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Added by johanlefourbe on 14 Jun 2021 01:17
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A Complete Review of Neil Jordan's work

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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6

Unfortunately, I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 104 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 6
Greta (2019)


Cast : Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Stephen Rea

What was it about?
A young woman befriends a lonely widow who's harboring a dark and deadly agenda toward her.

My two cents:
Well, the damned thing turned out to be a really generic and seriously tedious stalker thriller. Eventually, you might wonder what Neil Jordan saw in this derivative tale, especially since it was the first movie he made after 6 long years but maybe it was a pay-check gig. Eventually, the only saving grace in this tepid affair was the brilliant Isabelle Huppert, next to Catherine Deneuve the most legendary French actress at work nowadays, who managed to deliver a strong performance which was even more remarkable since her character was hardly interesting and, above all, so underwritten. Concerning Chloë Grace Moretz, I always had a weak spot for her and I can understand the appeal of working with a director like Neil Jordan and an actress like Isabelle Huppert but, to be honest, she seemed really out of her league. I mean, she wasn’t helped by the fact that the material was terribly weak but I’m afraid she doesn’t have the skills (yet?) to turn sh*t into gold like Huppert can for example. However, Maika Monroe managed to be even worse and it was only during the last scene that her character was not really insufferable. But, once again, the main issue was not with the cast, they did what they could with a really weak story. The first mistake they made was to not wait a little bit longer before Huppert jumped into full psychopath in order to have both characters really bond with each other. Instead, they revealed her true nature way too soon and, from this point on, the whole thing was just on auto-pilot. Eventually, I think I was actually rather generous with my rating here and, without Huppert, it could have turned out to be the worst directorial effort from Jordan so far.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 349 Average listal rating (201 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5


Cast : Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Caleb Landry Jones, Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller

What was it about?
Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.

My two cents:
It was pretty neat that Jordan was making another vampire movie almost 20 years after 'Interview with the Vampire' and it was interesting that he took a completely different approach this time around but, to be honest, I actually struggled to really care about the damned thing. Basically, nowadays, even though vampires might not be as popular as the zombies are, we still get tons of movies dealing with these creatures and a filmmaker really needs to bring something new to the genre to get me on board. Well, in this case, the only really original thing was the fact that these immortal creatures were for once penniless which was rather unusual but pretty much everything else was rather boring and generic, I'm afraid. I don't blame Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton though as they both gave some solid performances, especially Ronan. Anyway, even if it didn't really blow me away, I have to admit that it was still a decent watch though.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 239 Average listal rating (133 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
Ondine (2010)


Cast : Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Stephen Rea

What was it about?
An Irish fisherman discovers a woman in his fishing net whom his precocious daughter believes to be a selkie.

My two cents:
This time, Jordan was finally working with Colin Farrel, one of the most famous Irish actors at work nowadays so I was really wondering how the damned thing would work out. Basically, it is one of his smaller and more intimate features and I really enjoyed the gentle and soft tone of the whole thing. Furthermore, Farrell gave a solid performance and Alicja Bachleda was quite charming (they were actually a couple back in those days) and I mostly enjoyed this flick. Still, I must admit it , the story was rather weak, generic and predictable. Basically, it is one of those movies which starts out as some kind of fairy tale but ends up as a rather sordid and pedestrian drug drama. I was also not really convinced by the small girl. I mean, this girl gave a decent performance but the fact that her character kept constantly whining about the fact that Ondine was some kind of fairy got pretty annoying pretty fast. Eventually, it was Neil Jordan's subtle directing that saved this movie and managed to make it enjoyable to watch, at least, to me.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 563 Average listal rating (372 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7


Cast : Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen, Zoë Kravitz, Carmen Ejogo

What was it about?
Struggling to recover emotionally from a brutal assault that killed her fiancé and left her in a coma, a radio personality begins a quest for vengeance against the perpetrators that leaves a bloody trail across New York City.

My two cents:
Eventally, I thought it was an interesting flick. Indeed, they took a very old genre (the vigilante thriller) but they gave their own flavor to the whole thing which was rather intriguing. Indeed, most of the movies in this genre focus on the violence and the actions scenes whereas here, they focused more on the characters. Jodie Foster was at some point one of the best actresses, she even managed to win 2 academy awards during her prestigious career and I still think she is a terrific actress but it has a been a while since she really impressed me. Anyway, she gave here a solid performance, I eventually cared about the character she had created and I believed that she would be capable of her actions in this movie. It was a three dimensional character and it made this flick stand out from the rest of its kind. Unfortunaly for Foster and Neil Jordan who both did a good job here, the story was pretty standard and predictable. Indeed, it really followed the basic rules of the vigilante genre and I thought it was rather disappointing. Anyway, it was a decent flick and it is worth a look.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 581 Average listal rating (297 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2


Cast : Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Rea, Dominic Cooper, Ian Hart

What was it about?
In the 1970s, a young trans woman, Patrick "Kitten" Braden, comes of age by leaving her Irish town for London, in part to look for her mother and in part because her gender identity is beyond the town's understanding.

My two cents:
Eventually, even though it was not bad at all, I still ended up with some mixed feelings about the damned thing. Indeed, even though the main character was quite fascinating thanks to an impressive Cillian Murphy, pretty much everything else in the movie didn’t work very well, I’m afraid. The main issue, in my opinion, is that there were just too many story lines that ended up being rather under-developed but I still liked the damned thing. What impressed me the most eventually was once again the great performance provided by Cillian Murphy. Seriously, back in those days, he was definitely one of the most talented actors at work. It’s a shame that he never really managed to confirm his tremendous potential during the following years. Anyway, in this movie, he was completely believable here and he carried the whole thing on his shoulders.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 89 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5


Cast : Nick Nolte, Tchéky Karyo, Gérard Darmon, Saïd Taghmaoui, Emir Kusturica, Marc Lavoine, Ralph Fiennes

What was it about?
An aging gambler on a losing streak attempts to rob a casino in Monte Carlo. But someone's already tipped off the cops before he even makes a move.

My two cents:
To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this flick. It is probably one of the most obscure movies directed by Jordan and it was barely noticed when it was released (personally, I saw it a few years later on DVD). In fact, the only reason I really wanted to watch it was because I always had a weak spot for Neil Jordan’s work. Eventually, even though it might seem like a very misguided idea to remake such a classic like ‘Bob le flambeur’, I thought it was not bad at all. I have to admit that the fact that I eventually saw ‘Bob le flambeur’ only afterwards probably helped me to appreciate this modern version slightly more than it actually deserved. Anyway, I always had a weak spot for heist movies and I thought that this one was quite entertaining, even if it was nothing really ground-breaking or original. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the mood delivered in this movie, thanks to some solid directing by Jordan and, finally, Nick Nolte gave here a very good performance.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 280 Average listal rating (154 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.1


Cast : Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore, Stephen Rea, Ian Hart, Jason Isaacs

What was it about?
A desperate man tries to find out why his beloved left him years ago.

My two cents:
It is another rather obscure feature so I wasn’t sure what to expect from it but since I always had a weak spot for Neil Jordan’s work, I was quite eager to check it out. On top of that, the leads were played by Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore, some of the best actors around, so the whole thing definitely had some potential. Eventually, I guess it went by completely unnoticed because we have seen just too many similar movies in the past (the first that come to my mind would be the prestigious ‘Brief Encounter’) and, yet, I still had a weak spot for the whole thing. Indeed, even though the plot was nothing really original or ground-breaking, I thought that Fiennes and Moore both gave some fine performances and they both managed to make those characters quite compelling to behold. Concerning Neil Jordan, it must be one of his most straightforward and less challenging picture but I thought that most of what he did worked fine and it was just a nice watch.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 183 Average listal rating (111 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.5


Cast : Annette Bening, Aidan Quinn, Robert Downey Jr., Stephen Rea

What was it about?
A suburban housewife learns that she has a dreamworld connection to a serial murderer, and must stop him from killing again.

My two cents:
I’m pretty sure it is one of his movie with the lousiest reputation especially among his Hollywood features and it wasn’t really good, I’m afraid. I mean, it was watchable and, as usual, Jordan managed to create an intriguing mood but, at some point, the plot just became way too preposterous to hold my interest. It is something quite common with thrillers, at least the ones with some potential : the set-up is pretty intriguing but, at some point, the makers believe that they have to provide a closure and that’s when usually the whole thing falls flat. Indeed, since they built up something rather incredible, they come up with some inane twist that wrap up the whole thing within 10 minutes which is something I always find terribly underwhelming. This movie is definitely one of those. Still, Annette Bening gave, as usual, a solid performance and it was rather interesting to see Robert Downey Jr. who was still very much struggling with his substance issue back in those days (as a matter of fact, it was the last movie he completed before going to jail for a year on drug charges). Anyway, even though the whole thing was rather disappointing, I still think it is an intriguing thriller though.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 267 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.1


Cast : Stephen Rea, Ian Hart

What was it about?
The antisocial son of an alcoholic father and a bipolar mother grows up in 1960s Ireland.

My two cents:
To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this movie and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. Anyway, ever since I saw ‘The Crying Game’, I have always been a fan of Neil Jordan’s work but, unfortunately, it has been a while since he blew me away and I’m pretty sure the last time he really impressed me was actually with this movie. It is actually a rather obscure feature but it has fortunately still managed to reach a cult status through the years. Basically, it is some kind of whimsical dark tale and even though this mix might sound impossible, I thought it worked really well and the end-result was quite unique. Indeed, not only, it felt socially accurate but you had also a really fascinating portrait of a teenage boy who is put under such a huge pressure that he slowly starts to lose his grip on reality. At the center of this tale, you had the young Eamonn Owens who gave one of the best acting debut ever and it is a real shame he didn’t manage to have a solid career after this movie.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 402 Average listal rating (232 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2


Cast : Liam Neeson, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart, Aidan Quinn, Alan Rickman, Stephen Rea, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

What was it about?
Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

My two cents:
It has been a while since I have seen this flick and maybe I should check it out again at some point. To be honest, I have to confess that I didn’t even know who was Michael Collins before watching this movie and I was mostly eager to check it out because it was directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson. Anyway, I thought that Neil Jordan delivered a very interesting movie here with a great performance by Liam Neeson. Sure, I’m happy for the guy that he has developed a new fan base with his action flicks but I think those movies are actually a waste of his dramatic talent. As I mentioned before, I was completely unaware of this historical figure before watching this flick so I'm not sure if the story was really accurate but I thought it was a captivating page of history. You could argue that the whole thing was really straightforward but it didn’t bother me at all. To conclude, even though it might not have been a real masterpiece, I thought it was a rather spellbinding biopic.

My rating: 08/10

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Cast : Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater, Stephen Rea, Antonio Banderas

What was it about?
A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

My two cents:
I remember it very well when it was released. Obviously, River Phoenix was supposed to be there but tragically died before the production started and was subsequently replaced by Christian Slater but it was a rather minor part after all. Above all, back then, there was quite a controversy about the fact that Tom Cruise was to play Lestat and many thought, including the author Anne Rice, that he was a poor choice but, eventually, Cruise was really impressive here, delivering in the process one of his best performances. Concerning Brad Pitt, it was one of his biggest projects following his breakthrough in 'Thelma & Louise' and even though he was in fact upstaged by Tom Cruise, he was fine as well here (apparently, Pitt felt miserable during the production and actually wanted to drop out from the whole thing). To round up the cast, you finally had Kirsten Dunst who gave one of the best child performances I have seen launching another really steady career. Concerning the movie itself, to be honest, I think it was still missing something to become really amazing but it was still a really entertaining vampire flick.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 721 Average listal rating (435 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3


Cast : Stephen Rea, Forest Whitaker, Miranda Richardson, Jaye Davidson

What was it about?
A British soldier kidnapped by IRA terrorists soon befriends one of his captors, who then becomes drawn into the soldier's world.

My two cents:
It has been a while since I have seen this movie and I should really re-watch it at some point. On the other hand, I’m not sure if the whole thing would have the same impact if I knew what was going to happen. Anyway, I remember very well the first time I saw the damned thing. Indeed, somehow, I really didn’t know at all what it was about, I certainly didn’t know anything about the infamous twist occurring halfway through and I really didn’t see it coming at all. I remember it as if it was yesterday, I was with my one of my best buddies (who actually sadly passed away in 2016) and when the whole thing took place, we looked at each other completely flabbergasted (WTF?!?!) about what we just saw. It’s rather funny because I actually never really liked the usual twists in most of the thrillers but this one was, for me, completely unexpected. Basically, it is really weird movie which cannot be classified and it is is Neil Jordan's best movie so far. Indeed, the story was just really fascinating and so unexpected. The less you know about it, the more you will enjoy it and, in my opinion, it is one of the most fascinating thrillers ever made.

My rating: 09/10

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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.7


Cast : Beverly D'Angelo

What was it about?
The two teenagers Jimmy and Rose spend their vacation at the small Irish sea-resort Bray. Out of boredom they observe other people and imagine wild stories about them. One day they observe the blonde Renee, and Jimmy is immediately fascinated by her and even follows her home.

My two cents:
It is definitely another really obscure feature, I was the first one who rated the damned thing on Listal and even on IMDB, there was not even a poster for a while and barely anyone saw it there either. Since I have always been a fan of Neil Jordan’s work, I was still quite eager to check the damned thing anyway. The first interesting thing about this movie is that Jordan was already making movies for almost a decade (his previous movie ‘We're No Angels’ was even starring such big stars like Robert De Niro and Sean Penn) and you might wonder how he ended up directing such a small feature at this point in his career. Eventually, I have to admit it, the whole thing was not really amazing but there was something quite mesmerizing about it and I really enjoyed the mood. Eventually, they had to give us some kind of a plot and it didn’t really work but there was definitely something intriguing by the original set-up.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 268 Average listal rating (184 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.2


Cast : Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Demi Moore, John C. Reilly

What was it about?
Two escaped cons only prayer to escape is to pass themselves off as priests and pass by the police blockade at the border into the safety of Canada.

My two cents:
I know that this movie doesn’t really have a stellar reputation but, honestly, I thought it was actually fairly enjoyable. The point is that, from the start, the whole thing looked and sounded really awesome to me. Indeed, two of the greatest actors, Robert de Niro and Sean Penn, at the time at the heights of their Art, were working together so I was pretty much sold even before watching the damned thing. The fact that it was directed by Neil Jordan, a very solid director, made me think that it would be a sure winner. Eventually, I have to admit it, it was nothing great whatsoever. I mean, both de Niro and Penn were fine and it was fairly entertaining but the plot was seriously pedestrian and predictable. At the end of the day, the main issue, in my opinion, is that the characters were not developed enough and the whole thing felt like it was rather poorly written. Still, I think it was harmless and I enjoyed it for what it was.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 112 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.8
High Spirits (1988)


Cast : Peter O'Toole, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Daryl Hannah, Liam Neeson

What was it about?
When a hotelier attempts to fill the chronic vacancies at his castle by launching an advertising campaign that falsely portrays the property as haunted, two actual ghosts show up and end up falling for two guests.

My two cents:
Well, before watching the damned thing, I was actually aware of its rather lame reputation and, unfortunately, it turned out to be indeed one of the most pathetic haunted house movies I have seen so far. I guess, or I hope, it was pathetic by design but, even so, the damned thing was just seriously boring and often more annoying than actually entertaining. I won't blame Peter O'Toole who did what he could with this material but you might wonder how he ended up in this mess and the rest of cast was just rather weak. Apparently, Neil Jordan wasn't involved in the editing process and he argued that the end-result was actually really different than what he had in mind but I have some serious doubts that his version might have been actually a major improvement though. Indeed, in my opinion, the concept seemed rather hopeless from the very beginning. Anyway, this movie was easily the weakest one delivered by Neil Jordan so far and I don't think it is really worth a look.

My rating: 05/10

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People who added this item 182 Average listal rating (113 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Mona Lisa (1986)


Cast : Bob Hoskins, Michael Caine

What was it about?
A man recently released from prison manages to get a job driving a call girl from customer to customer.

My two cents:
Fortunately, I was eventually pleasantly surprised by this flick. Basically, it was one of those movies where a man and a woman are stuck together against their will but, eventually, they get some connection. The difference here was that the characters were so well written and played, they were quite fascinating to watch. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the directing providing precisely the right amount of humor, drama, romance and suspense. Of course, the fact that Michael Caine had a small part didn't hurt either as he once again gave another strong performance. Bob Hoskins, for once playing the lead, was also really good here. Eventually, the whole thing turned out to be a simple tale but it was very well told and just plain entertaining. Anyway, even if it is rather forgotten nowadays, I really liked the damned thing.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 307 Average listal rating (190 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.7


Cast : Angela Lansbury, Stephen Rea, Terence Stamp

What was it about?
A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine, and has a disturbing dream involving wolves prowling the woods below her bedroom window.

My two cents:
Back in the 90’s, Jordan made one of the most famous vampire flicks, ‘Interview with the Vampire’, but many forget that he also made a werewolves feature just at the beginning of his career. I must admit that the whole thing was pretty mesmerizing to behold. Indeed, it really looked awesome and, at times, it was pretty weird and creepy but it fit really well the fairy tale style. The special effects were also pretty impressive, with no CGI back then, everything was handmade, increasing the general creepy feeling. The other interesting thing was the multiple layers of story telling (up to 3 levels) , up to a point that you didn’t really know what you should think (is it a dream? Is it a fairy tale?). There was also this constant sexual tensions and innuendos which made you even more uncomfortable since the main character was just 12 years old. All those elements were pretty fascinating and my only complaint would be that the pacing was rather sluggish.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.3


Cast : Stephen Rea

What was it about?
Saxophonist Danny witnesses the murder of his band manager and a deaf-mute girl after a gig. Questioned by the police, he remembers only the orthopedic shoes of the killers' leader. So begins his quest to avenge them.

My two cents:
Well, to be honest, it wasn’t really an easy watch. First of all, it was pretty much impossible to pinpoint a specific genre as Jordan mixed so many styles together such as thriller, vigilante, neo-noir and even surrealism. Furthermore, it was pretty obvious that it was his debut as, in spite of a solid and intriguing introduction, the whole thing became rapidly random. For example, they took their time to explain how the main character would end up with a rifle but, out of nowhere, he was suddenly using a gun as well and, this time, the makers didn't bother explaining how this sax player would end up with a gun. Towards the end, it became therefore increasingly messy. I mean, how did the guy end up in this farm and what was his deal with this woman?!? They even threw in the mix a miracle child healer just for good measure. So, the damned thing was pretty much all over the place but there was already Jordan’s gritty visual style and the mood with a solid soundtrack (something actually rather rare for a movie from the 80’s) was pretty neat. And it was also nice to see Stephen Rea, Neil Jordan’s long time collaborator, showing up in his directing debut and the guy gave here another really solid performance.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

Since I have finally managed to watch all the movies directed by Neil Jordan, I thought I should make one of these lists for this guy as well.

Enjoy!


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A Complete Review of various directors' s work (65 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 10 years, 6 months ago 8 comments



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