Paul Byrnes

Paul Byrnes
Paul Byrnes's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Sydney Morning Herald The Age (Australia)

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/5 85% Freaks (2019) Freaks is a compendium of movie love, as much as it is a movie. Its success rests on an astonishing performance by Lexy Kolker, who was seven when the film was shot. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
4/5 85% Animals (2019) It's a tribute to [director] Sophie Hyde's work that these two gals, with tinkling white wine glasses and cackling laughter, become fully engaging women on screen. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
3/5 68% Angel of Mine (2019) The Australian adaptation is not quite a success, nor fully a failure. Some of its weaknesses come from the original. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet The Naked Wanderer (2019) It's funny in parts, innocently likeable, it has great locations amid stunning landscapes, but almost no narrative drive or tension. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
4/5 75% Dragged Across Concrete (2019) Dragged Across Concrete feels like you're dangling on the end of a meat hook. It's painful and tense and at the same time, a little ridiculous... Even then, it's full of surprises, and riches for those who like it darker. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2019
3/5 94% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) Nelson has made many lauded documentaries about the black experience in America. His life of Miles is comprehensive and stimulating, frequently illuminating, but also frustrating. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
4/5 65% Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan (2019) If it's not the most character-driven of Australian war movies, it's certainly one of the most intense. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
4/5 96% Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2019) The film is a must for aficionados. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2019
3/5 65% The Public (2019) It's hard to play a good man doing the right thing. Saints are dramatically dull, but Estevez gets away with it here. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2019
3/5 58% Ophelia (2019) Ridley does a fine job on all fronts, so that the second half of the film rises above its theatrical tethers. George MacKay does his share of the heavy lifting. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Defend, Conserve, Protect (2019) Amis had the opportunity to go deeper into the politics and the difficulty involved in high-risk sea conservation... Instead, he gives us a 76-minute commercial for Sea Shepherd, and precious little about these courageous young people. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
3.5/5 79% Sink or Swim (Le grand bain) (2018) The film boldly goes where no French film has gone before and with enough humour and heart to defuse such ungenerous thinking. Yes, it's a bit wet, but what else could it be? - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2019
3/5 91% The Keeper (Trautmann) (2018) For the most part, the film embraces its contradictions. As a parable about forgiveness, it's a fine example. As a portrait of the real Trautmann, some questions remain, hanging in the air like a ball on the way to the far corner of the net. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2019
4/5 88% An Unexpected Love (El amor menos pensado) (2018) Comedies like this are rare -- not just for the mature age range, but for the wisdom packed into the observation. It's a sophisticated comedy, born out of experience. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
4.5/5 78% Never Look Away (2019) Most biopics never crack an artist's process, if they even try, but this one goes in hard, in a courageous way. That's part of von Donnersmarck's purpose -- to chart the artist's growth and self-realization. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
3/5 51% Tolkien (2019) The film looks great, a polished period piece, but the pedigree is ragged... The result is polite, plodding and unconvincing, like most movies about famous writers. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
2/5 58% Under the Silver Lake (2019) [Director David Robert] Mitchell has a gift for arresting and slightly discomfiting imagery, but he either can't, or won't, submit to the editing discipline that would give the film pace and drive. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
3/5 30% Red Joan (2019) In technical terms, it's a proficiently made film by the evergreen Trevor Nunn -- or it would be if it were not so determined to embrace all the cliches of the moment, both about British spies and films for women. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
2.5/5 68% Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (Astérix - Le secret de la potion magique) (2018) The films have always been more kid-oriented than the books and this one won't frighten the school-age ones, although it might raise a few hairs on those younger. Adults might enjoy the knowing glimpses of the real world. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3.5/5 91% Acute Misfortune (2019) It's an uncompromising and complex film, a sort of horror movie about modern times. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
3.5/5 100% 2040 (2019) You can't please everyone. Gameau is at least doing what he can to talk about some big problems, in an entertaining and accessible way. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet RocKabul (2019) Most bands only have to put up with jeers if they bomb. The stakes are always much higher here, which is part of what makes this documentary highly engaging. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3/5 84% The Night Eats the World (La nuit a dévoré le monde) (2018) If you are going to take a dusty old premise, you have to be creative -- and director Dominique Rocher does this with flair. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
3/5 56% Celeste (2018) Radha Mitchell bears a strong resemblance to Cilento, but the film does Cilento no favours by evoking her memory in this confused, over-sexed and under-cooked melodrama. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
3/5 44% The Chaperone (2019) Norma's story, as handmaid to greatness, inevitably ends up feeling like we've explored a pleasant tributary, rather than the mainstream. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
4/5 95% 1985 (2018) What really distinguishes the film is that it gets deep inside this broken family without becoming histrionic or accusatory. Tan avoids any hint of sentimentality, concentrating on the pain instead. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/5 35% Breaking Habits (2019) This is where the film falls down. It's not enough for Ryan just to show us the weirdness. He needed to stay longer, to answer some of the questions he raises. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
3.5/5 86% The Hole in the Ground (2019) In this creepy Irish-Finnish co-production, that fear combines with more modern concerns about the traumas of parenting in a way that freshens up the soil. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
3/5 94% Transit (2019) Christian Petzold is a gifted director...but here he mistakes narrative complexity for dramatic rigour. The film didn't need the existential ponderings. The cake was rich enough without the icing. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
3/5 71% The Happy Prince (2018) Everett's direction is full of beautiful surfaces and witty lines, but there's not much beneath them. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 91% Shazam! (2019) Put it this way: in terms of superhero movies, it's more fun than most, because the comedy is self-satirising. It's fairly rough around the edges. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
56% I, Robot (2004) He excels in creating alternative worlds and the one here sustains the film, with a pristine beauty that's attractive and slightly sinister. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/5 41% Where Hands Touch (2018) In the end it feels like a school play, and not a very good one. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
3/5 55% Five Feet Apart (2019) It's the best tear-jerker in a long time; one box of tissues might not be enough. On a deeper level, it earns some of that emotion through a story based on a real dilemma. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
4/5 100% Inventing Tomorrow (2018) All of these young adults shine with hope and promise -- and that makes the film very moving. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
3/5 55% Swimming with Men (2018) It's a sweet idea for a comedy, and it almost convinces you that it's as funny as it wants to be...It's hard to pick what's missing, but something certainly is. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 87% The Sisters Brothers (2018) Reilly carries the film, with a performance that's elegantly caught between Eli's loyalty and his desire to be free of his crazy kinsman. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
2/5 57% The House That Jack Built (2018) If this shrill, manipulative, sledge-hammer allegory is right for our times, give me Dante any day. Von Trier has certainly done better, but never worse. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2019
3/5 60% A Dog's Way Home (2019) There's not much variation on the old themes here. What's new is the film's definition of community and family. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
3.5/5 98% The Guilty (Den skyldige) (2018) The Guilty is a clever Danish thriller that takes full advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of modern communications. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2019
3/5 89% Arctic (2019) Mikkelsen gives a strong performance, of course. He has to carry the movie on his shoulders, but that's probably why he did it. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
3/5 70% Cold Pursuit (2019) [Neeson] does them well, but his performances often outstrip his conveyances of late. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
2.5/5 No Score Yet The Combination Redemption (2019) Many of the film's problems could have been solved with more money and time, but not all of them. As well as a better title, the film needed another draft, a tougher edit and a longer gestation. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3.5/5 82% Ben is Back (2018) Showy acting is popular, but I think Peter and Lucas Hedges...do their best work in the quieter moments, in which they take us deep inside a problem that has tragic consequences for so many people. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
3.5/5 97% Free Solo (2018) There is something epic and disturbing about Honnold's singularity, his desire to be the one person on the planet who can do something that no one else can. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
4/5 78% Green Book (2018) The performances are superb, on the back of a tight script. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
4/5 83% Loro (2019) [Paolo Sorrentino] embraces the corruption, the vulgarity and the extravagance with a certain tenderness, rather than envy. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
3/5 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) The dialogue is more wise-cracking and knowing, geared to appeal to young teenage boys rather than children. The technical aspects are as good as ever: indeed, the technology advances with each film, so that each looks richer than the last. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
2.5/5 81% Overlord (2018) Overlord is to fact as Churchill was to sobriety, or Trump to modesty. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
3/5 94% Spitfire (2018) [The Spitfire is] a symbol of British bravery, ingenuity and victory, driven by nostalgia and lately, seized upon by nationalists. The documentary stokes those emotions, when it might better have questioned them. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018