Helen O'Hara

Helen O'Hara
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 58% To Olivia (2021) If it's never transcendent, it at least offers charming child performances, and Hawes is a particularly good fit as Neal. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
3/5 89% Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) It's silly and a little too slow, but the characters are enormously charming and the design is overwhelmingly sumptuous. It should give viewers, especially children, a welcome hit of Christmas magic. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2020
3/5 66% The Secret Garden (2020) The film doesn't quite trust the magic of the garden, adding visual dazzle and, sometimes, artificiality, but when the film relies on the kids and their relationship it still finds the book's magic. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2020
4/5 90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) A fiery condemnation of the police state and government overreach, this is both timely and timeless. Sorkin and a superb cast make legal proceedings compelling, and then show that the law is an ass. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2020
5/5 98% Hamilton (2020) It's not quite a Hamilton movie, but it'll still blow you all away. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2020
2/5 8% Artemis Fowl (2020) An overqualified adult cast and some fun moments can't entirely compensate for a defanged protagonist and too-static plot. This fantasy desperately needed a little more magic. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2020
3/5 65% The Lovebirds (2020) The plot is insubstantial in the extreme, but Rae and Nanjiani are so cool, and their loose, free-flowing improv so winning, that you probably won't care. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2020
3/5 43% Big Nothing (2007) The tone shift is a little too extreme for mainstream success, but Schwimmer and Pegg provide a solid, blackly comic centre to an original crime caper. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2020
4/5 94% Calm with Horses (The Shadow of Violence) (2020) If the film doesn't quite have the sharpness of John Michael McDonagh's best work in similar terrain, it's a worthy companion piece, as dangerous and soppy-drunk as an old pub brawler. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
4/5 78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Cathy Yan lets her heroine's mania guide her through a story that's scrappy, weird and ultimately fun as hell. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2020
3/5 51% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) It looks gorgeous and offers strong performances from Driver and Ridley in particular, but ultimately the saga ends with neither a bang nor a whimper but something inbetween. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
5/5 95% Little Women (2019) If there were any remaining doubts that Greta Gerwig is a major talent in American cinema, put them to rest now. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
3/5 88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) An uneven but essentially likeable story about the joys of setting yourself improbable goals and the tribes you can find as a result, with a strong, committed performance from Bell at its heart. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2019
4/5 70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Easily the third-best Terminator film, which is more of a compliment than it sounds. It's great to have Hamilton back in this role, but she's ably matched by Reyes and Davis. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2019
3/5 39% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) An improvement on the first film, in the end, and an encouraging rallying cry against fear and intolerance, but it's still far too busy and baroque to match its leading lady's elegance. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2019
2/5 72% The Aeronauts (2019) Unfortunately, this fictionalised take on a famous flight gives us spectacle without substance, floating out of the memory as soon as it passes off the screen. - Daily Telegraph (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
4/5 87% Hustlers (2019) This is a deeply feminist film, one where men are given less screen time than the cameoing Cardi B and Lizzo. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
4/5 100% Honeyland (2019) Stunningly beautiful and quietly powerful, this is a portrait of a vanishing way of life and of a determined woman who's just trying to make her way in the world. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/5 84% Downton Abbey (2019) Gentle, unchallenging drama for people who already know they like it, this is a nostalgic and rosy depiction of an England that was, surely, never so innocent. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 85% Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) Its charming gang of weirdos delivers an old-fashioned, 'Goonies'-style adventure, though the find-the-archaeological-site plot is overly familiar. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
3/5 52% The Lion King (2019) Beautifully crafted and carefully conceived, without ever entirely justifying its existence... So, you might feel the love tonight, but perhaps not quite as much as before. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/5 58% Brightburn (2019) It leans heavily on jump scares and creeps before engaging with its premise, but when it does it's as chilling as Superman's freezing breath. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
4/5 63% Yesterday (2019) A glowing tribute to The Beatles and their music, this is both a toe-tapping pleasure to watch and a smart, occasionally scathing look at how we get things wrong. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
5/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) A victory lap that moonwalks through the best part of the MCU back catalogue and emphasises emotion as much as action, this is an intensely satisfying piece of blockbuster filmmaking. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
3/5 42% What Men Want (2019) The storytelling is a little loose, but as a workplace comedy with a side-line in romance, this earns its laughs thanks to the immensely game Henson and a stellar supporting cast. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 79% Captain Marvel (2019) This is not another cheap girl-power cliché; it's an explicitly feminist apotheosis. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
3/5 27% The Aftermath (2019) The bones of the story have been played a million times, but a talented and committed cast make this swoonsome rather than samey. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
3/5 73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) It's not a hugely innovative biopic, covering just a short period of Bader Ginsburg's extraordinary career, but this is still a vastly inspiring account of the fight for equality. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
3/5 71% All Is True (2019) A quiet and meditative portrait of the artist as a retiree, this lacks incident or high stakes but has an elegiac feeling of regret and reckoning that fits its subject's twilight years. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
5/5 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) A sort of Romeo And Juliet with systemic racism replacing the family feud, this is romantic and infuriating, hopeful and despairing. A sensory, desperately emotional experience for lovers and fighters alike. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/5 87% Colette (2018) All the affairs and scandals that a French literary genius could wish for, with the bonus of a modern heroine and a story that acknowledges the diversity that has always been with us. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
4/5 97% Free Solo (2018) This is daring, dangerous and dizzying stuff, the story of a one man simultaneously in competition and cooperation with nature. Meet Tom Cruise's hero, probably. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
4/5 93% Incredibles 2 (2018) Bird's 1960s visuals and Michael Giacchino's jazzy score create the feel of a classic Bond, with all the dazzle you'd expect from a superhero blockbuster. - Good Movies for Kids EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
3/5 89% Mary and The Witch's Flower (2018) It's a very loose adaptation of the book, as was Howl's Moving Castle and Arrietty, but there's charm in the mix of English kid-lit tropes and the sort of wild imagination cultivated in Japanese animation. - Good Movies for Kids EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
3/5 65% Aquaman (2018) Welcome to Aquaman, where you won't have a clue what's going on, but you won't be able to look away either. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
3/5 26% Mortal Engines (2018) It rips a few too many pages from familiar playbooks, but when it indulges in its own weirdness this film casts off those heavy caterpillar tracks and soars. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/5 88% Silent Light (Stellet licht) (2007) Beautiful but boring. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
4/5 62% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) A history lesson with more fire in the belly than most. It turns out that a feminist angle really can revive the same old Tudor psychodramas, thanks in large part to Ronan and Robbie's authoritative performance. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/5 92% The Price of Everything (2018) An intelligent film, 'The Price of Everything' is also very funny - usually on purpose, though some of the art is ridiculous. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
4/5 61% Outlaw King (2018) Pine supplies gravitas in the lead, but he's almost a lone voice of moderation. Bloody and brash and as subtle as a trebuchet, this is gleefully entertaining - unless you're English, anyway. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2018
3/5 32% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) As sweet as a sugar plum and only slightly more nutritious, this shows scars from a tumultuous road to the screen but still emerges as a whimsical, likeable fairy tale. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
4/5 68% Climax (2019) At times you'll be watching in horror, but you'll never look away. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2018
3/5 65% The Little Stranger (2018) Lacks the sting in the tail of something like the similarly post-War The Others, but it offers a soupy atmosphere of low-level dread and paints a devastating portrait of a vanishing age. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2018
4/5 97% The Rider (2018) A thoughtful and thought-provoking look at identity, aspiration and a precarious way of life, this is anchored by a stunning performance by Brady Jundreau and inspired direction by Chloé Zhao. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
4/5 96% BlacKkKlansman (2018) There are few filmmakers as consistently, burningly passionate as Spike Lee. This is vital and timely work that's up there with his best, with a gut-wrenching sting in the tail. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2018
2/5 72% Christopher Robin (2018) Unlike the bear of very little brain, this is a film pulled in different directions with entirely too many thoughts in its head. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2018
4/5 91% Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) Smart and stupid in equal measure, this is a palate cleanser after the doom and gloom of Justice League. The Titans could make you fall back in love with the entire DC Universe. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2018
5/5 97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) A combination of thrilling stunts, insane daring and clever writing make this a stunning piece of action cinema. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2018
3/5 53% Freak Show (2018) That all said, Billy's story still has power and could still be a comfort to those fighting their own battles against bullying, and there's real inspiration in his refusal to be anyone other than who he is. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2018
3/5 72% The Happy Prince (2018) As a director, Everett is sometimes heavy-handed, but the performances, and the undeniable injustice of Wilde's ordeal, make for a tragedy worthy of its drama-loving subject. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018