Lynden Barber

Lynden Barber
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 100% My Name Is Gulpilil (2021) This is not a conventional documentary so much as a very personal celebration of this man's brilliant career and multiple talents. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021
96% Heroic Losers (La odisea de los giles) (2019) This may be a familiar formula, but the result is nonetheless funny, ingeniously plotted and with plenty of charm and energy. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2021
89% Ema (2019) You may love it or hate it or find yourself conflicted. You probably won't forget it easily. - sbs.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2021
2.5/5 88% Supernova (2021) The performances are marvellously subtle but the film often feels soporific. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2021
98% Schindler's List (1993) Steven Zaillian's ingeniously structured script presents the unpalatable in a way it can be digested -- by hooking it into a powerful, almost mythical story about a man who becomes a hero almost in spite of himself. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2021
89% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) In context, however, there's enough character building for these concerns to fade away, and while there's no denying this is at heart a traditional legal melodrama, it's a stirring one with the great Frank Langella in typically fine mettle... - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
88% News of the World (2020) Because he so often doesn't appear to be acting, in my book, a compliment, many overlook just how varied Hanks's roles can be and how accomplished he is as a performer... - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
78% Wayne's World (1992) Totally non-bogus and excellent! Sorry. It's catching. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2021
3.5/5 94% Nomadland (2021) Fern hits the road in her mobile home initially to pick up work in a gargantuan Amazon warehouse, a symbol of 21st-century postmodernity as dehumanising as any 19th-century cotton mill or factory. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
94% A Sun (2019) Not only is the film visually outstanding, but it takes us on a most unpredictable narrative journey where characters who seem initially unsympathetic finally come to be people we genuinely care for. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
88% 37 Seconds (2019) Mei Kayama [gives] an authentic and genuinely touching performance. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
86% The Joy Luck Club (1993) The Joy Luck Club is an extraordinarily ambitious attempt at examining the lives of three generations of Chinese women in both China and the United States that somehow works like a dream. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4.5/5 98% The Father (2021) How could this new UK production, directed and co-written by Frenchman Florian Zeller from his own play, possibly emulate [Sarah Polley's 2006 drama, Away from Her] or find anything new to say? Here is how. By switching the point of view. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
3/5 85% Misbehaviour (2020) ...while the film is energetic, often amusing and accurate about the era's often alarming prejudices, it also gets entangled in didacticism and self-consciousness... - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
4/5 98% Corpus Christi (Boze cialo) (2020) This serious Polish drama, loosely inspired by a real-life story... is gripping from the start. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
3/5 69% The Translators (2019) Roinsard has found not only different paths but also several hidden routes through the tall grass that criss-cross then swiftly double back then turn inside out before viewers have even realised they've been led to the centre of a maze. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
4.5/5 88% La Belle Époque (2020) Reality and fantasy blur in this joyous return to the 1970s. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
97% Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) ...deliciously deadpan... - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2020
50% Feel the Beat (2020) I laughed at the comedy, warmed to newcomer Sofia Carson in the lead role, and loved the dance sequences. The sentimental ending? Not so much, but then I'm not in the target audience... - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2020
97% 13th (2016) While enormously stimulating and often angering, the film is not without its flaws. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2020
92% Da 5 Bloods (2020) It's a relatively long film at 154 minutes, but Lee and his screenwriters keep the pressure up so the time passes surprisingly fast. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2020
99% My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette) (2017) ....an utterly charming French claymation... - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2020
81% Hearts and Bones (2020) The film, directed by Ben Lawrence, takes a little too much time laying down its narrative breadcrumbs but when they finally all come together the result is an unexpectedly powerful climax. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2020
3.5/5 77% Military Wives (2020) Despite the formula guiding the narrative, it's hard not to divine a sense of duty to the real-life characters, which gives the women and their dilemmas a vivid presence on screen. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
95% Little Women (2019) Gerwig's innovation is to reflexively fold the story of Alcott's own struggle to publish into the character of Jo March. She's helped enormously by Saoirse Ronan's spunky performance as Jo. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2020
4.5/5 93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) It's not an easy watch, but it is memorable and compelling -- the rare film that comments on the peculiar details of a historical moment while we are still going through it and makes all too clear sense of it. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2019
4.5/5 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) It's a quiet, meditative film that is indeed beautiful to, yes, gaze upon while you ponder its subtle yet powerful accumulation of thoughts and questions. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2019
2.5/5 82% The Report (2019) An inquiry into post 9/11 torture suffers from a tortuous start... - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
100% Martha: A Picture Story (2019) What makes Martha work so well is that it paints a multi-layered and intimate portrait of an inspiring and unique veteran woman artist who has spent her career taking risks and winning respect in a work scene dominated by males. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
4/5 97% Knives Out (2019) Johnson's plotting is cleverly twisty and unpredictable and the dialogue witty. Even those without fond memories of the Cluedo board game or Anthony Shaffer's classic two-hander, Sleuth, should find Knives Out a rewarding amusement. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
4/5 81% Judy (2019) !t's the actor's command of Garland's flickeringly complex emotions -- shame, fear and frustration mixed with enormous pride and self-possession -- that make this more than a good impersonation but a fascinating and hugely empathetic performance. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
3.5/5 42% Vita & Virginia (2019) For many the film will ultimately succeed or fall on Elizabeth Debicki's depiction of Woolf as a wanly frail creature, forever on the verge of falling apart. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
3/5 68% Ride Like a Girl (2020) Teresa Palmer is terrific as the determined jockey initially mentored by her trainer father. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
5/5 84% Dogman (2019) With his hugely expressive eyes, Fonte (an amateur actor in a community centre drama that Garrone met by chance) is a major reason Dogman works so devastatingly well. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
3.5/5 86% The Nightingale (2019) The Nightingale is a realistic historical drama, though its darkness and intensity show Kent's horror leanings are never really absent, merely given a different context. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
3/5 60% Ophelia (2019) Many Hamlet-lovers will scoff, while for those unfamiliar with the tale, it will make little sense. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2019
4/5 89% An Unexpected Love (El amor menos pensado) (2018) A fascinatingly talky, intelligent drama with comic moments. Apart from being beautifully mounted visually, it's also flawlessly acted. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
4/5 100% 2040 (2020) None of the ideas explored here are purely theoretical or pie in the sky. Whether technological or systems-based solutions, they all exist now and could be massively expanded to huge global benefit. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
3.5/5 66% Peterloo (2019) Peterloo is an impressive and absorbing achievement that brings an important yet surprisingly forgotten event back into the mainstream consciousness. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
2.5/5 82% Sometimes Always Never (Triple Word Score) (2020) The story, partly built around a road trip, is unpredictable, but new director Hunter is a bit too keen to dial up the quirk factor. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) If all of Hollywood is a form of melodrama, here is its opposite - understated drama that pulls between poignancy and, via its music, a more full-blooded life spirit. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/5 93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Matching Redford for charm is Sissy Spacek as his love interest, the horse ranch-owning widow he 'helps' by the side of the road while trying to elude the cops on his tail. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
4/5 88% Ladies in Black (2018) From the eye-popping colours of the period's fabulous floral dresses to the snapped suspenders and silk petticoats beneath, this is a film above all for women who love fashion. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
3.5/5 88% Whitney (2018) Fascinating, well-made and moving - albeit not as unique and necessary as it probably wants us to find it. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
3.5/5 67% Ideal Home (2018) [Writer-director Andrew Fleming] approaches his material from the inside, and this contributes greatly to the success of the project. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2018
3/5 77% Last Flag Flying (2017) Linklater's visual sense has largely deserted him here... or maybe it's just the damp weather blanketing most scenes. But the lead performances are exemplary and the emotional landscape they traverse is far from grey. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
4.5/5 82% The Party (2018) Potter handles the competing sub-plots like an experienced emergency surgeon in a disaster zone, exploring themes including rationality versus irrationality and the sickness lurking within apparently healthy relationships. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
5/5 95% The Death of Stalin (2018) The film manages to be both scabrously funny and bone chilling as it nails Stalinism's absurdity and inhumanity. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2018
4.5/5 85% The Square (2017) The Square is littered with dramatic confrontations and struggles that make it engaging and accessible to a wider audience without undermining its thoughtfulness or ability to take outlandish risks and pull them off. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
4/5 94% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) This fantastic Chilean woman very much lives up to the film's title. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018