Lynden Barber

Lynden Barber
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
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 83% 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 40% 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 65% Ride Like a Girl (2019) 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 87% 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 88% 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 (2019) 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 89% 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 89% 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 65% 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 78% 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 81% 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 96% 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 93% 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
4/5 96% Sweet Country (2018) .. this new Australian western plays as darkly and seriously as Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, except that this time the forces of violence and retribution are rooted in the soils of colonial racism. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2018
3/5 85% Just to Be Sure (Ôtez-moi d'un doute) (2017) This admirably adult romantic comedy from French female director and co-writer Carine Tardieu raises a few smiles without ever being exactly hilarious. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2018
3.5/5 90% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) While the film certainly has its fair spray of black comedy, not all of it that amusing, it turns out, to its benefit, to be far more morally layered, unpredictable and thoughtful than its marketing campaign suggests. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2018
69% Never Let Me Go (2010) Only when the girls team up does the film start to fulfill its promise. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
88% Mad Bastards (2011) There's no denying the film has real heart, buoyed by surprisingly strong performances from a mostly inexperienced cast who drew on their own lives in creating their characters. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
48% Sleeping Beauty (2011) Understatedly strange, erotic, quietly surrealistic and slightly disturbing, it's a striking film that immediately marks out its Australian writer-director as a confident new cinematic voice. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
95% Pina (2011) Instead of being handed facts that could be more readily imparted by a literary biography, we are immersed in [subject Bausch's] startling dance work ... and invited to examine her philosophy and work methods. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
84% Jane Eyre (2011) As the self-possessed governess Jane, Mia Wasikowska is perfection - relatively plain, the right age (early 20s) and charismatic, while Michael Fassbender's Mr Rochester is all glowering vigour. Pure pleasure. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
91% The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) (2010) The film is best thought of as a fond homage to Tati from a sympathetic admirer rather than a literal attempt at realising his intentions ... In this it succeeds exquisitely. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
22% Snow Flower And The Secret Fan (2011) We're told there's deep emotion on the screen, but it's hard to feel it. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
60% The Eye of the Storm (2012) The leads make a meal of their roles in the best possible sense, while the director's daughter, Alexandra Schepisi, makes a major impression as love-seeking nurse Flora. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
93% Midnight in Paris (2011) Adding depth to the comedy is a smart thematic idea: that golden ages are never golden to those living through them, who merely hanker to escape their own period too. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
No Score Yet Birthday (2011) As much as I wanted to be moved by Eleftheriadis, who played the role on stage, there's never the dramatic context needed to make her fine acting meaningful. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
67% Les femmes du 6e étage (The Women on the 6th Floor) (2011) Director and co-writer Philippe Le Guay deploys a gift for wry observation with a deftly understated approach that defuses the danger of triteness and makes the film a satisfying experience. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
81% The Skin I Live In (2011) Georges Franju's 1960 classic horror Eyes Without a Face is an obvious touchstone but the new film is more ridiculous than horrific. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
92% Coriolanus (2011) Fiennes, who previously played the title role in a celebrated London theatre, makes a suitably haughty and intense Coriolanus, while Vanessa Redgrave is in terrific form as the general's influential mother. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
62% La délicatesse (Delicacy) (2012) Co-directors David and Stephane Foenkinos (adapting the former's novel) ... play cute, shying away from ironic observation and relying too heavily on charm. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
63% Café de Flore (2012) For 90 of the total 120 minutes two story threads remain frustratingly unconnected. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
52% Where Do We Go Now? (2012) Labaki has made something absolutely bold and unique with this tragi-comedy. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
87% Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) The film aims for something timeless and achieves it. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
90% A Royal Affair (2012) The great achievement of director Nikolaj Arcel and screenwriter Rasmus Heisterberg ... is to satisfactorily unite the romantic, dramatic and political elements into a single cohesive unit where all parts are inter-dependent. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
71% What's In A Name? (2013) Adapting their own material, directors Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patelliere keep it all moving at breakneck speed while adding necessary moments of repose, and the actors ... give it their all. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
91% We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks (2013) The film has access to some fascinating expert witnesses and commentators. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
93% Amour (2012) Even for Haneke this is astringent stuff, light on visual flourish or narrative surprise, but driving it all are magnificent performances that cut right to the quick. The film's unblinking honesty has quiet integrity and power. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
85% Bully (2012) There are some powerful moments here in a film that will give many food for thought. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
59% The Bling Ring (2013) Aided by a lively young cast (headed by ex-Harry Potter star Emma Watson), the writer-director creates a film that entertains as much as it appalls. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
91% Blue Jasmine (2013) In an eponymous lead role owing more than a little to A Streetcar Named Desire's Blanche DuBois, whom she played on stage not so long ago, Blanchett gives an extraordinary performance. - Limelight EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018