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Life may frustrate viewers seeking a James Dean biopic with its subject's intensity, but it remains a diverting, well-acted effort assembled with admirable craft and ambition. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 1955, young photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) develops a close bond with actor James Dean (Dane DeHaan) while shooting pictures of the rising Hollywood star.

Cast & Crew

Dane DeHaan
James Dean
Joel Edgerton
John Morris
Ben Kingsley
Jack Warner
Peter J. Lucas
Nicholas Ray
John Blackwood
Raymond Massey
Ron White
Uncle Marcus
Jessica Rose
Carol
Caitlin Stewart
Julie Harris
Luke Davies
Screenwriter
Wolfgang Mueller
Producer
Tessa Ross
Executive Producer
Mark Slone
Executive Producer
Michel Merkt
Executive Producer
Mark Roberts
Executive Producer
Sheldon Rabinowitz
Executive Producer
Ross Jacobson
Executive Producer
Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Cinematographer
Nick Fenton
Film Editor
Owen Pallett
Original Music
Anastasia Masaro
Production Design
Kimberley Zaharko
Art Director
Patricia Cuccia
Set Decoration
Gersha Phillips
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Life

Critic Reviews for Life

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (22)

  • Corbijn is great at taking real-life flesh and blood people and alchemically rendering them in striking 2-dimensional images that transcend and mythologize the reality, but "Life" shows him fall some way short of achieving the reverse.

    December 5, 2015 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • Both Pattinson and DeHaan could have used more to do, but both actors put in performances that elevate the proceedings.

    December 4, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A moody, leisurely and occasionally frustrating piece of work ...

    December 4, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The actors and their exchanges ring true, and by the time the film reaches its lonesome conclusion, the resonances are eerie.

    December 4, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Dig, if you will, the pictures, but you don't need "Life" as a stargazing aid.

    December 3, 2015 | Full Review…
  • I loved Ben Kingsley's over-the-top work as studio head Jack Warner, who in one scene explains the lay of the land to Mr. Dean in a manner that would inspire envy from Don Corleone. This guy isn't messing around.

    December 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Life

  • Dec 10, 2015
    By the time he was twenty-four years old James Dean had starred in three major films, would become a cultural icon symbolizing the tone of teenage America, but he would also be dead. While this public persona of the "rebel without a cause" pushed Dean to the forefront of pop culture we come to learn in director Anton Corbijn's (The American, A Most Wanted Man) new film that the real Dean was not as his persona suggested, but more the quiet kid in an acting class simply searching for something tangible, something that wasn't as arbitrary as the fame he was suddenly coming into. In Life, we pick up with Dean in 1955 shortly after wrapping East of Eden and just prior to landing the role in Rebel Without a Cause-only seven months or so before his untimely death. Surprisingly, Dean is not the main character of this story though, no, that would be photographer Dennis Stock (played here by Robert Pattinson). Stock was largely a set photographer employed by Magnum, a photo agency, who met Dean at party thrown by director Nicholas Ray (writer/director of Rebel). At this point in time, prior to East of Eden coming out, Dean wasn't even a household name, but after the actor and Stock hit it off at the party and Dean invited his new friend to a screening of his new film it became clear to Stock that there was something unique about the young man who couldn't have seemed more estranged or disillusioned with the ideas Hollywood was throwing at him. It is in this attitude, this kind of presented exterior by Dean with which Corbijn is intent on exploiting and exploring through he and Stock's relationship. More than anything though, this is a film about the relationship that develops between two different types of artists: the one who creates and the one who pulls back the layers of that creation. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Nov 06, 2015
    While not quite showing enough of James Dean's life, "LIFE" follows Dennis Stock as he takes photographs of James Dean in the most pivotal part of his career. Robert Pattinson and Dane Dehaan share great on-screen chemistry and I bought everything they were going through, even though I think both roles were slightly miscast. After only appearing in three feature films, James Dean died at age 24, but that aspect is not even explored throughout the course of this picture, and I was waiting for it. It never goes as deep as you want it to, but the character moments that the audience does receive, it terrific. This is a very well-written script and the filmmakers truly did capture the 50's era well, mimicking the settings of the classic photographs of the star. I really enjoyed watching this film, and for what it is, there is nothing structurally wrong with it, it just drags along, mostly do to the fact that there is no build up to a climax. The film is a build-up to James Dean's ultimate popularity and then it ends. Again, for what it is, it is well-acted and well-written, but ultimately doesn't give you everything you want. Overall, I had a nice time watching "LIFE."
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Oct 03, 2015
    An insufferable specimen of tabloid movie that is more concerned with being a who's-who of celebrities in 1955 instead of at least engaging as a narrative, and its failure can be attributed mainly to Pattinson (terrible) and DeHaan, who is completely miscast as James Dean.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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