James Mottram

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For 176 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Mottram's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Some Like It Hot
Lowest review score: 20 Criminal
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 176
  2. Negative: 2 out of 176
176 movie reviews
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    The odd spirited turn aside, this is a throwback to the bad old ’90s days of comic-book movies.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    The excessive CGI can be distracting, some performances veer towards caricature, but this is still a big-hearted take on London’s classic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Jamie Foxx is on awards-worthy form.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Ritchie makes a solid return to his wheelhouse with a crime yarn that turns the air so blue you can swim in it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    A generic cop thriller that rumbles along thanks to a quality cast but ultimately offers nothing fresh.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Not subtle (and might put you off getting hitched), but hits its mark with baseball-bat force.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    There’s still a thrill seeing Stallone dig out a classic character for one last rumble, but this is formulaic action fare.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Riotously told and enthusiastically performed, Hustlers is hugely entertaining. Edgy, provocative and full of ker-ching
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Powered by the magnetic Aaron Taylor-Johnson, it’s rough around the edges, but still intoxicating.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    Sublime and stupendous. Beautiful, bold and remarkably executed, this is Gray’s masterpiece, driven by a career-best turn from Pitt.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Pleasingly silly sequel is a colourful, creative, deliciously daft animation.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Testosterone, muscles, action, guns and cars… it’s Fast & Furious business as usual. Could be tighter, mind, and the constant dick-measuring gets a little wearying.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    If your humour skews towards the sick and twisted, then this box-fresh Child’s Play will give you one almighty kick.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Led by some fine performances, this is an impressive and intense example of how to adapt Stephen King.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    Rowling’s universe just got bigger and more complex, but Yates never forgets to sprinkle stardust on top.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Definitely not Killer Queen, but thanks to a blinding turn from Malek, fans of the band will get their kicks.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    If the film isn’t quite as inventive as the game-changing horror that was Cabin in the Woods (which boasted Joss Whedon as co-scripter), it’s infused with affection and craft.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Chazelle broadens his horizons with this superbly detailed account of the Moon landing. Gosling and especially Foy are out of this world.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    True, Cooper’s film could do with a tighter edit, especially in the second act, where it has a tendency to drag. But all told, A Star is Born is a big achievement: raw, romantic, tragic, and tumultuous.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    Macdonald leaves no stone unturned in this tremendous look at Houston, one that sheds real light on the singer’s psychology.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    A robust follow-up, which carries the same brooding atmosphere and tension of the original. The young cast additions are also excellent.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Foster and McKenzie thoroughly convince in the hands of Granik, who moulds a subtle, assured, and often powerful tale.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    If the story doesn’t strain itself in pursuit of originality, it does build to a satisfying conclusion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Alongside Sheehan’s charms, it’s Belleville’s intoxicating visuals that truly fire the imagination. India has rarely seemed so seductive.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Respectable. Boyega adds real bounce and DeKnight delivers spectacle, even if the plot doesn’t strain too far from the original’s crash-bang formula.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    A fun romp with a great comic performance from Oyelowo. Doesn’t linger, but you’ll enjoy it while it lasts.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Its love-in-later-life insights are well-worn, but with Staunton on song, Richard Loncraine’s film mines genuine feeling.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Confident, assured and athletic filmmaking. And with Boseman on such dignified, dynamic form, his Infinity War return can’t come soon enough.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    A salty road trip tinged with sadness, sensitively handled by Linklater and his cast. Unfocused in places, but never less than diverting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Cooper’s western may be too meditative for some, but its grit, beauty and honesty are too potent to ignore.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    The cumulative effect is overwhelming. Poetically shot by a dozen DoPs, including Christopher Doyle, a powerful portrait of horror, hope and humanity emerges.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Loaded with flashbacks, it’s unevenly mounted but kept watchable by the lively script and classy cast.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    Stunning fights and creepy CG come wrapped inside a blade-sharp story, as the swordsman vows to hunt the killers of a young girl’s parents. Truly epic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Whether or not you’re a fan of Wonder Woman, this tale of her creation is rich, evocative and enlightening.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    A superb satirical swipe at the worst excesses of the social media generation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    An animated film like no other, Loving Vincent is a staggering visual achievement.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    An engrossing biopic. More than just another author/creation story, Curtis’ film has things to say about celebrity, wartime and family.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    From the generic title to the formulaic plot (stolen plutonium, highest bidder etc.), you can imagine the rest. But director Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger) injects vitality where it’s needed.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Aronofsky’s maternal horror is the most out-there studio movie of the year. You won’t believe your eyes.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    The farcical third act, wrapped up too neatly by director Lucia Aniello, softens the blows. More edges needed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Despite winning work from the lead, it’s a tame, feelgood effort from writer-director Hannes Holm. Academy bait.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    While director Ceyda Torun lets the focus meander too much, it’ll leave you, ahem, feline good.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    With recriminations turning to compassion, the film sings when these French titans share the screen, Deneuve’s loose cannon a mixture of hedonism and terror. If only the other scenes were as compelling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    An intriguing insight into Lynch’s genius, intimately crafted and leaving you wanting more.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Crime, romance, fast cars, hot tunes... slicker than your chrome hubcaps, Baby Driver is the summer’s coolest movie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Beautifully animated, scored and written, Barras’ little movie has a big heart. C’est fantastique.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    The pacing is spot-on, the set-pieces memorable and all the characters are allowed to shine, without it ever becoming The Johnny Depp Show.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    It’s heavy-handed, but with such fine performances from the youngsters, aided by the ever-reliable Shirley Henderson (as a social worker), that it’s hard not to get sucked into this tragic tale.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Say what you like about director Justin Lin’s lack of subtlety (or understanding of the laws of physics), but he knows how to kick-start an action movie.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    A rich, rewarding crime film, shot with real skill. Riz Ahmed confirms his status as one of the most exciting Brit actors of his generation.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    All hot wheels and dick jokes, it’s fun but forgettable.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    LaBeouf is committed, and it’s fun seeing him go toe-to-toe with Gary Oldman (as his boss). But amid Montiel’s jigsaw-like structure lurk some generic revelations. Disappointing.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 James Mottram
    Jones and Oldman are on autopilot, while Costner grizzles like a sore-headed bear. Only Gal Gadot, as Reynolds’ widow, has any cred in this utter pap.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Beautiful and bold, rebellious and riotous, its sexual frankness puts E.L. James in the shade.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Tense and thought-provoking in equal measure, this is first-rate – a modern-day Dr. Strangelove played out on video screens.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    The 'dual roles' conceit doesn’t quite work, despite Ferguson's best efforts. But, while it struggles to find rhythm, you can't fault Sarif's ambitions.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Loud, ripe, violent, bloody and blackly funny, Free Fire cocks its gun right in your face. See it – and bring earplugs.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Fascinating story, flawed telling.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    There’s Fassbender’s charisma, an unhinged Sean Harris and Tom Rowland music.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    This is a fine, fitting finale for the movies’ greatest mutant.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    True, John Wick: Chapter 2 doesn’t quite hit the heights of the original – partly because the element of surprise when it comes to the fight-work is gone, partly because it lacks the emotional pull of Wick avenging his wife’s memory. But as badass B-movies go, this really gets the blood pumping.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Amalric jigsaws the pieces, conjuring a taut, tense air of Chabrol as he does.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    It’s a smart gen-gap tale with loveable characters.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt is credible as the former NSA contractor, but Stone gets side-tracked by his relationship with Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley) and Rhys Ifans’ leering CIA suit.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    An impressive directorial debut – and acting turn – from Parker that deserves to be seen, despite the PR firestorm.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    With robotic depictions of Iran's 'morality police', the political subtext is strictly one-dimensional. But with ace choreographer Akram Khan on board, the dancing is powerful.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Meandering like a jazz riff, Miles Ahead is a curio that doesn't quite come off. But credit Cheadle, both in front and behind camera, for refusing to play the easy notes.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Valiant, but flawed. Some of the set-pieces are superb, but there isn’t enough meat on the bones to turn this into a classic.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    True, Hendricks has fun with her role as a good girl with a bad streak, while Shauna Cross and Johnny Rosenthal’s script fires off a few zingers. But with Thornton surprisingly disengaged and the robbery plot formulaic, it’s a limp dick of a sequel.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    While there’s sweetness, the big, sweeping emotions you hope for never quite arrive.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Cumberbatch fits Doctor Strange like a pair of snap-tight surgical gloves, in yet another MCU triumph. Beautifully designed, brilliantly executed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    Luchini’s excellent, but this is guilty of gross tonal uncertainty.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Guilty of being slavishly loyal, Taylor’s film never quite translates into the cinematic equivalent of Hawkins’ page-turner. Blunt, though, is excellent.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Seydoux again offers a frank turn, while Rahim and Ménochet add real class.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    The resulting drama offers a great showcase for Dyrholm, whose slide towards instability is the film’s core.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Boasting a fantastic turn from Ethan Hawke, this is bold indie filmmaking. Budreau and his stars deserve a fanfare.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Uplifting it isn’t, but there’s poetry to be found in these desperate lives, and Riccobono never judges or sensationalises his subjects. Sensitive, if slightly unfocused.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    While the plot toys with credibility, director Mikkel Nørgaard ( Borgen ) conjures a squalid atmosphere – the stuff of real nightmares. This is so grimly compelling that even if you want to look away, you won’t be able to.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Should be called ‘The Funny Guys’. The Crowe/Gosling partnership drives Black’s lurid comedy at top speed. Enormously entertaining.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Both revealing and good-natured, its a very inviting exploration of one of the 20th Centurys major artists.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    With a wraparound narrative that never really strikes a balance between past and present, all that axe-flinging, ice-casting action makes a modest impact.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    More Blue Steel than Magnum, this is a perfectly serviceable sequel, but dogged by repetition, it lacks the original's speed and sizzle.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Loud, lewd, inventive and outrageous, Deadpool is a delight. All credit to Reynolds and co. for having the steel balls to go this far.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    Astounding. With a director, DoP and cast at the top of their game, The Revenant is a filmmaking triumph.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    A valiant effort that never quite scales the dizzy emotional heights required, running out of oxygen in the final act. Visually, though, it’s stunning.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    Ponderous, pretentious and, most damning of all, just not much fun.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    With A+ acting, a solid script and sensitive handling, there’s enough here to move even the hardest of souls.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Fresh cast, fresh ideas and full-on action gives Taylor’s reboot momentum, even if an overloaded script threatens to topple it at times. Doesn’t touch Cameron’s two movies, of course.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Packed tight, Jacobs’ straightforward sequel may boast less up top than the Soderbergh-directed original, but still bulges where it counts.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Jurassic World is a fiendishly crafted blockbuster: old-fashioned thrills, heroism and romance, locked inside a smart, self-aware shell.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    Not the promised insider’s peek but Assayas and Binoche are still a potent combo, nailing the fragility of an actress facing the ageing process.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Funny, foul-mouthed and frighteningly on-the-money, Top Five is relentlessly amusing even while it’s super-indulgent and selfabsorbed. Rock on.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    One of the strangest films you’ll see this (or any) year, it unsettles, bores, elates and amuses in equal measure. Not for everyone, but there’s plenty to chew on.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Not the deepest western you’ll ever see, but it sure knows how to pack a punch (and fire off a round). Fans of the genre will get their kicks.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Hardy is immaculate as Leo, from accent to demeanour. Now on his fourth film with Hardy, Oldman is a pleasure to watch, and even the smallest of roles have been carefully cast, with the likes of Vincent Cassel, Paddy Considine and Clarke all enjoying their moment.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 James Mottram
    A competent rather than classic follow-up. If the action feels generic at times, the addition of Watts, more Winslet and the strength of Woodley are worth watching.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 James Mottram
    Loving and lavish, Kenneth Branagh’s take will please traditionalists more than revisionists, but there’s enough here to enchant both young and old.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 James Mottram
    A genuine disappointment, given the talent involved, and a rare misstep for Penn, who can’t save this moribund vanity project from flatlining.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 James Mottram
    Detractors may carp that Cronenberg is showing us nothing new, but Maps is so flawless in its execution, it vividly refreshes the subject matter. Never overcooking the setting, it’s a story right in his wheelhouse; a very human look at characters barely clinging to their humanity.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 James Mottram
    Charmless, mirthless and witless, this waste of time is another black mark on Depp’s card, while his co-stars fare little better. Even low expectations won’t help you here.

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