For 60 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Xan Brooks' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Boyhood
Lowest review score: 20 A Fantastic Fear of Everything
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 60
  2. Negative: 1 out of 60
60 movie reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    The themes may be contentious, but the handling is perfect. If there were ever a movie to cause the lame to walk and the blind to see, The Master may just be it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    Under the Skin is perhaps best viewed as an icy parable of love, sex and loneliness.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    What an astonishing achievement; what a beautiful movie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    The Hunger Games is that rarest of beasts: a Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty. Ably filleted from the Suzanne Collins bestseller, it's a compelling, lightly satirical tale.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    If it's possible for a picture to be at once ideal and imperfect, then Damsels fits the bill.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Follow the film-maker. Let him lead you by the nose. Lanthimos knows exactly where he's going.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    The Dark Knight Rises may be a hammy, portentous affair but Nolan directs it with aplomb. He takes these cod-heroic, costumed elements and whisks them into a tale of heavy-metal fury, full of pain and toil, surging uphill, across the flyovers, in search of a climax.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Full credit to Korine, who sustains this act of creative vandalism right through to the finish. Spring Breakers unfolds as a fever dream of teenage kicks, a high-concept heist movie with mescal in the fuel tank.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Australian director Cate Shortland's drama is overflowing with such poetic visual touches, conjuring up a fairytale landscape of long shadows, wafting curtains and waving fronds.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Danish director Tobias Lindholm spins an exacting drama out of a crisis on this deft, verite-style account of Somali piracy in the Indian ocean. Full credit to A Hijacking for resisting the siren-call of Hollywood histrionics in favour of the nuts-and-bolts.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Julian Roman Pölsler's bewitching debut manages to be at once a creepy sci-fi parable, a feminist Robinson Crusoe and a clear-eyed ode to the wonders of nature experienced in solitude. Walden pond with added wall.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    The robust acting and sharp sense of the Bay Area milieu glides us nicely over the film's few soft patches.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Buckle up; it's quite a ride.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    You'd need a heart of stone not to be won over by Wadjda, a rebel yell with a spoonful of sugar and a pungent sense of a Riyadh society split between the home, the madrasa and the shopping mall.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    The film thrums with an ongoing existential dread. And yet, tellingly, Cuaron's film contains a top-note of compassion that strays at times towards outright sentimentality.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Joe
    Joe also stands as a reminder of what a terrific actor Cage can be when he is able to harness and channel his wilder impulses.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    This director, in the past, has shown herself to be an ace with the teasing, hanging ending and Night Moves saves the best for last.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Its main focus is the sparky, shifting relationship between its two protagonists and its trump card the startling chemistry between its two main stars.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Child of God is a shocking tale of backwoods lunacy and one man's descent into hell. Perhaps the most shocking thing about it is that it's really rather good.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    The Wolf of Wall Street, for all its abundant appeal, is no Greek tragedy. It lacks the wildness of Taxi Driver, the jeopardy of GoodFellas and the anguish of Raging Bull. Far better to view this as a stylistic homage, a remastered greatest hits compilation, an amiable bit of self-infringement.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac bludgeons the body and tenderises the soul. It is perplexing, preposterous and utterly fascinating.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    It is so laden with highly charged set pieces, so dappled with haunting ideas and bold flights of fancy that it finally achieves a kind of slow-burn transcendence.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Calvary boasts a sharp sense of place and a deep love of language. It's puckish and playful, mercurial and clever, rattling with gallows laughter as it paints a portrait of an Irish community that is at once intimate and alienated.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Webb's film is bold and bright and possesses charm in abundance. It swings into the future and carries the audience with it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    The Lunchbox is perfectly handled and beautifully acted; a quiet storm of banked emotions.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    A glorious jumping bean comedy that moves from the profane to the poignant in the blink of an eye.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    In fits and starts, this is a stunning picture. At its best, Winter Sleep shows Ceylan to be as psychologically rigorous, in his way, as Ingmar Bergman before him.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    In keeping with the spirit of Sebald's writing, Gee's film is teasing, elegant and perhaps inevitably unresolved: an invitation as opposed to a destination.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Sit in the front – and don't peer too hard – and Chicken With Plums casts an undeniable spell. It is bold, exotic and distinctive, particularly during the animated angel of death sequence.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    All of which works terrifically well up to a point.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    If Rise of the Guardians is finally never more than the sum of its parts, the parts themselves have real appeal.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Perhaps this tells us nothing new about life on the inside in the US (there are rapes, riots and suicides), but it at least handles its brief with pace and precision.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    The Congress contains tricks aplenty and ideas in abundance. The problem comes in herding these scattered, floating elements towards a satisfying whole.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    This hoary, hackneyed old cop-opera...is served with such relish that the fun proves infectious.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    A gorgeous yet ultimately frustrating tribute to the Japanese airplane designer Jiro Horikoshi.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    If the film finally doesn't tell us anything we did not already know, the approach makes a worn-out old tragedy feel supple and urgent.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    The film has a ragged charm, a Tiggerish bounce, and a certain sweet melancholy that bubbles up near the end.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    It's a professional old-school espionage outing, intricate as clockwork and acted with relish by the ever-watchable Hoffman. But it remains an oddly anonymous enterprise from this talented and distinctive director.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    God Help the Girl comes loose and easy, verging on the slipshod. It's warm and generous, verging on the sentimental; a film that crystallises the best and worst of Belle and Sebastian's songwriting skills.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    How ironic to realise that the greatest Mitt Romney campaign ad should arrive too late to save him.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    A sweet yet suspect romantic drama.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Amalric's handling is cool, studied and perhaps a little self-conscious. But he does a good job of showing how adultery is a noose that tightens at the throat even before an actual crime is committed - at which point the film grows altogether less interesting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    There is little in the film's pitch-black interior that wasn't tackled better – with more bite, wit and abandon – in "Happiness," "Welcome to the Dollhouse," or "Storytelling."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Little White Lies unspools as glossy, high-grade tosh, a sun-dappled Big Chill, without the rigour or insight required to make you care about these people and wonder which bed they will eventually wind up in.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Even Stallone's rumbling voiceover possesses the drooping tone of a lullaby – like 45rpm vinyl played at 33. And if you think that reference is retro, you should see the actual movie.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    I don't think it knows where it's going. I'm not even sure it cares.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    The plot is wildly silly and shot full of holes, maundering endlessly on its slow trawl towards the climax. But the cast at least play it like they mean it, and keep it honest for a spell.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    It has been converted into a proficient, machine-tooled horror flick, stuffed full of shocks and buttressed with back-story. Mama got so flabby the second time around.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Mandy Lane feels bogus and compromised: an unreconstructed horror romp in the guise of a nerdish intellectual.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Director, Eric Valette, is an exuberant market-stall trader, hawking knock-off ingredients.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    The spirits fly in and out of The Lone Ranger at random. It's nice to see them come and go. I just wish they'd stay for longer.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    The kids are charmless, the adults bemused.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Full credit to Hardy and Knight for making a film such as Locke. Low-budget film-makers could learn a lot from their method. And yet – having stripped away all but the bare necessities, having reduced the components to a car and a man – they make a classic error of overcompensation.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    This is a lazy, trashy film that barely goes through the motions.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    It plays as cut-price Le Carré; a recording of a recording of superior films. The picture is fuzzy, and the plot becomes garbled.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Even Cranston looks to be on auto-pilot here: he comes stomping through the action with a perma-scowl that suggests that his break from playing Walter White is little more than a busman's holiday.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Sattler's film leans on its actors too heavily. It heaps too many implausibilities upon their trembling shoulders. After an hour in Camp X-Ray, the strain starts to show.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    The pungent, ponderous final chapter of Sono's "Hate" trilogy (following Love Exposure and Cold Fish) bows out with lots of bangs and plenty of whimper.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Xan Brooks
    Crispian Mills's London-based horror-comedy is so spectacularly bungled that it leaves the viewer in a state of advanced petrification.