For 95 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Xan Brooks' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Under the Skin
Lowest review score: 20 A Fantastic Fear of Everything
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 95
  2. Negative: 1 out of 95
95 movie reviews
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Filho’s film is never less than heartfelt and strident, like a tale torn from life, or an episode of Jeremy Kyle played as stentorian opera. And this, I suspect, may be part of the problem. Crucially, Angel Face lacks shading, pacing and nuance.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Oh Lucy!’s plot feels overthought. The tone see-saws wildly. What prevents it collapsing are the warm, heartfelt performances, together with Hirayanagi’s obvious affection for her chief protagonist.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Our Souls at Night is your classic Hollywood weepie, so immaculately played that it confounds crass preconceptions.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Watching it is akin to be being waylaid by an expert raconteur. There is the curious sense that it has told this tale before; that every joke has been honed and rehearsed; every anecdote lovingly polished in advance.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    What a peculiarly dodgy, conservative film this is – a lazy salute to a good queen and her faithful Indian servant. It’s a film about the Raj era that looks as if it was made back then, too.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    Those familiar with McDonagh’s work will be unsurprised to learn that Three Billboards is a bold and showboating affair, robustly drawn and richly written; a violent carnival of small-town American life. Yet it has a big, beating heart, even a rough-edged compassion for its brawling inhabitants.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    Suburbicon is too lightweight and mannered; it lacks proper fury. Watching it is like having your trouser-leg savaged by an energetic small dog.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Yes, Del Toro’s latest flight of fancy sets out to liberally pastiche the postwar monster movie, doffing its cap to the incident at Roswell and all manner of related cold war paranoia. But it’s warmer and richer than the films that came before. Beneath that glossy, scaly surface is a beating heart.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    A less polished director might have become lost and confused along the film’s lengthy running-time. But Payne’s handling is perfect. He never puts a foot wrong, rustling up a picture that is as bright as a button and as sharp as a tack.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    What an extravagantly muddled, borderline incontinent film this is. You might call it genre-hopping, except that this would imply some degree of intent and control.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Yes, 24 Frames is rigorously experimental; it demands patience and engagement. But this haunted ghost-film had me completely entranced.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    The film is utterly gripping and endlessly disturbing.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Satrapi's disreputable little creepshow finally doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Maybe that's fine. The Voices provides an enjoyably trashy antidote to the traditional Sundance fare of soulful drama and crusading documentary.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Xan Brooks
    The film is listing, overladen with cheap trinkets. Dogged, heartfelt acting works hard to prop it up.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    [Clint Eastwood's] gripping, incurious film gives the impression of having not so much been directed as dictated. It stares so fixedly down the rifle sight that it is finally guilty of tunnel vision.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Full credit to the film-makers, who manage to map their digital bear against his human co-stars and marry Bond’s antique conceit to a high-concept story.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    JC Chandor’s period crime drama is rigorous, resourceful and as smart as a whip...But its canny tactical struggle remains a joy to behold.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Anderson has all manner of fun with the tale's whirling, blurring trajectory. His film is like a jubilant spin painting in which the characters have been scattered and splattered to the furthest reaches of the frame.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Gone Girl, finally, may be no more than a storm in a teacup. But what an elegant, bone-china teacup this is. And what a fearsome force-10 gale we have brewing inside.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Xan Brooks
    What a bold, beguiling and utterly unclassifiable director Andersson is. He thinks life is a comedy and feels it’s a tragedy, and is able to wrestle these conflicting impulses into a gorgeous, deadpan deadlock.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    It’s a work of startling maturity from this incorrigible tearaway, a minor-key dream that finally turns towards darkness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Pacino's Manglehorn is a subtle master class in neutral shading, with none of the garish flashes that sometimes bedevil his work.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    There’s no doubt it makes for a jubilant ride, a galvanic first blast. But it remains a film which feels deeply thought rather than deeply felt; a brilliant technical exercise as opposed to a flesh-and-blood story.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    While Benson treats his characters with care and respect, his depiction of grief can feel studied and not felt.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    Schirman's film (produced by the team behind Man on Wire and Searching For Sugarman) is as gripping as any high-concept Hollywood thriller and as psychologically knotty as Greek tragedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    Amalric's handling is cool, studied and perhaps a little self-conscious. But he does a good job of showing how adultery is a noose that tightens at the throat even before an actual crime is committed - at which point the film grows altogether less interesting.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    In fits and starts, this is a stunning picture. At its best, Winter Sleep shows Ceylan to be as psychologically rigorous, in his way, as Ingmar Bergman before him.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Xan Brooks
    A sweet yet suspect romantic drama.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    A glorious jumping bean comedy that moves from the profane to the poignant in the blink of an eye.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Xan Brooks
    The Lunchbox is perfectly handled and beautifully acted; a quiet storm of banked emotions.

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