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

T-Meter Title | Year
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 28% 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 49% 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 98% 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 61% 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 93% 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 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) 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
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 EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2014
97% 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 EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2014
4/5 73% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2014
4/5 87% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2014
2/5 67% A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014) [A] reductive, bone-headed detective yarn ... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2014
4/5 73% Pasolini (2014) It's profane and it's precious and it glows like the moon. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 2, 2014
4/5 49% Manglehorn (2015) The finest performance Pacino has delivered in years. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2014
3/5 91% Birdman (2014) Is it a redundancy to complain that Birdman lacks soul? Maybe so. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2014
2/5 22% 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) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2014
3/5 67% Lucy (2014) Rollickingly entertaining - up to a point. - Observer (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2014
3/5 42% 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) EDIT
Read More | 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) EDIT
Read More | 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) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2014
2/5 73% 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) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2014