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The Professor and the Madman

✭   Read critic reviews

Ireland, France, Iceland

2019

2h 4m

Director Farhad Safinia

Starring Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Eddie Marsan, Natalie Dormer

Genre History, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

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Professor James Murray begins work compiling words for the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary in the mid 19th century and receives over 10,000 entries from a patient at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum , Dr William Minor.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

20

The Hollywood Reporter by Elizabeth Kerr

The film’s only real draws are Gibson and Penn, who come at the material from opposite ends of the acting philosophy spectrum...It's simply confounding, much like the rest of the movie.
30

Variety by Jay Weissberg

For those that have been anticipating this curious, much-delayed oddity, the good news is that Gibson is fine; it’s everything else that doesn’t work.
38

RogerEbert.com by Nick Allen

It’s the presence of Gibson and his co-star Sean Penn, who give the project a stuffy sanctimoniousness, as it so transparently yearns to be the definition of “powerhouse acting.”
50

Movie Nation by Roger Moore

As “unfilmmable” as a movie about men lost in words, attempting to write a dictionary might seem, there is a better picture in this subject, based on journalist/history buff Simon Winchester’s best selling book. Limiting its scope, beefing up the connection between the “consanguineous” correspondents, their letters and their meetings, giving the two men competing agendas (acceptance by academia vs “redemption”) rather than shoehorning both of them into one and losing the “love story” would have been a start.
37

TheWrap by William Bibbiani

What a superficial and tedious motion picture, never quite bad enough to be campy, never remotely good enough to justify watching it instead of reading the book’s Wikipedia page.

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