‘The Critic’ Review — Ian McKellen Is Deliciously Vile

It is somewhat meta to criticize a film about a critic, particularly one who embraces vicious words and a peculiar style to maintain his readership. In The Critic, Ian McKellen plays Jimmy Erskine, a consolidated theater reviewer for The Daily Chronicle. That is, until his career in the newspaper is suddenly challenged by the new man in power, David Brooke (Mark Strong). Different from his father who originally ran the paper and hired Erskine as a critic, Brooke isn’t fond of the writer’s sharp comments, especially when they are targeted toward a young actress called Nina Land (played by Gemma Arterton). To keep his post, Erskine must use Brooke’s affection for Land to his advantage, promising the actress to only publish positive comments on her work moving forward if she maintains an affair with Brooke. This web of lies and tug of war for power becomes messy and tragic, but it is a thrilling venture indeed.

​ In Anand Tucker’s The Critic, starring Ian McKellen and Gemma Arterton, an operatic tragedy unfolds. Read on for our review.