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94

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: Mr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the life of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship withMr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the life of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 18, 2014
    100
    Mr. Turner does resemble "Topsy-Turvy" in its meticulous yet vibrant recreation of the past and its ever-expanding thematic amplitude. This is a movie not only about one particular artist, but about art as both a field of human endeavor and an object of shifting cultural and economic value.
  2. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Dec 23, 2014
    100
    Performances are still the heart of Leigh’s work, and at the heart of this film is an extraordinary performance by Leigh’s frequent collaborator, the British actor Timothy Spall.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Feb 2, 2015
    100
    Mr. Turner is no barrel of laughs. It's a barrel of life - an extraordinary one.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Mar 1, 2015
    91
    Relaxed editing and well-researched set and costumes give us a firm feeling of the period, and Dick Pope (who has worked with Leigh 10 times) excels. It’s a cliche to say a cinematographer does painterly work, but Pope suffuses the screen with light in the way Turner did his canvases.
  5. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Dec 17, 2014
    90
    Leigh’s generous approach to capturing the fullness of Turner’s life, through unhurried rhythms and scenes, makes Mr. Turner memorable.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 17, 2014
    88
    Leigh embraces the contradictions in Turner. And in tandem with cinematographer Dick Pope, a master of light, he shows us the world as Turner sees it. The effect is harsh and ravishing. Leigh's beauty of a movie touches the heart not by sentimental gush but by the amplitude of its art.​
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Dec 17, 2014
    50
    Mr. Spall, winner of the Cannes and New York Film Critics Circle best-actor awards, does his best to bring an unpleasant character to life — grunting and snorting like a boar ready to charge, spitting on his canvases and dragging around with a constant wince like a fat baby with colic. With all due respect, he’s too repulsive to watch for 150 minutes.

See all 43 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 9 out of 22
  1. Jan 8, 2015
    10
    Mr. Turner could be Mike Leigh's (71) most accomplished work in a remarkable career where every film from Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake toMr. Turner could be Mike Leigh's (71) most accomplished work in a remarkable career where every film from Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake to Another Year have been staggering humanist masterpieces.
    Visually Mr Turner is Leigh's most gorgeous film, filling the screen with scenic beauty and human warmth.
    Mr. Turner also contains some of Leigh's best tightly controlled and masterfully executed drama.
    Timothy Spall too as Turner is simply a magnificent dominating screen presence, bringing years and years of acting experience to a role that lends such philosophical and emotional weight.
    Awards season beckons!
    Expand
  2. Feb 7, 2015
    10
    This is one of the best films I have ever seen. Timothy Spall is outstanding in the role of Turner. The film reeks of authenticity and isThis is one of the best films I have ever seen. Timothy Spall is outstanding in the role of Turner. The film reeks of authenticity and is beautifully paced reflecting the time in which it is set. It paints a picture of a real person, not some artificially spruced up polished character. Turner was by all accounts as Spall plays him, taciturn, gruff and direct. It is a reflection on the state of the Oscars that this performance has not been recognized as worthy of contention. A great film, a great director in Mike Leigh and a great actor in Spall my opinion. Expand
  3. Dec 19, 2014
    8
    Opening inauspiciously, Mr. Turner threatens to give credence to the phrase ‘worthy but dull’. As the film goes on, though, it slowly drawsOpening inauspiciously, Mr. Turner threatens to give credence to the phrase ‘worthy but dull’. As the film goes on, though, it slowly draws you in to the richness of its characters and period. Leisurely paced, beautifully designed and, as with all Mike Leigh’s best films, elevated by some wonderful performances from many of his regular collaborators. Timothy Spall plays the famed painter in the last years of his life as an unsympathetic crude man and is totally believable grunting and scowling his way through the film. Nevertheless, he is all but eclipsed by two women in the cast. Dorothy Atkinson is outstanding as his doting housekeeper, and Marion Bailey is equally fine as the woman who became his last mistress. He meets her during one of his stays at her lodgings in Margate, the town of inspiration for much of his greatest work.
    Throughout its 150 minutes, director Mike Leigh pays exquisite attention to detail and the look of the film is so precise that you can almost smell and feel the period. The costumes are beautiful renditions of the time but have an authentic lived in look, and the hair and make- up is also of a high standard. Only the music disappoints as it is far to glum and depressing. Admittedly the film is not a barrel of laughs, but there is enough occasional humour peppered within the screenplay to have afforded a less melancholic score from composer Gary Yershon.
    Expand
  4. Dec 26, 2014
    4
    Despite beautiful cinematography, an intriguing soundtrack and a career performance by Timothy Spall, this overlong, meandering, unfocusedDespite beautiful cinematography, an intriguing soundtrack and a career performance by Timothy Spall, this overlong, meandering, unfocused biopic brings us no closer to understanding the protagonist or the motivations behind his life and his art than we did at the picture's outset. For Mike Leigh, a writer-director known for his character studies, this is a major disappointment, where the principal element of his filmmaking style is almost wholly lacking. It's a true mystery why this film is being lavished with such undeserved praise. Expand
  5. Feb 27, 2015
    2
    Extremely disappointed. From other reviews, I was expecting a decent portrayal of Turner's artistic life, quirks, passions and lots ofExtremely disappointed. From other reviews, I was expecting a decent portrayal of Turner's artistic life, quirks, passions and lots of landscape colors. I got those, but not in a very cohesive manner. Instead, you got a poor script that had no flow or continuity- kept jumping around and you were trying to make sense of a scene as to what it was saying and why it was there and then you were somewhere else in an instant. As for Turner's character, you needn't have thought it was an international film- if you like scowling, grunting and growling, they are universal in any language. When Turner wasn't doing the foregoing, he talked like he had marbles in his mouth. I usually don't have problems understanding British dialect having lived over there for a long time, but I had problems with getting the lines in this film- mostly because he never opened his mouth except to pout. I can understand a generally grumpy personality, but this portrayal kept pulling me out of the realm of credibility- here sits Mrs. Booth (his pseudo-wife at the end of his life), smiling brightly like the sun in the sky, smiling coquettishly at a squinty-eyed Scrooge- we're really supposed to believe that anyone could be attracted to such a man as portrayed? Bah Humbug! (I kept expecting him to say it at any moment.) It really was a shame because the cinematography, music, costumes and production design were all Oscar worthy (for which they were nominated and I agreed). It should have been also nominated for human sound effects- if they could just reshoot it without them, it would have been a much better film! Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2015
    0
    One of the worst "best" movie I ever watched, boring, long, weird English accent and fancy vocabularies that no one understands, even withOne of the worst "best" movie I ever watched, boring, long, weird English accent and fancy vocabularies that no one understands, even with subs I can hardly understand the movie. Expand
  7. Dec 19, 2014
    0
    I'll get right to the point, Mr. Turner is absolutely horrible. A movie that is painful to watch because of its unbearable length, extremeI'll get right to the point, Mr. Turner is absolutely horrible. A movie that is painful to watch because of its unbearable length, extreme boredom, a main character that nobody will like and a story of utter trash. Mr. Turner is everything a movie shouldn't be. I hated literally every minute of this ridiculous 150 minute film. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews

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