For 154 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Xan Brooks' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 The Master
Lowest review score: 20 A Fantastic Fear of Everything
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 154
  2. Negative: 1 out of 154
154 movie reviews
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Three Thousand Years of Longing is guileless, open-hearted, like an antiquarian bookseller’s dream of The Thief of Baghdad. It’s so defiantly out of step with fashion that there’s finally something faintly glorious about it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Along the way, the director, Arthur Harari, takes the exhausted true tale of the lone Japanese soldier and sculpts it into a captivating tragicomedy, a sharp-eyed study of zealotry and self-delusion, ridiculous and heartbreaking in about equal measure.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    A quality cast tackle the script’s various twists and turns with aplomb. But the tale itself feels cumbersome and over-furnished, listing under the weight of its bolt-on subplots and endless reams of dialogue.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    The respective charms of Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum receive a rigorous workout during the course of this caffeinated, overeager adventure romp – to the point where significant signs of wear and tear begin to appear.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    At the risk of insulting Benedetta, it’s mostly good, clean, wholesome fun.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    True Things is not a bad film, exactly. The actors play it like they mean it, while the drama itself carries a natural dry charge. But it’s unambitious, sometimes clunky and doesn’t wrong-foot us once.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon offers street-food for the senses, served with lashings of hot sauce. It’s hardly nutritious but it tastes fine in the moment, wolfed down on the run.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Old Henry is a determinedly low-aiming affair.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Vigas’s direction is efficient, pedestrian, entirely built for purpose. But he manages to keep the audience on-board throughout the tale’s twists and turns.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Its line of attack is remorseless, an ongoing rain of hammer blows, and yet it never feels especially dour or heavy. If anything, Chupov and Merkulova’s handling of the material is almost playful, choosing to frame Stalin’s Russia as nightmarish deadpan comedy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Hallelujah is one for the fans, thorough and informative, like a set of cinematic liner notes, largely content to marvel at the majesty of its subject and the vibrant afterlife of his work.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    I’m not convinced, on balance, that Gyllenhaal’s delicious drama is finally much more than a storm in a teacup. But what a cup, what a storm. When Hurricane Colman blows in from the sea, be sure your roof’s in good shape and that all the windows are fastened.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    It’s not quite a documentary, yet nor is it exactly a narrative feature. It lives alone; the cinematic equivalent of a hermit on a mountaintop.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Adapted from Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel, the film plays its private trauma as a harrowing thriller, and showcases a superb performance from Anamaria Vartolomei as Anne Duchesne, the agonised student in the spotlight.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    It’s pitiless and pitch-perfect, an existential tour-de-force with shades of Camus’s The Outsider.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    British writer-director Edgar Wright takes a grab-bag of 1960s ingredients, paints them up and makes them dance to his tune. His film is thoroughly silly and stupidly enjoyable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    Kristen Stewart proves entirely compelling in the title role. She gives an awkward and mannered performance as Diana, and this is entirely as it should be when one considers that Diana gave an awkward and mannered performance herself, garnishing her inbred posh hauteur with studied coquettish asides.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    Denis Villenueve’s slow-burn space opera fuses the arthouse and the multiplex to create an epic of otherworldly brilliance.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    The central relationships can be a little schematic, while the plot slaloms in and out of plausibility. Still, the cast keeps it honest and there is much to relish in the film’s moody, meditative intensity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    The Hand of God, no surprise, is Sorrentino’s most nakedly personal film to date, almost to a fault in the way it jettisons the cool distance of The Great Beauty or Il Divo in favour of a sweaty, close-up evocation of youth. It’s a picture only Sorrentino could make. But that doesn’t necessarily make him the safest pair of hands.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    It’s a brawny, brooding drama about the wreckage caused by men, beautifully framed in muted neutral tones as the camera circles the ranch-house with a deliberate, stealthy tread.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Let nobody fault Almodóvar’s ambition here. If this finally lacks the polished sweep and completeness of Pain and Glory, his previous feature, it compensates with an air of fraught intimacy and throws out a wealth of ideas, leaving some tantalising loose ends to be picked up and examined.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Dumont’s secular crisis-of-faith drama has much to say about the corrosive effect of our 24-hour news culture. But it is also indecisive and compromised and plays out as a prolonged admission of defeat.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    Noé’s extraordinary film unfolds as a tale of murmured terrors and nameless dread, creeping softly around a cramped Paris apartment like a cinematic Grim Reaper.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    The disparate ingredients do not always gel. But in fits and starts Bombay Rose casts quite a spell.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Mandibules is a rollicking, rambunctious tequila-dream of a movie.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    The restored footage is an intriguing relic – an offcut, raw copy. There’s something pleasingly voyeuristic about the experience of being allowed behind the velvet rope to watch these blusterers hold forth, although I expect their charms may be limited to die-hard devotees.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Explicitly, his film shows how a hundred shades of grey combine to make a darkness. Implicitly, it warns that it could well happen again.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    What a lovely, rousing, finally moving film this is.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    What prevents Apples from becoming a simple Lanthimos copycat is its comparative kindness and its abiding direction of travel.

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