Xan Brooks

Xan Brooks

Agrees with the Tomatometer 77% of the time.

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
4/5 94%

All Is Lost (2013)

"Who is this sailor? Where does he come from? Chandor never sees fit to tell us. His hero remains a deliberate stencil, defined solely by the crisis around him and the actions he takes." ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Dec 29, 2013
3/5 100%

Moon Man (2013)

"A lo-fi delight, blending old-school storytelling with a whiff of head-shop trippiness." ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Dec 29, 2013
3/5 77%

How To Make Money Selling Drugs (2013)

"It becomes a compelling, clear-sighted trip through the jungle; a documentary that rushes us in and then proceeds to point the way out." ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Dec 29, 2013
2/5 14%

47 Ronin (2013)

"47 Ronin is murky, muddled and leaden, although it's not quite the unmitigated disaster it's been cracked up to be." ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Dec 29, 2013
2/5 51%

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty feels like two films in one, each jostling for position, each disliking the other. They would far rather cut loose and strike out on their own." ‐ Observer (UK)
Posted Dec 29, 2013
4/5 77%

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

"Here is a white-collar crime caper that stirs golden memories of the Scorsese back catalogue, often quite knowingly and sometimes to a fault." ‐ Guardian
Posted Dec 17, 2013
4/5 75%

Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014)

"Hang on to your seat back, your Bible, or the hand of a friend. Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac bludgeons the body and tenderises the soul." ‐ Guardian
Posted Dec 16, 2013
2/5 43%

Closed Circuit (2013)

"It plays as cut-price Le Carré; a recording of a recording of superior films. The picture is fuzzy, and the plot becomes garbled." ‐ Guardian
Posted Oct 24, 2013
2/5 8%

Runner Runner (2013)

"This is a lazy, trashy film that barely goes through the motions. It wallows endlessly by the swimming pool and then gives a perfunctory frown of pious disapproval." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 26, 2013
1/5 30%

Austenland (2013)

"So actively inept and so horribly precarious that it becomes curiously engrossing, like watching a monkey spin some plates or a blindfolded dog attempting to ride a unicycle." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 26, 2013
2/5 44%

Cold Comes The Night (2014)

"Seldom come the thrills in this dogged bag-of-loot B-movie, which chases its tail in scurrying circles around a downscale motel in upstate New York." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 19, 2013
3/5 83%

The Unknown Known (2014)

"The film winds up as a tense, frustrating stalemate." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 13, 2013
4/5 41%

Child Of God (2014)

"Multi-hyphenate renaissance man James Franco has finally delivered the goods with this great, grisly Cormac McCarthy adaptation" ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 13, 2013
4/5 87%

Joe (2014)

"Joe serves up a bloody cut of Southern Gothic and a bullish portrait of masculinity in crisis, perfectly embodied by Nicolas Cage. " ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 13, 2013
2/5 91%

Locke (2014)

"Having stripped away all but the bare necessities, having reduced the components to a car and a man - they make a classic error of overcompensation. Locke, it occurs, is quite the most garrulous exercise in minimalism I've witnessed in years." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 8, 2013
5/5 85%

Under the Skin (2014)

"A story that plays as a kind of malarial dream, bathed in cold sweat and seeing hallucinations in every corner." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 3, 2013
3/5 51%

The Zero Theorem (2014)

"A sagging bag of half-cooked ideas, a dystopian thriller with runaway dysentery, a film that wears its metaphorical trousers around its metaphorical ankles. In fits and starts, I quite enjoyed it." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
3/5 50%

Parkland (2013)

"If the film finally doesn't tell us anything we did not already know, the approach makes a worn-out old tragedy feel supple and urgent." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
3/5 88%

The Wind Rises (2014)

"I wanted to love it, tried to love it and then went down in flames." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
4/5 86%

Night Moves (2014)

"Reichardt (the talented director of Old Joy and Meek's Cutoff) takes this volatile story and handles it with care and precision, as if transporting unstable nitroglycerin." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
4/5 92%

Philomena (2013)

"An ongoing, confounding delight of a film." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 2, 2013
4/5 96%

Gravity (2013)

"A brilliantly tense and involving account of two stricken astronauts; a howl in the wilderness that sucks the breath from your lungs." ‐ Guardian
Posted Aug 28, 2013
3/5 50%

Looking for Hortense (Cherchez Hortense) (2012)

"The performances are tart and tannic, ensuring the film goes out with a graceful dying fall." ‐ Guardian
Posted Aug 8, 2013
3/5 87%

Alan Partridge (2014)

"It's knowing and it's funny, and Coogan's persona remains so perfectly realised that he's able to survive when the plot over-reaches and blows out the levels." ‐ Guardian
Posted Aug 8, 2013
2/5 42%

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

"The kids are charmless, the adults bemused." ‐ Guardian
Posted Aug 8, 2013
4/5 99%

Wadjda (2013)

"You'd need a heart of stone not to be won over by Wadjda, a rebel yell with a spoonful of sugar and a pungent sense of a Riyadh society split between the home, the madrasa and the shopping mall." ‐ Guardian
Posted Jul 18, 2013
3/5 100%

Les Invisibles (2012)

"Gives a face to the unseen and a voice to the inaudible, spinning a sedate, respectful account of the gay rights movement as experienced by its foot soldiers." ‐ Guardian
Posted Jul 11, 2013
2/5 31%

The Lone Ranger (2013)

"The Lone Ranger staggers drunkenly from antic comedy to soulful solemnity to bloody horror without ever quite settling, or deciding what it is." ‐ Guardian
Posted Jul 11, 2013
4/5 76%

Die Wand (The Wall) (2013)

"Julian Roman Pölsler's bewitching debut manages to be at once a creepy sci-fi parable, a feminist Robinson Crusoe and a clear-eyed ode to the wonders of nature experienced in solitude. Walden pond with added wall." ‐ Guardian
Posted Jul 4, 2013
1/5 21%

The Seasoning House (2013)

"Hyett earned his reputation as a prosthetics wiz on films like The Descent and The Woman in Black; the human monsters he gives us here might as well be made out of cardboard." ‐ Guardian
Posted Jun 20, 2013

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013)

"Frears's drama is harmless; it stings like a butterfly." ‐ Guardian
Posted May 22, 2013
2/5 66%

Bastards (2013)

"I had the sense that Denis's painstaking approach was little more than an act of concealment; that her actual story was thin and tacky and that her elaborate style was precisely that." ‐ Guardian
Posted May 21, 2013
3/5 92%

Grand Central (2014)

"The film has tobacco on its breath and sweat-rings at its armpits, although it's not as brawny as it would have us believe." ‐ Guardian
Posted May 19, 2013
3/5 53%

Blood Ties (2014)

"I'm not convinced that this hoary, hackneyed old cop-opera is entirely to be trusted ... although it is served with such relish that the fun proves infectious." ‐ Guardian
Posted May 19, 2013
4/5 94%

Fruitvale Station (2013)

"One has the sense of a man being slowly, surely written back into being." ‐ Guardian
Posted May 16, 2013
3/5 73%

The Congress (2014)

"It hunts high and low for the human element in a virtual world. And yet for all its modish gestures, there is something endearingly retro about Folman's handling." ‐ Guardian
Posted May 16, 2013
4/5 95%

A Hijacking (2013)

"Danish director Tobias Lindholm spins an exacting drama out of a crisis on this deft, verite-style account of Somali piracy in the Indian ocean." ‐ Guardian
Posted May 9, 2013
4/5 89%

Shell (2013)

"A hushed and haunting coming-of-age drama, pungently played out in the remote Scottish highlands, where the wind boings off the microphone and passing lorries set the crockery rattling." ‐ Guardian
Posted Mar 14, 2013
2/5 28%

Broken City (2013)

"It's stolid, it's dogged, it knows where it's going. Back and forth around the same old scenery." ‐ Guardian
Posted Feb 28, 2013
3/5 69%

Stoker (2013)

"Beneath all the silk and powder, it transpires that Stoker is actually nothing more than a schlocky, screeching B-movie; an animated skeleton sent up to spook us. It's at its most entertaining when it shakes off its clothes." ‐ Guardian
Posted Feb 28, 2013
2/5 65%

Mama (2013)

"Extended from a 2008 short and starring Jessica Chastain, this has become a proficient, machine-tooled horror flick." ‐ Guardian
Posted Feb 21, 2013
4/5 94%

Lore (2013)

"As with all the best fairytales, there is a blackness and brutality at its centre." ‐ Guardian
Posted Feb 21, 2013
2/5 66%

Cloud Atlas (2012)

"Unfortunately, these bold ambitions come to naught. They confuse the cosmos with the costume department and wind up lost in a world of wigs and bonnets." ‐ Guardian
Posted Feb 21, 2013
4/5 98%

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God (2012)

"A kind of unintentional leaving gift for the outgoing Pope Benedict, though it is not one he is likely to relish." ‐ Guardian
Posted Feb 14, 2013
2/5 46%

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

"The plot is wildly silly and shot full of holes, maundering endlessly on its slow trawl towards the climax. But the cast at least play it like they mean it, and keep it honest for a spell." ‐ Guardian
Posted Feb 13, 2013
2/5 14%

A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

"I don't think it knows where it's going. I'm not even sure it cares." ‐ Guardian
Posted Feb 13, 2013
2/5 47%

Bullet to the Head (2013)

"A wilfully old-fashioned, oddly soothing sprawl of cool cars, heavy weaponry, chain-link fences and cackling crooks." ‐ Guardian
Posted Jan 31, 2013
3/5 73%

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

"If Rise of the Guardians is finally never more than the sum of its parts, the parts themselves have real appeal." ‐ Guardian
Posted Nov 13, 2012
3/5 93%

Skyfall (2012)

"Works terrifically well up to a point." ‐ Guardian
Posted Oct 13, 2012
4/5 76%

Big Boys Gone Bananas!* (2012)

"Gertten's film deftly lifts the lid on the black ops of 21st-century "brand management". Dole comes out smelling of ordure." ‐ Guardian
Posted Sep 20, 2012