Critical round-up

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The Independent Culture

'What we get is what we expect - a simple parable for our times which favours love over money while making sure that it makes as much of the latter as possible. It's not the best Disney but it is right up there.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'Comedy mixed with high kitsch . . . The characters are spoofy and (post)modern: led by a Tom Cruise-like Aladdin and a Robin Williams-voiced genie with a genius for mimicry. And the pace is so fast, so sure . . .' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'Visually it's a treat . . . The script crackles with wit and life . . . Somehow, such an abundance of riches leads you to expect more of the heroes . . . The five songs are another let- down . . . But these are minor quibbles. Aladdin is a great achievement.' Nigel Kendall, Time Out

'Aladdin may catch the eye with its speed, exuberance and show-stealing turn by the chameleon Genie, voiced by Robin Williams. But it lacks the finesse and cohesion of Disney's true classics.' Geoff Brown, Times

'It's Disney at its best - for adults and children.' Emma Norman, Daily Mirror


'A contrived story, over-loaded with pop psychology, that would never reach the big screen unless a major star insisted. As director, Mel Gibson proves no visual stylist.' Geoff Brown, Times

'This is a very creditable effort, only marred by a certain heaviness of exposition.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'The movie swills around in a soft stew of buddyism and surrogate-parent sentimentality, varied by the odd morsel of red-herring Gothicism.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'Solidly crafted.' Nigel Floyd, Time Out

'Proof that there's more to Mel Gibson than breath-taking good looks.' Emma Norman, Daily Mirror


'The Stranger may not be one of Ray's obvious masterpieces. But it says a lot to us all while remaining totally tied to the Bengali world he knew so well. And its lightness of touch and unpatronising sense of humour carries what might otherwise have been a talky film along with a sure step.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'No masterpiece, perhaps: but a worthy memento from a great and benign director whose tender touch is sorely missed.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Sedentary, even sciatic in its staging, but grace-touched in its mastery of faces and feelings.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'It's no good this film pretending to be fine art just because it's got subtitles and is directed by the great Satyajit Ray . . . It just made me feel drowsy.' Emma Norman, Daily Mirror