The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The film never rises to the level of brilliant, but it has its brilliant moments. Many brilliant moments. And as a kind of off-kilter character study of three people in way over their collective heads, the story exudes a certain fascination.
It's a classy looking movie for sure, and as pleasant a travelogue as Ripley was in its day. But Highsmith's psychological edge is absent for much of this and its shade of noir has suffered a serious bleaching in all that Mediterranean sun.
This is a well-written and well-acted movie. The relationships in the triangle at the center of the film are not easily made convincing, but excellent acting makes it work. This is a very solid thriller with a lot of compelling emotional complexity.
Despite admirable moment-to-moment feats of actorly legerdemain from the primary and secondary cast alike, there's a deadly lack of heat. The costumes sing, the cigarettes fume. The simmer satisfies but never earns the tale's godless gloom.
As complicity, solicitude and self-interest blur and shimmer in the sun, the Highsmith-ian triangle of danger, deceit and desire tightens into a noose. A crisp, elegant throwback to a classic era of character-driven thrillers.
Amini is perhaps too intent on producing a film whose elegance outweighs its horrors, and as a result The Two Faces of January never fully delves into the hearts of darkness clearly beating beneath its mannered surface.