Benjamin Lee

Benjamin Lee
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Guardian

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/5 43% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Where'd you go, Bernadette? Eh, who cares. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/5 50% 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) As an unrelated sequel to a film that was originally set to premiere on the bottom shelf of a supermarket, this is better than it needs to be. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
1/5 22% The Kitchen (2019) It wreaks of studio interference, a film that feels pulled apart and then haphazardly restitched in an editing suite by a committee of people desperate to get it released before swiftly moving on and all agreeing to never speak of it ever again. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
3/5 83% Share (2019) In an effectively understated performance with minimal dialogue, Barreto's haunted face conveys it all, showing us the already fragile psyche of a teen slowly break down with the glum realisation of how unjust the world around her can be. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
3/5 83% Crawl (2019) I wouldn't exactly urge you to run rather then crawl to see it, but a brisk walk should do. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
2/5 42% Point Blank (2019) There are worse films to spend 86 minutes with on a Sunday afternoon but, more importantly, there are also so, so many better ones instead. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
2/5 66% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Ultimately, the scariest thing about Annabelle Comes Home is that despite its utter emptiness, more sequels, prequels and spin-offs will follow regardless. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2/5 31% Anna (2019) What ultimately sinks the film is its overwhelming blandness, from the lack of creativity employed in Anna's many kills to Besson's inability to choreograph a pulse-racing action scene... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/5 46% Murder Mystery (2019) Murder Mystery is a satisfying standout, albeit one that exists in a field with a very low bar. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
1/5 32% Shaft (2019) A strange, angry attack on modernity that feels like the result of a group of bitter men griping about the metrosexualisation of a younger generation. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
3/5 90% I Am Mother (2019) I Am Mother is undoubtedly a strong calling card with plenty on its mind. I just wish it had figured out what to do with it all. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
2/5 89% Always Be My Maybe (2019) Always Be My Maybe hits all of the beats we have come to expect yet fails to do so well enough, as if the mere existence of a technically well-structured romantic comedy is better than nothing. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
1/5 33% Domino (2019) A film so crushingly irrelevant it's almost worth ignoring its very existence. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3/5 54% Ma (2019) There's a great deal of fun to be had hanging out with Ma, a nasty yet surprisingly empathetic slab of exploitation with more than just carnage on its mind. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
2/5 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Within minutes of the film itself expectations start to dissipate, quickly replaced with crushing disappointment. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
3/5 73% The Perfection (2019) The film's indefinability is admirable while also frustrating, the plot leaping around in a rather graceless fashion, spinning back, forth and sideways with ambition but not always success. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
3/5 57% Brightburn (2019) Brightburn risks falling into the all-too-familiar creepy kid horror formula but there's just about enough to distinguish it from that ever-expanding subgenre... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
3/5 61% Trial by Fire (2019) O'Connell, no stranger to playing spiky, brutish characters, eases into the role, equally adept at portraying the rough and the smooth, and he helps add grit to what can often be staid film-making. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
1/5 34% Poms (2019) The women in Poms deserve better and so do we. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
66% Wine Country (2019) Wine Country is scrappy and, at times, misjudged but it's also very, very funny with a cast of women whose collective charm makes the patchier moments forgivable. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2019
4/5 95% See You Yesterday (2019) A smart, often ingenious, new film that takes a depressingly familiar scenario and then adds some time travel to the mix. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2019
2/5 30% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) A formulaic slab of supernatural dirge destined to be forgotten by year's, or perhaps even month's, end. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
3/5 45% Georgetown (2019) There are a great many fantasies concocted in Georgetown but perhaps the most egregious is that this was the right way to tell such a beguiling story. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
3/5 31% The Intruder (2019) As the cogs speed up, something relatively miraculous happens: it actually starts to work. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet There's an intriguing true story trying to break out of Christoph Waltz's curiously flat directorial debut. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
4/5 93% Luce (2019) It's a drama that moves like a thriller with a stark, uncomfortable score and a series of seat-edge confrontations both heating up a difficult debate over trust, expectation and racial stereotypes. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
3/5 91% Shazam! (2019) Buoyant and unpretentious, Shazam! aims low and mostly succeeds, a kid-friendly caper powered with enough energy to keep its target audience engaged with a fun central conceit that plays like a cross between Big and Superman. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2019
4/5 97% Booksmart (2019) Booksmart is inclusive and progressive without feeling forced and announces Wilde, an actor who hasn't always found her groove on screen, as a major director, one of the more impressive behind-the-camera transitions I have seen for a while. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3/5 43% Captive State (2019) Captive State is imperfectly constructed, at times frustratingly so, but it's trying, doggedly, to do something different and given the bland efficiency of so many wide-releasing sci-fi movies, that's hard to fault. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 80% The Day Shall Come (2019) Morris handles a delicate balancing act with an expected ease, the work of a satirist with so much to say yet with an awareness that saying less leads to so much more. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
3/5 73% Triple Frontier (2019) It's an enjoyable enough way to spend two hours but without any commentary or real depth, it's in need of a bit more suspense or conflict to really oil the wheels, the film too often ambling along when it should be racing. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
1/5 70% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Happy Death Day 2U is the worst kind of sequel, the staggeringly unnecessary kind that even the most hardcore Happy Death Day fans should avoid at all costs. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
3/5 69% Isn't It Romantic (2019) Wilson is a mostly engaging lead and while she's not a natural with some of the later stage sentiment, her offhand line delivery elevates a number of throwaway jabs and she's well-suited to physical comedy. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
2/5 54% Wounds (2019) Wounds creeps and crawls and pokes and bleeds but it never really works. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
4/5 99% The Farewell (2019) There's an avoidance of obvious culture clash comedy... instead Wang deftly details both the guilt of living so far from family and how one's concept of what home really means can get so tangled. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
4/5 81% Animals (2019) Hyde has forged a wonderful, utterly lived-in film about two women at a crossroads, one that attendees should be breathlessly, excitedly discussing around town, urging everyone else to see immediately. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
3/5 69% Official Secrets (2019) The film relies on its lead star and Knightley is more than equipped for the task of carrying it on her shoulders. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
3/5 63% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Despite flaws, there's a strange curiosity that propels Velvet Buzzsaw and Gilroy's unusual, bitter, silly, and often very funny genre cocktail does make for a fun diversion. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
2/5 90% Blinded by the Light (2019) There's something so constructed and suffocating about watching a tried and tested formula not working, the over-sentimental string-pulling on show for all to see. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
2/5 62% Them That Follow (2019) It's competently made but utterly vacant, a forgettable indie fading fast. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) There's reality and heart stirring underneath the artifice, I just wish more of it had been allowed to shine through. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 55% Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) In fact, the most shocking thing about the film is Efron's remarkably accomplished, fiercely committed performance. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
4/5 94% The Report (2019) I left its... premiere on an adrenaline high as if I'd just seen the latest Mission: Impossible movie, giddy from the ride I'd just taken. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 81% Late Night (2019) While Late Night wants to be loved, instead it will have to settle for being liked. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
4/5 85% The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) It's a conventional film in many ways but one that slowly and effectively builds to a remarkably rousing climax, displaying an act of overwhelming ingenuity that's hard to deny. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
4/5 61% Native Son (2019) Its flaws are easy to forgive as Johnson conjures up such an intoxicating atmosphere that both his imagery and Sanders' spellbinding performance will haunt you regardless. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
3/5 48% After the Wedding (2019) It would be difficult to invest in if not for its two main stars who work hard to elevate the overly engineered plot, filling in the emotional gaps left by the haphazard script. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
2/5 70% The Mule (2018) As a drama, it's frustratingly insubstantial, failing to provide enough of an emotional centre or a convincing payoff. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4/5 84% Creed II (2018) Elevated by a central trio of winning performances and a director who provides equal weight to drama in and out of the ring, Creed II deserves to be cheered. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Rourke and Willimon have crafted a juicy, darkly compelling drama that offers a sleek alternative to what's come before. It's hardly revolutionary or particularly revisionist but there's enough here to make it feel like a worthy endeavour nonetheless. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018