Tom Birchenough Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Birchenough

Tom Birchenough
Tom Birchenough's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): The Arts Desk

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
5/5 100% Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) (2018) It's a profoundly humanistic film, bringing home powerfully the sheer achievement of parenthood, as well as how the surrounding society comes through to show its implicit tolerance...‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2018
4/5 87% My Friend Dahmer (2017) Avoiding the sensationalism that would have come so easily, the skill with which Meyers varies the tone of My Friend Dahmer, as he takes us from humour to darkness and back again, is simply compelling.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2018
3/5 69% On Chesil Beach (2018) On Chesil Beach has been a film of close sensitivity, in which Saoirse Ronan - musician that she is - plays never less than exquisitely.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted May 21, 2018
4/5 88% The Wound (Inxeba) (2017) The director is so receptive to the power of images and intonations over words, and his spare style comes close to that of Dogma in its fluid, frequently handheld camerawork and a rigorous avoidance of external effects.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2018
5/5 93% Loveless (Nelyubov) (2018) [Andrey] Zvyagintsev may have altered his register - where Leviathan was painted with a broad brush, Loveless is a scalpel dissection - but his message remains constant.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2018
4/5 90% Love Is All: 100 Years of Love & Courtship (2015) Just immerse yourself in Love Is All for its 70 minutes, and it will flow over and around you gloriously.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
4/5 86% Dancing In Jaffa (2014) Watching the children move from the state they started in to the one with which the film ends is the centre of the film. There's surprise along the way for all, as well as some humour.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
3/5 87% Stray Dogs (2014) Stray Dogs does have something extraordinary to it, but it left me, finally, almost as cold, if not as wet, as its protagonists on Taipei's unforgiving streets.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
4/5 100% Li'l Quinquin (2015) Dumont has a palpable relish for everything (and everyone) to which his script introduces us which is infectious, while leaving it up to viewers to qualify its underlying complexities.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
3/5 63% Barney Thomson (The Legend of Barney Thomson) (2016) The film's final showdown may be stylised and as ludicrous as they come, but by then we've become caught up in Barney Thompson's endearing, exaggerated lunacy.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
5/5 94% Hard to be a God (2015) There's something completely mesmerising about it, caught not least in the stunning cinematography of Vladimir Ilyin and Yury Klimenko, which transforms our expectations of black-and-white into a remarkable symphony of grey.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
4/5 88% 52 Tuesdays (2015) Hyde and her screenwriter Matthew Cormack tackle all this with persuasive confidence, conveying subtly, and with periodic comedy,‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
4/5 97% Theeb (2015) The epic and the intimate combine impressively in Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar's debut feature Theeb.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
3/5 72% Pasolini (2014) "Narrative art, as you all know, is dead," we hear Pasolini proclaim at one stage, and Ferrara has certainly taken that adage to heart, leaving his film to grow on the viewer incrementally.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
4/5 93% Censored Voices (2015) Censored Voices speaks richly about the sheer experience of war, its chaos, the contrast between any idea of how it was supposed to be and how it actually was, and how the protagonists mitigated that difference.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
3/5 85% Lagerfeuer (West) (2014) Triebel's character is fully drawn, more so perhaps than what the script actually offered her: she gives a big performance in what is in the end a small film.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
4/5 95% Bai ri yan huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice) (2015) Its noir detective style pays homage to classic Hollywood tropes, but this is an unapologetically arthouse piece that impresses most for its gloriously dark visuals.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
4/5 100% Exit (Hui guang zoumingqu) (2015) Taiwanese director Chienn Hsiang has given his lead actress Chen Shiang-chyi a role of rare complexity in Exit, and she dominates this bleakly naturalistic slice-of-life film completely.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
4/5 85% Heartstone (Hjartasteinn) (2017) In all such tales of the growing self-awareness of youth, the quality of the playing from the young cast is crucial, and Gudmundsson has drawn hugely sensitive performances from his two leads.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
4/5 87% Zoology (Zoologiya) (2016) Any redemption in Zoology comes from the sheer accomplishment of Natalya Pavlenkova's playing. To explore such depths of pain is, perverse though it may seem, somehow to transcend them.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2017
5/5 91% On Body and Soul (A Teströl és Lélekröl) (2018) It would be an illusion to expect every viewer to be receptive to this remarkable film, but for those who are it sticks in the mind like a shard of broken glass, a jag of ice. You emerge from it, soul scoured, in silence.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2017
3/5 86% In Syria (Insyriated) (2017) The film is carried by the sheer force of [Hiam] Abbass's performance, the haggard strength of her face revealing an unspoken conviction that life must be kept going somehow, even as it barely conceals the turmoil behind her features.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2017
5/5 99% God's Own Country (2017) Francis Lee may have come out of nowhere, but if we see another film as good this year, we will be lucky. ‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2017
4/5 100% Hotel Salvation (2017) Hotel Salvation is a film of great tenderness, one that relishes the details of physical reality, even while acknowledging that leaving all behind is the most natural, even essential thing of all.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2017
4/5 81% Tom of Finland (2017) It will be a stony-hearted viewer indeed who resists the celebration of Tom of Finland's conclusion.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2017
No Score Yet Crested Ibis (2017) One of the undoubted strengths of Qiao Liang's otherwise modest Crested Ibis is its sense of place.‐ Culture Trip
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
4/5 97% After the Storm (Umi yori mo mada fukaku) (2017) Played in a plangent, minor key, After the Storm is rich in whimsy, with Hanaregumi's score drawing plentifully on whistling, to give the sense of an everyday amble through life's unpredictabilities.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2017
4/5 100% Inversion (Varoonegi) (2017) The elements of drama are strong, and give the film's closely observed scenes -- even when a touch of melodrama slips in, Inversion is still very much a work of realism -- their power.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted May 26, 2017
4/5 90% Frantz (2017) Ozon has achieved emotional depths that are rather new for him.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted May 19, 2017
4/5 94% Neruda (2016) It captivates for the scope of its invention, its ludic combination of reality and artifice, poetry and politics, as well as the contradictions of its central character.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2017
5/5 95% Graduation (Bacalaureat) (2017) It's a deeply forlorn canvas, as if Mungiu, a generation after 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, confirms that his protagonists just can't escape the rites and habits of the world that formed them.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2017
4/5 97% Aquarius (2016) Aquarius is a languid film, lovingly enjoying its length, and blessed with a simply glorious performance from Braga.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2017
4/5 88% The Student ((M)uchenik) (2017) It's an uneasy film, one that leaves a somehow bitter taste behind.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2017
5/5 98% Moonlight (2016) An almost impeccable achievement. Revelatory filmmaking.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
86% Lion (2016) To say that Davis doesn't complicate Lion is meant as a compliment, relying as he does instead on some excellent playing, from Patel and Kidman especially.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
3/5 84% Silence (2017) There are moments that are visually enthralling, landscapes of nature that dwarf the sufferings... inflicted on many of its characters. We'll leave the "and yets" to later.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2017
4/5 93% The Pass (2016) An independent British production that manages the transfer from stage to screen more than gamely.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2016
3/5 85% Francofonia (2016) The Russian director Alexander Sokurov has never been afraid of tackling weighty, often philosophical issues head on, and his latest film Francofonia is as pioneering - and, some might say, unnecessarily uncompromising - as ever.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2016
4/5 96% Little Men (2016) Little Men may have something of the scale of a novella rather than a full-blown drama, but its insight is considerable, its impact poignant and lasting.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2016
4/5 89% The Clan (El Clan) (2016) An unforgiving, but highly compelling watch.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2016
4/5 100% Things to Come (L'avenir) (2016) Huppert is nothing less than superb, her achievement brought home by the fact that she hardly seems to be doing anything: an accomplishment beyond words.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Sep 2, 2016
4/5 98% Almost Holy (Crocodile Gennadiy) (2016) Searchig for a concealed subtext seems unnecessary when the story itself is so extraordinary.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2016
3/5 73% Valley Of Love (2016) There's considerable pleasure nonetheless in watching its two leads - supporting cameo appearances can be counted on the fingers of one hand - at work. Depardieu in particular is as organic here as he's been for a long time, absolutely in his skin.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2016
3/5 90% Bobby Sands: 66 Days (2016) It's an impressive package, with credit due to Paul Devlin's editing for putting a wealth of material... into order, and a score from Edith Progue which has its own sense of dramatic direction.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2016
3/5 91% Summertime (La Belle Saison) (2016) That trio of central relationships is well established, while the pairing of Higelin and de France works beautifully as a converging, on one level, of opposites, expressed in the physical difference between the actresses. ‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2016
4/5 97% Weiner (2016) Weiner is the story of a rapid ride from comeback to meltdown. It's an enthralling journey to witness, even if you sometimes feel like averting your eyes.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2016
5/5 94% Notes on Blindness (2016) Notes on Blindness is an extraordinary film that wears its original genius lightly.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2016
3/5 88% The President (2016) Makhmalbaf's script, co-written with his wife Marziyeh Meshkiny, doesn't finally compensate for loss of narrative direction. It's an impressive effort though.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted May 31, 2016
5/5 100% Ivan's Childhood (Ivanovo detstvo) (1962) The work in which the remarkable nature of [Tarkovsky's] talent first shone through.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted May 25, 2016
3/5 80% Fidelio, Alice's Journey (2015) We're not swept away by it, but caught up almost on a cerebral level, which was, I'm sure, Borleteau's intention: in that she challenges as much as her lead character.‐ The Arts Desk
Read More | Posted May 23, 2016