Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Irish Times

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 100% Knock Down the House (2019) It's a friendly record of an extraordinary moment. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
3/5 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Not absolute top-flight Pixar. No embarrassment either. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
4/5 97% Knives Out (2019) Decorating the action with brown wood and rep-theatre costumery, [Johnson] makes no concessions to safety in his vigorous hammering of the accelerator. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
4/5 88% The Two Popes (2019) If none of it were true, The Two Popes might register as a minor masterpiece. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
1/5 52% Charlie's Angels (2019) The film nobody asked for turns out to be the film nobody deserves. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
5/5 96% Marriage Story (2019) Marriage Story finds humour in the worst scenarios and hope in the most uncivil dissolutions. It's a wonder. It is Baumbach's best film. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
4/5 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Fails and Talbot's writing follows no script doctor's convention. The direction reveals no obvious influences. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
4/5 72% The Aeronauts (2019) The sort of adventure that the movies rarely provide anymore. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
4/5 85% Sorry We Missed You (2020) The passion, the fluid film-making and the consistency of the acting more than compensate for the expected clunks. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
3/5 90% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) For all [its] flaws, Meeting Gorbachev remains a fascinating study of a remarkable life. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
5/5 96% The Irishman (2019) The busy wipes, lively zooms and fast cuts that characterised the earlier gangster flicks are not on display. This is as much the Scorsese of Silence as of Wolf of Wall Street. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
3/5 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) One of the film's messages is that there's no escaping your past. An odd, odd project, but not unenjoyable. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
2/5 40% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) [The] messages are packaged in baffling fantasy baloney that fails to achieve the discipline of your average Care Bear movie. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2019
2/5 65% The Day Shall Come (2019) Morris, who co-authored the screenplay with Jesse Armstrong, has transformed these fascinating yarns into the first out-and-out dud of his career. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2019
4/5 69% Joker (2019) We are here for a grim fairground ride and Joaquin Phoenix, whose title character kicks everything else into distant wings, spares no effort in keeping us diverted throughout. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Thank You Come Again (2017) The characters arrange themselves in rigid rows and, to an almost constantly static camera, bark out lines that would, in too many cases, have better remained unsaid. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3/5 84% Downton Abbey (2019) The genuine charm of the cast will continue to disarm those who can't entirely erase thoughts of guillotines and tumbrils. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
4/5 99% For Sama (2019) t might be overstretching it to say the film ends with a message of hope. But it does, at least, speak to the human capacity for survival. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3/5 100% Extra Ordinary (2020) Extra Ordinary is not always subtle, but most viewers will yield to its mystic charms. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
2/5 22% The Kitchen (2019) The shallowness of the depiction would matter less if the story made a modicum of sense. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3/5 27% Rambo: Last Blood (2019) It's not exactly a film for grown-ups. But it's not a film for children either. That's something to hold on to. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
5/5 90% The Souvenir (2019) It is ... Hogg's way to leave us in a state of tantalising incompletion. We collapse out of The Souvenir wanting more of everything. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
4/5 90% Never Grow Old (2019) Impressively filthy, studded with convincing violence, the picture is very much in an established sub-genre. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2019
3/5 78% Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) The prohibitive 15A cert may dissuade some parents from bringing teenagers ... but this is just the sort of goo that younger horror fans adore. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2019
5/5 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) All this customary excellence is in the service of a story that, though drenched in the sourness of mortality, allows in cautious optimism about the human condition. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2019
1/5 80% Good Boys (2019) A squalid mess that makes ill use of some talented young performers. It's not offensive; it's just baffling. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2019
3/5 89% Blinded by the Light (2019) The picture is sentimental, implausible and laboured. It is also among the most irresistibly entertaining films of the summer - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
3/5 51% The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Yes, it's both too bad and too good to be true, but there could be no better time for such fantasies. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
2/5 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) After just half an hour, I was tempted to spread foam across the screen and scrape off the stubble that was already breaking through. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2019
3/5 69% Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans (2019) There's an infectious sense of fun and some very good jokes at the expense of pompous Romans and maggoty Celts. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
5/5 100% The Chambermaid (La camarista) (2019) No trace of the literary or theatrical remains in Avilés's long takes and snatched, blank dialogue. The picture wraps a whole world around us. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
2/5 53% The Lion King (2019) Scrunch your eyes up, put your hands over your ears and you could be watching an uncharacteristically boring nature documentary on the BBC. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2019
3/5 57% Brightburn (2019) The conceit works brilliantly until, in the closing 20 minutes, it clatters disappointingly into a fatal uncertainty. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
4/5 88% Diego Maradona (2019) [Maradona] remains as unknowable as a figure from ancient myth. None of this dents the appeal of a film that makes brilliant use of his terrible, doomed momentum. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
4/5 88% Metal Heart (2018) Arriving at a time when the world seems in a permanent squabble with itself, Metal Heart offers a welcome heap of generosity. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Prisoners of the Moon (2019) Prisoners of the Moon remains fascinating. With some ruthless recutting, it could be a lot better. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
4/5 100% The Cold Blue (2019) We are left with a valuable record of an extraordinary period. The vibrant colour lends the images an immediacy that strips away the decades. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
3/5 40% Vita & Virginia (2019) Torn between brave experiment and on-after-Lovejoy heritage telly. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
3/5 78% Never Look Away (2019) Bland ideas are sold cheaply. The cosmetic is valued over the nuanced. But it rifles through its own pages as the reader might a yarn by the recently late Judith Krantz. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
5/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) Clocking in at a tidy 90 minutes, laid out in ruthlessly linear fashion, the film plays like one deep breath nervously exhaled. It's also eye-wateringly beautiful to behold - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
2/5 23% Men in Black International (2019) So perfunctory that, even before it's finished, the film has taken on the quality of a late sequel you're not sure ever happened. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
2/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) You might reasonably conclude that the plot had been scribbled down on the back of a menu after a long, drunken lunch. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
74% Papi Chulo (2019) It's a slim film- almost a two hander - but it is touching, honest and it never resorts to cheap gags. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2019
2/5 42% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) We descend into mayhem so incoherent one almost (I said "almost") longs for the notorious Roland Emmerich incarnation to return. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
3/5 54% Ma (2019) Spencer is good enough at the evil stuff ... to keep us diverted until a scattershot conclusion that invites a busload of anxieties into the viscera-drenched living room. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
5/5 92% The Lighthouse (2019) The picture ploughs through centuries of lore for briny manifestations of madness. All are cleverly imagined. Many are properly unsettling. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2019
2/5 57% Aladdin (2019) A weird mess of vaguely woke film-making and cultural appropriation on the DeMille scale. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2019
5/5 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) As the third act grinds to a grim conclusion, the yawning social divisions cause the laughter to curdle into unease. It's an extraordinary performance. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2019
4/5 97% Booksmart (2019) Booksmart is not short on outrageous larks and inappropriate remarks. It is, however, that sense of discovery that sets it apart. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2019
4/5 66% Little Joe (2019) It gets under your skin and lays eggs there. A standout oddity. - Irish Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019