Ian Freer

Ian Freer
Ian Freer's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer® when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Empire Magazine Time Out
Publications: Empire Magazine, Time Out

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 96% The Reason I Jump (2021) Sensitively made, thought-provoking and ultimately moving, The Reason I Jump provides telling insights into the neurodiverse worldview. The result is a powerful documentary that presents life through fresh eyes. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2021
4/5 77% In The Earth (2021) In The Earth is filmmaking at its most gnarly and elemental yet smart. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2021
2/5 25% The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021) Lacking anything approaching originality, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is a generic, by-the-numbers action-comedy sequel. Praise be for Hayek, who at least gives it gusto. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2021
3/5 89% Dream Horse (2021) Dream Horse is predictable and manipulative to a fault but, sparked by Toni Collette, there is a strong sense of sincerity and commitment to the subject matter that helps it across the finishing line. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
4/5 90% I Am Samuel (2020) I Am Samuel is a moving valentine to an enduring relationship. If it never fully examines the obstacles in its path, Samuel and Alex's love story is a beauty to behold. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2021
4/5 95% After Love (2020) A measured, powerful, thoughtful work alive to the subtleties and sensitivities of cultural appropriation and rifts, driven by a thoughtful, mesmerising, ego-less performance by Joanna Scanlan. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2021
3/5 100% Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In (2021) Never Give In touches on topics (class, identity) rare in a sports documentary, etching a moving portrait of a man reflecting on his past at a point when his memory is slipping away from him. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
4/5 96% First Cow (2020) First Cow is archetypal Kelly Reichardt, slow, small and perfectly formed, elevated by stellar but understated performances from John Magaro and Orion Lee. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2021
2/5 56% Frankie (2019) It has its pleasures but after the nuance and emotional hits of Love Is Strange and Little Men, Frankie is a disappointment. Not even la Reine, Isabelle Huppert, can elevate this one. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2021
4/5 100% The Dog Who Wouldn't Be Quiet (2021) A low-key treat about rising above the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, The Dog Who Wouldn't Be Quiet is something to shout about. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021
3/5 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Whisper it. A Quiet Place Part II might lack the smarts and novelty of its predecessor but it serves up strong set- pieces, Millicent Simmonds shines and Krasinski remains a director to watch. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2021
3/5 67% Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021) It's no Paddington 2, but Peter Rabbit 2 works well thanks to a mocking sense of self and a strong second half. Once again, Beatrix Potter, it is not. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2021
4/5 88% Oxygen (2021) A modest, taut nailbiter. It lets itself down in the final third, but for the most part Oxygen leaves you gasping for air. And Mélanie Laurent, in practically every frame, is terrific. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2021
3/5 80% Fried Barry (2020) Cheap and not so cheerful, Fried Barry might be episodic in the extreme but it has spurts of brilliance, imagination and a real sense of risk taking. Dirty, lurid fun. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
4/5 98% Apples (Mila) (2020) Apples is an offbeat treat that manages to embrace ironic distance and emotional weight through a prism of perfectly judged absurdism. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2021
3/5 91% Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation (2021) Doesn't always cohere into a gripping yarn but it is detailed, boasts a real feel for the fiction and, in-between the two men's rampant viciousness, emerges as undeniably poignant. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2021
5/5 94% Nomadland (2021) Life on the road has never been so tenderly captured, politically alive and profoundly moving. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
2/5 26% Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) Sadly, not even a strong cast can rescue a pot of gold from the end of this rainbow. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
4/5 93% Love and Monsters (2020) Love And Monsters is a blast, an unassuming, immensely winning monster movie filled with great lo-fi creatures and a likeable cast. As a template for making a leaner, less bloated summer movie, Hollywood could do a lot worse. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2021
2/5 20% The Reckoning (2021) A witch-hunt thriller that lacks the texture to be realistic and the no-holds-barred energy to be pulpy. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2021
4/5 93% Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2016) A striking debut from a blistering talent. What it lacks in narrative oomph it makes up for in beautiful imagery, natural performances and a worldview all its own. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2021
4/5 97% Sound of Metal (2020) A beautifully argued parable about the need to go where life takes you, Darius Marder's debut thrives on the soul of Riz Ahmed and the bold creativity of sound designer Nicholas Becker. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
3/5 77% H Is For Happiness (2019) H Is For Happiness has more on its mind than most kids' flicks and delivers its ideas in an attractive, if familiar, package. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
3/5 88% He Dreams of Giants (2019) An entertaining look at Gilliam's damned-fool idealistic crusade, and an interesting portrait of a filmmaker whose eyes are way bigger than his budget. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
3/5 80% Concrete Cowboy (2021) If it cleaves too close to convention and doesn't land the ending, Concrete Cowboy is a striking debut, celebrating a long-overlooked tradition of Black cowboys via visually powerful filmmaking. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
2/5 75% The Mauritanian (2021) Wasting big-name actors, The Mauritanian is simultaneously over-stuffed and under-powered, turning a horrifying real-life ordeal into something flat and formulaic. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
2/5 31% Tom & Jerry (2020) Our kids deserve better. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2021
2/5 64% Wrong Turn (2021) Wrong Turn has some decent booby-trap business but can't find enough that is different to enliven the weary concept. But for the horror hardcore, keep watching once the credits roll. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2021
3/5 40% Capone (2020) It doesn't completely work and lacks complexity, but Capone is scene-for-scene more interesting than many slicker films. Hardy's swing-for-the-fences performance is a must-see. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2021
4/5 93% Song Without a Name (Canción sin nombre) (2020) Song Without A Name is a true original, at once rooted in a raw emotional reality but told with the striking beauty of a dream. Writer-director Melina León is definitely one to watch. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2021
4/5 98% The Dissident (2020) The Dissident explodes genres by combining them, equal parts political analysis, murder investigation, cyber thriller and paean to free speech. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
4/5 90% Kajillionaire (2020) Kajillionaire is funny, original, sad and singular. In other words, it's Peak Miranda July. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2021
4/5 88% News of the World (2020) News Of The World is narratively slight, but it is a terrific showcase for two actors at completely different ends of their careers and a quietly emotional dispatch about two broken souls learning to heal. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
3/5 91% Rams (2021) Not as strong as the original, Rams is perhaps best described as a feature-length version of one of Sam Neill's social media shorts; funny, a little bit rambling, winning. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
3/5 87% The Dig (2021) The Dig is well played, especially by the leads, and visually gorgeous, but it lacks fire and ironically doesn't get under the surface of its story. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
2/5 73% We Can Be Heroes (2021) Rodriguez has fun coming up with some new-ish powers and there are knowing send-ups of superhero lore, but the takeaway is thin and forgettable. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
2/5 84% Let Him Go (2020) This is what happens when slow burning never really catches fire. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
2/5 85% The Racer (2020) There is some nice insight into cycling-team practices, but overall The Racer lacks sufficient nuance, specificity and originality to nab the yellow jersey. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/5 100% Muscle (2019) Muscle takes the trappings of a macho crime flick and informs them with sensitivity and smarts, perfectly played by Cavan Clerkin and Craig Fairbrass. It packs all the punch and power of a whey protein shake. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
3/5 78% Rose Island (2020) A kind of Italian Fitzcarraldo, Rose Island persuasively argues that dreamers can move mountains. It offers little in the way of surprises, but it's hard not to be won over by its small-scale delights. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2020
4/5 87% Patrick (2019) Part mystery, part black comedy, part metaphor for loss, Patrick is a nakedly true original. It also has the best caravan fight since Kill Bill Vol. 2. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2020
3/5 92% The Life Ahead (2020) A potentially trite tale of an unlikely relationship is lifted immeasurably by Sophia Loren and is best viewed as a testament to the true power of the movie star. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2020
5/5 82% Mank (2020) Built on a towering performance by Gary Oldman, it's smart, sophisticated, by turns thrilling and difficult, and amongst Fincher's best. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
4/5 92% Relic (2020) What it lacks in incident it makes up for in a troika of top turns and tangible tension in service to an interesting parable about the gnawing effects of dementia. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
4/5 78% Summer of 85 (Été 85) (2021) A holiday romance perfect for the dark nights with the added bonus of a flashback structure that builds genuine intrigue into the outcome. It also includes a use of Rod Stewart's 'Sailing' that guarantees its place on your 2020 movie playlist. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
4/5 99% Totally Under Control (2020) A vital, powerful examination of how one political administration could get something so wrong by ignoring the experts. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
3/5 39% Honest Thief (2020) The second half falls into familiar action tropes, but Honest Thief has some twists and turns, sly humour and a refreshing feel for its characters that raises them beyond genre types. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
4/5 90% The Climb (2020) Superbly written and performed by actual friends Kyle Marvin and Michael Angelo Covino, The Climb is a smart, funny, small-scale delight. More please. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
4/5 98% Time (2020) Time may be shot in black and white but the world it captures is anything but clear-cut. By turns moving and angry, it's a thought-provoking hymn to love, family and the power of Black female courage. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2020
4/5 93% Saint Maud (2020) Place your faith in Saint Maud. Original, unsettling and surprisingly moving, it's a strong calling card for filmmaker Rose Glass and actor Morfydd Clark. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2020