Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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: 39 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 22, 2014
    100
    Leigh's film — one of the year's best — honors its subject in all his tetchy ambiguity.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jan 8, 2015
    100
    A life is not plot; plot is not life. By scrupulously sticking not just to the accuracies of Turner’s life as we know them but to the tiniest of details, the chipped mugs on kitchen tables, the pantaloons on a passing merchant, the spray of storm surf across the bow of a ship, Leigh wants us to truly see the world Turner moved through. Only by seeing that world can we see how he saw and painted it.
  4. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    May 24, 2014
    91
    Mr Turner, though not without flaws, is something of a twilight culmination of Leigh's work, and very much one in which the filmmaker turns his lens on himself, as is so often the case when directors make movies about artists.
  5. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Dec 1, 2014
    90
    Mr. Turner is a harsh, strange, but stirring movie, no more a conventional artist’s bio-pic than Robert Altman’s wonderful, little-seen film about van Gogh and his brother, “Vincent and Theo.”
  6. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Sep 8, 2014
    88
    An astute summation of Mike Leigh's glum view of humanity, but also a challenge to this disposition and his own pessimistic perspective.
  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 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 5 out of 13
  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. 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.
    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 31, 2014
    4
    After spending much of the film wandering aimlessly, Timothy Spall's performance as Mr. Turner is comprised largely of mumbling and phlegmyAfter spending much of the film wandering aimlessly, Timothy Spall's performance as Mr. Turner is comprised largely of mumbling and phlegmy grunts. To me, the appeal is very non-existent. "Do as you wish, view as you wish." 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. Jan 4, 2015
    0
    Snort...........Moan........Snort.........Moan...........Snort...........Moan..............Snort..................Moan
    This is the dialogue
    Snort...........Moan........Snort.........Moan...........Snort...........Moan..............Snort..................Moan
    This is the dialogue from Mr. Turner
    Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. The Best and Worst Movies of 2014

    The Best and Worst Movies of 2014 Image
    Published: January 6, 2015
    2014 saw the release of the highest-scoring new movie in Metacritic's history, among a number of great films. Browse our official lists of the year's best movies in a variety of categories, as well as our collection of 2014's worst films.

Showtimes

To get showtimes near you, enter your zip code.