The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (54)
| Top Critics (16)
| Fresh (34)
| Rotten (20)
The comic and tragic elements are nicely balanced, and the three families' stories neatly and economically knit together.
Although there are some light moments and traces of dark humor, Broken's overall aura is one of dread.
An absorbing coming-of-age drama that suddenly, pointlessly self-destructs with an onslaught of cheap ironies and overkill.
[It] drives its plot via an interesting and unusual character: the female victim who's actually a wholesale liar.
"Broken'' embraces the sort of unappealing British miserabilism perfected by "Ratcatcher" director Lynne Ramsay.
At a certain point, Mr. Norris forsakes realism for theatricalized fantasy, and "Broken" ultimately loses its stylistic cohesion, if not its humanity.
Filled with devastating drama, but also capable of many endearing moments, Norris' Broken is an affecting British indie which gets the most out of its story thanks to the talented ensemble and an excellent lead performance.
At least a soap opera has the luxury of spreading its quota of sensationalism over many years. Concertinaed into a time span of mere days and distributed among only three households, the litany of suffering in Broken can appear hysterical.
Director Rufus Norris bleakly contrasts ugly acts of violence with innocent pockets of childhood in this simple yet richly nuanced film.
Shot with a lovely warm hue by Rob Hardy, Broken has enough great moments to make it worthwhile. Yet, the naggingly problematic final sequences leave a bitter taste. Do they undo a solid first hour? That's up to the individual viewer.
Broken simply can't get it together on any level, delivering a tedious drama, that for all the characters and over-emoting, doesn't have much to say.
A startlingly natural performance by Ms. Laurence, along with her superb supporting cast under the mostly spot-on direction by Norris, help make all the Sturm und Drang that occurs within 'Broken' extremely palatable.
An eleven-year-old girl comes of age against the violent backdrop of her neighborhood.
Director Rufus Norris resorts to some cheap tricks with non-sequential narration, but the central story is pretty good. After violence erupts in her neighborhood, Skunk, wonderfully played by Eloise Laurence, wonders why adults behave with such cruelty, and her father seems to have as much understanding as she does. At its core, Broken is about violence and dread and the mystery of cruelty and prejudice. These are interesting themes, and while they're not fully realized, the film remains basically compelling.
Overall, this isn't a bad film, but Norris's gimmicks wore on me, especially after he went to the same bag of tricks for the third time.
This is a pretty damn good coming-of-age film with some top-notch performances, great cinematography. The main problem, however, is the incredibly melodramatic last act of the film, especially when it really didn't need to be as I was already invested in the characters and the story, and the fact that the film got so dramatic at the end there really took away from what had been a great movie until that point. Yes, there's a lot of symbolism in the last 10 minutes of the film but it could've beem done in a way that wasn't as emotionally exploitative as it was. Even with that I appreciated how everything in the film seemed to play a part in the ending. I don't think any scene is wasted or used for purposes that don't benefit the climax of the film, so I'm glad the film was so focused on its story. I liked the chemistry between the cast, it felt real and organic rather than rigid and heavily scripted. That works wonders when you're trying to tell this type of story and I think the kid actors, in particular Eloise Laurence, the lead actress, really benefited from that chemistry as it made them more outgoing and genuinely feel like they were a family. The writing is solid and the story, if not particularly unique, is still well-told with a great cast to certainly help elevate that story. I was a bit disappointed with the melodrama in the third act, particularly when the film had been so great without it, but this is still a damn good movie and definitely worth giving a shot to if you have Netflix.
The story of events going on in a neighborhood is a bit engaging, but considering the overall experience the flick offers, IMO, it's mediocre at best.
11 year-old Skunk (Laurence) lives in a suburban English cul-de-sac with her divorced father Archie (Roth) and 14 year-old brother Jed (Milner). Also sharing the house is Polish au-pair Kasia (Marjanovic) who has been dating Irish teacher Mike for several years but, growing tired of his fear of commitment, begins to conduct an affair with Archie. Skunk is friendly with Rick, a mentally challenged young man who is sectioned following a violent attack from neighbor Oswald, whose daughter falsely accused him of rape. When Mike rescues Skunk from an attack by Oswald's bullying young daughters, he too is accused of rape and finds himself the victim of their father's anger.
Both my plot synopsis and the film's marketing would have you believe 'Broken' is yet another gritty urban British drama but this couldn't be further from the truth. For the most part, 'Broken' is charmingly upbeat, full of characters who are so damn nice you can't help but grin like an idiot while you watch them. Roth has called this his most difficult role as he's never been called on to play such an out and out nice guy before. Like 'Little Children' and 'Welcome to the Dollhouse', it focuses on how ill-equipped most of us are to deal with human relationships. You're never sure whether you want to give its characters a hug or a smack, but they're thoroughly engaging either way. What ultimately keeps 'Broken' from becoming a great film, rather than a merely good one, is an overly sentimental final act which hinges on an incident that's all too predictable.
While the entire ensemble deliver top-notch performances, it's Laurence who steals the show. Like Thomas Doret in last year's 'The Kid With a Bike', she delivers a genuinely child-like performance. Unlike many child actors, you never feel like you're just watching a miniature adult. She manages to evoke the character's intelligence without ever coming across as arrogant or unlikable. Mark O'Rowe's script helps of course. Viewing adult problems through a child's eyes could have been handled in a far more trite manner. If this were an American studio production (or even an indie like 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'), no doubt we'd have to endure an irritating voice-over in which Laurence tells us how she's so much cleverer than us grown-ups.
Like the best movies about childhood, 'Broken' asks plenty of questions but never has the arrogance to attempt to answer them.
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