Xan BrooksMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Xan Brooks

Xan Brooks
Xan Brooks's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Guardian, Sight and Sound, Observer (UK)

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/5 83% I Am Bolt (2016) Could there, God forbid, be some scandal or mess in the wings; anything that might complicate our sense of a peerless athlete with the world at his feet? If so, we aren't shown it. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Nov 27, 2016
3/5 50% Mum's List (2016) It's warm to the touch, slightly soft in the middle. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Nov 27, 2016
2/5 61% Allied (2016) The real problem is Pitt, who gives his flattest, most uninteresting performance this side of Troy. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Nov 27, 2016
3/5 94% Creepy (Kuripi: Itsuwari no rinjin) (2016) This procedural subplot can feel a little machine-tooled. Much of the dialogue veers towards exposition. But the tension is building; the slow-burn pays dividends. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Nov 27, 2016
2/5 77% Magnus (2016) Documentaries about decent, quiet boy geniuses might have a nice novelty value. But it risks leaving Magnus looking niche interest at best. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Nov 27, 2016
2/5 23% Bad Santa 2 (2016) It's a font of tired jokes and off-colour routines; aggressive one minute, maudlin the next. Steer this one gently into a darkened room. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Nov 27, 2016
3/5 96% Paterson (2016) For all its fine qualities, Paterson feels complacent and self-regarding. It's hard to listen to lectures in modesty from a film that's so busy admiring itself in the mirror. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Nov 27, 2016
5/5 88% Elle (2016) A film that runs boldly up and down the tonal bandwidth, zig-zagging from pitch-black horror to devilish satire to light domestic comedy and then back again. ‐ Guardian
Posted May 22, 2016
75% The BFG (2016) Stitched together with an old-fashioned care that belies its performance-capture technique. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted May 14, 2016
2/5 90% [Rec] (2007) Midway through, the plot blows a gasket and the camerawork turns altogether crazed, joggling us about in the semi-darkness while the soundtrack rings to distorted screams. ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 29, 2015
2/5 9% Dying of the Light (2014) In recent years, Paul Schrader has reached the unenviable position where his career has become at least as horribly compelling as the movies that he makes. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 1, 2015
91% The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Most ambitiously, this rousing adventure closes with an ending that's closer in spirit to an art-house film than a popcorn holiday romp. ‐ Guardian
Posted Dec 7, 2014
2/5 77% Get Santa (2014) The film is listing, overladen with cheap trinkets. Dogged, heartfelt acting works hard to prop it up. ‐ Guardian
Posted Dec 4, 2014
98% Paddington (2015) Paddington runs gamely through a heightened, picture-book London, stumbling on occasion through a mess of caffeinated, slapstick set-pieces, but keeping its head as it spirits us along for the ride. ‐ Guardian
Posted Nov 19, 2014
4/5 89% A Most Violent Year (2015) JC Chandor's period crime drama is rigorous, resourceful and as smart as a whip. ‐ Guardian
Posted Nov 7, 2014
4/5 74% Inherent Vice (2015) Ask not where the film is leading; that's hardly the point. The plot amounts to an arrangement of red herrings and besides, solutions are for squares. ‐ Guardian
Posted Oct 5, 2014
4/5 88% Gone Girl (2014) Gone Girl, finally, may be no more than a storm in a teacup. But what an elegant, bone-china teacup this is. And what a fearsome force-10 gale we have brewing inside. ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 22, 2014
2/5 65% A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014) [A] reductive, bone-headed detective yarn ... ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 18, 2014
4/5 71% Pasolini (2014) It's profane and it's precious and it glows like the moon. ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 8, 2014
5/5 89% A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2015) What a bold, beguiling and utterly unclassifiable director Andersson is. ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2014
4/5 49% Manglehorn (2015) The finest performance Pacino has delivered in years. ‐ Guardian
Posted Aug 31, 2014
3/5 91% Birdman (2014) Is it a redundancy to complain that Birdman lacks soul? Maybe so. ‐ Guardian
Posted Aug 27, 2014
2/5 21% Into The Storm (2014) Into the Storm sets forth as a found-footage thriller before losing its thread and then doubling back on itself in abject disarray. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Aug 24, 2014
3/5 67% Lucy (2014) Rollickingly entertaining - up to a point. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Aug 24, 2014
3/5 43% Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) Rodriguez and Miller trade in disreputable teenage kicks and they lay the style on with a trowel. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Aug 24, 2014
3/5 68% God Help the Girl (2014) God Help the Girl has a ramshackle charm and the naked sincerity of an earnest adolescent. It cuddles up; it wins you over. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Aug 24, 2014
2/5 25% Die Frau des Polizisten (The Policeman's Wife) (2013) Groening shows us the house; he never lets us inside. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Aug 24, 2014
2/5 71% What If (2014) While Radcliffe and Kazan do their best with this skimpy material, their back-and-forth banter is, like, super-annoying? ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Aug 24, 2014
5/5 97% Two Days, One Night (2014) A socialist epic in miniature, heartfelt and humane. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Aug 24, 2014
2/5 17% Sex Tape (2014) It's fitfully funny and exuberantly eager to please. The chief problem with Sex Tape, however, is that it remains a comedy of blushes as opposed to full-blown embarrassment. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jul 18, 2014
3/5 90% Coming Home (2015) Zhang dabs on salve and comforts the afflicted. He lets this intimate, bittersweet reconciliation implicitly stand for the nation at large. ‐ Guardian
Posted May 20, 2014
4/5 76% Welcome To New York (2015) I watched the whole thing with my jaw on the floor. ‐ Guardian
Posted May 18, 2014
3/5 88% The Blue Room (2014) Amalric's handling is cool, studied and perhaps a little self-conscious. But he does a good job of showing how adultery is a noose that tightens at the throat even before an actual crime is committed ... ‐ Guardian
Posted May 16, 2014
4/5 89% Calvary (2014) Your best advice is to sit back, hang on to your rosary beads and enjoy the ride while it lasts. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Apr 13, 2014
46% The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (2014) Dim the lights and light up the bong. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Apr 13, 2014
2/5 36% The Quiet Ones (2014) If you believe Hammer Films' cornball exorcist caper is really "based on actual events", then you'll probably swallow anything. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Apr 13, 2014
3/5 20% The Last Days On Mars (2013) Our band of estimable actors have to contend with a storm of B-movie dialogue and the remorseless hammer blows of a stock horror plot line. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Apr 13, 2014
3/5 55% Pioneer (2014) If only it didn't risk applying too much pressure. If only it didn't overload the cargo with so many plot twists, chases and corpses. Mayday, mayday, this film's about to break up. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Apr 13, 2014
2/5 51% Half of a Yellow Sun (2014) The road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions ... ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Apr 13, 2014
4/5 96% The Lunchbox (2014) Who cares if the conceit feels a shade schematic? The Lunchbox is perfectly handled and beautifully acted; a quiet storm of banked emotions. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Apr 13, 2014
79% The Raid 2 (2014) Evans delivers the violence with such astonishing gusto that he barely lets us catch our breath. ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Apr 13, 2014
4/5 52% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems to know exactly what it's doing. Webb's film is bold and bright and possesses charm in abundance. It swings into the future and carries the audience with it. ‐ Guardian
Posted Apr 8, 2014
3/5 100% Blue Blood (2006) Keen and nimble and light on its toes. ‐ Guardian
Posted Apr 7, 2014
3/5 93% The Return To Homs (2014) The director's relentless, claustrophobic approach is surely an accurate reflection of the tragedy itself. There is no wider picture; the world has largely turned its back. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 23, 2014
3/5 73% The Voices (2015) The bolts are loose, the belts won't fasten and Satrapi's disreputable little creepshow finally doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Maybe that's fine. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 22, 2014
5/5 98% Boyhood (2014) What an astonishing achievement; what a beautiful movie. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 21, 2014
4/5 89% Obvious Child (2014) Obvious Child might hail from the same grungy sorority as Frances Ha or Lena Dunham's Girls, but it has a bounce and vitality that is inimitably its own. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 20, 2014
4/5 89% Calvary (2014) A film that is constantly commenting on itself, looking askance in the mirror and chuckling at its own presumption. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 20, 2014
3/5 68% God Help the Girl (2014) It's warm and generous, verging on the sentimental; a film that crystallises the best and worst of Belle and Sebastian's songwriting skills. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 20, 2014
3/5 87% A Most Wanted Man (2014) It's a professional old-school espionage outing, intricate as clockwork and acted with relish by the ever-watchable Hoffman. ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 19, 2014