Ben Nicholson

Ben Nicholson
Ben Nicholson's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Sight and Sound Little White Lies The Skinny CineVue

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Monsoon (2019) Monsoon feels like a precisely considered expression of the untethered experience of migration. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2019
4/5 89% Diamantino (2019) Form, tone, narrative and gender all slide around the backseat as Abrantes and Schmidt career down various winding roads; the result is an absolutely joyous ride brimming with charm and humanity. - The Skinny EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/5 100% Multiple Maniacs (1970) More than forty-five years after it made its bow on Baltimore's underground scene, this cult classic's trashy profanity retains its spark. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
3/5 93% The Propaganda Game (2015) This is a snapshot accompanied by counter-claims that lacks any real digging into either. It all means that The Propaganda Game feels strangely inconsequential. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
2/5 26% The Benefactor (2016) At the heart of Andrew Renzi's directorial debut The Benefactor is a kernel of an intriguing character study... Surrounding it is a tangled mass of loose narrative threads, none of which offer any real satisfaction. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
3/5 88% The American Dreamer (1971) The American Dreamer may fail as a definitive portrait of icon or movement, but works as a Polaroid snapshot of a fascinating man in a very specific place and time. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
1/5 24% Dark Places (2015) The possibility of fast-tracking another of Gillian Flynn's intricately plotted thrillers from page to screen must have seemed like a fantastic idea... To call the final product a botch job would be a considerable kindness; it's just plain awful. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
3/5 57% Partisan (2015) It is an assured and brave debut feature for director and co-writer Ariel Kleiman, who repeatedly resists giving easy answers, or many answers at all, in favour of cultivating a beguiling if ultimately unsatisfying mystery. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/5 60% Joy (2015) It's a banana flambé with extra rum that brazenly throws together folksy storytelling, arch soap opera melodrama and a typically eccentric cast into a golden Hollywood crack at the American Dream. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
3/5 100% The Show of Shows (2015) The Show of Shows draws important attention to the failings of circuses and their ilk when judged with modern sensibilities, but equally underlines the beautiful joy of being allowed to marvel. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/5 94% Carol (2015) The understanding reached thanks to Haynes and screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is of the exquisite and emotionally devastating variety. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
3/5 71% The Hallow (The Woods) (2015) Though the jeopardy is built to a palpable level, it dissipates as quickly as the action escalates. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
2/5 24% Kill Your Friends (2016) A rancid cocktail of misogyny, homophobia, and much more besides, that never convinces as scathing satire as much as back-slapping celebration. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/5 96% Jafar Panahi's Taxi (2015) Panahi doesn't need permission to make intelligent, thought-provoking and enormously entertaining new works -- in between fares, of course. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
3/5 90% Censored Voices (2015) Too often Censored Voices suffers from its subjects modern day silence, regardless of the reasons behind it. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/5 97% Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) The budget and the actors may have changed, but this is clearly the evolution of the filmmaker's crazed vision, arguably reaching the petrol-soaked Valhalla that he's been striving for since the modest thrills of 1979's Mad Max. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
3/5 91% The Martian (2015) The Martian is ultimately a love letter to the spirit that saw humanity reach for the stars in the first place. When it's channelling that spirit via Damon and witty writing it lifts off, but then can't quite sustain its trajectory. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Orion (2015) While the technique is fairly conventional, Finlay manages to evoke the mania of celebrity and its stranglehold on Jimmy. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 67% Buttercup Bill (2015) It's a tantalizing piece of slow-burn Southern Gothic that threatens to never get going, but even in its listless moments never relinquished a pervading sense of threat. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet The Confessions Of Thomas Quick (2015) Adopting a glossy aesthetic that treads an appropriate line somewhere between fantasy and reality, this is a creepy and compelling account that never quite follows through on its threats. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Tyke Elephant Outlaw (2015) Tyke Elephant Outlaw never quite manages to expand its horizons... Still, it remains impossible not to be moved by Tyke's fate, however mechanical its presentation. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 50% Manglehorn (2015) While it is far from perfect, David Gordon Green's Manglehorn rights the ship, somewhat -- not least in the form of Pacino's own understated and fragile lead performance as a lonely and melancholic locksmith. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 89% 52 Tuesdays (2015) This is precisely the kind of filmmaking that should be encouraged and while 52 Tuesdays is not entirely successful, it is compelling and exciting debut on several counts. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 82% Eden (2015) [Although] de Givry's performance is quietly moving, one may have just hoped that Eden would get under its subject's skin a little bit more. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 100% The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (2015) This is a moving portrait of a remarkable man, which is at its most effective when it just lets him speak. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 75% 13 Minutes (Elser) (2017) The problem with Oliver Hirschbiegel's 13 Minutes is ultimately the weight of history... It hamstrings the drama. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2/5 42% Comet (2014) It's an ambitious debut from Sam Esmail, but its exploration of a flawed relationship buckles beneath the weight of its own wry self-awareness. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Pavang rak (Concrete Clouds) (2014) While Concrete Clouds is an interesting attempt to explore the economic collapse and bring attention to past mistakes -- both personal and social -- it is a desultory experience that is difficult to pin down. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
4/5 76% Second Coming (2014) An underlying tension persists, but Second Coming has much more to offer from quiet drama to moments of grace, not least in the stunning quality of light and engrossing performances. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
4/5 85% Listen Up Philip (2014) With pitch perfect performances, and a script that seems to never miss a beat, it is a scabrous satire of writerly narcissism in a vintage 16mm world dominated by dislikable characters who are never less than compelling. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 68% The Dead Lands (2015) The bruises and path may be familiar, but The Dead Lands does enough to seem fresh and grips throughout. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 85% Spring (2015) Taylor Pucci and Hilker do a commendable job of selling these two souls, adrift in very different seas. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 90% A Fuller Life (2014) Whilst the surrounding film is a little rough-and-ready, the core dialogue between auteur and audience encapsulates the kind of penetration and energy inherent to [Samuel Fuller's] oeuvre. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2/5 54% Still (2015) While the intimate portrayal of Tom's grief seeks to explore the contradictions of his psychology, the social commentary feels disproportionately simplistic. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Born of War (2015) Conceptually, Born of War sounds like a winner, but in reality more resembles the ravaged ruins of its war-torn setting. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 33% Elsa & Fred (2014) It stars Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer as a pair of neighbouring oldies, struggling to breathe life into a staid scenario with rote characters, but the duo's undeniable quality manages to warm things up. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 62% Samba (2015) That Sy and Gainsbourg's love story never quite inflames the heart ultimately means that Samba remains a pleasant, rather than an enduring watch. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 50% The Invisible Life (2015) It's all fustian, amounting to little more than its muted brown hues, some strikingly elegant compositions and vague discussions of things too remote for them to ever drift into clear focus. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
4/5 87% John Wick (2014) John Wick is a lean, mean revenger to go with its ice-cold protagonist. It's not perfect, but you'll be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable action movie this year. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
4/5 93% Force Majeure (2014) Force Majeure is a gripping and deftly observed drama that adds caustic condemnation through its embracing of humour. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 100% I Used To Live Here (2015) Despite utilising willing but mostly non-professional actors from Tallaght in West Dublin, writer/director Frank Berry has managed to shape a subtle and moving drama about the ripple effect of a young man's suicide on his peers. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 69% Altman (2014) All is covered with Altman's own winning sense of humour and perspective which is what transforms what might otherwise have been a banal biographic doc into something a little more compelling. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/5 59% The Signal (2014) There are some truly memorable images... But a leaden narrative labyrinth leads its screenplay down one too many dead end paths. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
4/5 75% The Voices (2015) Really, this is Reynolds' and Satrapi's show and they've both done fantastic work, creating a gory horror-comedy that is funny, unsettling, character driven, and unexpectedly deft. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 100% The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2014) A melancholic swansong, it blends the director's prior occupations and provides a perfect canvas for a final visual flourish. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/5 29% Dark Summer (2015) Potential is where Dark Summer ultimately ends; there was much that could have been, instead it's a throwaway teen horror replete with jump scares and convention, but lacking much else. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet A Second Chance (2015) There is a tender story about paternal love and the desire to do right by one's family within A Second Chance but, regrettably, Bier's brand of melodrama derails it before it begins. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 54% White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) It's an enjoyably arch turn from Green, but one that seems to occupy a different stratosphere to her co-stars who play things with a decided naturalism. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Sea Without Shore (2015) Sea Without Shore is a curiosity, absolutely, and contains some truly wonderful moments, but the successes are mostly lost amidst its own roiling waters. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
4/5 89% White God (2015) The ultimate message may be a little fuzzy, but Mundruczó has crafted a incredibly cinematic canine parable that remains gripping and inventive from its nose to its tail. - CineVue EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019