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The Lighthouse

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Canada, USA

2019

Rated R • 1h 49m

Director Robert Eggers

Starring Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe, Valeriia Karaman, Logan Hawkes

Genre Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

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As they clash over work duties and their food supply, two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Melanie Greenberg Profile picture for Melanie Greenberg

An essential quarantine watch, much funnier than I thought it would be and gripping from start to finish.

Cait Mohr Profile picture for Cait Mohr

Through rugged grunting and near-constant physical altercations, Pattinson (Winslow) and Dafoe (Wake) deliver an unsettling portrayal of two men caught up in the twin deliriums of loneliness and desire- exhibiting a sort of strained tenderness through drunken ramblings one moment and dramatically bristling at the slightest inkling of provocation the next. In fact, one of the most compelling aspects of this film was the sort of frustrated homoerotic/ homosocial relationship between Winslow and Wake, constantly bubbling beneath the disquieting shadows of isolation and the blinding flashes of the sublime at the surface. The horror of the Lighthouse seems psychosexual at times, with Dafoe’s character wavering between a sort of perverse father figure and German expressionist monster, constantly thwarting Winslow’s attempts at obtaining his object of desire (whatever it was) with a crooked, devious smile, highlighted by Eggers' masterful use of darkness and light. In any case, The Lighthouse was my favorite film of 2019! Perfectly punctuated the horrors of repression and ennui with humor and melodramatic spectacle.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

83

The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

The Lighthouse is more satisfying when viewed through the prism of its pitch-black humor; it’s fine as a thriller, borderline brilliant as a comedy of cabin fever and competitive machismo.
90

Vox by Alissa Wilkinson

There’s horror and gaslighting and high-on-helium-style comedy and bits of Freud scattered about; in essence, it’s a pile of things that don’t add up to any one thing but do leave you feeling both elated and creeped out.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

The movie delivers its share of shudders, along with fabulous arias of anger, wrath and disgust from both actors as the power dynamic bounces back and forth.
91

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

It’s a stunning showcase for Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe to unleash their wildest extremes, by positioning them at the center of a two-hander about a descent into madness in the middle of nowhere. It’s the best movie about bad roommates ever made.
100

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

If the immediate, textural pleasures of the film are such that you can almost miss the deftness of its construction, the skill with which Eggers balances out his ambivalent storytelling, while still ramping through ever-escalating climaxes, can’t be overstated.
100

CineVue by John Bleasdale

Eggers has created a film of disturbing horror, absurdist comedy and probing psychodrama which defies the generic boundaries as it breaks through them. The Lighthouse is a saltwater gothic masterpiece.
90

Screen Daily by Lee Marshall

The Lighthouse provides a marvellous chamber-drama platform for two actors, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, who seize the opportunity with gusto.
90

Variety by Owen Gleiberman

The movie, building on “The Witch,” proves that Robert Eggers possesses something more than impeccable genre skill. He has the ability to lock you into the fever of what’s happening onscreen.
100

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Very few films can make you scared and excited at the same time. Just like the lighthouse beam, this is dazzling and dangerous.
91

The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

Much like The Witch, there is something quite mesmerizing about the meticulousness in the period detail here and how Eggers so seems to revel in it.

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