PJ Nabarro

PJ Nabarro
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 96% The Kid with a Bike (2012) A whir of energy that documents, as its elemental Dardennian title would suggest, the story of a boy using a bike as a conduit to find some parental care and affection. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
4/5 94% Sous le sable (Under the Sand) (2001) François Ozon finds exactly the right tone for telling the story, particularly in a subtly atmospheric opening stretch - played out elliptically, almost like a silent movie. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
2/5 93% 127 Hours (2010) Danny Boyle's hyper-kinetic cinematic vision for 127 Hours feels more than a little inappropriate and shallow. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
3/5 74% Gangs of New York (2002) You simply have to applaud the magnitude and ambition of Scorsese's vision - it really is New York conceived of on a grand scale. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
75% Calendar Girls (2003) It's hard not to feel that the section where the women go to Hollywood and have the clichéd conflict wasn't pandering to potential audiences across the pond a little too much. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
3/5 97% Before Midnight (2013) Linklater tries almost too hard and pre-determinedly to create a supposedly bathetic and neurotic fortysomething counterpoint to the "what if" musings of the earlier two films - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
4/5 93% Out of Sight (1998) Soderbergh transcends the pulpy genre through trusting in the great performances that Leonard's meaty characterisations allow and with his own sleek and clever direction. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
2/5 62% Alive (1993) It's that age-old question of many worthy movies: whether the mere documentation of an important event (à la Gandhi or Schindler's List) automatically makes it a great film? - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
3/5 95% Behind the Candelabra (2013) With Liberace, Michael Douglas straddles the fine line between honouring the obvious effete persona of the famous pianist, without caricaturing him. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
3/5 92% Life Is Sweet (1991) By allowing the performances to be so demonstrative, it betrays Leigh's central desire to hammer home the sole conceit or piece of subtext he wants to bring to Life if Sweet. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
3/5 73% Runaway Jury (2003) A lovely little dash of Hollywood hokum. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
4/5 99% A Separation (2011) Cleverly, A Separation doesn't conspicuously proselytise about its socio-political import; it is largely concerned with matters of the family that to some degree are universal - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
2/5 90% Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) The film's one device - cross-cutting very demonstratively between identically rhetorical moments in the commune and the lakeside house - is exceedingly literal and obvious. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
3/5 89% A Field in England (2014) It's admirable that Wheatley's attempting to tap into an idea of Englishness with his merging of a civil war backstory to notions of landscape and England's rural-social past. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
3/5 55% Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) Aside from the relative dramatic quandary for Stone in bringing back his cult character, he actually visualises and works through his ideas on the banking crisis very well. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4/5 83% In Bruges (2008) McDonagh straddles that line between giving the movie just enough dramatic integrity, while also drawing attention to its postmodern machinations. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
2/5 72% The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Does the world need another Spider-Man less than 10 years after the previous cycle started? Well, clearly the studios think so, as the superhero cash cow needs further milking - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4/5 73% Deconstructing Harry (1997) A reminder of a time when Woody Allen made films that were forces of energy, bundles of fun, and bubbling with ideas, ingenuity and a real surplus of humour. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4/5 93% Our Father (Abouna) (2002) Functions partly as a sly critique of the seeming prohibition and obsolescence of an authentic African gaze in world cinema. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
3/5 92% Insomnia (2002) A deceptively run-of-the-mill cop thriller based round an ingenious psychological theme. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4/5 93% High Flying Bird (2019) One of the most intelligent and dexterous of American films I've seen in recent years. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
2/5 67% The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) There's an in-built contradiction between the film's attempt to position itself as an ode to cultural understanding while also being a commercially twee depiction of that tale - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2019
4/5 100% Paddington 2 (2018) An oasis of gentility and niceness amid a world (and cinematic landscape) of increasing cynicism and narcissism. And, it's an absolute, 104-minute, smile generator. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2019
3/5 73% Snatch (2001) A thoroughly competent, pulpy gangster pastiche. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
4/5 95% Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) Clearly some of the best work that the likes of Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, and even the great Jack Lemmon, have ever done. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
3/5 88% Donnie Brasco (1997) A clever insight into the everyday, professional banalities of life as a low to mid-level gangster. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
2/5 18% Righteous Kill (2008) A serial killer movie without any threat, a cop thriller going through the motions, and De Niro and Pacino seem blunted by the piece's overall lack of bite. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
3/5 93% Moonrise Kingdom (2012) The climax to the film reads as Anderson's quasi-Charlie Kaufmann pastiche of third act conclusions and the necessity for some kind of thriller resolution. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
4/5 99% Wadjda (2013) A staggeringly assured cine-essay on female self-determination. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
3/5 92% Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) The film's buoyancy is permissible in approximating the gusto that was the hallmark of the Z-Boys as they took their guerrilla surfing skills to the arena of skateboarding. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
2/5 62% Bird Box (2018) The pressing question is which sense can be utilised next in the Hollywood horror factory. Touch? Where everyone has to go round wrapped in teflon or as human-sized condoms? - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2019
2/5 35% 21 (2008) A scenario utterly Hollywoodised to death, with barely a movie cliché left untapped by the director and screenwriters. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/5 72% Primer (2004) Primer's notion of time-travel creating multiple identities and an uncontrollable mise en abyme reminded me mostly of Christopher Nolan's masterly and underrated The Prestige. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/5 70% Somewhere (2010) Coppola riffs on her familiar signature of style (diegesis as time, observation and the senses, rather than dramaturgy) and subject matter (cocooned, disaffected malcontents). - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 55% Marie Antoinette (2006) A diverting enough piece on the suffocation of extreme privilege, and it problematises nicely whether Marie Antoinette's downfall is based more on her innocence or ignorance. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
2/5 92% The Hunt (Jagten) (2013) There's something disingenuous about the way the drama purposely excludes the normal social frameworks that would necessarily vet what are extremely serious allegations. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 91% Fish Tank (2010) Arnold nails the gnarled world of Mia: by product of a neglectful mother, and a landscape awash in booze and deprived of the educational and fiscal means of social betterment. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
2/5 90% Lantana (2002) It's not entirely far-fetched to see a link between the clunky expositions of character, plot and theme from an everyday soap, to those in Lantana. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 76% Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1999) There are far too many tokenistic soundtrack and cinematographic throws of the dice - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 79% Shame (2011) An intriguing impression of a hitherto under-documented facet of contemporary psychological disorders. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 85% Looking for Eric (2010) The film's whimsical spirit invites the audience to enter into a fablistic mindset and to relax into its uplifting air of camaraderie. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
4/5 97% Sweet Sixteen (2003) Loach has fashioned an achingly true portrait of a young man's despairing attempts to better his life, but coming up against social obstructions both visible and invisible. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
2/5 90% Blue Jasmine (2013) There are the raw materials for a piercing American tragedy, detailing the corrosive hubris of a certain type of moneyed class, but a far more studied and icier eye is needed. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
3/5 89% The Angels' Share (2013) The Angels' Share really conjures the spirit of the Ealing Comedies with its playfulness of spirit and generosity toward its characters. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
4/5 46% To The Wonder (2013) One of the best expositions of the perceptual potential of cinema; Malick succeeds in crystallising the precarious sentiment of emotion in the early stages of a relationship. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
3/5 68% Great Expectations (2013) Bar running through the dense plot at a rate of knots, it's not obvious what Newell or adaptor David Nicholls' 'take' on the proceedings actually is. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
2/5 41% Little White Lies (2012) Guillaume Canet's great mistake is in having the gall to craft a moral about the seeming pettiness and emotional blindness of this bunch of vacationing, bourgeois Parisiens. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
2/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) The film doesn't exactly do anything heinously wrong in its treatment of its Brit queens rivalry, but it finds no real means to elevate its story beyond the perfunctory. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
3/5 64% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) A diverting little horror-comedy hybrid, and the weird blend of darkness and throwaway silliness does have some droll rewards. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
2/5 71% Batman (1989) Other than its prescience as a pop cultural milestone, this won't go down as one of the better superhero movies, nor even one of the best in the Batman cinematic canon. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019