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

Showing 101 - 150 of 319
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
4/5 67%

Spring Breakers (2013)

"[Korine] bounces back like a man possessed, rekitted as some 21st-century Russ Meyer, playing disreputable paterfamilias to a fresh breed of supervixens." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 5, 2012
5/5 86%

The Master (2012)

"Offers catnip for the senses and succour for the soul, riffing lightly off the life of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard to conjure up a film that is both expansive and intimate, confident and self-questioning." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 1, 2012
4/5 87%

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

"The dark knight duly rises for the bruising final stanza in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, a satisfying saga of revolution and redemption that ends the tale on a note of thunder." ‐Guardian
Posted Jul 16, 2012
2/5 67%

La proie (The Prey) (2013)

"A rough diamond con on the trail of a serial killer can't outrun this French thriller's weight of familiarity." ‐Guardian
Posted Jul 12, 2012
3/5 100%

Les géants (The Giants) (2011)

"Even the tale's sagging, aimless middle section feels oddly of a piece." ‐Guardian
Posted Jul 12, 2012
3/5 93%

King of Devil's Island (2011)

"Robust acting and crisp direction eases the old-rope material through to the inevitable conflagration." ‐Guardian
Posted Jun 28, 2012
2/5 53%

Think Like a Man (2012)

"Beware beaming self-publicists bearing relationship advice. Those bold, bright one-liners point the way to a life of abject humiliation." ‐Guardian
Posted Jun 21, 2012
1/5 33%

A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2014)

"So spectacularly bungled that it leaves the viewer in a state of advanced petrification." ‐Guardian
Posted Jun 7, 2012

In the Fog (2013)

"It turns out to be another of those infuriating Cannes near-misses: an iron-clad dreadnought of a picture, impressive in its way but lacking the flash and fire of Loznitsa's previous picture, My Joy. " ‐Guardian
Posted May 26, 2012

Cosmopolis (2012)

"Cosmopolis, praise be, is flat-out marvellous, a 21st-century American horror story, haunted by "the glow of cyber-capitalism"." ‐Guardian
Posted May 26, 2012

No (2013)

"The film provides a fascinating history lesson in the guise of backstage drama, honeycombed with antique-looking TV commercials full of Lycra-clad dancers and gambolling mimes. " ‐Guardian
Posted May 25, 2012

The Paperboy (2012)

"Lee Daniels does not so much direct as distract, grabbing hold of Pete Dexter's splendidly lean and lethal source novel and gorging it on so much junk-food that the plot plays out as a series of cardiac arrests" ‐Guardian
Posted May 24, 2012
2/5 55%

Post Tenebras Lux (2013)

"Reygadas has elected to shoot large portions of his film through a bevelled camera lens, which refracts his figures, doubles the image and leaves the screen's borders blurred. I have no doubt he is deliberately setting out to vex us." ‐Guardian
Posted May 23, 2012
2/5 23%

Baad el Mawkeaa (After the Battle) (2012)

"The last shot is dynamite: a poetic crawl up the edge of a pyramid, rising in agonising, mesmerising degrees with seemingly no end in sight. The rest, however, is but a long, hard trudge." ‐Guardian
Posted May 17, 2012
3/5 84%

Angel & Tony (Angèle et Tony) (2010)

"At its best, Delaporte's film gives the impression of being uncovered as opposed to constructed, like an eccentric bit of driftwood exposed at low tide." ‐Guardian
Posted May 3, 2012
4/5 97%

Monsieur Lazhar (2012)

"Only the most obstreperous delinquent could fail to be charmed by Monsieur Lazhar, in which an Algerian refugee plays ramshackle Mary Poppins to the kids at a Montreal primary." ‐Guardian
Posted May 3, 2012
4/5 76%

Damsels in Distress (2012)

"If it's possible for a picture to be at once ideal and imperfect, then Damsels fits the bill." ‐Guardian
Posted Apr 4, 2012
4/5 84%

The Hunger Games (2012)

"The Hunger Games is that rarest of beasts: a Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty." ‐Guardian
Posted Mar 16, 2012
2/5 85%

How To Re-establish A Vodka Empire (2011)

"A glorified sales presentation with one eye on the Waitrose deal. I didn't buy it." ‐Guardian
Posted Mar 15, 2012
3/5 66%

The Woman in Black (2012)

"[A] busy, bustling ghost story that at times appears less indebted to the Susan Hill bestseller than the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland." ‐Guardian
Posted Feb 9, 2012
3/5 88%

Patience (After Sebald) (2012)

"In keeping with the spirit of Sebald's writing, Gee's film is teasing, elegant and perhaps inevitably unresolved: an invitation as opposed to a destination." ‐Guardian
Posted Jan 26, 2012
2/5 69%

X: Night of Vengeance (2011)

"Hewitt's pungent early scenes of Oz's underbelly have a certain crystal-meth intensity, but the buzz can't last, and the film starts to wilt." ‐Guardian
Posted Jan 19, 2012
4/5 86%

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

"In less experienced hands, this would surely have wound up as lurid, trashy pulp. Yet Fincher plays it straight and keeps it serious." ‐Guardian
Posted Dec 15, 2011
4/5 60%

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

"A Game of Shadows assures us that escapism is good, that mischief must be celebrated. Holmes and Watson are happy and their escapades play out with such grace and brio that the fun is infectious." ‐Guardian
Posted Dec 12, 2011
2/5 43%

That Girl in Yellow Boots (2011)

"The yarn flounders under a crush of declamatory dialogue, sheds its plumage in an overheated final act and no amount of delirious closeups of Koechlin's lovely face (shot by her director husband, Anurag Kashyap) can restore its sheen." ‐Guardian
Posted Dec 1, 2011
3/5 100%

An African Election (2011)

"Paints a portrait of an engaged, energised electorate, thronging the rallies and queuing for 12 hours straight at the polling stations. It's a good foundation; something to build on." ‐Guardian
Posted Nov 24, 2011
3/5 51%

The Iron Lady (2012)

"A breezy, whistle-stop tour through the unstable nitroglycerin of Thatcher's life and times." ‐Guardian
Posted Nov 14, 2011
3/5 92%

The British Guide To Showing Off (2011)

"Benstock's film is affectionate, indulgent and clearly in love with its subject..." ‐Guardian
Posted Nov 10, 2011
3/5 75%

The Help (2011)

"In dramatic terms it works a treat." ‐Guardian
Posted Oct 27, 2011
2/5 75%

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

"While the big set pieces are often exuberantly handled, the human details are sorely wanting. Hergé achieved more expression with his use of ink-spot eyes and humble line drawings than a bank of computers and an army of animators were able to achieve" ‐Guardian
Posted Oct 16, 2011
2/5 78%

Red White & Blue (2010)

"Dim the lights and raise the heat for this sputtering Texas noir, liberally spiced with strip-malls and pool-halls." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 29, 2011
2/5 69%

Guilty Of Romance (2013)

"One gets the sense the director has become so enamoured the details that he's lost sight of the destination.." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 29, 2011
4/5 83%

Mademoiselle Chambon (2010)

"Slow your pace and pause for breath and there's a world of pleasure to be had from this unhurried small-town tragedy." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 22, 2011
2/5 46%

Soul Surfer (2011)

"The film that follows is thin and frothy, though watch out for that final sentimental upsurge. It could drag and lift you against your will." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 22, 2011
2/5 56%

Atrocious (2011)

"The kids are screaming and the camera joggles us to the point of nausea but, at the end, the film's big reveal is just a cheap, dull shimmer." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 15, 2011
2/5 17%

I Don't Know How She Does It (2011)

"For a film ostensibly concerned with the mess and tumult of modern life, I Don't Know How She Does It presents some pretty pat solutions." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 15, 2011
3/5 69%

Wuthering Heights (2012)

"Arnold's approach does Brontë no disservice..." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 6, 2011
2/5 71%

Dark Horse (2012)

"There is little in the film's pitch-black interior that wasn't tackled better - with more bite, wit and abandon - in Happiness, Welcome to the Dollhouse, or Storytelling." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 5, 2011
4/5 79%

Shame (2011)

"This is fluid, rigorous, serious cinema; the best kind of adult movie." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 4, 2011
4/5 76%

Alps (2012)

"Follow the film-maker. Let him lead you by the nose. Lanthimos knows exactly where he's going." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 4, 2011
3/5 73%

Chicken with Plums (2012)

"Sit in the front - and don't peer too hard - and Chicken With Plums casts an undeniable spell." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 4, 2011
4/5 83%

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

"A marvellously chill and acrid cold war thriller from Swedish director Tomas Alfredson." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 4, 2011
2/5 77%

A Dangerous Method (2011)

"A Dangerous Mind feels heavy and lugubrious. It is a tale that comes marinated in port and choked on pipe-smoke." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 1, 2011
4/5 71%

Carnage (2011)

"The acting comes at full throttle while the pacing cranks up the tension in agonising, incremental degrees." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 1, 2011
1/5 13%

W.E. (2012)

"What an extraordinarily silly, preening, fatally mishandled film this is." ‐Guardian
Posted Sep 1, 2011
3/5 No Score Yet

Desir (2011)

"Crazy Horse is languid, impressionistic and perhaps a shade overlong at 134-minutes." ‐Guardian
Posted Aug 31, 2011
3/5 84%

The Ides of March (2011)

"What remains is your classic compromise candidate: a film that set out with a crusading zeal but had its rough edges planed down en route to the nomination." ‐Guardian
Posted Aug 30, 2011
2/5 24%

Conan the Barbarian (2011)

"Here is a tale in which battle sequence spawns battle sequence and where the dialogue is rendered all-but unintelligible under the din of clashing steel and the screams of the mutilated." ‐Guardian
Posted Aug 24, 2011
3/5 93%

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2011)

"Padhila's cop thriller goes in with all guns blazing. This, the film suggests, is the only language these scum-bums understand." ‐Guardian
Posted Aug 11, 2011
2/5 38%

Beautiful Lies (Full Treatment)(De vrais mensonges) (2010)

"Only Sami Bouajila, playing the bemused, overeducated handyman-in-the-middle, emerges with his dignity relatively intact." ‐Guardian
Posted Aug 11, 2011
Showing 101 - 150 of 319