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95

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

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7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 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: 4 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 2 out of 6
  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 21, 2014
    8
    Mike Leigh’s ‘beauty and the beast’ is meticulously detailed with a haunting score and breathtaking cinematography- whether billowingMike Leigh’s ‘beauty and the beast’ is meticulously detailed with a haunting score and breathtaking cinematography- whether billowing locomotive smoke or pastel sails at sunset. Mr. Spall’s brilliantly captures J.M.W. Turner - a self-described grotesque looking man emitting a cacophony of snorts and grunts between astute observations and animalistic sexual encounters. Supporting characters are forever etched in our memory. In contrast, an artist obsessed with capturing light lived a dark and dismal existence. In conclusion, the more enlightened we become the less we want to know him. 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 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
  6. 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

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