Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 16, 2014
    100
    Leigh, Spall, and cinematographer Dick Pope — who borrows lots of lighting tricks from Vermeer and Ingres and even Turner himself, to glorious effect — have gently atomized Turner's character, breaking it into small, potent fragments that affect us in ways we don't see coming.
  2. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Nov 10, 2014
    100
    One great British artist pays tribute to another in a lengthy but rewarding homage that boasts a titanic turn at its centre. Rarely has watching paint dry been so fascinating.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Oct 27, 2014
    100
    Shimmering with awards potential, Leigh’s glorious picture is a hilarious, confounding, wholehearted and dazzlingly performed portrait of an artist as an ageing man.
  4. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    May 24, 2014
    100
    Anchored by a masterful performance by Timothy Spall in a role he was born to play, and gilded by career-best effort from DoP Dick Pope, working for the first time on digital for Leigh to bridge the gap between the painting and cinematography, Mr. Turner manages to illuminate that nexus between biography and art with elegant understatement.
  5. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 24, 2014
    100
    Beyond the troughful of fun tics, Spall makes Turner tenderly and totally human — the effect of which is to make his artistic talents seem even more extraordinary still.
  6. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    May 24, 2014
    100
    As ever with Leigh, Mr Turner addresses the big questions with small moments. It's an extraordinary film, all at once strange, entertaining, thoughtful and exciting.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    May 24, 2014
    100
    Leigh has made another highly personal study of art, commerce and the glacial progress of establishment tastes, built around a lead performance from longtime Leigh collaborator Timothy Spall that’s as majestic as one of Turner’s own swirling sunsets.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 24, 2014
    91
    Mr. Turner is a first-rate match of director and subject. Less an explication of the man's genius than an immersion into its essence.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.”
  13. 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.
  14. Reviewed by: John Bleasdale
    May 24, 2014
    80
    In arguably a career-topping performance, Timothy Spall plays the cantankerous painter as a complex, grunting, snarling and utterly single-minded creature.
  15. 75
    And as long as it is, it would be a pity to cut one moment of Spall’s immersive, utterly convincing portrait of this common man with an uncommon gift.
  16. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    May 24, 2014
    75
    Mr. Turner's passions and neuroses feel more peculiar to Leigh and his own work. It's tempting, even, to view the film as biopic-as-self-portrait, revealing shades of one life through another.
  17. 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.

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