Meantime - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Meantime Reviews

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September 29, 2015
Life man, this film captures it brilliantly.
Some of the lowest of the lower class during a very low time in Britain, it's characters are all so true to form. The characters are all really great and I want to watch this time after time just to see Tim Roth's performance as Colin.
½ April 14, 2015
Meantime is superbly scripted, the performances outstanding, the impact powerful and lasting. It's a darkly funny, wry and gritty snapshot of 80's urban decay seen through the somewhat tarnished lens of a dysfunctional downtrodden family on an East London estate, the Pollocks. Up there with Mike Leigh's finest work.
½ September 28, 2014
Almost as boring as real life.
½ September 28, 2013
Mike Leigh's first feature film is up there with his best to date. It's a great slice of nostalgia, early 80's suburbia under Thatcher.
½ April 23, 2013
A searing indictment of contemporary society and the way it turns its residents into jittery caricatures--A beautiful and truthful film!!
October 9, 2012
Mike Leigh at his best, but then that's true of most of his films. Top notch acting, realistic script and an intense but gripping story. A perfect slice of social realism.
Super Reviewer
February 21, 2012
Like so many Mike Leigh productions, "Meantime" is essentially a film about nothing, but it does have several vivid performances and characterizations. The cast alone is irresistible to film buffs -- Tim Roth, Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina are all showcased near the start of their careers. (Warning: Oldman and Molina have very small parts, and the DVD cover which emphasizes Oldman is shamefully misleading).

Roth and Phil Daniels (perhaps best known for starring in 1979's "Quadrophenia," though his appearance is radically different here) play bickering brothers in a struggling, working-class family. Everyone is disillusioned and bitter, and Roth is doubly burdened because he's, well, apparently a dimwitted autistic. An exasperating mouth-breather hiding behind a muddy anorak and thick glasses, Roth presents a sharp contrast to the commanding, belligerent roles he usually takes. Actually, Daniels seems to grabbed the Roth-like part as a surly malcontent who manages to rub everyone the wrong way. Other important contributors include Pam Ferris and Jeff Robert as the equally miserable parents, and Marion Bailey as a vulnerable aunt who strains to put on a cheery face (think Dianne Wiest). Meanwhile, Peter Wight almost steals the movie in a hilarious, deadpan scene as a casually philosophical landlord.

One unusual flaw seriously hurts the appeal of "Meantime": Andrew Dickson's soundtrack. Outside of "Welcome to L.A." (1976), I can't think of another solid film so grossly sabotaged by an unlistenable score. Words alone cannot capture its wretchedness. Some instrument sounding like a tack piano or hammer dulcimer meanders up and down a small, ringing span of notes in a vaguely Middle Eastern mode, while a quacking saxophone occasionally intrudes to add extra color. The sheer torture of hearing the main instrument strain upward to the same quizzical notes plucked over and over again is something no one should have to experience twice. It's that awful. Really.
February 3, 2012
I love Gary Oldman, but that film was way too slow.
½ December 5, 2011
Not my kind of movie. And the music drove me insane.
December 4, 2011
Tim Roth is so heartbreaking in this. Loved it.
September 5, 2011
Shame to see Mike Leigh once again waste his actors' time (and mine) with this weary and meaningless caricature of the British unworking classes. After the fifth or sixth barrage of banal banter between Daniels' thuggish doley and his misanthropic parents, the infantile dialogue had me nodding in my chair long before its pointless finale. Stars for Gary Olman's energetic but ultimately wasted performance.
½ December 19, 2010
Ein relativ typischer britischer Film, der den trostlosen Alltag Anfang der 80er zeigt. Tim Roth wirkt trotz Hauptrolle eher ein bisschen blass und der Film hinterlšsst einen traurigen Nachgeschmack, aber so ist es wohl gemeint.
December 19, 2010
schysst Leigh-rulle med engelska skådiseliten.
lite risigt ljud så ett tips är att ha på engelska HOH.
lesleyanorton
Super Reviewer
November 5, 2010
English drama about a workshy family hanging around their council flat and going down the pub and bickering, mostly. Sometimes Mike Leigh's improv dramas work, sometimes they just dribble on for a bit and then stop. This is one of the dribblers, but it WAS his first film, so he's allowed. Anyway if he'd made it later his budget might never have stretched to the cast; Tim Roth plus Gary Oldman plus Alfred Molina plus Phil Daniels equals a meal at the Ritz for the price of a KFC bargain bucket.
November 4, 2010
This is what happens when families spend too much time together!
September 6, 2010
Mike Leigh's films often seem like cinema verite to me. "How does he achieve such realism?", I always ask. Meantime is a journey into the frustrations and paralysis of a lower-class English family. Also present are explorations of why people choose to be self-proclaimed anarchists. Gary Oldman (whom I normally charge with over-acting) is perfect in his role as a skin-head. Though the film is in English, there were some segments of dialogue that were completely indecipherable. Still, Leigh and the cast succeeded in taking me to a place that exists somewhere in England. These characters endure repeated indignity and frustration with a deadening calm, only to explode when it becomes too much. The eruption is not choreographed like Scorsese, however. It's more awkward and arbitrary; just like in real life.
½ September 1, 2010
lovely film! one of the few films of leighs, in which the characters have particular motives
September 1, 2010
watched it in film studies, as dull as a black rainbow on a black wall
½ September 1, 2010
One of Mike Leigh's best, imho. Very young Tim Roth and Gary Oldman, East London, early 1980s. Unemployment has hit 3 million and many have become disaffected. Now arguably, a piece of history.
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