The Professor and the Madman (2019) Poster

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10/10
If not love...then what?
maha-sidahmed30 March 2019
Walked into the film with no expectations or knowledge of what it was about, except that it starred Gibson and Penn.

Walked out of the film blown away. The script, cast (each and every one of them), the story... all beautifully portrayed.

Though-provoking, heart-wrenching and inspiring.
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10/10
Oscar winning Performances
greencarmena17 April 2019
This film is for real cinema lovers, who dont need special effects and flashing images to get excited. I had no expectations when I sat down to view this amazing piece of work. The acting was superb, period costumes on point, casting down to the children, the broadmoor guards all wonderful. Sean Penn deserves an oscar for this extraordinary performance.
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8/10
An endeavour of unanticipated heft
linkogecko21 March 2019
Unforeseen: when a movie about people LITERALLY writing a dictionary turns out to be captivating, specially the further it strays from the actual dictionary-writing. "The Professor and the Madman" features Sean Penn and Mel Gibson both retaking characteristics from some of their better-known, pre-controversy roles, with Gibson going back to the "Braveheart" Scottish accent and Penn to the "Dead Man Walking" maybe-redeemable inmate murderer; resulting in a very strong on-screen chemistry.

By the time this movie is released in most markets, its fame will likely stem from its legal issues which lead to Mel Gibson basically disavowing it and director Farhad Safinia doing so in full (the movie is credited to "P.B. Shemran", an Alan Smithee-like alias if there's ever been one). I find this decision suprising as for most of the film I could have easily bought this as a Mel Gibson-directed work. As a filmmaker, he might not have the strongest of auteurial signatures, but said signature that can most easily be defined in the depiction of gore, a fascination with language and Christian faith elements (most obvious in "The Passion of the Christ" and "Hacksaw Ridge"), definitely makes an appearance here.

Not content with Gibson-like directorial decisions, the screenplay fortunately digs deeper into some topics than any Gibson script has. Penn's character's arc in particular is well-developed in creating empathy towards the mentally ill, which is still not common enough nowadays, nevermind in a time when phrenology was still a valid study. The word "redemption", so rare yet supposed to be the most Christian of virtues as well, gets a very strong definition with this character arc. Obsession is touched upon as well, not to Aronofsky-an levels, but still enough to be worthy of a mention.

Considering the unforeseen depth of the treatment of these topics, it's truly unfortunate that there are some cases where the movie relies of the most shallow of tropes to force tension. The worst case of this is the almost-mustache-twirling-villain characters, with no depth or motive beyond antagonizing and foiling our brave heroes. One case in particular is not as tragic when a (until then) well-developed and rounded character inexplicably takes that villanous turn, at least having given us a solid base before. Additionally, the visuals suffer with some establishing shots clearly having made with inferior digital video quality, creating a jarring effect that takes you out of the movie. All in all, despite these shortcomings, "The Professor and the Madman" is a worthy story that goes into unanticipated and fortuitous depths, intensities, profoundities.
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9/10
Outstanding film with Oscar-worthy performance by Penn
TheTopDawgCritic19 April 2019
I wasn't thrilled about a biographical film story regarding a dictionary, but this one impressed me! Who would've though to know the history behind a dictionary?

Farhad Safinia makes his first full length feature film debut as writer and director, and nailed it. Produced by and also starring Mel Gibson - who was also great in his role, this film was directed exceptionally well, and the writing was good. I felt the screenplay was all over the place in a few areas, and the 124 min length a little too long for the story being told. I'm not a fan of slow paced films, but this one was just right. Casting was great, including Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer, but wow did Sean Penn give an Oscar-worthy performance in his role as Dr. Minor. Glad to see him back on the big screen. The score was perfect and the sets/costumes on point for the era.

This is by no means an action packed Hollywood blockbuster, but instead a historical biopic produced extremely well, and a must-see.

A well deserved 9/10 from me.
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8/10
Madness Gives us Words
nogodnomasters8 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is the tale of the unorthodox beginnings of the Oxford dictionary. James A.H. Murray, who has limited schooling, impresses and leads a group of Oxford professors in the undertaking. He is aided by an American schizophrenic, Dr. William Chester Minor who is locked up in an asylum for the criminally insane. He shot and killed a man, believing he was an individual who was after him. It appears some of his issues may be PTSD.

Mel Gibson plays the professor and Sean Penn the madman. This is a well acted period piece that most likely few people will see and then they will be shocked on Oscar night.
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8/10
An epic
riffat-8780517 April 2019
A few years ago I started to wonder if Hollywood creativity is dry? Now, with this epic movie; not in its events, but in its richness on both the human and artistic sides. A representative performance at the highest level. Four characters centered around; the character of Professor James Murray, played by Mel Gibson and his wife Ada Murray, played by Jennifer Ehle and Dr. William Chester Minor, played by Sean Penn and the wife of the murdered Eliza Merrett, played by Natalie Dormer. These personalities were at the top of their artistic representation, not to mention the characterization of the character and the depth of the human dimension of each. I humbly think that this film will enter Oscar 2020 nominations as the best film and another nomination for the best actor performance to Shin Bin.
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10/10
A complete from A to Z movie
ahmed_2-113-13072730 March 2019
The climax of movie revolves around concepts of woman support, friendship endeavoring, dedication, self-education and thinking outside of the box.
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8/10
Great story, script, acting and directing - Kudos to Penn/Gibson
trav12317 April 2019
This is one of those rare stories that makes one enjoy good story telling and acting with depth. Not a silly hollywood film but a true classic. Sean Penn pulls off a spectacular acting job, and Mel Gibson is in his element once again. It would have been interesting to see what the Director had in mind as a final cut without being kicked out, so maybe a Directors cut will happen down the road. Regardless of the legal aspects, it still is a wonderful film especially about a subject that could have easily been rather dull by any other creative team. 8 stars
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8/10
Dictionary? Its about hard work...
erfan_pitbull20004 May 2019
I read the summery about the movie , then i turn myself and said: dont waste your time. But to seen both sean penn and mel gibson are playing toghether i convince myself to see it, and i love it. What amazing performance from sean penn and mel gibson, both of them bright in their roles. story is kinda confusing but you will goo deep inside the movie. Its worth to see, ill recommond it.
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9/10
a great movie
eng_raneem_adel8 April 2019
Sean penn is a master he made the movie he should win oscar for that role 👍🏻👍🏻
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9/10
Master class
mhafiz-766262 April 2019
Mastere of acting ! Shawn Penn is just a brilliant actor. Great movie! Master class.
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Stellar film
stephenw-3018017 April 2019
I could write much on the accolades this film deserves but will stick to the basics of why this film is great.

Acting across the board is spectacular. Penn and Gibson are in top form and have great chemistry. Coogan and Marsan are also in top form as usual. Ehle and Dormer do a terrific job in bringing that soft feminine touch much needed to balance out the relationships between the main characters.

The film has its emotional ups and downs while staying on point to tell the amazing story of how the most important English dictionary came to be. It is a testament to the difficulty and perseverance needed to accomplish such a Herculean task in defining the vast English language and the trials and tribulations endured to realize its completion.

The beauty of this film is in the storytelling of the relationship between the two main characters. The Scottich wordsmith and an American surgeon who suffers from mental illness.

In order to not divulge more about the narrative I will just end by stating this is a powerful film that will leave you feeling many emotions. A triumphant accomplishment! Time well spent.
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7/10
was skeptical at first.....
bradleydavis-1003117 April 2019
I mean going in, how interesting could a movie about making a dictionary be? was blown away by the acting from Gibson, Penn, and the other characters. A great story all around.
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10/10
If I've forgiven him why do they continue to punish him? Masterpiece!!!
mstaffordca15 May 2019
I can because of you......

Heart wrenching masterpiece in all its glory and heartbreak. Do yourself a favor and watch something that will benefit your soul and restore your faith in humanity.
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10/10
if love.. then love
aramkx12 May 2019
Great acting especially Sean Penn , very touching story and very thoughtful emotions Nothing in history is granted to us easily
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10/10
Thoroughly Enjoyed
gotink-2359810 May 2019
This movie was fantastic all around. You really feel for these characters quickly. There are parts that were hard for me to handle, so get some tissues. Sean Penn was flawless in this role. He definitely deserves a nomination.
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10/10
Great great film
vetstorage4 May 2019
Deep, emotional and well written. Phenomenal performamce by Penn.
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10/10
if wrongspelt, blaim mr.murray
ops-5253516 April 2019
This was a fantastic and brilliantly made historical drama, about the real creation of the 1st edition of the oxford english dictionary. how historically correct it is i shall not judge,but as to wikipedia, he got his proffesorate almost post mortem in 1908, so the accuracy may be a bit of level,but james murray i knew who he was. its a film for everyone, but some interest in the alphabet, and a bit knowledge of history may boost this film alot. its is also a film for the profound lover of filology, because its filology to the fingertips. the only thng i really miss in this glorious production, are the timelineinformation, because earth wasnt made in one day,and so wasnt the OED either, it was completed officially sometime in the late 1920's.

tha cast consists of a ton of hevyweighters from british,american to australian actors, and the highlander and geordie dialects tweets like a songbird throughout the whole movie. i love the choice of sean penn as the madman, he does act and have the appearence of a mad man for sure, in a setup like this film the normal choice of delivery for this kind of film would normally have been ben kingsley i'm glad they didnt cause i guess mr kingsley would SPLIT into thousand pieces of GLASS, in seer dispair of all the biographical roles he has acted, ghandi,eichman and so on. also mel gibso gives this film the glory it shall have because they played darn good together, mr gibson and mr penn.bravo i must also mention the character mr munch, the prison/hospital guard played by eddie marsan and mre murray played by jennifer ehle, they both make some excellent performances on the screen, they give sanity,hope and humanity to this film by their acting.

i love the way they talked or conversated in this movie, and that mustve been due to a good script, and possibly by help from a linguist. the diction and tone a so very well balanced thats it a sheer joy to just listen to what is said. the score are of the same era of time, and see if you can count how many times it pauses, or for how long you forget that the music are really there. magnificently done and dacapo to that.

the filmography and editing are in my sense of view flawless, the glow of light and sound near perfect, and the playtime were , for an old grumpy man, with a hang on weird science and history, perfect. its a great movie that you should not miss, its a lovely and positive in its use of word and action.
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10/10
Masterpiece, kudos to Gibson and Penn!
aylancselen20 April 2019
When I walked into the movie I had no idea what it was about... and I usually don't like period films because I find them boring, but when i started watching, I couldn't get myself out of it. I was amazed. The story was really interesting, I suddenly built connections with characters, because Gibson and Penn played really good, Natalie as well. Actually everyone in the movie. The music, costumes, lights, everything was perfect!

I believe Penn will win the Oscar with this movie. He should!
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10/10
Ten star movies
seanpan-4186020 April 2019
It is amazing. I haven't seen a movie that has moved me so much for a long time. There are too many commercial movies now, in order to make money. This is called a movie. I rated it ten stars.
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Mel Gibson in-amusing-form
StavrosG74 May 2019
Mel Gibson rejected his playing and took back his initial enthusiastic support, so it must be good watching! Alternatively, it was such an improvement on his "Mad Max" persona, it was certainly watchable, like watching Sean Connery playing a medieval scholar in "The Name of the Rose". Excellent casting, my wife was explaining to me the-convoluted-plot in terms of the actors' faces!
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10/10
Penn and Gibson are amazing.
blackbeard70023 April 2019
The acting in this movie is simply amazing. I whish these two guys would be in more movies. Thank you for this beautiful gem.
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10/10
A great movie. Best one so far this years.
eugene-alexander22 April 2019
Both Sean Penn and Mel Gibson out did themselves. For a 2:22 movie, time went by very fast. That is how intense the movie was. The music was accordingly excellent and many scenes where very moving and magnificently done. This is a must-see movie no matter what rating it has been given.

An excellent movie.
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9/10
Penn and Gibson ! What else you want ?
career-ansh1 May 2019
Terrific! This is something special here. Amazing script and top notch acting. As movie goes on, I find myself more into it. It has everything in it - love, hatred, ambition, guilt, will power and inspiration. Must watch for real cinema lovers.
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6/10
Lack of focus
cbarcinap25 April 2019
Despite an auspicious beginning and an interesting and promising development on the characters involved on the dictionary project at the end of the nineteenth century, which seems to be the central theme, the plot meanders tediously through the narratives of (implausible) love, religious redemption and the vagaries of mental illness and academic institutions without the viewer not knowing too well where it is all going. Tedious: too long, slow, or dull; tiresome or monotonous. Favourite synonyms: dreary, soporific, plodding, lacklustre.
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