films seen
8
average score
2.43*
nationality
UK - 56 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

The good stuff

American Beauty

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
1999 / 122m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
American Beauty poster

Mendes' debut is a film that count. The way he takes the piss out of adulthood and America's suburban facade is pretty striking, though I wouldn't go as far as to say the film is holding up a mirror. It's a lovely dark comedy though, with great performances, somewhat grotesque characters and a perfect balance between funny bits and heartfelt moments, some of them happening in the very same scenes. Mendes' career dwindled after this film, but at least he left us with one bona fide masterpiece.

Solid pieces

1917

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
2019 / 119m - UK
Genre
War
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
1917 poster

Exceptional war flick. Mendes' approach is perfect for this type of film, though in the end I wished he'd gone even purer, with less chance encounters and more solitude still. Technically amazing, visually arresting, overall very captivating and only a smidgen too long. One of those rare occasions Hollywood gets it right.

Jarhead

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
2005 / 125m - USA
Genre
War
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Jarhead poster

The inoffensive

Away We Go

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
2009 / 98m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Away We Go poster

A fine blend of comedy and drama, revolving around a couple of soon to be parents looking for a place to settle. The road movie-like structure fits the topic and Krasinski and Rudolph are both perfect, but the film is a bit on the safe side and feels rather inconsequential, while Mendes was clearly aiming for something deeper. Still, not a bad watch.

Dubious filler

Revolutionary Road

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
2008 / 119m - USA
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Revolutionary Road poster

Terribly grave and overstated drama. Both Winslet and DiCaprio act as if their lives are weighed down by an unbearable sadness, but the drama simply doesn't support that. It's a decently made film, but in the end I didn't feel much for these characters, which clearly wasn't Mendes' intention. Pretty average overall.

Plain forgettable

Spectre

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
2015 / 148m - UK
Genre
Action, Thriller
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Spectre poster

Craig's Bond reign has been one big disappointment. Not because Craig's terrible, though I will say he doesn't really fit the profile of the Bond I prefer. Having seen all the films in the main series, it's clear that I thoroughly prefer the sillier side of Bond. Spectre doesn't do silly (well), it's mostly a very serious film.

Though I've seen most of the Craig Bonds in a relatively short span of time, and recognize something of a story arc in there, I really couldn't care less. The plot is just bland, so the time spent on trying to make it look intriguing is just wasted. Spies, airplane chases, evil people, lairs and exploding buildings, it's always the same really.

Mendes isn't a great action director, and it shows. The action feels pretty bland, which is a problem for a film that leans on the action quite heavily. The performances are decent but overly grave, the score is negligible, and the runtime is a joke. One more Craig Bond to go, let's hope they rework the series once more after that.

Big nopes

Skyfall

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
2012 / 143m - UK
Genre
Action, Thriller, Adventure
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Skyfall poster

Road to Perdition

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
2002 / 117m - USA
Genre
Drama, Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Road to Perdition poster