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95

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 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: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Zwecker
    Dec 23, 2014
    100
    Mr. Turner is far more than merely an explosion of color and toned nuance for the eye. The real reason to make this a must-see of this holiday season is to wallow in the Oscar-worthy acting talent of Leigh’s veteran player Timothy Spall.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 18, 2014
    100
    Just as Turner's expressive, enthralling work changed the nature of painting, Mr. Turner, anchored in the rock of Timothy Spall's astonishing, Cannes prize-winning performance, pushes hard against the strictures of conventional narrative and ends up pulling us into its world and capturing us completely.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 24, 2014
    100
    What a glorious film this is, richly and immediately enjoyable, hitting its satisfying stride straight away. It's funny and visually immaculate; it combines domestic intimacy with an epic sweep and has a lyrical, mysterious quality that perfumes every scene, whether tragic or comic.
  4. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Dec 22, 2014
    100
    Turner's painting of the scene, The Fighting Temeraire will, in fact, become his masterpiece. As Mr. Turner is Mike Leigh's — a growling, snuffling, earthy work of art, every frame worthy of framing.
  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 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 3 out of 9
  1. Dec 20, 2014
    9
    Saw this a month or so ago when it came out in the UK (hint hint metacritic.) Not the sort of thing I would typically go an see, but was underSaw this a month or so ago when it came out in the UK (hint hint metacritic.) Not the sort of thing I would typically go an see, but was under a modicum of duress and had heard reports of it being very good. I was blown away within the first 10 minutes, the photography is stunning, the acting is phenomenal and my suspension of disbelief was absolute. A movie so good it doesn't need a plot.

    I did find it slightly over-long, but that probably had more to do with the cinema seats rather than what was happening on-screen.
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  2. Dec 26, 2014
    8
    A soundtrack lifted straight out of Looney Tunes couldn't have been more mismatched than this one. Were it not for far better film-making andA soundtrack lifted straight out of Looney Tunes couldn't have been more mismatched than this one. Were it not for far better film-making and the subject, this music would have stood alone as psychotic. Any attempts at compassion and sheer wonder were panned by a score that couldn't have been more insular and ridiculous. I still give the film an easy 8 out of a possible 10. 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.
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  4. Dec 19, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was going into this film expecting a masterpiece of a film, seeing that all the critics were praising this film like it was the second coming of Christ, however, it was just an okay film. I really enjoyed the scenery and the recreation of the time period and the acting, if somewhat hammy in parts( most people in the audience laughed at Turners breakdown in the brothel), was good. A lot of creaitivity was put into this and I really appreciate the effort made. That being said I found this film rather mundane in parts and the narrative jagged, it comes across as segments of him acting rather unsavoury and I didn't think the film really explored what made Mr Turner tick or any clarity for the audience to empathizes with him. Its like you almost see snippets of humanity in him but then its just dropped in the next instance. Also I found the music rather dull and gloomy and really undermines the tone of the film which seems to transmute between misplaced whimsy and someone walking to a bridge to jump off from. We didn't see what inspires him to create these works of art and it didn't need some worldly explanation but I would've liked a reason, no matter how off handed. I did enjoy seeing Mr Turner work on his paintings, even though it was rather constraint and never truly emphasised and major credit should go to actor Timothy Spall who learnt to paint for 2 years to prepare for this role. If your an art enthusiasts like myself you would like this and get some enjoyment in it but if you're expecting something on the lines of an epic drama then steer clear, some of the negative reviews on here have a point and shouldn't be overlooked. Expand
  5. 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
  6. Dec 28, 2014
    1
    A beautifully crafted,dismal, degrading and hugely disappointing descent into a narrow depiction of a small slice of Turner's life. The filmA beautifully crafted,dismal, degrading and hugely disappointing descent into a narrow depiction of a small slice of Turner's life. The film hardly relates to his painting process or what it meant and felt to him at all, in fact it gives the impression that his art was just something he did as an occupation and something wholly inconsequential. Instead it focused entirely on every bit of negativity of his life and character, spiced with a couple of well known incidents handled in a halfhearted manner in an effort at convincing us that this is still the man we came to see. The non-existing story line rambles on at the later part of his life and is more a socio-cultural portrait of the environment he lived in, filled with sickly, ugly pathological men and women, living in stuffy repressed times, stumbling on to their shabby graves. The film does not touch upon his childhood or background, his growth and passion for art, the technicalities and extraordinary development of his work, and the undoubtedly ecstatic states he must have derived from the fulfilling moments of his efforts. Absolutely nothing to show us and touch us about what drove and inspired the man. Nothing about the flight, the journey, the adventure. Given that he was such a profound artist and his visual understanding was a century before his time, it is mind boggling that everything that truly matters about him has been sidelined and that instead we are served a mean and mediocre extract of the least interesting little parts of this genius's life and personality. What a let down, no wonder the 'top critics' love it. The filming, lighting, ambiance and visuals are flawless and duly equaled by a wonderful cast of great actors... What a wasted opportunity! What a perverse disappointment. Expand
  7. Dec 23, 2014
    0
    This movie is overall boring to watch because its way too long. This movie has nothing special to do around audiences. Overall, a waste ofThis movie is overall boring to watch because its way too long. This movie has nothing special to do around audiences. Overall, a waste of time and lack of acting. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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