Film Reviews

Pushing Dead 2016

This entertaining, surprisingly humorous feature debut from Tom E. Brown gets a boost from crafty screenwriting and a charismatic cast that includes Danny Glover, Robin Weigert, Khandi Alexander and Tom Riley. Mercury News

Starfish 2016

Thanks to convincing prosthetics (and Ray himself as a body double) actor Tom Riley gives a harrowingly convincing portrayal of a man battling understandable bitterness and self-pity. 4**** Radio Times

The crippling effects of sepsis (blood poisoning) on a young husband and father is the harrowing subject of this true-story drama. Shocking but not voyeuristic, moving but not mawkish, Bill Clark's chronicle of a couple battling against the medical odds is boosted by pitch-perfect performances from Joanne Froggatt and Tom Riley. 4**** Radio Times

...The poignant moments abound - and they hit hard because of the natural playing of Froggatt and Riley, whose performance is enhanced by some excellent prosthetics…4**** Empire Magazine

Aided by superb prosthetics and make-up effects, Riley delivers the performance of his career here, selling Tom’s plight with wonderful insight and never shying away from the rage bubbling under his surface. On Screen Film

This heartbreaking true story really comes to life, thanks to Riley and Froggatt. 4**** Heat Magazine

A brutally honest family drama that boasts a pair of great lead performances. Little White Lies

Between its potent leads, measured direction and harrowing true-life origins, Bill Clark’s heart-rending indie drama wreaks havoc on the emotions with care and control. Tom Riley and Downton’s Joanne Froggatt give it their all. 4**** Total Film

Riley’s and Froggatt’s poignant central performances are encompassed in an affecting circle of love, guilt and frustration, that climaxes in a blazing outpour of honest and raw soul bearing. 4**** Den of Geek

It features good performances from Tom Riley and Joanne Froggatt as the couple trying to come to terms with very altered lives. The Scotsman

The physical aspects of Tom’s condition are graphically presented with the help of skilful prosthetics and co-operation from the real life Tom Ray, who acted as body double. But the main power of the film comes from the finely judged performances of Riley and Froggatt. Close-Up Film

One comes away from the film with real respect for the raw honesty of the performances: Joanne Froggatt is Nicola and Tom Riley is Ray. The Guardian

The acting more than makes up for this, however, with Froggatt and Riley both giving finely calibrated performances that make you believe not just in the couple's current predicament but in the strength of their bond. EyeForFilm

At its centre are superb, utterly convincing performances by Tom Riley and 'Downton Abbey' star Joanne Froggatt. Cineworld

But Riley’s portrayal is sensitive and poignant - like Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, never giving in to mimicry. The Telegraph

You can’t knock the actors’ commitment. Riley puts in long hours in the prosthetics wagon, finding ways to insinuate Tom’s mental and physical anguish without recourse to words or gestures. Movie Mail

Tom Riley and Joanne Froggatt give sensational performances in this emotional true story, based on the life of a couple whose relationship is pushed to its limit when they're affected by a cruel illness. Barbican

Riley is outstanding as Ray, ably projecting his performance through prosthetics for what must be two-thirds of the film’s running time. The Hollywood News

Riley encompasses all manner of emotion and is excellent underneath the first-rate prosthetics in a performance reminiscent of John Hurt as John Merrick in David Lynch’s THE ELEPHANT MAN, where the emotion rises above the make-up. Film And TV Now

Tom Riley, who plays Tom Ray, also comes across as utterly convincing in his role – he is helped along by lifelike prosthetics work, which was created by London’s Millennium FX make-up department headed by Melissa Lackersteen. Flickreel

This true story could have been a relentless downer, but filmmaker Bill Clark and his skilled cast have infused every scene with real-life grit and humour. So even when things get dark - and they get very emotional indeed - there's a striking honesty that keeps us engaged and sympathetic. And the central performances from Joanne Froggatt and Tom Riley carry real power. Shadows On The Wall

As such, in spite of some solid performances from Froggatt and Riley, it’s hard to connect with their relentless suffering; it’s an inspiring true story. The Upcoming

But the committed performances of Riley and Joanne Froggatt, playing Tom’s wife Nic, herself battling against the odds to hold the family together, keep us powerfully engaged. What's On TV

It’s a remarkable turn by Riley, and one that is matched by his co-star – and producer on the movie – Joanne Froggart, who plays his wife, Nicola. Hey U Guys

Froggatt is terrific as a woman tring to keep her family together, while Riley is equally impressive as a man whose life is horribly turned upside down. EIFF

Tom Riley also delivers a compelling performance despite most of his screen time involving him being underneath heavy makeup to show the transformation. He realistically conveys the depression and self defeating attitude that might come with an affliction. The arc he goes through feels natural and it was really effective to downplay his role compared to Nicola as it was really her story of coping with the situation... Kneelbefore

The performances from both Riley and Froggat are the film’s biggest assets. Though Riley’s face is mostly hidden by prosthetics, he capably charts Tom’s arc from the upbeat father we see in the film’s opening scene to the understandably bitter and resentful man we see later. Seensome

However, it is our two central leads; Joanne Froggatt and Tom Riley who deliver two of the most emotionally charged and devastatingly honest performances of the year. Despite it being a raw and deeply emotional journey filled with heartache and hardship, Starfish’s final message is one of hope, strength and most of all, LOVE. Verdict: Two compelling central performances and a direct approach make Starfish one of the most effecting films of the year. Movie Review World

Strong critical acclaim and recognition for two nicely modulated lead performances could combine to tempt cinema audiences to experience a film that does not shy away from depicting the devastating physical and mental toll on its subject. Failing that, a healthy broadcast and festival life looks likely for a powerfully moving issue-driven drama with some strong PR potential... ...Froggatt in particular socks it over with a nicely scripted speech which is tailor made for an awards clip reel, while Riley finds his most affecting moment when he realises he could lose something even more precious than what has already gone. Starfish is the story of a family, and most of all a marriage – offering a relatable hook to events that are very far from the experiences of most audience members. Screen Daily

Kill Your Friends 2015

It's slickly packaged biliousness, flecked with the era's music (Chemical Brothers, Blur) and worthy actors (James Corden as a coke-addicted colleague, Tom Riley as a more measured A&R rival) to whisk you along its emptily vulgar groove. LA Times

Other obstructions to his advancement include his dissipated colleague Waters (a fine James Corden, light-years from his talk-show persona) and Parker Hall (a steady Tom Riley), a hotshot executive on to Stelfox’s amoral tactics and blocking his path to control of Unigram. NY Times

Tom Riley as possibly the only decent human being of the bunch... DIY Mag

The supporting cast is strong, and proves to be a who's who of British talent... ...Corden, Riley and King are all top notch too. Pearl and Dean

Curiosity 2009 (short film)

Stars Emily Blunt and Tom Riley are show stoppers in what is a quite excellent creepy horror thriller with the classic take on "Curiosity killed the Cat" while also twisting the classic formula of Hitchcock's "Rear Window." This is a great little horror film, and I highly recommend it. Crazed Cinema

Happy Ever Afters 2009 (film)

Burke knows his screwball and he packs in a decent amount of visual and verbal gags to maintain a good pace. Riley and Hawkins play out the dysfunctional comic courtship well and are helped along by the oddball collection of friends and family...

...Taken at face value, Happy Ever Afters has a lot going for it, not least the two lead performances. Film Ireland.net

There are some nice performances from the ensemble cast... ...Hawkins and the appealing Riley also develop a great rapport that adds to the film’s charm. Greg King's Film Reviews

Cute Irish import about a pair of couples who end up having to share the same site for their wedding receptions, only to see one bride and the “other” groom fall for one another. Sally Hawkins and Tom Riley are both charismatic and fun to watch in this enjoyable comedy from writer-director Stephen Burke. The Aisle Seat

As well as that, Tom Riley as the pill-popping, perfection-seeking, close-to-a-nervous-breakdown groom of the other wedding delivers a good performance. What is remarkable is that this film exploits Hollywood’s rom-com recipe, but, instead of just copying it, the filmmakers added some important ingredients to the mix, such as actors who can act. The result is a movie that feels more like quality food than junk food. Hamburg Express

Still, two nice performances from Hawkins and Riley, and a brilliant debut from youngster Sinead Maguire that will see festive audiences chuckling into their popcorn, make this Irish production just about worthwhile... Big Screen.ie.

Much of the dialogue between Riley and Hawkins is worth savouring and there is a screwball chemistry between the leads that could have flourished in less cluttered territory. Irish Times

There is much chaos in this enjoyable, if paper thin, gigglefest, with much emphasis placed on the fact that, hey, this is an Irish comedy. The storyline has been done before but it’s somewhat saved here by the great playing of the two stars...Breaking News.ie

Tom Riley as hapless Freddie - who tries to marry the same woman twice, with disastrous results - is the only one who gets the tone of this screwball comedy. Daily Mirror

I Want Candy 2007 (film)

It’s by no means in the same league as the classics it craves to emulate, yet Candy is charming enough to sustain interest right up until the slightly mishandled climax. Tom Riley’s performance as the lippy Joe is a welcome surprise... Sky Movies

I do have to give a mention to the acting, particularly the two male leads neither of whom I've seen before. Riley is strong as the Producer and shows some good comic timing and acting ability. Filmstalker Review

Much of that comes from the appealing performances from Tom Riley and Tom Burke as the two likeable leads with earnest intentions. Their witty banter never feels forced and there’s enough differentiation and depth to the characters to make them believable and make us root for their success. Digital Spy

As young as they are, Brits Tom Riley and Tom Burke are exceedingly likable, and manage to carry the picture with their good-natured attitudes. DVD Verdict

The performances are extremely likeable. Tom Riley, in particular, combines impeccable comic timing with an infectious charm that really comes across on screen. View London

The two Tom’s (Riley and Burke) also share some nice chemistry and are charismatic enough to suggest brighter things lie ahead. Indie London

Film students Joe and Baggy (Riley and Burke, two good-looking newcomers who can act) earn spare cash videoing funerals - 'We make a drama out of a tragedy'. Their local vid store owner (Jimmy Carr) urges the boys to take their ideas for a film to London and start off with a blue movie. Pictures That Talk

A Few Days In September 2006 (film)

...the performances are good enough to smooth ruffled feathers, with Juliette Binoche only enhancing her charm by adding a steely backbone to her naturally soft, femininet ouch. Sara Forestier and Tom Riley are perfectly comfortable as the two sparring siblings from two different continents who aren't really related and are bound to fall for each other. Screen Daily

Boasting sharp performances by Juliette Binoche as a government agent and John Turturro as a neurotic assassin, plus an off-center love story involving Sara Forestier and Tom Riley, the film combines intrigue, suspense and black humor...

The sparks of their growing relationship into something rather more intimate, as the seen-it-all Irene looks on, provide the warmth of the film, which otherwise is about spies still very much out in the cold. Forestier and Riley develop real chemistry with the bland American boy proving sharper than he looks and the tough French cookie a little more vulnerable than she sounds. The Hollywood Reporter

This young man came out of nowhere to steal the show in a star-studded pic. What he does isn't spectacular, it's the ease with which he does it. Someone give him a lead! Last Night With Riviera

A film which took me by surprise thanks to its immense wit and its unpredictability. Binoche, Turturro and Nolte do some of their finest work, while newcomers Tom Riley and Sara Forestier give the film its heart and its humour. I wish Europeans made more smart genre films such as this one. Last Night With Riviera

Binoche, Forestier and Riley play sharply disparate characters--with a shared past but no real knowledge of each other. And their performances are lively and engaging, often very funny and even flirtatiously sexy as their various interrelationships develop. Shadows On The Wall

Amigorena is happier making clever-clever jokes on the fractious relationship of the American brother (Brit Riley making a good stab at the accent) and French sister Orlando (Perfume’s Forestier), than focussing on the World Trade Center. Sky Movies

Both Tom Riley and Sarah Forestier as the grown up half-siblings are great, matching in fire power as actors. Urban Cinefile

She is the true center, and while Forestier and Riley sweetly do the whole opposites attract thing, we're left to study Binoche, trying to keep everything together. Turturro is a quirk, reciting William Blake's Tyger while he kills a man, and the problem is that his character seems far too eccentric to fit with the much more watchable and natural interplay between Binoche, Forestier, and Riley. It's not just the cover art that does this one something of a disservice, because the blurbs on the back paint A Few Days In September as "pure noir" and "a race against time." Those expecting some sort of Ludlum-y thriller will surely be disappointed in what is ultimately an overlong but often intriguing drama led by three solid performances, where family boundaries mean nothing to young love. Digitally Obsessed