PJ Nabarro


PJ Nabarro
Tomatometer-approved critic

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/5 62% Bird Box (2018) The pressing question is which sense can be utilised next in the Hollywood horror factory. Touch? Where everyone has to go round wrapped in teflon or as human-sized condoms? - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2019
2/5 35% 21 (2008) A scenario utterly Hollywoodised to death, with barely a movie cliché left untapped by the director and screenwriters. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/5 72% Primer (2004) Primer's notion of time-travel creating multiple identities and an uncontrollable mise en abyme reminded me mostly of Christopher Nolan's masterly and underrated The Prestige. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/5 70% Somewhere (2010) Coppola riffs on her familiar signature of style (diegesis as time, observation and the senses, rather than dramaturgy) and subject matter (cocooned, disaffected malcontents). - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 55% Marie Antoinette (2006) A diverting enough piece on the suffocation of extreme privilege, and it problematises nicely whether Marie Antoinette's downfall is based more on her innocence or ignorance. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
2/5 92% The Hunt (Jagten) (2013) There's something disingenuous about the way the drama purposely excludes the normal social frameworks that would necessarily vet what are extremely serious allegations. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 91% Fish Tank (2010) Arnold nails the gnarled world of Mia: by product of a neglectful mother, and a landscape awash in booze and deprived of the educational and fiscal means of social betterment. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
2/5 89% Lantana (2002) It's not entirely far-fetched to see a link between the clunky expositions of character, plot and theme from an everyday soap, to those in Lantana. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 76% Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1999) There are far too many tokenistic soundtrack and cinematographic throws of the dice - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 79% Shame (2011) An intriguing impression of a hitherto under-documented facet of contemporary psychological disorders. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3/5 85% Looking for Eric (2010) The film's whimsical spirit invites the audience to enter into a fablistic mindset and to relax into its uplifting air of camaraderie. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
4/5 97% Sweet Sixteen (2003) Loach has fashioned an achingly true portrait of a young man's despairing attempts to better his life, but coming up against social obstructions both visible and invisible. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
2/5 90% Blue Jasmine (2013) There are the raw materials for a piercing American tragedy, detailing the corrosive hubris of a certain type of moneyed class, but a far more studied and icier eye is needed. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
3/5 89% The Angels' Share (2013) The Angels' Share really conjures the spirit of the Ealing Comedies with its playfulness of spirit and generosity toward its characters. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
4/5 46% To The Wonder (2013) One of the best expositions of the perceptual potential of cinema; Malick succeeds in crystallising the precarious sentiment of emotion in the early stages of a relationship. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
3/5 68% Great Expectations (2013) Bar running through the dense plot at a rate of knots, it's not obvious what Newell or adaptor David Nicholls' 'take' on the proceedings actually is. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
2/5 41% Little White Lies (2012) Guillaume Canet's great mistake is in having the gall to craft a moral about the seeming pettiness and emotional blindness of this bunch of vacationing, bourgeois Parisiens. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
2/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) The film doesn't exactly do anything heinously wrong in its treatment of its Brit queens rivalry, but it finds no real means to elevate its story beyond the perfunctory. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
3/5 65% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) A diverting little horror-comedy hybrid, and the weird blend of darkness and throwaway silliness does have some droll rewards. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
2/5 71% Batman (1989) Other than its prescience as a pop cultural milestone, this won't go down as one of the better superhero movies, nor even one of the best in the Batman cinematic canon. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 90% The Great Beauty (2013) A thesis on opulence and how Rome has sated the aesthete sensibility of its main character. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
3/5 78% 25th Hour (2003) This sprawling and ecletic work from Spike Lee has, in a sense, more going for it in the ragged fringes of its story than in its slightly awkward, pre-determined centre. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 92% Il Divo (2009) A clever telling of the story about the epic levels of corruption in Italian public life that found the suitably opaque, vampiric presence of Andreotti at the centre of it. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
2/5 83% The Others (2001) Beyond the evident technical proficiency on show, the film is still reduced to its primary narrative parlour-game of trying to guess the ghostly twist. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Here Be Dragons (2013) Mark Cousins uses Albania's relative anonymity (although I use that word hesitantly) as an unfamiliar canvas on which to project his camera and his philosophical gaze. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
3/5 77% Michael Collins (1996) Michael Collins really is Irish history told on a bold, sweeping, comprehensible scale; in a sense, it's almost Irish history Hollywoodised. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
1/5 82% Seven Psychopaths (2012) The baroque stories-within-stories and irreverent dialogue have been done immeasurably better in the films of Quentin Tarantino. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 85% Mysterious Skin (2005) A seemingly impossible act of making an intelligent, literate drama about child abuse without being conventionally didactic. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
3/5 91% Philomena (2013) Because the tale is so inherently emotional with its subject matter, all you need is a competent director and a couple of crack actors to wheedle that trajectory out. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 80% The Deep Blue Sea (2012) Davies has also fashioned one of the great films about building a profound macro-drama out of a single event or day. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Wayland's Song (2013) An artful attempt to render the exterior and interior wasteland a man encounters after a spell in Afghanistan. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 86% White Material (2010) Denis' construct is intentionally allegorical, and the film's classical beauty emerges more through her mastery of mood, sense of place and the ellipses in the narrative. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
3/5 57% We Own the Night (2007) It is Gray's feel for the kinetic action sequence which is probably We Own the Night's greatest strength. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
3/5 94% The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) A masterfully structured narrative: the story bounces organically and sensuously around various players and memories in Bauby's life. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 84% The Ghost Writer (2010) Polanski navigates superbly the fine balancing act between honouring his story's genuine thriller tension and paranoia, versus its more pulpy, playful bent. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 91% Adaptation (2002) Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman are able to keep Adaptation progressively lucid and amusing through the layered revelations of their postmodern musings. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 85% Berberian Sound Studio (2013) This is a real cinephile's delight - with Peter Strickland almost gorging on the four cinematic elements of sound (quite literally), cinematography, editing and mise en scène. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 92% Coriolanus (2011) The performances are uniformly excellent, and Fiennes owns the role of Coriolanus, conceiving of him as a proto-Kurtz with his descent into wilfully renegade activities. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 90% Beyond The Hills (2013) Another bravura exercise from Mungiu in painstaking, atmospheric filmmaking. In fact, it's almost like a silent movie with its thematic simplicity and painterly classicism. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
4/5 71% Sex and Lucia (2002) A Freudian, subconscious essay on sex, dreams and the creative process. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 91% High Fidelity (2000) Like a male version of 'Bridget Jones' - with the lead reduced to a nauseating cipher who espouses mediocre, gender politics jargon. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
4/5 93% All That Heaven Allows (1955) As the camera gradually moves in on Cary's despairing face in reflection, we know the mantra of "life's parade at your fingertips" is really a mandate for her own imprisonment - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
4/5 90% Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013) An elemental relationship, defined entirely by the interior ferocity of the participants' pure attraction and empathy, gets exactly the same intense ethos of representation. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
2/5 83% Tyrannosaur (2011) A hackneyed, clichéd account of two fragile souls (one a violent, beligerent drunkard; the other a seemingly benign, considerate Christian) from opposite sides of the track. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 44% On the Road (2012) In its base remit of offering a visual realisation of the story and honouring the key themes of the novel and Beat culture, Salles deserves at least a modicum of credit. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
2/5 72% Forrest Gump (1994) Only in America could you envision a film with the conceit of a simpleton as conduit through a swathe of that country's socio-history, and for it not to be a colossal satire. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 37% Great Expectations (1998) Where the film fails is in its commercial proclivity to centre the narrative trajectory around a fairly asinine updating of the Pip/Estella love-match into a soppy romance. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 54% The Inbetweeners (2012) Compared to its closest ancestor from across the pond, American Pie, this is a more genteel, less varnished, British view of awkward teens trying to get their leg over. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
4/5 100% White Elephant (2013) Although it's an inherently truthful social drama, it contains just enough in genre machinations to help it break out of any potentially preachy, didactic confine. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
3/5 71% Like Crazy (2011) A beautifully rendered film, with imaginative editing, spectacular cinematography and two charming, naturalistic performances from Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin. - Patrick Nabarro EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019