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Life

6/10
Biography . Drama
 

In 1955, young photographer Dennis Stock develops a close bond with actor James Dean while shooting pictures of the rising Hollywood star.

 
Actors: Kristian Bruun , Kelly McCreary , Ben Kingsley , Joel Edgerton , Dane DeHaan , Robert Pattinson , Lauren Gallagher , Kendal Rae , Alessandra Mastronardi , Stella Schnabel , Peter Lucas
Directors: Anton Corbijn
Country: UK , USA , GERMANY , CANADA , AUSTRALIA
Release: 2015-12-04
More Info:
  • Guy Lodge

    [An] engaging, elegiac portrait of a legend in the making.

    Variety Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Dane De Haan’s borderline-irritating portrayal of James Dean, with all the self-conscious cadences and high-pitched deliveries, almost dares you to reject the work — until you realize he’s encapsulating Dean’s charisma AND his selfishness as an actor.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    Corbijn’s reserved, removed approach gives his stars the space to develop a real chemistry, which makes their characters pleasant company, once they get past their early clumsiness around each other.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

    It looks pretty, and is visually often a creditable recreation of times past, but it gives no substance to Stock and Dean's relationship, just circumstances. It lacks life.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Eric Eidelstein

    It's not a terrible film, and succeeds in giving us a play by play of an alleged dynamic between two individuals, but as a whole feels like a missed opportunity.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • David Rooney

    The film mostly grasps for unearned emotions.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Nicolas Rapold

    Mr. Corbijn picturesquely frames the back story to the shoot, but his muffled retelling drifts with Dane DeHaan’s murmurous impersonation of Dean and Robert Pattinson’s almost perversely listless turn as Stock.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    Pattinson gives what is simply a dull performance in a dull role: something in the casting and conception is wrong from the outset. Maybe he would have been better as Dean.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Stephen Whitty

    There's nothing very serious to it, perhaps. But it takes its fun very seriously indeed and – after a long summer of big-budget extravaganzas -- ends up providing a small, end-of-season delight.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Catherine Shoard

    It gleams with a faintly-tacky, country club sheen, as if it'd been sheep-dipped in essence of 70s and come out feeling peachy.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    While it doesn’t hit the highs of the very best movies based on the author’s works — those would be Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” two outstanding examples of American narrative cinema of the ‘90s—it’s also far less slick and ingratiating than the watchable but very Hollywood-processed likes of “Get Shorty” and “Be Cool.”

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Thing is, though, for anyone familiar with the Tarantino film, this less remarkable picture will totally seem like a prequel, peering back as it does on younger versions of characters audiences got to know in "Jackie Brown."

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    Schechter’s soul-scored film is impeccably styled for the time period, and its easy pacing reminds me of the gold standard for Leonard adaptations, “Out of Sight.” It’s not that good, but it’s within striking distance.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    It's a showcase of proficient storytelling that's eager to entertain.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Life of Crime has the authentic Leonard snap, crackle and pop.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Ben Kenigsberg

    As a late-summer caper movie, it hits the spot. The film offers the intriguing contrast of actors and a director (Daniel Schechter) taking a different approach to known material.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    With the genial pairing of Jennifer Aniston as a rich guy’s trophy wife and John Hawkes as a low-rent criminal at the center of a colorful cast and a pitch-perfect rendering of caste-divided Detroit, Life of Crime is a bittersweet end-of-summer surprise.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Dennis Harvey

    Flavorful yet brisk like the book, Life of Crime loses some of its source material’s character development as well as a few minor narrative pieces (the dialogue remains nearly all Leonard’s), but the excellent casting fills in any resulting gaps well enough.

    Variety Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Life of Crime is lesser-Leonard, an all-star kidnapping comedy that manages to “Be Cool” even if the filmmaker never quite finds the grim faced grins that the best Elmore noirs boast.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    All this is more amusing in theory than practice, partly because Leonard’s world of wiseguys and slapstick violence has become so familiar – the caper-movie default mode.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Patrick Gamble

    Schechter's latest marks its arrival with a fanfare of style and sass, but lacks the necessary bite to leave a lasting impression.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Mike McCahill

    If you’re in the market for a workaday crime story, Schechter’s film fulfills some of its obligations. You might just wish it had more life.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Angie Errigo

    Missing the punchy plotting of the Coens thriller it resembles, the early chuckles don't quite translate into a satisfying whole.

    Empire Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    If Life of Crime transcends its lightheartedness to actually make us care for what happens to its characters, it doesn’t quite transcend its own haphazard, impoverished story.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Barbara VanDenburgh

    Mostly, it's fine. The acting is fine. The writing is fine. The story is fine. There are a few laughs. And that should be fine enough. But with material as rich as Leonard's serving as the foundation, just fine is a disappointment.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • John Anderson

    One of the brighter aspects of Life of Crime, which otherwise ambles along good naturedly, is the casting.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    This one belongs to the women: As a gold-digging mistress, Isla Fisher does half-smart expertly, while Jennifer Aniston demonstrates her underrated timing as a wealthy kidnapping victim turned confidante.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    A solid, middle-of-the-road Leonard adaptation that lacks the singularity to be something more.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • John DeFore

    Daniel Schechter's Life of Crime starts promisingly and ends with a smile but underwhelms in between.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    Life of Crime is like an errant golf putt that appears headed for the hole, but just keeps rolling and rolling, all the way off the green. In other words, just missed . . . by a mile.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    Life of Crime feels like a rambling car ride through the countryside with friends. The scenery is great, and the passengers are diverting, but you keep wondering where the driver is headed.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Steve Macfarlane

    Down to its too-crisp rubber Nixon masks, Daniel Schechter's film revels in obnoxiously self-aware period detail.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Michael Ordona

    Well-made and -acted, especially by Hawkes and Fisher, if it's not exactly gripping or noir-ish.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    The comedy's too broad to take the characters seriously, and the vibe is breezily aimless, a mistake in a story about anxious waiting.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Ultimately it’s the cast, more than the crime, that gives this story life.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Tom Russo

    The cast does capable work, but you’ll wish the movie concentrated more on the comedy, which has some zing, rather than the straighter elements, which quickly start to drag.

    Boston Globe Full Review
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