Despite excellent performances from Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson, and the radiant Toby Kebbell, along with a noble effort from pretty newcomer Sam Riley as Curtis himself, Control is like a wake where the guests forgot to bring the booze and, for the most part, have nothing very nice or even particularly interesting to say about the deceased.
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You don’t have to know anything about Joy Division to grasp the mysterious sorrow at its heart.
Those who worship Joy Division may bridle at Corbijn’s film for its reluctance to mythologize their hero. Speaking as someone so irretrievably square that I not only never listened to the band but didn’t even know anyone who liked it, I can’t imagine a tribute more fitting than this.
Morton's as good an actress as any working today and in Control, she overcomes an age gap to give one of the year's most heartbreaking and honest performances.
In essence, Control is a standard order biopic of a tormented artist. What makes the film interesting, if not unique, is the style in which director Anton Corbijn has elected to present it.
A romantic victim to the end, this Ian Curtis is all that worshipful fans could ever hope for.
A rock bio minus the fun. The sex is guilt-stricken, the drugs are used to treat epilepsy, and the rock 'n' roll is about isolation and despair.
Control goes past the clichés of punk rock-god gloom to offer a snapshot of alienation that's shockingly humane.
It's Corbijn, shooting with a poet's eye in a harshly stunning black-and-white, who cuts to the soul of Ian's life and music. You don't watch this movie, you live it.
Lovely and deeply touching picture.