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Flashbacks of a Fool (2008)


Average Rating: 4.5/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: Despite Daniel Craig's earnest efforts, Flashbacks of a Fool suffers from an ambitious but underdeveloped script.

Average Rating: 4/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 1
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: Despite Daniel Craig's earnest efforts, Flashbacks of a Fool suffers from an ambitious but underdeveloped script.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 3,492



Movie Info

Having squandered his stint in the spotlight on hard drugs and reckless sex, washed-up Hollywood has-been Joe Scott (Daniel Craig) reflects on the summer of innocence and tragedy that would alter the course of his life after receiving news that his childhood best friend has suddenly died. As he makes his way back to the quiet English seaside village of his childhood in order to attend the funeral, he finds his journey into the past becoming a journey of both redemption and self-discovery as … More

R (for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use)
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Sep 22, 2008
Anchor Bay Entertainment - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Flashbacks of a Fool

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (13) | DVD (4)

Whiile pic doesn't exactly feel like a vanity project, its weak script might have kept it forever in development hell if debutant writer-helmer Baillie Walsh weren't the topliner's good buddy.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

The bizarre secret isn't nearly interesting enough to justify the long buildup to it, and since it amounts to bad luck it doesn't really reveal anything about the actor, anyway.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

Without Daniel Craig's 007-enhanced profile, it's unlikely that Flashbacks of a Fool would have appeared anywhere except the Netflix queues of his most rabid fans.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Craig's shaken-but-not-stirred charisma makes the most of an underwritten part, but the movie nearly flat-lines when the actor's not onscreen, which is often.

Full Review… | October 16, 2008
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

While the dialogue is often hackneyed and full of rushed backstory (not enough flashbacks, evidently), the cinematography excels, particularly the chiaroscuro interiors.

Full Review… | October 15, 2008
Time Out New York
Top Critic

An ambitious but disappointing, regret-filled psycho-drama.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Charismatic Daniel Craig plays Joe Scott, a washed up movie star, addicted to a misspent life of sex, drugs and uncool behaviour

Full Review… | March 21, 2009
Urban Cinefile

... an uninspired rearrangement of familiar elements, with little emotional force to justify the entire project.

November 12, 2008
Los Angeles CityBeat

Craig does a hopelessly dissipated futuristic Bondish has-been celeb party animal, undone by an overload of hard drugs and sex orgies in a flash forward culture clash of Hollywood excess and soapy UK downhome family values.

Full Review… | November 9, 2008

Flashbacks flounders in the final third.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Screen International

Impressively directed and superbly acted by a terrific cast, this is both a nostalgia-fuelled coming-of-age tale and a genuinely moving drama about making peace with the past.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008

Fatally, Craig's self-obsessed Joe never develops into anyone more interesting.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008
Daily Telegraph

It's like an awkward (and how could it not be awkward?) marriage of The Cement Garden and Beaches; an intriguing bit of driftwood, an exotic wreck.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008

It's a handsome picture but Joe's lack of evolution is unsatisfying.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008
Times [UK]

A two-hour whining session in which Daniel Craig plays fading actor Joe Scott.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008
Little White Lies

An uneven drama that uneasily mixes Hollywood satire and coming-of-age tale, Flashbacks Of A Fool is hampered by its adventurous attempt to link the two. Much like its central character, Walsh's film is stylish but empty.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008

It's a fool's paradise for Craig as his fading filmstar looks back on how teenage hormones lead to tragedy. Walsh doesn't fritter away Daniel's magnanimity, but the lurch between Hollywood washout and ramshackle English adolescence needs more to bond.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008
Total Film

Despite the skilful and evocative photography, the strong cast seem to misfire against the imbalanced structure and clashing styles.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008

When the record stops spinning Flashbacks Of A Fool doesn't amount to much more than "learn from past mistakes and don't take your life for granted", but it's strikingly shot, perfectly played, and rather well scored.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008
Sky Movies

An array of small successes can't support the crushing weight of the malformed screenplay. Not a complete loss by any means, though, and Walsh is a talent to keep an eye on.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Flashbacks of a Fool

Directed (and written) by Baillie Walsh, Left Turn Films, 2008, Starring Daniel Craig, Harry Eden, Eve, Mark Strong and Olivia Williams.

Genre: Drama

Question: Do you receive recommendations to see a movie and most of the time you wonder what people saw in the movie that made them like it? Yes, I know I review and recommend movies all the time so maybe just ignore this question. I am still flustered over a movie I just finished viewing on Netflix: Flashbacks of a Fool.

Anyway, I wasn't going to review this movie because it hit me hard. I am still trying to figure out exactly why. A friend recommended this movie and their opinion is one that I always take into consideration. But as I like to always say: DON'T TELL ME ANYTHING about the movie so they did not. I am still undecided if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

The movie stars Daniel Craig (a.k.a. Bond, James Bond) as a self-indulgent, alcoholic, narcissist who is a very emotionally bruised man. He is obviously trying, desperately, to forget about his past and winds up alone, beaten and at the end of his rope emotionally. He receives some news one morning after a night of debauchery. It's probably the first connection to the past that he has had in years, decades. This just finally pushes him over the emotional edge. The first 20 minutes or so you see the life he has chosen for himself and why he comes to the beach to reflect back on his life after receiving this news.

That is when the flashbacks come - it's the late '70's somewhere in England on the coast. We see him as a youth - perhaps 15 or 16 years old with his friend. The story then lends itself towards a sexual coming-of-age story or so I thought. I really don't want to reveal anymore because what happens over the course of the next hour should be viewed with little prior knowledge. But I will say something happened that made me an emotional wreck. Then something happened at the end that ripped me apart. Maybe you won't see it but for whatever reason I lost it and had difficulty containing myself for the next hour or so.

This is a profound movie. This is a film about choices and the consequences of those choices especially when it is a selfish one.

Daniel Craig was brilliant in this movie. I always knew he could act and I can watch that blue-eyed actor in almost anything. He may even be my favorite James Bond (Yes!). But the first 20 minutes of watching him spiral down the emotional valley was something that everyone should see. I am not sure why this didn't get anymore PR or press when it was out a few years back. It baffles me some days - movies like Flashbacks of a Fool or other wonderful small indie films that don't get more notice. Well, hopefully, with my small little blog I can help people discover these wonderful gems.

I also have to give credit to the young man who played the younger version of Daniel Craig's character: Harry Eden. He really did a fantastic job as did all the actors in this small film.

My favorite thing: Well, Daniel Craig, of course!

My least favorite thing: I can't say...

Rating: R
Length: 100 minutes

Review: 8 out of 10

Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer


Meh. Not a dismal film but not very interesting. Daniel Craig does his darned best to save it, but he isn't allowed much room. Olivia Wiliams is always a pleasure to watch... in fact, the performances are quite the only thing I'd give any credit to. The rest is just acceptable: decent cinematography, decent score. Still, the structure is disastrous and the story is aimless in a bad way. Only watchable for a few minutes of Roxy Music lipsynching!! And/or if you want to take a good, good look at Daniel Craig's butt from several angles. Suit yourself.

Elvira B

Super Reviewer

This drama film manages its details well, but can't control a much bigger problem - the titular conceit - and is crippled by the fact that I never believe they're the same character. Solid performance by Daniel Craig as a man on the brink and Jodhi May is so hot in the sex scenes of the 1972 flashback.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


Fairly routine drama enlivened by a strong cast who brought the tale to life.

Gordon A

Super Reviewer

Flashbacks of a Fool Quotes

Mrs. Rogers:
And you know what they found? A plastic toy animal. Probably been stuck in me bowels for over 20 years.
– Submitted by Din J (3 years ago)

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