London Review of Books

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Marriage Story (2019) Michael Wood It may be that the very good acting of Johansson and Driver offers the best answers to these questions, not because they are plausibly ordinary, but because they seem to know so well what it means to leave their fantasy roles behind, bereft of magic... EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
The Irishman (2019) Michael Wood All of these performances are amazing, but I would single out Pesci for special mention. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) Michael Wood I keep wondering how the film manages to stay so light in spite of the notional black comedy of its plot. I think it has something to do with the sense of being out of time that I mentioned earlier: not timeless, but resistant to time. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
L.A. Confidential (1997) Michael Wood What makes LA Confidential such a perfect film of the Nineties is not that the legend takes over from the fact, since that's almost invariably the case, but that the legend is so knowingly, so unanxiously embraced -- as legend. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Amy (2015) Lidija Haas Winehouse, both in her public appearances and in the private films and audio recordings, is funny, sharp, brash, as crude as she is elegant. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Gangs of New York (2002) Joshua Brown Gangs of New York is to Fernando Wood's Manhattan what Fellini's Satyricon is to Nero's Rome, with a touch of Monty Python filth on the faces and clothes. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Paul Joannides Spielberg's visual inventiveness in much of E.T. is of sufficiently high quality to make one regret those passages where he falls below his best. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Michael Wood The late unsuperness of our heroes may be a real guide, a source of hope rather than disappointment. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Roma (2018) Michael Wood Yalitza Aparicio underacts so wonderfully, does so little with words, that we almost always know what her character is feeling: when she is contented, entertained, worried, frightened. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
Miami Vice (2006) Michael Wood You come away with your head full of images, and ready to go back for more. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2018
V for Vendetta (2006) Michael Wood Although V for Vendetta doesn't have the sneaky pop sophistication of at least the first Matrix film, it does often deliver its hokum with quite a bit of flair. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2018
Inside Man (2006) Michael Wood It appears to be a heist movie, but it's too slow for the genre, and the tension keeps slackening into comedy... There are plenty of plot twists, but the comedy is much better than the tension was ever going to be. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2018
Spider-Man (2002) Jonathan Lethem Tobey Maguire brings to the film a tenderness and also a watchfulness... His ability to endow lines as basic as "Goblin, what have you done?" with introspective echoes carries the film to a deeper place. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2018
Court (2014) Isabel Stevens Court isn't a typical courtroom drama. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2018
Leviathan (2012) Isabel Stevens Exhilarating, disorienting. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2018
Twilight (2008) Jenny Turner In accordance with the adage about the rubbishy book making for the better movie, Twilight the film is great. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2018
The Happening (2008) Andrew O'Hagan One of the most interesting movies of the year, despite being one of the worst. It offers a study in what happens to the mind of a talented moviemaker when he is caught between commercial hysteria and his own engulfing ego. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2018