Mr. Turner 2014

Mr. Turner

Critics Consensus

Led by a masterful performance from Timothy Spall and brilliantly directed by Mike Leigh, Mr. Turner is a superior Hollywood biopic.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 193

56%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,300

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Movie Info

Eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall) lives his last 25 years with gusto and secretly becomes involved with a seaside landlady, while his faithful housekeeper (Dorothy Atkinson) bears an unrequited love for him.

Cast & Crew

Timothy Spall
J.M.W. Turner
Marion Bailey
Sophia Booth
Paul Jesson
William Turner
Lesley Manville
Mary Somerville
Martin Savage
Benjamin Robert Haydon
Ruth Sheen
Sarah Danby
Mike Leigh
Screenwriter
Tessa Ross
Executive Producer
Norman Merry
Executive Producer
Gail Egan
Executive Producer
Dick Pope
Cinematographer
Suzie Davies
Production Design
Jon Gregory
Film Editor
Gary Yershon
Original Music
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News & Interviews for Mr. Turner

Critic Reviews for Mr. Turner

All Critics (193) | Top Critics (51) | Fresh (187) | Rotten (6)

  • Mike Leigh's biopic is so richly detailed that it feels like a documentary. Spall goes for broke in the outsize title role.

    February 6, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Rafer Guzman

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • There is little in the way of narrative eventfulness in the film, but Leigh luxuriates in the moments, and provides glimpses of what it takes to be an artist amid the fray.

    February 2, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • At 150 minutes, it's a little too long but there are stretches during its course when it captivates and amazes.

    January 23, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • You leave "Mr. Turner," as with all good fact-based films, wanting to know more about this man and his work - and remembering that beautiful, almost touchable light, on the canvas and on the screen.

    January 22, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • For modern moviegoers, the earthy "Mr. Turner" may seem like slowly steeped tea with an unpleasant aftertaste. But while some are impatiently waiting for the paint to dry, astute viewers will see a cinematic landscape bloom.

    January 15, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • If the past is a foreign country, then "Mr. Turner" is one of the most rhapsodic foreign films you may ever see.

    January 12, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mr. Turner

  • Mar 17, 2016
    Timothy Spall extraordinarily gives impressionistic life to one of Britain's best impressionistic painters. With only a few strokes one is given the idea of a soul (of whom, really, we all can only guess) who happened to create paintings that communicate how indescribable any given moment in life itself really is. Mike Leigh has taken this as a labor of love and the work is often punctuated with landscapes as evocative as those of Mr.Turner's creation. We are seldom far from his work. As well, all the women in his life are remarkably portrayed, with a depth greater than the artist and acheived with fewer lines.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2015
    Reading other audience reviews, it's clear that most viewers are unaccustomed to dealing with any bu the crudest narrative techniques, and the most obvious characterizations. Mike Leigh's style of direction, where character is built slowly up from improvisation, and the delicacy of Timothy Spall's art is lost on people who need a loud argument to denote emotional tension. The film is leisurely, sure: and Spall's artist is a man with rough manners but there's a feast of delicate, expert work to enjoy. Turner emerges through a series of social and personal vignettes as he interacts with his family, his friends and rivals, his society and the landscape, which Leigh photographs with a rapturous formal beauty that comes close to equaling not just Turner, but much of the great 18th century painters .It is a subdued work filled with quiet passion and, if you think it is boring, you had better avoid looking at too many pictures.
    Charles B Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2015
    Beautiful looking deadly bore.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • May 10, 2015
    The portrait painted of the artist in "Mr. Turner" is as muddled and murky as his paintings were perceived to be by Victorian London. Despite exceptional costumes, sets and locations, despite very good acting, and despite a sublime soundtrack, "Mr. Turner" is a complete failure of storytelling. Turner's motives are never explained other than that he is a fading star whose avant-garde work is not appreciated (although that is not a clear motivation in his relationships since his mistreatment of women seems to far predate his fall from the artistic firmament). Is he a misogynist who rapes and abandons the women in his life and who has merely moved on to the next? Or does he love the women in his life but feels he must hurt and deceive them in order to protect them (...from WHAT?)? The unanswered questions are legion and should not be mistaken for subtle script writing where clues supporting either conclusion are placed throughout the film. There are no clues, and any conclusions drawn by the audience are necessarily based on pure speculation. "Mr. Turner" should have been a five-star film, but the lack of a discernible story leaves the film a mere period atmosphere piece with no compelling reason to see it.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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