London Review of Books

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
One Night in Miami (2020) Michael Wood [There are] four sequences that have the feel of allegorical fables, each showing a moment of change in a man's life and preparing the ground for the night of the film's title, when four paths will cross and when key questions come into focus. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Mank (2020) Michael Wood It's slow, funny, thoughtful, and asks all its questions in delicately indirect ways. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2021
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) Michael Wood Lavish, stylish, sometimes silly, always engaging. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2021
Heimat (1984) Carole Angier Edgar Reitz's Heimat is not just a brilliant film about Germany. It is a brilliant film about our time, anywhere -- perhaps about any time anywhere. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2021
Time (2020) Michael Wood The film is very conscious of how mobile the mind can be in relation to time, and how good the medium is at keeping up with this roving. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
Enola Holmes (2020) Michael Wood It's clear that both character and actress are having an equally good time. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) Michael Wood It holds many more mysteries than the novel. Too many, in fact, for any single solution, though pieces of the plot do hint at a sort of answer, which as it happens is also the one the novel provides. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2020
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) Michael Wood The movie doesn't really know what to do with the unruly implications it has manufactured. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (2020) Michael Wood [Lindo] portrays a man who says he is broken but also loves his brokenness, somehow believing that it allows him to get the better of everything else. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2020
The Truth (2019) Michael Wood The film is well written and directed, but none of it would work without the amazing work of its leading women. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2020
Napoleon (1927) Anita Brookner Above all, there is energy, extravagance, ambition, orgiastic pleasure, high drama and the desire for endless victory: not only Napoleon's destiny but everyone's most central hope. EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2020
Arkansas (2020) Michael Wood Arkansas in many ways feels more like a play or a talk show than a movie, and... it can be very funny when there doesn't seem much to laugh at. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2020
Hitler: A Film From Germany (1977) David Blackbourn Syberberg eschews a naturalistic or documentary style of presentation. There may be more hard facts than soft focuses in the film, but the facts are woven into images from which they are inseparable. EDIT
Posted May 6, 2020
The Servant (1963) Michael Wood Joseph Losey's The Servant hasn't lost any of its mystery over the years since 1963; it might even have gained a bit. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2020
Parasite (2019) Michael Wood [A] funny, inventive, scary film. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2020
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