The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The Beguiled is better directed than it is written... In its study of interpersonal rivalry and sexual tension, the film doesn't say anything that wasn't better articulated in Don Siegel's 1971 adaptation.
The actors pitch their roles perfectly: Kidman's breathy calm; Farrell's charm, just hinting at something dark within it; Fanning's way of prettily arranging herself, showing off Alice's newfound power; Dunst's quiet melancholy.
This new adaptation by Sofia Coppola unfolds from a more feminine sensibility, and like her first and best feature, The Virgin Suicides, it sets out to expose the inner dynamics and frustrated sexuality of a small, mysterious cloister of women.
A few of the performances, especially Nicole Kidman's, as the lady in charge, and Kirsten Dunst's, as the teacher pining to flee with the corporal, have some bite, but not enough to make much of an imprint in this brittle, vaporous chamber piece.
The Beguiled isn't Coppola's strongest film, but it's her smartest and most skillful in portraying how the dynamics of a group of women can warp and weft under outside pressure, turning from community to competition.
Coppola's The Beguiled doesn't so much negate the festering male paranoia as reclaim the point of view for the women it targets. Then she bats the premise around like a graceful cat with an addled mouse in its paws.
The strength of her film transcends the soldier's power to seduce. We're beguiled, as an audience, by seeing this male animal as he is seen, and for better and worse experienced, by a diverse and dynamic group of females.
Coppola immerses us in a world of verdant outdoor beauty, hushed indoor quiet, and dutiful routine. It's a nice place to visit, but we can see in the yearning glances of the women that living there would be another matter entirely.