012) " Shocking, credible and hard to forget. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Mar 3, 2014
99% Lawrence of Arabia (1962) " I epics are your thing, they don't come much grander. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Feb 26, 2014
5/5 93% Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) " The film weaves a rich Chekhovian mix, full of wry insights into the fragility of human emotions. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Feb 10, 2014
3/5 97% Wings (1927) " William Wellman's silent WW1 flying epic soars thrillingly while it's airborne, but on the ground it plods. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Feb 4, 2014
4/5 77% The Invisible Woman (2013) " Chasing Coriolanus with another multi-tasking success, Ralph Fiennes crafts a moving account of a secret affair - with Felicity Jones riding high as the lady in question. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Feb 3, 2014
4/5 99% The Missing Picture (2014) " Panh's commentary - spoken in French by Randal Douc - searingly sets the context. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Dec 31, 2013
3/5 86% A Midnight Clear (1992) " Keith Gordon's adap of William Wharton's novel is low on action, long on mood and psychological complexity. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Dec 4, 2013
4/5 86% The Patience Stone (2013) " In a war-raved city, a woman sits and talks to her husband. He doesn't say much, since he's been shot and he's in a coma. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Dec 2, 2013
4/5 92% Nebraska (2013) " A pitch-perfect performance from Dern graces Alexander Payne's latest roadmovie - another bittersweet meditation on the sad, comic futility of life. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Dec 2, 2013
4/5 100% Vivan las Antipodas! (2013) " Lovely stuff. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Nov 20, 2013
4/5 20% Who Needs Enemies (2013) " It's a promising feature debut for Stylianou; let's hope he explores fresher territory next time. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Nov 11, 2013
4/5 86% In Fear (2014) " A taut, chilling little horror-thriller making maximum use of minimal resources to tap into our primal fears of the unknown. Plus shredded-nerve turns from an (evidently) adaptable cast. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Nov 11, 2013
4/5 92% Philomena (2013) " Odd-couple chemistry from Dench and Coogan, a smart script and honed direction make this real-life story highly compelling. Blending comedy and tragedy, it secretes a potent sting. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Oct 29, 2013
4/5 37% The Fifth Estate (2013) " With a riveting portrayal by Cumberbatch at its heart, The Fifth Estate tells its story grippingly - but finally leaves us none the wiser. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Oct 8, 2013
3/5 100% Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo (I Was Born, But ) (Children of Tokyo) (1932) " The humour is sly, warm and playful. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Sep 23, 2013
4/5 100% The Big Risk (Classe tous risques) (1960) " A sombre, downbeat gem in the hard-bitten tradition of Rififi, it stars Lino Ventura as the big-time gangster fallen on hard times, whose former friends don't want to know " ‐ Total Film
Posted Sep 9, 2013
4/5 100% Tarnished Angels (1958) " Sirk mines sombre poetry from these lives, though a tacked-on happy-ish ending lets him down. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Aug 28, 2013
4/5 100% The Birth of a Nation (1915) " A towering milestone in the history of cinema. Asentimentalised, reactionary slab of racism. Can a film be both? In the case of D.W. Griffith's silent-era classic The Birth Of A Nation, unfortunately it can. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Aug 19, 2013
4/5 89% Mahanagar (The Big City) (The Great City) (1967) " Ray draws from Mukherjee a performance of delectable subtlety as she comes to recognise her moral and financial independence. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Aug 12, 2013
5/5 58% Heaven's Gate (1980) " The set-pieces are majestic and its disenchanted view of the american frontier myth still rings ominously true. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Jul 30, 2013
4/5 100% Lal gece (Night of Silence) " Treating what could be a deeply distasteful subject with subtlety and restraint, Reis Çelik's intimate two-hander explores a fraught situation with sympathy and unexpected revelations ... " ‐ Total Film
Posted Jul 2, 2013
4/5 87% A Field in England (2014) " Ben Wheatley's strangest movie yet: mysticism, mystification and magic mushrooms in a English Civil War setting. Often confusing, occasionally infuriating - but audaciously original. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Jun 11, 2013
5/5 98% Before Midnight (2013) " A more-than-worthy, expectations-exceeding chapter in one of modern cinema's finest love stories. As honest, convincing, funny, intimate and natural as its predecessors. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Jun 11, 2013
3/5 91% Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969) " A sense of clarity and austerity about the visuals lends potent emotional heft. " ‐ Total Film
Posted May 1, 2013
3/5 68% Me and You (2014) " Script and acting are flawless - but set beside Bertolucci's glory years (The Conformist, Last Tango In Paris, Novecento) it all feels a bit slight. " ‐ Total Film
Posted Apr 12, 2013
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