Philip French

Philip French
Philip French's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Guardian Observer (UK)
Publications: Guardian, Observer (UK)

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
40% Equilibrium (2002) Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium is a dreary sci-fi action movie set after the Third World War in a dystopia from which all dangerous human emotion has been drained by the daily injection of the drug Prozium and the burning of art and books. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
33% In the Cut (2003) The plotting and police procedural aspects of In the Cut are perfunctory and unconvincing, and for all its air of breaking new ground, it is ploughing down some familiar furrows. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
56% The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) A deliberate and irritating absence of dramatic momentum is accompanied by delicious, often magical, moments. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
53% Across the Universe (2007) Hair was bad enough, but this is a load of dandruff. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
86% Sisters (1973) The succession of references stops just short of the risible, while the use of the split-screen to show scenes from different angles and the elaborate tracking shots indicate the arrival of a prodigious new stylist forging an original signature. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
No Score Yet Underground (1928) Underground is a witty, highly imaginative piece of film-making by a director now largely regarded as an efficient craftsman. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2017
95% The Queen of Spades (1949) The Queen of Spades, a stylish, polished melodrama based on the Pushkin novella, is [Thorold Dickinson's] most accomplished film. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2016
91% Razzle Dazzle: A Journey Into Dance (2007) it's in the same class as the best movies by Christopher Guest's company. British comic Ben Miller is brilliant as pretentious choreographer Mr Jonathon. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2016
80% Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) Special effects have greatly advanced since 1978, but technology needs imagination after it has made an initial impression. Imagination is not the strong suit of Revenge of the Sith. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2015
52% The World Is Not Enough (1999) We expect a rousing pre-credit sequence -- and The World Is Not Enough provides not one but two. Together they last 20 minutes and probably cost the GNP of an average Third World country. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2015
65% Quantum of Solace (2008) It's a heavy-hearted film for a weary time. During a little coda in Russia it takes a deep breath and attempts a serious conclusion but merely ends up being solemn. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2015
86% The Naked City (1948) Both a landmark and some sort of masterpiece. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2015
89% Cry, the Beloved Country (1952) It provides a vivid and moving portrait of a cruelly divided society of exploited, uprooted black people and troubled, guilty white people and has strong biblical undertones. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2015
88% [Rec] (2007) The film corners you with the ferocity of a Spanish inquisitor with a branding iron and holds you there to the bitter end. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2015
88% The Simpsons Movie (2007) I laughed sporadically at this enjoyable film. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2015
99% Finding Nemo (2003) A beguiling piece of storytelling and creates a magical underwater world through its imaginative graphics and sound effects. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2015
87% Inception (2010) Like Memento, the most intellectually demanding of Nolan's previous films, Inception demands and rewards our total attention as well as our emotional engagement. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2015
6% Gigli (2003) It's like the first draft of a one-set play that Neil Simon wisely abandoned, and which was then handed to Quentin Tarantino to spice up. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2015
71% City of Women (La città delle donne) (1981) Masochistic, misogynistic, City of Women is a flamboyant, sophisticated series of set pieces, a boastful apologia pro vita sua. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2015
82% Accident (1967) A subtly poised film of middle-class life in an Oxford academic milieu. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2015
100% The Clowns (I Clowns) (1970) It's a beautifully made movie with ravishing colour of a kind not normally seen on TV in 1970 and a haunting, eclectic score by Nino Rota. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2015
94% The Deer Hunter (1978) The Deer Hunter is a rich and powerful picture that without a trace of patronisation or the slightest touch of cultural superiority, speaks eloquently for the inarticulate. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2015
91% Million Dollar Baby (2004) From beginning to end, its dark, foreboding atmosphere reflects the troubled world in which its three central figures conduct their essentially moral lives. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2015
74% Crash (2004) [Crash] is sharply observed and frequently extremely funny as well as artfully orchestrated. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2015
76% Gladiator (2000) Crowe confirms his position as one of the best star character actors around. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2015
93% No Country for Old Men (2007) From brutal start to ironic finish the movie's tension is constant. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2015
92% Shot in Bombay (2008) An amusing account of the making of the Bollywood police thriller Shootout at Lokhandwala. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2015
91% The Departed (2006) The dialogue crackles wittily and obscenely, and the set-pieces are superbly staged. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2015
75% Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Eyes Wide Shut is flawed and overlong, but it's the work of a master, and whether you regard the 'imperfections' as such depends on how you read the film. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2014
93% Enchanted (2007) After about half-an-hour the comic steam is dispersed by whimsy, though Timothy Spall is pretty funny as the Evil Stepmother's varlet valet. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2014
86% Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2) (2008) A sleek action picture by Guillermo del Toro, who's making a corner for himself in the horror-fantasy world in his native Mexico, in Hollywood and in Spain. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2014
99% How to Train Your Dragon (2010) It's charming, funny and a lot like Avatar, though less solemn and an hour shorter. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2014
87% Howl's Moving Castle (2005) There is little of the magic and Japanese flavour of such Miyazaki masterpieces as Spirited Away. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2014
85% The Princess and the Frog (2009) With this delightful romantic comedy (produced by CGI expert John Lassiter of Pixar fame), the Disney Studio returns to the traditional, hand-drawn animation style of Walt's classic period. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2014
95% The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) These Tolkien films have a weight and seriousness that very few sword-and-sorcery pictures of the past 30-odd years have attained. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2014
95% Pan's Labyrinth (2006) In this magical and immensely moving film del Toro presents both the narrative strands as equally real, equally plausible. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2014
87% The Black Cat (1934) This bizarre, utterly irrational masterpiece, lasting little more than an hour, has images that bury themselves in the mind. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2014
87% The Orphanage (2007) The less you know of this film, the more you'll be surprised, shocked and, in the end, satisfied. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2014
92% Marvel's The Avengers (2012) The special effects are impressive but not especially imaginative, and the film is unduly protracted. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2014
94% The Dark Knight (2008) The Dark Knight is a clever, loud, technically brilliant film, superbly designed by Nathan Crowley and dramatically lit by Wally Pfister. Whether such a movie can bear the increasing moral weight imposed upon it is another matter. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2014
93% Saving Private Ryan (1998) Spielberg is telling his fellow Americans to appreciate the sacrifices their forebears have made and to act accordingly. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2014
98% The Lady Vanishes (1938) It's the greatest-ever comedy-thriller, the greatest film set on a train, a faultlessly cast mirror held up to the nation in the year of Munich. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2014
No Score Yet The Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004) A peculiarly dispiriting comedy. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2014
4% Vampires Suck (2010) A witless, slavish pastiche of the series of romantic dramas based on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels. It is a knowing film that knows nothing about comedy. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2014
71% The Ring (2002) Though more expensive and less atmospheric than the Japanese picture, the film isn't at all bad. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2014
2/5 20% Arthur Newman (2013) Completely disposable ... - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2014
88% Five Easy Pieces (1970) The movie is a succession of dazzling scenes. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2014
81% Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) A rigorously controlled account of the experience of Davies's older siblings growing up in a working-class Merseyside terrace in the Forties and Fifties. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2014
91% Memories of Underdevelopment (Memorias del subdesarrollo) (1973) Though inevitably committed to Castro and the revolution, it's the most valuable account we have of this crucial period of Cuban history. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2014
100% Blue Blood (2006) An amusing, observant documentary. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2014