Phil Hoad

Phil Hoad
Phil Hoad's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Guardian
Publications: Guardian

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
4/5 95% An Elephant Sitting Still (Da xiang xi di er zuo) (2018) An epitaph for an extremely promising career cut short. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3/5 93% Bumblebee (2018) In a better, truer cinematic universe, Travis Knight would have been in charge of the Transformers franchise all along. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
4/5 100% Dead Souls (2018) Wang's film is a vital excavation of history in danger of being eroded away. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet Paper Tigers (2015) Eye-opening for the layman, vital for anyone pedagogic. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
4/5 91% Mirai (2018) Mirai definitely puts Hosoda in the Japanese industry's top league, showing a similar spirit of high-blown romanticism as Your Name (2016), anime's high-water mark in recent years. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
4/5 85% They Live (1988) The film was was responding to the start of the US rust belt and Reagan-era consumerism, but its themes of working-class subjugation and omnipresent media control have only become more pressing. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
4/5 56% Prince of Darkness (1987) Close to a decade's experience in horror pays off, with Carpenter working the audience with jump-scares and revolting demises like an old pro. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
4/5 86% Escape from New York (1981) The film plays its social satire broad but strings it along a rail of self-awareness. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
3/5 75% The Fog (1980) It's one of the director's most atmospheric, the shots of a wave-lashed cove and fog-choked headland making the town's impending reckoning almost poetic. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
3/5 82% Beirut (2018) Despite possessing unusually detailed context for a thriller, it's a bit like diplomatic efforts in the region: the same old story. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2018
3/5 56% Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang) (2018) The energy is undeniable, especially when delivered via giant Taoist albino gorilla, and the creaky effects have an endearing artisanal quality that feels like a Zu Warriors throwback. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2018
4/5 No Score Yet One or Two Questions (Unas Preguntas) (2018) This surprisingly gripping patchwork of regular Joes expressing their intentions and apprehensions to director Kristina Konrad, then working for Swiss television, couldn't have greater relevance. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
3/5 71% The Opera House (2018) Froemke never fully squares these stories with opera's long-accused elitism. Instead, the film reverts to quietly absorbing inside-baseball territory lit up by a couple of uncommon personalities. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet 7 Days (7 Giorni) (2016) Seven Days loses a little of its focus as it approaches the finish line, but hovering desolation stops it from surrendering to Condé Nast smugness. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2017
3/5 100% London Symphony (2017) Organising his shots into thematic blocks - nostalgic byways, religion, bins - Barrett has the knack of drawing out visual details that cause nice eddies in the film's melancholy flow. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2017
3/5 98% Quest (2017) Quest makes it clear that some things endure beyond political events. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2017
4/5 60% Dark Night (2017) Occasionally too emblematic as individuals, the characters collectively mesh into a portrait of a dislocated society elevated by Sutton's talent for disorienting imagery. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2017
4/5 87% The Student ((M)uchenik) (2017) If The Student lacks the searing moral exactness of the Russian literature on which it draws, it's an often hypnotic warning against dogma's eternal allure. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2017
2/5 No Score Yet Chosen (2017) The framing device, whatever the commercial reasons, also has the unfortunate effect of sapping a degree of urgency from this ponderous and unfocused 1944-set tale. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2017
3/5 91% Transpecos (2016) Some of the intended moral heft goes astray in the heat and dust - but this is still a promising dry run for bigger things. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2017
3/5 79% Without Name (2016) Makes up for its occasional heavy tread with outstanding photography. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
4/5 91% Tanna (2016) An open-throated and universal call for change from within. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
2/5 No Score Yet Get Better: A Film About Frank Turner (2016) Unless you're already a fan, it's difficult to care. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2016
3/5 No Score Yet Half Way (2015) A crushingly personal dispatch from a family pushed off the edge of London's housing boom ... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2016
2/5 No Score Yet The Search For Simon (2014) The gag rate might be high, but accumulatively, like its hero, it becomes infuriating. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016
3/5 No Score Yet The Weekend (2016) The film fizzes in episodic bursts with a feel for London's multicultural pageant; everyone loves a dodgy Nigerian pastor. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016
4/5 93% Creepy (Kuripi: Itsuwari no rinjin) (2016) Teruyuki Kagawa, superb as Nishino, pupates from leering nuisance to a malignant force in a gripping study of urban isolation and vulnerability: Michael Haneke with a raging migraine. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2016
5/5 99% The Wailing (Goksung) (2016) The layers of dissembling and self-dissembling pile up so thickly that not only does Na evidently touch on something integral about the nature of evil, but actually seems to be in the process of summoning it before your eyes. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2016
4/5 83% Panic (2014) Joining Remainder and Hyena in the ranks of recent thrillers with an interest in the capital's shadowlands, Panic packs a dank, reverberatory kick. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2016
4/5 83% The White Knights (Les Chevaliers Blancs) (2015) A slanted but shrewd look at another side of today's refugee crisis. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2016
3/5 100% Chocolat (2016) [A] lavish and increasingly involving study of fin-de-siècle racism. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2016
3/5 No Score Yet NG83 When We Were B Boys (2016) If there's sadness, there's English eccentricity, too, and a noble refusal to give up on hip-hop's creed of fierce self-reliance. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2016
2/5 No Score Yet Atomic: Living In Dread And Promise (2015) Isolated parts hit home, like the awesome geometry of fission explosions set to stark Japanese percussion, but not enough bonds with the poetic valency Cousins seeks. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2016
3/5 95% Sembene! (2015) Majors in the Senegalese's trailblazing; most notably the fact that he was responsible for the first film shot by a black African. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2016
3/5 100% The Vanquishing Of The Witch Baba Yaga (2014) There are rich pickings here, with a little effort. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2016
3/5 91% Courted (L'hermine) (2015) Vincent has a gift for notching up comic detail in the margins: the flu-ridden judge being injected by his doctor in the buttock; his insistence on the proper courtroom terms of address. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2016
3/5 49% 31 (2016) A cinematic Jägerbomb: definitely not good for you, but gets the job done. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2016
3/5 90% A Good American (2017) Intriguing but troubling ... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2016
2/5 No Score Yet Set the Thames on Fire (2016) There are moments of Guy Maddin-esque vim - like the crayfish that draws tarot cards - but even cameos such as Noel Fielding's sex-pest lackey come over as try-hard in the absence of much higher purpose. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2016
4/5 50% The Land of the Enlightened (2016) Possibly the only film in which you can witness a tube of lapis lazuli being rammed up a donkey's arse. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2016
4/5 100% Ten Years (2015) Filmed for just 55,000, Ten Years is a smoke grenade lobbed into the febrile political and civic climate of the "special administration region". - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2016
3/5 67% Wolf Totem (2015) Annaud's film can't help itself galloping off in allegorical bursts barely under his control, and intriguingly off-course from the kind of bold messages of national conciliation officially sanctioned Chinese films tend to convey. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 2, 2015
4/5 No Score Yet Max & Lenny (2015) Max & Lenny rides over prefabricated beats, but never stops speaking the truth. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2015
3/5 31% Poltergeist (2015) It's a shame Kenan can't muster his own bit of gothic shorthand for post-credit crunch America, but the film still has a fluid, 3D-orientated immediacy ... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2015
4/5 86% Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy (2014) Beneath the modern veneer, something timeless emerges: a (pretty good) coming-of-age story. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2014
4/5 85% Alleluia (2015) It's disturbingly credible for a long time, its expert camerawork - all bifurcated faces and heaving pores - seeding the air with claustrophobia ... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2014
3/5 94% Milius (2013) Before he became a caricature, Milius personified 70s Hollywood's renegade heart and was airlifted in to supply gonzo energy at key junctures. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2013
4/5 95% Cutie And The Boxer (2013) Bohemianism and marriage are both for life in this alternately rueful and whimsical documentary about expat Japanese artist couple Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2013
3/5 No Score Yet Ollie Kepler's Expanding Purple World (2013) A textured and engaging look at a subject that often doesn't want to be looked at. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2013
4/5 84% The Forgiveness of Blood (2012) Joshua Marston hops on another subculture - Albanian blood feuds - and operates sensitively once again in the space between 21st-century ethnographer and enlightened genre director. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2012