Dom Hemingway Reviews

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Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2014
Undeservingly lost in the shuffle, Dome Hemingway is a brash and wildly entertaining dark crime comedy. Jude Law is a sheer force of nature as the title character, a charismatic and garrulous criminal with no shortness of ego or volume. He's just getting out of a 12-year jail sentence and taking stock of his life. His wife is dead, his grown-up daughter (Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke) hates him for his absence, and his bosses are ready to reward him for his long silence. The only person who could screw things is up is Dom, and he does, as he's prone to impulsive fits, shouting matches, and oversized bravado. This is really a series of comic vignettes and vulgar monologues, but the writing by Richard Shepard (The Matador) is slyly hilarious, leaving me in stitches throughout ("I am not burying your body today! I didn't bring the right shoes for it."). The comic voice here is assured and finely attuned to the broad wavelengths the characters. It's not exactly he colorful, cartoon criminal universe of early Guy Ritchie films, but there's a definitely heightened atmosphere here that blends well with the manic nature of Dom. Law is bouncing off the walls; you may have to wash the spittle off your TV. But he's compelling from his first minute onscreen to his last. The third act squeezes in a degree of emotions though by then we've been enjoying the depravity too much to switch focus. I don't think the work has been put in to make Dom a three-dimensional character, but that won't stop Dom's film from being a blast of entertainment with swagger to spare.

Nate's Grade: A-
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2014
An off-the wall instant classic. Movies don't get more enjoyable than this. One of the best British comedies I have seen in years. Grade A stuff. A stylish, hilarious and utterly original caper loaded with big laughs and surprising amount of heart. A flat-out funny good time that just does not let up. Director, Richard Shepard dazzles us once again with his beautiful style of direction and outrageous off-beat characters. It's sensational fun. Jude Law has never been better, he gives one of the best, boldest, funniest and most brilliant performances of his career. Law explodes his charisma, humor and heart, his character does things so absurd and ridiculous but at that moment you are still just routing for him because he is a loveable character who's dialogue is so gorgeous and refreshingly unique. Richard E. Grant is excellent, he gives a fun and terrific performance. Grant and Law have wicked chemistry together. Emilia Clarke is wonderful. A brash and riveting black comedy that has a great redeeming heart. Its definitely one of the most enjoyable surprises of 2014. A non-stop party of madness, crime, redemption, music and of course great performances from its cast.
MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
½ April 10, 2014
Jude Law is Dom Hemingway and you're not.

Great Film! Really enjoyed it! The lasting impression is the tremendous energy of the script and Jude Law it could really be a stage play in places, it is not often these days that movies create energy through an excellent script, rather than energy by effects, this does. Dom Hemingway avoids squeamish violence in the main and goes for the jugular in its script instead - it even has more than a touch of pathos admid the insanity. All in all, if you like films with some style, real laughs, and energy - and crude craziness - then this fits the bill better than most.

After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he's owed.
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2014
Dom Hemingway as a movie has far too little going on, but Dom Hemingway the character (as played by Jude Law) is great. It's a shame he is so under-explored.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2014
All Dom Hemingway(Jude Law) wants after spending twelve years in prison for keeping his mouth shut is to be paid what he is owed for his last job. Spending three nights with two prostitutes is not a half bad downpayment, however, even if he hardly survives the experience. Back to the business at hand, Dom and his best friend Dickie(Richard E. Grant) travel to France to meet with Fontaine(Demian Bichir) to collect the rest. And everything goes well until Dom hits on Paolina(Madalina Ghenea), Fontaine's girlfriend, thus putting everybody's life in danger.

Since we never get to see it up close, it is hard to say whether Dom is right when he says that his penis deserves a monument on the Washington Mall.(Or the closest equivalent.) What I do know for sure is that everything that happens in "Dom Hemingway" is because of said penis. And as fun as the movie can be, that's pretty much it, as it is so improbable at times that it is on the verge of magic realism, ending on a rather abrupt note. Admittedly, Jude Law is quite good in an unselfconscious performance that has less to do with the paunch and male pattern baldness than with him playing a grandfather. But we've seen better. That leaves it for Richard E. Grant to steal the movie out from under him just with his greatly bemused reactions.
Super Reviewer
September 13, 2013
Once again, not a lot of love for a movie that I kind of dug. What does it for me is Jude Law. This is one of the most sophisticated characters that he has attempted to portray and while some may argue that this is just a replication of Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast, Law goes at it with full gusto and honesty in performance.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2014
A name doesn't get too much more British gangster than Dom, but Hemingway, well, I don't know where that's coming from. Don't go thinking that this is "Do[u]n[/u] Hemingway", because this is hardly about Ernest Hemingway's days as a mafia head, although it may be, because it has nothing to do with good ol' Ernie. It is about a seriously hardcore criminal who keeps getting in trouble, no matter how much they stick him in prison, so I was thinking that this was kind of like Bronson, in that it was about an impossibly British criminal using an American icon's name for an alias. Shoot, this Hemingway is an aggressive drunkard out to get his, and not caring what anyone else thinks, so maybe this really is about Ernest, although I would be that angry if I went from looking like Jude Law to looking like this. Mind you, Law is only about as rough-looking as they could make him, but I really wouldn't want to mess with him when he's like that, and I wouldn't mess with him when he's pretty, because he does have that sort of silent intensity that I'm sure would lead to a whooping. Here, the only big difference is that he's anything but quiet, because, wow, this film can get a little obnoxious at times. Well, it's still a good performance by Law, but the film itself, I don't know, it's not quite what I was hoping for out of this film, for reasons extending beyond the fact that I was kind of expecting Ernest Hemingway in the mafia.

While not quite as predictable as I feared, this film is pretty formulaic as a black-crime comedy about an ex-con seeking resolution for what he feels is due to him as a criminal, and it is made all the more conventional by boasting a very British style of storytelling, complete with overstylization. A somewhat toned down, yet nonetheless notable continuation of the Danny Boyle-inspired movement of hyper-stylization in British cinema, this film has a tendency to get a little carried away with its flashy editing and frantic pacing, which bloat style, often at the expense of substance which is lacking enough in concept. This is ultimately a rather inconsequential story concept that is entertaining, but not exactly rich, being light in magnitude, no matter how much it can get carried away as rather improbable. Of course, the grimy characterization gets carried away as much as anything in this black comedy, because even though the characters are memorably colorful and charismatically portrayed, it's hard to get invested in them, as they're all such dirtbags, including, if not especially the titular lead (He reportedly killed a cat, so he loses a ton of points from me for that). At the very least, the likability of the characters and, for that matter, the entertainment value of the film are shaken by sheer obnoxiousness, deriving from the humor's often being characterized by a noisy onslaught of obscenities which dilute the tastefulness of a wit whose constant frantic snap also wears you down, to the point of feel low-brow. More often than not, the film is a lot of fun with its fusion of wit and grime as a comedy, but all too often, it's kind of annoying, distancing you from a formulaic narrative with problematic characters and a questionable degree of weight. The film is almost forgettable, but even though it's rather underwhelming, for what it is, it sticks with you through all of its effective tastes, even in music.

The film isn't especially musical, but when music does come into play, it doesn't do much with Rolfe Kent's decent score, being primarily celebratory of an outstanding unoriginal soundtrack which features anything from good, old-fashioned, no-nonsense British rock, to the occasional nifty classical piece, and does a lot to liven up the aesthetic value of this film, further complimented by consistently handsome and sometimes surprisingly gorgeous cinematography by Giles Nuttgens. Visual style stands solid in this film, but the stylistic sharpness within the directorial efforts of Richard Shepard do not end there, for although the film is very often overstylized with its frantic flashiness, when Shepard's orchestration of the sound mixing, scene structuring and editing - supervised by Dana Congdon - snaps, the film crackles. Again, Shepard will reach obnoxious extremes, but he never ever hits bland lows, keeping entertainment value consistent, very often to the point of making sure that the film is a whole lot of fun, largely thanks to his stylish direction, and just as largely thanks to his snappy writing. Shepard's script succumbs to a number of conventions when it comes to modern British comedy, and among those tropes is a messiness to the juggling of exhausting wit and obnoxious, often simply uncalled-for low-brow touches, but when realization to Shepard's colorful writing is found, man, it's just about sparkling, with memorable characterization and heights in humor which range from charming to all-out hilarious. Intensely snappy and audacious, this film challenges your patience and tolerance, and if you're able to take it for what it is, while you should hardly expect anything outstanding, you're sure to enjoy yourself, as it is so much fun and so charm in so many ways, yet wouldn't be that to this extent if it wasn't for such a fittingly charming cast. As expected, if nothing else stands out in this film, it's a cast full of memorably charismatic performances of which, the most memorable of which being by Jumayn Hunter, Demián Bichir, Richard E. Grant and, of course, leading man Jude Law, who is so deeply transformative in his sparklingly charismatic and, in some ways, nuanced portrayal of a brutal and self-indulgent criminal who is hardly predictable - particularly when he finds a heart - that he proves to be rather outstanding, molding a lead who endears through all of his flaws as memorable and sometimes even sympathetic. Law is a little bit held back by his being handed little actual dramatic material, but he does firmly remind us of his under-explored talents and carries this film a long way, maybe not to where the final product can transcend its shortcomings and even border on rewarding, but certainly to where the patient are sure to be thoroughly entertained.

Bottom line, the film falls into formula and overstylization almost as obnoxious as unlikable character aspects and an exhaustingly frantic, often low-brow sense of humor, all behind a story of little depth to begin with, thus, this effort cannot transcend underwhelmingness, but on the backs of an excellent soundtrack, lovely cinematography, entertainingly stylish direction, colorful and often riotous writing, and across-the-board glowingly charming performances, - the most endearing of which being by Jude Law - "Dom Hemingway" stands as an inconsequential, but fun black comedy.

2.5/5 - Fair
PantaOz
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2014
It wasn't a bad British black comedy-crime drama directed and written by Richard Shepard. Interesting choice of words... and poetry... used by the star Jude Law. Next to him you'll find Richard E. Grant, Demián Bichir, and Emilia Clarke. And they all did a very good job.

The story of an old school safecracker Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) who, after spending 12 years in prison for refusing to rat out his boss Ivan Fontaine (Demián Bichir), is released and seeks payment, was refreshingly different. He reunites with his best friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant) and they travel to Fontaine's villa in the French countryside. Dom flirts with Fontaine's Romanian girlfriend Paolina (M?d?lina Diana Ghenea) and becomes angry that he spent 12 years in jail for Fontaine. He begins to mock Fontaine and storms out. At dinner, he apologises and Fontaine presents Dom with £750,000... Is Dom now rich? Well... not really!

Fast paced story has its faults but is still keeping the audience interested until the end, mainly due to the hero's Dom Hemingway's misfortune which follows it until almost the end... Funny at moments, and raw around the edges most of the time... but never boring!
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2014
If the filmmakers had stuck with the crazed energy (best displayed in the hilarious opening monologue) instead of awkwardly mashing it together with your standard redemption arch, the film might have been great. Still, its amusing enough and Jude Law's performance, which I could only described as "scenery devouring", is one you won't soon forget.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2014
Quite a paradigm shift for Jude Law in this safe-cracking caper flick. Really, it's not even that. This is strictly a profile movie of one man's journey on how he tries to cope in the world after 12 years in prison. The opening scene should tell you everything you need to know about the route Dom Hemingway is heading down. Very provocative and racy dialogue along with some incredibly outrageous party scenes. Law clearly took this role for the sole purpose of yelling at the top of his lungs 90% of the time. He's visibly living vicariously as an actor through this role he's clearly having fun in doing. You don't quite know where he's going, what he's doing, or what the point is, but it's still a decent enough ride to sit through.
September 7, 2014
Jude Law's performance overshadows the thin story. This is more a character study than a crime caper. Dom is foul mouthed and a party animal. I like how his character slowly tries to make things better. I wanted a little more with the other important characters in his life, but at least for Dom Hemingway, it is worth a watch.

Grade: B
½ August 20, 2014
Thanks to Jude Law totally throwing himself into the role, Dom Hemingway is a really fun, albeit flawed, film. Director Richard Shepard brings a lot of style, and a surprising amount of heart, to his portrayal of a obscene character who has dreams of grandeur. He allows Law to steal the show with his performance, but gives enough visual flair to the film to support this wacky persona the actor puts on.

For most of the film, you're just along for the ride. Shepard gets you accustomed to the character of Hemingway pretty early on, so all of the wacky antics he gets into are just icing on the cake. Because what you care about most is watching Hemingway live his life. What surprised me here was not how much I enjoyed the off-the-wall kind of humor, but how touching this film really was. Shepard has a deft hand when it comes to dealing with the interpersonal relationships Hemingway has. He and Law portray Hemingway as a man who can't really help himself. He may want to change, but he doesn't really have the tools to do it. This makes the protagonist so sympathetic to the audience, that it's hard not to love him.

There are some obvious flaws with the film. The obscenities in the film might make it somewhat inaccessible to viewers. Also, most of the plot of the film is meaningless. It's practically a string of, rather, unconnected events that lead to a conclusion, that doesn't have much to do with the set up. I can understand how this can be frustrating, and it would have probably been an even better film if Shepard had given the script one more draft.

However, it didn't really ruin the film for me. Law was my anchor to the story, because I found Hemingway to be so intriguing and, somewhat, charismatic. Your enjoyment of this film will really hinge on what you think of Hemingway, but if you're like me, you might find yourself having a lot more fun with this than you thought you would.
July 25, 2014
Dom Hemingway is a film about failure. The titular character is a failure, and you don't root for him because he's an effective portrayal of an anti-hero or even because of his badass attitude; you root for him because he's pathetic and pitiable, and he knows it. I'm going to go ahead and say that his massive ego is excused by a superiority complex, which may be one reason why the drama from the film's second half feels more real while it covers some touching aspects from the point of the man who has nothing but his name. That does not excuse the first half from being unfocused, or the film's disregard to choosing one of its many plot possibilities and anchoring itself into a coherent and better story than what it ended up giving us. That being said, it is likely just the result of the film following the escapades of a man whose life is truly as jumbled as the film itself; Dom Hemingway.
April 20, 2014
law turns in a stellar tour de force performance but not just alone also grrr8 chem betwixt law & grant like hunter thompson & dr gonzo
½ April 23, 2014
As a starring vehicle for Jude Law it works, it's one of Law's best performances, showing a wild unleashed side we've rarely seen before, he's always captivating watch, both funny and at times pathetic, he has great chemistry with grant, who's also really good here, plot wise tho there isn't much there, it's just episodes in Dom's life after he gets out of prison, bechir is entertaining in a small role, and emilia clarke doesnt really do much as his daughter, worth seeing for Law's performance, worth a rental
½ April 15, 2014
A totally different type of role for Jude Law in which he brilliantly portrays a rage-filled criminal who is recently released from 12 years in prison. He has some scores to settle and a lot of lost times to catch up on. Definitely worth the diversion from the typical hollywood fare at the cinema.
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