Xan Brooks

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

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
21% Practical Magic (1998) Essentially a sibling soap-opera with a dash of mumbo-jumbo. - Independent on Sunday EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2019
27% The Odd Couple II (1998) The two stars work hard to keep it upright. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
42% Left Luggage (2001) Fitful as drama, the film comes to life as a showcase for its high-profile performers. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
No Score Yet The Knowledge of Healing (1997) The Dalai Lama and his personal doctor make for reliable sources, but the whole thing proves too info-heavy and indigestible. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
97% Insomnia (1998) It's [Stellan Skarsgard's] controlled performance that galvanises this otherwise underpowered thriller. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
26% Hope Floats (1998) A winsome piece that turns a loving eye on Sandra Bullock as a down-in-the-dumps ex-beauty queen. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
88% Fire (1996) Strong ensemble playing riffs nicely off [writer and director Deepa] Mehta's taboo- bucking script. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
49% Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) The one stand-out is Johnny Depp, who brings Hunter S Thompson to bald-headed, pigeon-toed life. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
80% Destiny (1998) Destiny takes wing with a burst of traditional dance and deep-colour visuals. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
54% Blade (1998) Noise and martial-arts action mask its tinny pedigree. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/5 46% Bride of Chucky (1998) Bride of Chucky strings together a series of humorous asides and knee-jerk shock tactics. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
2/5 23% Just the Ticket (1999) [Director Richard] Wenk's debut has a certain baggy energy, but it finally has too little to say, and spends too long saying it. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
2/5 96% Croupier (2000) Script and direction play safe throughout. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3/5 59% Venus Beauty Institute (2000) Director Tonie Marshall maps out the drama with soul and delicacy. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
2/5 41% Celebrity (1998) Unfortunately in Celebrity, Woody Allen's line of attack is compromised by his being at least half in love with the very glitterati he sets out to savage. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
5/5 96% Touch of Evil (1958) Citizen Kane may be the more weighty, rounded work, but Touch of Evil is a heap more fun. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3/5 54% Cruel Intentions (1999) The abruptly moralising ending bumps this down a notch or two. Until then Cruel Intentions makes for smart and nasty entertainment: disservice with a smile. - Independent (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
60% Rush Hour (1998) A brief sequence where he weaves between tour bus, truck and camper van views like a kung-fu version of Singin' In The Rain. But Chan's physical poetry is boxed inside narrow margins. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
2/5 38% Angel Face (Gueule d'ange) (2018) Angel Face lacks shading, pacing and nuance. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2018
3/5 100% Oh Lucy! (2018) The tone see-saws wildly. What prevents it collapsing are the warm, heartfelt performances, together with Hirayanagi's obvious affection for her chief protagonist. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2017
4/5 94% Foxtrot (2018) It is a fierce, urgent, unflinching picture. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2017
5/5 90% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) What is most impressive about McDonagh's movie is its freewheeling nature, its bottle-rocket sensibility; its awareness that people can turn 180 degrees on a dime. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2017
2/5 40% The Private Life of a Modern Woman (2017) The Private Life of a Modern Woman is written and directed by James Toback, a once-talented iconoclast now largely fighting shadows. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2017
2/5 65% Victoria & Abdul (2017) What a peculiarly dodgy, conservative film this is - a lazy salute to a good queen and her faithful Indian servant. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2017
3/5 37% The Leisure Seeker (2018) The Leisure Seeker isn't the sort of picture to start meddling with ... formula, but it sets about its business with a satisfying efficiency. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2017
3/5 91% Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) Zahler's film is entertaining, incorrigible and borderline incoherent - it is the violent drunk at the party, liable to lash out. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2017
2/5 27% Suburbicon (2017) I just wish the actual film wasn't so skimpy and brash and so evidently pleased with itself. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2017
3/5 85% West of Sunshine (2017) Hill and Perham are a real-life stepfather and son, which probably helped with the ease of the acting. Both, though, deserve credit for excellent, affecting performances. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2017
4/5 90% Our Souls at Night (2017) It won me over from the very first scene. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2017
4/5 91% Lean on Pete (2018) Haigh's film is never less than heartfelt and affecting. It cares deeply for Charlie and hopes we do, too. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2017
5/5 96% Zama (2018) A picture that's antic, sensual and strange, with a top-note of menace and a malarial air. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2017
4/5 92% The Shape of Water (2017) Del Toro provides just enough spade-work to keep the scheme plausible and his film is stylish and charming; red meat for the senses with some sugar on top. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2017
3/5 93% First Reformed (2018) First Reformed is a deeply felt, deeply thought picture; impressive in its seriousness and often gripping in the way it frames itself as a debate and a sermon. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2017
5/5 48% Downsizing (2017) What a spry, nuanced, winningly digressive movie this is. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2017
100% Fires on the Plain (Nobi) (1959) Brilliantly bonkers and bloody. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2017
4/5 92% 24 Frames (2018) Kiarostami has gone but the work lives on. His unconscious, I think, has infected us all. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2017
3/5 92% A Prayer Before Dawn (2018) No one would accuse it of breaking new ground, or finding fascinating new paths across its well-worn prison yard. But Sauvaire's drama is lean and trim and unwavering in its task. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2017
2/5 46% How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2018) The director's lost and his panic is contagious. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2017
4/5 97% The Fits (2016) Like Alfred Hitchcock before her, Holmer realises that a threat is most frightening when it wafts in at random, when it can't be explained. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2017
2/5 85% 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) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2016
3/5 55% Mum's List (2016) It's warm to the touch, slightly soft in the middle. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2016
2/5 60% Allied (2016) The real problem is Pitt, who gives his flattest, most uninteresting performance this side of Troy. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2016
3/5 91% 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) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2016
2/5 80% 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) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2016
2/5 22% 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) EDIT
Read More | 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) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2016
5/5 91% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2016
75% The BFG (2016) Stitched together with an old-fashioned care that belies its performance-capture technique. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2016
2/5 88% [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 EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2015