Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
94% Us (2019) I was grateful it wasn't that frightening but not so grateful that it was quite so repetitively dull. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
92% Benjamin (2018) Amstell's career has always been predicated on his own existential crises, but as I'm one of those who is quite into that, I rather loved this film, not that it matters. Does anything? - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
78% Captain Marvel (2019) Look, while this is less inventive than you hoped (and prayed), it is an improvement, with Larson proving she can more than carry a film of this type. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
86% Hannah (2018) The script is minimal. It probably covers only a few pages. But the power is in Rampling's superb performance. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
90% A Private War (2018) I can only say, with confidence, that the film features a magnificently fierce, alert and impassioned performance from Rosamund Pike, whose usual English rose delicacy is nowhere to be seen. It is top work, properly. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
74% All Is True (2019) This is leaden, lifeless, sentimental and afflicted by too many sub-plots that just don't go anywhere. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
5/5 100% The Last Survivors (2019) Cary offered no commentary, presumably because there is nothing to say about what these people have to say. We need only hear and bear witness. - The Mail on Sunday (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) It doesn't hammer anything home. There is no heavy-handed exposition, no back stories. The characters arrive as is. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
73% Destroyer (2018) I don't know what absorbed more of my attention, the story, her character, or just how bad she looks. Actually, I can answer that. How bad she looks. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) It is lifeless, in other words, and quite the slog, with jerky pacing, such an abundance of bearded men you lose track of which bearded man is which, and it reduces two of history's most fascinating women to not much of anything. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
5/5 81% Brexit (2019) Cumberbatch brought his usual flair, wit and intelligence to Cummings, previously a special adviser to Michael Gove, and who would only agree to lead Vote Leave if he was allowed to do it his way. - The Mail on Sunday (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
93% The Favourite (2018) It is savagely funny and often preposterous, with duck racing and ludicrous, vertiginous wigs and an astonishingly weird dance scene. Yet it is also involving and deeply moving with performances that are monumentally stellar. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Torvill & Dean (2018) A prosaic, clunky telling featuring simplistic psychology. - The Mail on Sunday (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
4/5 78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) This is a sequel that goes to great lengths to recreate the rhythm, style and magic of the original. - The Mail on Sunday (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
4/5 100% Care (2018) It was beautifully observed and beautifully performed, but even though it's based on the experience of McGovern's co-writer, Gillian Juckes, there were moments that jarred. - The Mail on Sunday (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) It's more a remake than a sequel, which was possibly the safest bet, but it does recapture some of the magic and - oh God, spite, look away - I was entertained. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
96% Roma (2018) Nothing much happens, yet there is so much to watch. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
84% Disobedience (2018) Such a pity this film can't make us care. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) This is a film with no set pieces or major plot twists but it is wholly absorbing and it will steal your heart. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2018
37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) The film just doesn't tell a clear story. Instead, it jumps constantly from set piece to set piece without ever offering any through line or time to get to know a character. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
94% Wildlife (2018) Dano is so attuned to his characters and their despair and vulnerabilities that even when they behave hatefully, as they do, or become revoltingly self-absorbed, as they do, you can't just wash your hands of them. You care. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
63% Peterloo (2019) It was like being trapped in an episode of Poldark. I kept half-hoping Demelza would drift in with one of her kidney pies and give us all a break. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
4/5 83% My Dinner with Hervé (2018) Dinklage is superb, not just peeling back Villechaize layer by layer, but conveying simultaneously a man who was manipulative and aggressive...but also lonely and vulnerable and plain sad. - The Mail on Sunday (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
79% Dogman (2019) Dogman... is bleak, unflinching, oppressive, masculine (very), violent (shockingly) and basically everything you'd expect me to hate. Except I didn't. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
87% First Man (2018) There are moments of awe, admittedly, and you will wonder afresh at such a magnificent achievement, but it still becomes a chronological plod. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
89% A Star Is Born (2018) But, but, but... I did cry, and Lady Gaga is truly sensational, fabulous, a revelation. I had no idea. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
85% The Wife (2018) Her performance is better than the film, but it's such a magnificent performance that it more than carries the day. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
99% Faces Places (Visages, villages) (2017) This is a film that puts old women centre stage and it's the best film that puts old women centre stage since... nope, can't think of one. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) And what it's doing right is showing white people that they don't own Hollywood any more, and maybe everyone wants to applaud that. In this way, it's a terrific film. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
69% The Seagull (2018) This adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play is handsomely mounted, as they say, and features a stellar cast, but it won't be setting the world alight. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
61% Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) It stars Idris Elba, a suitably great and charismatic actor, but even he cannot save this from seeming like a history lesson, as delivered by one of those teachers who can't seem to breathe life into a subject. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
67% Powder Room (2013) The message... is nothing new, but its portrayal of young women desperately trying to have a good time while actually having a miserable time isn't something I can remember seeing before, and it feels emotionally right. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
79% Saving Mr. Banks (2013) It is not a taxing film. You always know where it's going and, with its rather melodramatic flashbacks, there is no ambiguity as to where it is coming from, but neither matters as much as they should as there is just so much joy to be had otherwise. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
71% Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) It's a pedestrian script, with tons of exposition, tons of signalling, and jarring vernacular oddities... The Butler does not serve its own subject matter well. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
84% Seduced And Abandoned (2013) The film is funny, and sad, and insightful if you've no idea what a movie deal looks like, which I hadn't. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
90% Philomena (2013) It is quiet, restrained, unfussy, and has, at its heart, an injustice so grave it will make your blood boil. You will also cry. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
98% The Selfish Giant (2013) It never feels particularly fresh, but it does feel real and true, is superbly performed, and it does pack quite an emotional punch. I had to gather myself afterwards, and I'm still gathering myself, and may be gathering myself for some time to come. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
93% Captain Phillips (2013) My heart was in my mouth throughout. It is nail-bitingly exciting, even if you know the outcome, and I think I can safely say it's a better film than the one I thought I was going to see. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
36% The Fifth Estate (2013) Those in the know say Cumberbatch's performance captures the physical Assange perfectly, but the film fails to get a handle on him as a personality, or offer any kind of insight into what his true motivation might be. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
86% What Maisie Knew (2013) I don't know where the directors (Scott McGehee and David Siegel) discovered Miss Aprile, or how they elicited her performance but, my God, she knocks it out the court. Over and over. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
94% Kuma (2012) Tells a supremely clever and involving story. Which is also moving. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
87% Alan Partridge (2014) I love the character of Alan Partridge so much... He is a genius creation; just wrong enough and inappropriate enough and narcissistic enough to be comic, but never so wrong he's entirely unbelievable or unsympathetic. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
65% The Heat (2013) This is a disappointment as, ultimately, the stars' chemistry just can't see off the lazy, sloppy formulaic execution. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
92% Frances Ha (2013) Yes, it is rather kooky, and highly self-conscious... but it's also sweet, endearing, touching, and features proper women you can actually believe in, and who aren't just drippily searching for love, which is something of a novelty. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
64% Filth (2014) Filth is ghastly and unpleasant, but also kind of brilliant, and therein lies both the reward and the rub. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
90% Blue Jasmine (2013) It's brilliantly watchable, if not mesmerising; and brilliantly performed, particularly by Cate Blanchett, who will knock your socks off, and may knock them off so explosively there is every chance you will never retrieve them again. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
69% About Time (2013) Try as I might, and I did try, I just could not find it interesting or affecting, in any way. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
89% The World's End (2013) Either I've been slowly losing my sense of humour over the years - nope, just checked my pockets; still there - or these films been operating to the law of diminishing returns. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2018
99% Wadjda (2013) Though people will talk about how it breaks boundaries and how pioneering it is, that's not what you most need to know. What you most need to know is that it's fascinating, involving, moving, an entirely excellent film in its own right. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2018
83% The Moo Man (2013) It's a peculiarly moving and, somehow, emotionally satisfying portrait of a compassionate, decent man who loves his animals. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2018