Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Oxford Murders, The Nothing But The Truth
Year: 2008
Director: Alex de la Iglesia
Stars: Elijah Wood, John Hurt, Leonor Watling, Julie Cox, Burn Gorman, Anna Massey, Jim Carter, Alan David, Dominique Pinon, Tim Wallers, James Weber-Brown, Ian East, Charlotte Asprey, Alex Cox, Tom Frederic
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: American student Martin (Elijah Wood) has arrived in Oxford to continue his learning, specifically to study under a brilliant professor, Arthur Seldom (John Hurt). To this end he has arranged to lodge at the house of an elderly companion to Seldom, Mrs Eagleton (Anna Massey), whose late husband was great friends with the lecturer, in the hope that she will introduce them and he may find out more about what Seldom terms the absolute truth. The older man is sure there is no such thing, but Martin believes it can be found in mathematics, but when their paths cross...

...it's murder! Or is it? It's easy to get lost in the miles of talk in The Oxford Murders, most of it leaning towards the academic, or at least that is the impression the filmmakers would like to give. Sold as an Inspector Morse style mystery, some were disappointed that it didn't so much tax their minds as strain their credulity, but for all its letdowns, there was a pretty decent puzzle being set up at its heart. It's just that the solution didn't have much to do with the Wittgenstein that was made out to be an essential part of the proceedings, so if you were expecting a stimulating discourse, then it's no wonder you were unsatisfied.

If, on the other hand, you wanted an edge of the seat, fingernail-chewing thriller, the director Alex de la Iglesia didn't quite have a handle on that either. Those more used to his over the top works might have been wondering where the Álex of old had gone, and it's true there are only a handful of instances that seem to be from the hand of the idiosyncratic Spanish talent: cameoing director Alex Cox as a professor scribbling a code with his remaining limb after a self-lobotomy, or even Wood eating spaghetti off the chest of his co-star Leonor Watling.

It does begin with one murder, and the victim is Mrs Eagleton who is found smothered and sporting a broken nose in her front room. She was actually dying of cancer, so who could possibly have wanted to kill her when she was not long for this world anyway? That part is not too difficult to work out, but there is a measure of obfuscation going on which clouds the waters of truth, a state which Seldom is insistent on being pretty impenetrable already. As for Martin, he may have ended up with the professor's guidance, which we feel is as much a mental exercise for the tutor as anything else, but his life is complicated by two women.

The first is Eagleton's daughter Beth (Julie Cox), who may be unstable in her pursuit of Martin, and the other is nurse Lorna (Watling), who appears the much better bet, but may be unwilling to follow him in his endeavours to seek out that truth. Yes, that truth again, and it's interesting to see a film which illustrates, or tries to, the problems with finding a solution to a murder mystery when each layer you peel away provides more confusion. When more bodies start piling up, all apparently the work of a serial killer, Martin doesn't realise he has been drawn into an intellectual conceit, along with a very real example of how one, innocent little thing can trigger off unexpected consequences, but finally you're not wholly convinced by Seldom's monologue at the end which sorts everything out and leaves his pupil ashen-faced, wondering if he really knows anything at all. Music by Roque Banos.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 4318 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: