Xan Brooks

Xan Brooks

Agrees with the Tomatometer 77% of the time.

Publications:
Guardian , Observer [UK] , Sight and Sound
Total Reviews:
327

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 327
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
2/5 18% Sex Tape (2014) " It's fitfully funny and exuberantly eager to please. The chief problem with Sex Tape, however, is that it remains a comedy of blushes as opposed to full-blown embarrassment." — Guardian
Posted Jul 18, 2014
3/5 —— Coming Home " Zhang dabs on salve and comforts the afflicted. He lets this intimate, bittersweet reconciliation implicitly stand for the nation at large." — Guardian
Posted May 20, 2014
4/5 50% Welcome To New York " I watched the whole thing with my jaw on the floor." — Guardian
Posted May 18, 2014
3/5 83% La chambre bleue (The Blue Room) " Amalric's handling is cool, studied and perhaps a little self-conscious. But he does a good job of showing how adultery is a noose that tightens at the throat even before an actual crime is committed ..." — Guardian
Posted May 16, 2014
4/5 93% Calvary (2014) " Your best advice is to sit back, hang on to your rosary beads and enjoy the ride while it lasts." — Observer [UK]
Posted Apr 13, 2014
48% The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears (2014) " Dim the lights and light up the bong." — Observer [UK]
Posted Apr 13, 2014
2/5 36% The Quiet Ones (2014) " If you believe Hammer Films' cornball exorcist caper is really "based on actual events", then you'll probably swallow anything." — Observer [UK]
Posted Apr 13, 2014
3/5 20% The Last Days On Mars (2013) " Our band of estimable actors have to contend with a storm of B-movie dialogue and the remorseless hammer blows of a stock horror plot line." — Observer [UK]
Posted Apr 13, 2014
3/5 41% Pioneer " If only it didn't risk applying too much pressure. If only it didn't overload the cargo with so many plot twists, chases and corpses. Mayday, mayday, this film's about to break up." — Observer [UK]
Posted Apr 13, 2014
2/5 51% Half of a Yellow Sun (2014) " The road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions ..." — Observer [UK]
Posted Apr 13, 2014
4/5 96% The Lunchbox (2014) " Who cares if the conceit feels a shade schematic? The Lunchbox is perfectly handled and beautifully acted; a quiet storm of banked emotions." — Observer [UK]
Posted Apr 13, 2014
79% The Raid 2 (2014) " Evans delivers the violence with such astonishing gusto that he barely lets us catch our breath." — Observer [UK]
Posted Apr 13, 2014
4/5 53% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) " The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems to know exactly what it's doing. Webb's film is bold and bright and possesses charm in abundance. It swings into the future and carries the audience with it." — Guardian
Posted Apr 8, 2014
3/5 100% Blue Blood " Keen and nimble and light on its toes." — Guardian
Posted Apr 7, 2014
3/5 92% The Return To Homs (2014) " The director's relentless, claustrophobic approach is surely an accurate reflection of the tragedy itself. There is no wider picture; the world has largely turned its back." — Guardian
Posted Jan 23, 2014
3/5 85% The Voices " The bolts are loose, the belts won't fasten and Satrapi's disreputable little creepshow finally doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Maybe that's fine." — Guardian
Posted Jan 22, 2014
5/5 99% Boyhood (2014) " What an astonishing achievement; what a beautiful movie." — Guardian
Posted Jan 21, 2014
4/5 87% Obvious Child (2014) " Obvious Child might hail from the same grungy sorority as Frances Ha or Lena Dunham's Girls, but it has a bounce and vitality that is inimitably its own." — Guardian
Posted Jan 20, 2014
4/5 93% Calvary (2014) " A film that is constantly commenting on itself, looking askance in the mirror and chuckling at its own presumption." — Guardian
Posted Jan 20, 2014
3/5 75% God Help the Girl (2014) " It's warm and generous, verging on the sentimental; a film that crystallises the best and worst of Belle and Sebastian's songwriting skills." — Guardian
Posted Jan 20, 2014
3/5 90% A Most Wanted Man (2014) " It's a professional old-school espionage outing, intricate as clockwork and acted with relish by the ever-watchable Hoffman." — Guardian
Posted Jan 19, 2014
2/5 56% Camp X-Ray " So crude and overstretched, it's a wonder [Stewart] didn't attempt to tunnel out before the credits rolled." — Guardian
Posted Jan 19, 2014
3/5 81% Mitt " Whiteley shows us a side of the candidate we never knew existed. He comes across smart, relaxed and witty, at least among his family and friends." — Guardian
Posted Jan 19, 2014
2/5 50% Age of the Uprising (2014) " Des Pallières's picture is stern and impressive, although its endless, one-note hammer blows soon start to grow tiresome." — Observer [UK]
Posted Jan 5, 2014
4/5 99% The Missing Picture (2014) " So nakedly personal and so honeycombed with open-ended questions that it amounts to a bewitching form of self-therapy." — Observer [UK]
Posted Jan 5, 2014
5/5 94% Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la bête) (1946) " La belle et la bête is full of wonder and mystery. It's cinema's ultimate love story, dressed up as a monster." — Observer [UK]
Posted Jan 5, 2014
3/5 47% Last Vegas (2013) " De Niro, Douglas, Freeman and Kline set about Last Vegas with the panache of a lifetime's experience." — Observer [UK]
Posted Jan 5, 2014
3/5 58% Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) " Elba's central performance is the movie's trump card, and one it employs with abandon, shuffling the other players far down in the deck." — Observer [UK]
Posted Jan 5, 2014
4/5 93% All Is Lost (2013) " Who is this sailor? Where does he come from? Chandor never sees fit to tell us. His hero remains a deliberate stencil, defined solely by the crisis around him and the actions he takes." — Observer [UK]
Posted Dec 30, 2013
3/5 100% Moon Man " A lo-fi delight, blending old-school storytelling with a whiff of head-shop trippiness." — Observer [UK]
Posted Dec 30, 2013
3/5 77% How To Make Money Selling Drugs (2013) " It becomes a compelling, clear-sighted trip through the jungle; a documentary that rushes us in and then proceeds to point the way out." — Observer [UK]
Posted Dec 30, 2013
2/5 12% 47 Ronin (2013) " 47 Ronin is murky, muddled and leaden, although it's not quite the unmitigated disaster it's been cracked up to be." — Observer [UK]
Posted Dec 30, 2013
2/5 50% The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) " The Secret Life of Walter Mitty feels like two films in one, each jostling for position, each disliking the other. They would far rather cut loose and strike out on their own." — Observer [UK]
Posted Dec 30, 2013
4/5 76% The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) " Here is a white-collar crime caper that stirs golden memories of the Scorsese back catalogue, often quite knowingly and sometimes to a fault." — Guardian
Posted Dec 17, 2013
4/5 75% Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014) " Hang on to your seat back, your Bible, or the hand of a friend. Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac bludgeons the body and tenderises the soul." — Guardian
Posted Dec 17, 2013
2/5 42% Closed Circuit (2013) " It plays as cut-price Le Carré; a recording of a recording of superior films. The picture is fuzzy, and the plot becomes garbled." — Guardian
Posted Oct 24, 2013
2/5 9% Runner Runner (2013) " This is a lazy, trashy film that barely goes through the motions. It wallows endlessly by the swimming pool and then gives a perfunctory frown of pious disapproval." — Guardian
Posted Sep 26, 2013
1/5 30% Austenland (2013) " So actively inept and so horribly precarious that it becomes curiously engrossing, like watching a monkey spin some plates or a blindfolded dog attempting to ride a unicycle." — Guardian
Posted Sep 26, 2013
2/5 43% Cold Comes The Night (2014) " Seldom come the thrills in this dogged bag-of-loot B-movie, which chases its tail in scurrying circles around a downscale motel in upstate New York." — Guardian
Posted Sep 19, 2013
3/5 84% The Unknown Known (2014) " The film winds up as a tense, frustrating stalemate." — Guardian
Posted Sep 13, 2013
4/5 50% Child Of God (2014) " Multi-hyphenate renaissance man James Franco has finally delivered the goods with this great, grisly Cormac McCarthy adaptation" — Guardian
Posted Sep 13, 2013
4/5 86% Joe (2014) " Joe serves up a bloody cut of Southern Gothic and a bullish portrait of masculinity in crisis, perfectly embodied by Nicolas Cage. " — Guardian
Posted Sep 13, 2013
2/5 89% Locke (2014) " Having stripped away all but the bare necessities, having reduced the components to a car and a man - they make a classic error of overcompensation. Locke, it occurs, is quite the most garrulous exercise in minimalism I've witnessed in years." — Guardian
Posted Sep 8, 2013
5/5 86% Under the Skin (2014) " A story that plays as a kind of malarial dream, bathed in cold sweat and seeing hallucinations in every corner." — Guardian
Posted Sep 3, 2013
3/5 53% The Zero Theorem (2014) " A sagging bag of half-cooked ideas, a dystopian thriller with runaway dysentery, a film that wears its metaphorical trousers around its metaphorical ankles. In fits and starts, I quite enjoyed it." — Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
3/5 48% Parkland (2013) " If the film finally doesn't tell us anything we did not already know, the approach makes a worn-out old tragedy feel supple and urgent." — Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
3/5 89% The Wind Rises (2014) " I wanted to love it, tried to love it and then went down in flames." — Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
4/5 84% Night Moves (2014) " Reichardt (the talented director of Old Joy and Meek's Cutoff) takes this volatile story and handles it with care and precision, as if transporting unstable nitroglycerin." — Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
4/5 92% Philomena (2013) " An ongoing, confounding delight of a film." — Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
4/5 97% Gravity (2013) " A brilliantly tense and involving account of two stricken astronauts; a howl in the wilderness that sucks the breath from your lungs." — Guardian
Posted Aug 28, 2013
Showing 1 - 50 of 327
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