Gary Oldman stars as Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s biopic of the former British Prime Minister. But what have critics made of the film?
The Telegraph:**** “Some casting choices just sell themselves, and Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill is one of them.”
The Independent: **** “Oldman’s Churchill is devious, alcoholic and conceited, but also resilient and perceptive.”
The Guardian: **** “this movie packs a much bigger and more effective punch, and that’s down to a more ambitious scale, pacier narrative drive – and the lead performance.”
NME: *** “It may be a bit facile to begin with talking about award contention, but Darkest Hour really is that kind of film. It’s built around a performance. It’s a solid film, beautifully shot, depicting the life of a man whose story has been told many, many times.”
Radio Times: **** “Oldman, meanwhile, perhaps seeing something of himself in the role of the outsider, is never less than sensational: Churchill’s dark times make for his brightest in years. What a performance.”
Culture Whisper: **** “Darkest Hour can feel like a little too much conversation and the storytelling becomes a bit loose (there’s a lot of map-reading at one point), but the film is not devoid of its House of Cards moments.”
The Times: **** “Gary Oldman gives us one of the best depictions of Winston Churchill yet in this artful piece of portraiture.”
Irish Times: *** “Darkest Hour remains, however, very much like something the BBC might show on a Sunday night. Joe Wright certainly works hard to justify its place in the cinema.”
Time Out: **** “Darkest Hour is a film of verbal ammunition, and its calibre is high.”
Entertainment Focus: “Oldman is a master of his craft and he makes every scene watchable here. It’s a stunning transformation that takes place onscreen, with a heady mix of natural acting talent mixed in with some ground-breaking prosthetics and make-up. Gary Oldman deserves the awards for such an absorbing performance that holds you on the edge of your seat.”
The Metro: **** “Director Joe (Atonement) Wright exhibits his trademark flashes of visual aplomb and captures the peril of Nazi invasion with thrilling immediacy, despite being almost entirely confined to the claustrophobic corridors of power. But this is Oldman’s showcase and he deserves every award going to shove inside it.”
Darkest Hour is released in cinemas on the 12th January.