Benjamin Lee

Benjamin Lee
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Guardian

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 82% Queen & Slim (2019) It's tempting to fall for, thanks to impeccable work from Matsoukas and Kaluuya, but by the end, for a film so focused on love, I wanted to feel a bit more of it. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
3/5 91% Dark Waters (2019) As a drama, it's patchy but as a document, it's undeniable. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3/5 52% Charlie's Angels (2019) It's better than it could have been while also not being quite good enough to warrant any further instalments. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
3/5 65% Lady and the Tramp (2019) Lady and the Tramp works well enough on its own simple terms as watchable, competently made home viewing. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
3/5 83% Let It Snow (2019) A film as festive as it is familiar - and also surprisingly hard to resist. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
2/5 47% Last Christmas (2019) Sort of digestible in a half-watching-while-drunk-on-eggnog kind of way but this really is a clunky, charmless disappointment. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
1/5 29% Rattlesnake (2019) Ejogo is an undeniably talented actor who has delivered strong turns in genre fare before, but she's adrift here, stuck with a character devoid of specificity and personality. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3/5 51% Black and Blue (2019) Noble intentions are up against dog-eared cliches and frustratingly, it's a battle that too often leads to us, the audience, losing. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
1/5 25% Countdown (2019) Rather than screaming for them to go the other way, you'll be urging them to accept fate and die instead. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
2/5 48% Eli (2019) The film is scattered with a number of familiar horror sequences, from a couple of nasty dreams to some extended jump scares, but none of them really land. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
2/5 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) At a relatively brief 99 minutes, Zombieland: Double Tap doesn't provide one with anywhere near enough time to figure out exactly why Zombieland: Double Tap exists. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
3/5 62% Fractured (2019) When I wasn't busying myself making an internal checklist of films I was reminded of, I was happily playing armchair detective, curious enough to engage with the pieces I was given. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
2/5 38% In the Tall Grass (2019) While some of the nastier lurches in the third act will appease genre fans, the guff that surrounds them will probably confuse and ultimately alienate them, the film's moving parts never really moving in unison. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
4/5 96% The Irishman (2019) There's an almost meta-maturity, as if Scorsese is also looking back on his own career, the film leaving us with a haunting reminder not to glamorise violent men and the wreckage they leave behind. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
3/5 59% In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) There's a slicker, more coherent and ultimately more thematically audacious film to be made from the disparate elements that make up In the Shadow of the Moon but what we have is a lovable mess nonetheless. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/5 77% Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019) Perhaps the film's overwhelming ace is an overarching awareness of just how pointless it really is, made with the same disposability with which it should be consumed. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
4/5 98% Clemency (2019) Clemency's end credits arrive with relief, not because we're unengaged but because, unlike Bernadine, we're finally allowed to breathe. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
4/5 92% Uncut Gems (2019) My idea of Sandler and what he represents quickly faded once the film began. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
3/5 88% Bad Education (2019) The film's real ace is a never-better Jackman, following up an underrated turn in last year's The Front Runner with another difficult and inscrutable protagonist. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
2/5 80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) What Waititi thinks is shockingly audacious is in fact frustratingly timid, he opts for a gentle prod when maybe a punch would do. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 24% The Goldfinch (2019) It's neither a rousing success nor an embarrassing failure, falling somewhere in between, closer to admirable attempt. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
4/5 95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) While Hanks avoids attempting to awkwardly replicate Rogers' voice - although he does nail his cadence - he focuses on exuding the same bewitching, patient curiosity that Rogers had in the people he met. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
4/5 88% Hustlers (2019) Blessed with one of the most memorable entrances in recent cinema history, Lopez slinks through Hustlers with a deceptive ease, as in control of the film as her character is of her situation. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
4/5 97% Knives Out (2019) Working from his own original script, Johnson has much fun pulling the strings as well as the rug from underneath us time and time again. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
2/5 77% The Friend (2019) Try reading the article instead. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
2/5 73% Blackbird (2019) Winslet is miscast, Sarandon is coasting, Neill is sleepwalking and Wasikowska, an extremely talented yet recently underused actor, is stuck playing the sort of role she should have grown out of by now. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
3/5 81% Just Mercy (2019) Just Mercy is a straightforward, no-frills drama that does have an undeniably emotive effect. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
3/5 80% Military Wives (2020) There's nothing here you won't have seen before or can't see coming but still, Military Wives is a film that's hard to entirely resist, like a song that you'll hum along to even if you forget the tune straight after. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
3/5 85% Waves (2019) There are two films here: one is frightening and poignant and the other tender but slight. The first one will haunt me even if the second will fade. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
2/5 43% Hope Gap (2020) Nicholson fails to give his film the specificity and emotional depth required to make it seem necessary. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
3/5 93% Honey Boy (2019) The director Alma Har'el does play with time and reality throughout but there remains a genuine heart to LaBeouf's script, the clear-eyed work of a man at pains trying to figure out how delving into his past might help fix his present. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
4/5 96% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) It's a story that remains as witty and resilient as its main character and its charms, like David's, remain impossible to resist. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
2/5 88% Ready or Not (2019) In a year filled with underwhelming horror films, it's ultimately more of the same, a game where the biggest loser is the audience. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
2/5 48% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Where'd you go, Bernadette? Eh, who cares. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/5 41% 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) As an unrelated sequel to a film that was originally set to premiere on the bottom shelf of a supermarket, this is better than it needs to be. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
1/5 22% The Kitchen (2019) It wreaks of studio interference, a film that feels pulled apart and then haphazardly restitched in an editing suite by a committee of people desperate to get it released before swiftly moving on and all agreeing to never speak of it ever again. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
3/5 83% Share (2019) In an effectively understated performance with minimal dialogue, Barreto's haunted face conveys it all, showing us the already fragile psyche of a teen slowly break down with the glum realisation of how unjust the world around her can be. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
3/5 83% Crawl (2019) I wouldn't exactly urge you to run rather then crawl to see it, but a brisk walk should do. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
2/5 39% Point Blank (2019) There are worse films to spend 86 minutes with on a Sunday afternoon but, more importantly, there are also so, so many better ones instead. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
2/5 64% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Ultimately, the scariest thing about Annabelle Comes Home is that despite its utter emptiness, more sequels, prequels and spin-offs will follow regardless. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2/5 36% Anna (2019) What ultimately sinks the film is its overwhelming blandness, from the lack of creativity employed in Anna's many kills to Besson's inability to choreograph a pulse-racing action scene... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/5 45% Murder Mystery (2019) Murder Mystery is a satisfying standout, albeit one that exists in a field with a very low bar. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
1/5 32% Shaft (2019) A strange, angry attack on modernity that feels like the result of a group of bitter men griping about the metrosexualisation of a younger generation. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
3/5 90% I Am Mother (2019) I Am Mother is undoubtedly a strong calling card with plenty on its mind. I just wish it had figured out what to do with it all. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
2/5 90% Always Be My Maybe (2019) Always Be My Maybe hits all of the beats we have come to expect yet fails to do so well enough, as if the mere existence of a technically well-structured romantic comedy is better than nothing. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
1/5 33% Domino (2019) A film so crushingly irrelevant it's almost worth ignoring its very existence. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3/5 54% Ma (2019) There's a great deal of fun to be had hanging out with Ma, a nasty yet surprisingly empathetic slab of exploitation with more than just carnage on its mind. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
2/5 42% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Within minutes of the film itself expectations start to dissipate, quickly replaced with crushing disappointment. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
3/5 73% The Perfection (2019) The film's indefinability is admirable while also frustrating, the plot leaping around in a rather graceless fashion, spinning back, forth and sideways with ambition but not always success. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
3/5 57% Brightburn (2019) Brightburn risks falling into the all-too-familiar creepy kid horror formula but there's just about enough to distinguish it from that ever-expanding subgenre... - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019