Jonathan Romney

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For 92 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jonathan Romney's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Blue Is the Warmest Color
Lowest review score: 30 Woodshock
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 92
  2. Negative: 1 out of 92
92 movie reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Romney
    Mixing political commentary, ethnography, teenage melodrama and genre horror, the film is an unashamedly cerebral study of multiple themes – colonialism, revolution, liberalism, racial difference and female desire - with its unconventional narrative structure taking us on a journey that’s as intellectually demanding as it is compelling.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Romney
    The episodic, ruminative and very talky mood suggests something between Chekhov and Eric Rohmer – or at moments, Woody Allen without the humour. That’s not to say that the film is entirely dry, but there’s an earnestness about it and occasionally a leadenness in the acting.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Romney
    Parasite is a malign delight from start to finish, with a Machiavellian sense of mischief and a cinematic brio that shows Bong revelling in his Hitchcockian control of somewhat Buñuelian material.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Romney
    Diao’s flamboyant direction means that he often sets up one elaborately staged tableau just for a single shot, those shots sometimes coming in expansive flurries; some action scenes also feature lightning inserts fired off with surreal abruptness, as in the first gang rumble.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Romney
    For all its familiarity, Ly’s film is executed with enormous confidence and energy, building up to an apocalyptic ending that delivers on a gradual build-up of nervous tension.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Romney
    Kuperstein’s roaming camera may sometimes overwhelm the film with its artful choreography, but generally manages to take the viewer by surprise – as does a comic narrative which constantly takes unexpected turns.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Romney
    Joan of Arc is in some ways a more conventional drama than its predecessor, but is still intransigently individual. Yet even with a subject as eternally popular as Joan, it’s hard to imagine the film making waves with a mainstream audience or bringing new revelations to Dumont’s long-term followers.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Romney
    The film displays intense emotional seriousness and is finely performed and directed; but further shaping could have revealed the more focused work that’s begging to emerge.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Romney
    What you get in these performances is intelligence, emotion and physicality, and when they come together as combustively as they do here, what you get is something extremely rare - a film that catches the messy, hot complexity of life and love.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Romney
    A challenging narrative structure - withholding key information and skipping between several time frames - makes this film a daunting watch overall. But Wang’s ambition and seriousness, aided by strong ensemble performances, ensure it is a formidable and, for the most part, involving work of novelistic scope.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Romney
    The result is mixed: buoyantly energetic at times, manically unamusing at others and decidedly overstretched.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Romney
    With a cast impressively headed by James Norton, and cinematography that captures the bleakness of winter and deprivation to grimly palatable effect, Holland’s drama comes across in part as a meticulously mounted, sometimes solemn history lesson.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Romney
    Superbly acted and highly controlled, the film doesn’t afford easy entertainment, its slow pace and weighty sense of narrative responsibility making for heavy viewing during stretches of its extended running time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Romney
    However sceptical you feel about Brügger’s approach, and his findings, this is an arresting, troubling work – and, for all the horror, an intensely entertaining one too.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Romney
    A tender, intelligent imagining of the playwright in retirement.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Romney
    So compellingly directed and acted that for much of the time we could almost be watching a documentary, Life and Nothing More is an involving, quietly moving piece that eschews conventional narrative shape to offer a multi-layered depiction of exactly what the title promises.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Romney
    While the film recounts events three decades ago, it couldn’t be more relevant today.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Romney
    A film of considerable visual poetry and, at times, grandeur, Our Time is unmistakably the work of the ambitious, visionary director behind Battle In Heaven and Stellet Licht, but as a Bergmanesque drama of emotional anguish, the solemn, militantly downbeat Our Time often makes oppressive viewing and at times struggles to justify its nearly three-hour length.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Romney
    There’s a terrific film in here somewhere, with upmarket echoes of the exploitation thriller tradition of the 70s, but it gets lost in overstatement and a surfeit of plot reversals.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Romney
    Vox Lux is intellectually charged spectacle, with one foot in the Euro-art tradition and the other ankle-deep in the pop zeitgeist.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Romney
    Despite a strong, affecting performance by Willem Dafoe – who, even more than Kirk Douglas or Pialat’s star Jacques Dutronc, looks born to the part – the director’s pugnacious visual and editing style never impart the kinetic emotional charge of his 2007 drama The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Romney
    Entertaining and informative as a contextualising accompaniment to Welles’s reconstructed experimental project The Other Side of the Wind...Neville’s film may reveal little that hardcore Wellesians don’t already know. But it offers a lively evocation of the great man’s brilliance, waywardness and pained relationship to Hollywood history.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Romney
    Taken on its own terms as an unashamedly anachronistic attempt to muster the emotional intensity of the Hollywood melodrama tradition, Cooper’s film must be at least grudgingly acknowledged as a success.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Romney
    It’s a safe bet that many contemporary viewers will find the film confusing, abrasive, pretentious and antediluvian in its sexual politics. But there’s no denying the audacity of Welles’s undertaking, and of the reconstruction project. What can be said with certainty is that this version of Wind is perplexing, sometimes exhausting but never less than fascinating.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Romney
    While we learn little of interest about Sheeran himself, the film is arguably a thoroughgoing demystification of the industrial process behind the modern pop song.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Romney
    The narrative intricacy is daunting but, for viewers willing to keep track, the pleasure lies in the way that Kitano tracks the moves as they advance to an inexorably logical climax.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Romney
    In the hands of Romain Gavras – music video wiz and maker of 2010’s eccentric Our Day Will Come – and with a mischievously cast giving its best, the result is ebullient enough to feel fresh.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Romney
    The film’s energy and passion (and no doubt, eye for detail) can’t be faulted, but a tighter film could have more pointedly made the connection between the subjects’ brief lifespans and the fate of a young culture of refusal that arguably died when the system it questioned was replaced by a differently oppressive social order.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Romney
    The Image Book if nothing else, is inestimable, in that it defies normal estimation or assessment; to encounter a film this intransigently confrontational by an artist who shows no sign of softening will be a nightmare for many, but yes, for many a privilege and a pleasure.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Romney
    Beautifully shot, like Rohrwacher’s other features, on Super-16, this film, with its richly textured images, does indeed feel at times like a retrieved and rather miraculous relic from a lost era of cinema, which is not to say that it isn’t of its own moment.

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