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‘The Lighthouse’: ‘The Witch’ Director Gives Robert Pattinson His Best Role Yet? These Critics Think So

Several critics suggested Robert Eggers' new horror film is the best movie to debut at Cannes so far.

"The Lighthouse"

“The Lighthouse”

Directors' Fortnight

The first Robert Pattinson film to make its debut since it came out that it’s all but guaranteed he will be playing the next incarnation of Batman is here: “The Lighthouse” continues the actor’s streak of working with celebrated auteurs to realize challenging visions. Much as he was in “The Lost City of Z,” Pattinson is largely unrecognizable here in Robert Eggers’ (“The Witch”) horror film, with mustache and sailor’s cap. And the first reactions from critics and journalists at the Cannes Film Festival where “The Lighthouse” just debuted in the Directors’ Fortnight section are saying that this black-and-white frightfest, built around seafaring lore, is a spectacular achievement.

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian went so far as to say, “Robert Eggers’s gripping nightmare ‘The Lighthouse’ is the best thing [at Cannes] with sledgehammer performances from Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, like Steptoe and Son in hell.”

Gregory Ellwood of The Playlist said, “It’s embarrassing ‘The Lighthouse’ wasn’t selected for competition. Pattinson missed out on an acting prize.”

Emma Stefansky of Thrillist also highlighted the performances: “‘The Lighthouse’ rips: it’s terrifying, hilarious, nightmarish, and Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe shamble around in flannels and longjohns the whole time, yelling stuff like ‘GET TO WORK, SAYS I!!’ ‘BARK YOU DOG!!’ don’t let anyone spoil this for you.”

Adam Woodward of Little White Lies singled out the acting as well: “Robert Eggers’ ‘The Lighthouse’ is like if Melville or Poe reimagined The Shining as an odd couple comedy where both protagonists are Jack Torrance. A lot to take in, but Pattinson and Dafoe are superb.”

Alex Billington of FirstShowing.Net singled out Pattinson for particular praise: “Holy! Monkey pump! Hell! And you thought The Witch was good, ye ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. ‘The Lighthouse’ is on a whole other level. Extraordinary!! Might just be Robert Pattinson’s best performance yet.”

And finally, IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn noted that “‘The Lighthouse’ is a better Aquaman movie than ‘Aquaman.'”

A24 has “The Lighthouse” for U.S. distribution, while Focus Features is handling international. If these early reactions build, it looks like they may have quite a hit on their hands.


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