Stuart: A Life Backwards - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stuart: A Life Backwards Reviews

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June 7, 2016
A really great adaptation of the book. Dark yet funny. Poignant and uplifting. Fantastic performances by both Cumberbatch and Hardy.
½ March 28, 2016
Excellent must see,you should learn something from this .I did.
March 22, 2016
An incredible performance by Tom! So touching, so honest and real. It was amazing.
March 21, 2016
I stumbled across this film while browsing through HBO's movie list, and I'm very glad I did. Tom Hardy gives probably one of his best performances as the funny and heartbreaking Stuart, who I was surprised I ended up caring so much about. I loved how the story went back and forth from Stuart's life to the present day, because it kept revealing more and more about a homeless person anyone wouldn't have otherwise cared for. It's a painful reminder that the homeless are still people, which is something we often forget.
August 28, 2015
One of the most beautiful movies.
½ May 24, 2015
A lively and energetic biopic that is simultaneously heart-warming and heart-breaking. It's also home to two absolutely brilliant performances from Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch.
May 6, 2015
Amazing emotional story, great acting by everyone.
½ March 17, 2015
Really good, it was funny and at time serious, tom hardy was really really good and so was Benedict as always!
November 29, 2014
This film is based on a true story & it stars two absolutely fantastic actors early in their careers‚" Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy. It tells the story of a social worker who meets a man with mental health issues & learns about him- almost despite himself. They become friends & Stuart (the man with the mental health issues) agrees to allow the social worker to write his life story‚"with the condition that he write it starting at the end & progressing to childhood. It's quite a sad story, but it really made me think about Stuart's life‚"&from there it made the plight of the mentally ill who are fending for themselves due to cuts in funding for treatment much more real. An excellent, thought provoking film.
October 3, 2014
A very heartfelt story about an unusual friendship and an unfortunate life. Like the book, it's a movie with no answers, really, but it stays in your head.
½ September 15, 2014
Absolutely top performances from both Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch! One will find that earlier works around 2007 from Tom Hardy are amazing because he started to prove himself to be a chameleon and he can do any character he wants! This is truly a rather sad story as the audience will find a tragic trauma childhood affected Stuart for as long as one could imagine. Everything he did does not make one comfortable, yet it somehow warms you to learn that the unlikely friendship between Alexander and Stuart begins to become solid. Alexander likes Stuart because of his humour, intelligence, etc, which we would fail big to see from Stuart just by the look of him.
½ August 21, 2014
"My name is Psycho but you can call me Stuart if you want."

Before his breakout role in Bronson, Tom Hardy showed his true potential in a small made for TV film, Stuart A Life Backwards. He co-stared along another relatively unknown at the time, Benedict Cumberbatch (at least outside of Great Britain). These are two huge A-list actors today who have starred as villains in blockbusters like Star Trek Into Darkness and The Dark Knight Rises among many other great films. So I was immediately attracted to this film when I heard it starred these two actors. It is a biography of a troubled alcoholic and homeless man named Stuart(Tom Hardy) who establishes a friendship with a writer and charity worker named Alexander (Benedict Cumberbatch). We've seen these dramatic films exploring similar issues of unlikely friendships done before, but Stuart gives it a unique twist by telling the story beginning from the back. Because lets face it when we first meet someone like Stuart we are shocked at their current condition and we take little time to try to figure out what may have caused this strange behavior. We see who the person is at the present and by establishing a relationship we slowly begin to uncover things about their past, and that is exactly how Alexander presents Stuart to the audience. Stuart is a rather unconventional character, and Tom Hardy plays him brilliantly. He is an alcoholic who suffers from violent outbreaks. He also has suicide tendencies and suffers from muscular dystrophy which has taken its toll on him. But most of the time Stuart is a kind man with a dry sense of humor. He tells his story in a rather funny way adding a tragicomic touch to this film. Despite the strong performances from Cumberbatch and Hardy the film works mostly because of the way the film is narrated. As we learn more about Stuarts past we begin to sympathize with him and realize where he is coming from. It isn't a great film, but it is solid and it showed the true potential these lead actors had.

The film does feel a bit rushed at times and it suffers from trying to add a lot of information in only 90 minutes, making some scenes feel chopped and forced. Director David Attwood benefits mostly from this emotional true story and these two actors, who happened to be the main attraction for me and the reason why this film is getting some distribution currently on HBO. It isn't a perfect film, but it has a masterful physical performance delivered by Hardy who was just getting warmed up for his upcoming and breakout role in Bronson. I really loved the quirky approach the film took in telling this true story (which was actually based on the successful biography written by Alexander Masters), but it's far from being a perfect and memorable film. The animated scenes that Attwood decided to introduce to tell some parts of the story were a bit disturbing and took me out of the movie at times. But every time I was let down by these scenes, Tom Hardy showed up with another impressive scene and brought me right back in. It is a masterful performance and one that shows his unique talent as an actor. I am also thankful I watched this film with subtitles because sometimes it was difficult to understand what he was mumbling about, but it was still great voice work from his part. Cumberbatch played a more restricted character, but he also has some emotional scenes near the end where he proves he's a talented actor. It is a film worth checking out if you are a fan of these actors.
½ August 21, 2014
"My name is Psycho but you can call me Stuart if you want."

Before his breakout role in Bronson, Tom Hardy showed his true potential in a small made for TV film, Stuart A Life Backwards. He co-stared along another relatively unknown at the time, Benedict Cumberbatch (at least outside of Great Britain). These are two huge A-list actors today who have starred as villains in blockbusters like Star Trek Into Darkness and The Dark Knight Rises among many other great films. So I was immediately attracted to this film when I heard it starred these two actors. It is a biography of a troubled alcoholic and homeless man named Stuart(Tom Hardy) who establishes a friendship with a writer and charity worker named Alexander (Benedict Cumberbatch). We've seen these dramatic films exploring similar issues of unlikely friendships done before, but Stuart gives it a unique twist by telling the story beginning from the back. Because lets face it when we first meet someone like Stuart we are shocked at their current condition and we take little time to try to figure out what may have caused this strange behavior. We see who the person is at the present and by establishing a relationship we slowly begin to uncover things about their past, and that is exactly how Alexander presents Stuart to the audience. Stuart is a rather unconventional character, and Tom Hardy plays him brilliantly. He is an alcoholic who suffers from violent outbreaks. He also has suicide tendencies and suffers from muscular dystrophy which has taken its toll on him. But most of the time Stuart is a kind man with a dry sense of humor. He tells his story in a rather funny way adding a tragicomic touch to this film. Despite the strong performances from Cumberbatch and Hardy the film works mostly because of the way the film is narrated. As we learn more about Stuarts past we begin to sympathize with him and realize where he is coming from. It isn't a great film, but it is solid and it showed the true potential these lead actors had.

The film does feel a bit rushed at times and it suffers from trying to add a lot of information in only 90 minutes, making some scenes feel chopped and forced. Director David Attwood benefits mostly from this emotional true story and these two actors, who happened to be the main attraction for me and the reason why this film is getting some distribution currently on HBO. It isn't a perfect film, but it has a masterful physical performance delivered by Hardy who was just getting warmed up for his upcoming and breakout role in Bronson. I really loved the quirky approach the film took in telling this true story (which was actually based on the successful biography written by Alexander Masters), but it's far from being a perfect and memorable film. The animated scenes that Attwood decided to introduce to tell some parts of the story were a bit disturbing and took me out of the movie at times. But every time I was let down by these scenes, Tom Hardy showed up with another impressive scene and brought me right back in. It is a masterful performance and one that shows his unique talent as an actor. I am also thankful I watched this film with subtitles because sometimes it was difficult to understand what he was mumbling about, but it was still great voice work from his part. Cumberbatch played a more restricted character, but he also has some emotional scenes near the end where he proves he's a talented actor. It is a film worth checking out if you are a fan of these actors.
½ July 27, 2014
ok so Tom Hardy was really really good here
one of hidden gem movie :)
July 22, 2014
The only reason I'm giving it 3 stars is because of Tom Hardy. Overall it was ok, honestly if Tom Hardy hadn't of starred in it, I would of probably never of seen it. Even as a drug addicted homeless guy Tom Hardy was still really hot! There were some funny parts but really started to lose interest towards the end. It was Tom Hardy's "What's Eating Gilbert Grape".
July 22, 2014
pleasant enough at a purely surface level, but i couldn't help being deeply offended by this film. maybe i'm not in a position to have a valid opinion about this, having never had a relationship with a homeless or drug addicted person myself, but i found it absolutely baffling how no one in stuart's life made the slightest effort to help him. his family and alexander all sat back and chuckled wrily at his "antics" while stuart disintegrated before their eyes.
May 20, 2014
Really good performances by Cumberbatch and Hardy
April 24, 2014
Painful to watch but masterfully executed by Hardy.
February 23, 2014
Great movie cumberbatch really surprised me and Tom hardy is so talented its amazing to watch the story is incredible n it's so well acted I'd watch it again
February 5, 2014
A little offbeat, but amazing performances by both Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy before they were famous.
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