August 13th, 2015 / 8 Comments


“Pattinson’s “Do everything in my power to not get pigeonholed as freaking vampire” career strategy. So far, it’s definitely paying off”. Screen Crush

Edgy, cool, effortless – the reviewers are going to new some new superlatives if the film is anywhere near as good as this trailer.Shortlist

“Pattinson has broken away from the Twilight shadow and really proven himself to be a diverse actor and one who wants to take on challenging roles”, International House of Spicer

“Still, even if the story comes off as a bit predictable, this is an Anton Corbijn film, and each frame looks more gorgeously composed and loaded with period detail than the last. From the looks of it, the filmmaker’s portrait of Dean will end up being just as haunting as Control, his striking biopic of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.”

“The movie garnered mixed reviews when it played at the Berlin Film Festival in February, but Pattinson and DeHaan look compelling as the latest duo to depict a budding celebrity/journalist bromance.”

Sound on Sight:

“Even Pattinson manages to shine through in the trailer, showing definitively that his sparkly vampire years are over.”


“The Life trailer certainly looks good, and DeHaan and Pattinson look like an intriguing combination. Unfortunately, Life has gotten so-so reviews on the festival circuit so far. Some have described it as “engaging [and] elegiac,” while others found it “worryingly and ironically lifeless.””

The Hollywood News

“One time Green Goblin Dane DeHaan will take on the role of Dean while Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame will play Stock.  Both stars are already receiving great praise for their roles, and under the watchful eye of Anton Corbijn whose excellent Control captured later Joy Division singer Ian Curtis so profoundly, it’s safe to assume we’ll be getting a touching, insightful, and rather beautiful film.”

What Culture|Obsessed with Film

“Aside from a few prior stills, this is the first proper look we’re getting at DeHaan as Dean. He seems appropriately broody and cleans up nicely to resemble the star, but the heart of the film seems to be emanating from Pattinson’s photographer. Corbijn previously worked as a stills photographer himself, touring with the likes of Joy Division to capture their essence on film. He’s responsible for some of the most striking images of their front-man Ian Curtis, so it’s not hugely surprising the relationship between image and celebrity interests him. Based on the trailer, there’ll be more of that in Life than speculation surrounding Dean’s personal affairs.”

Rope of Silicon

Anton Corbijn looks to continue a streak of strong, engaging filmmaking with his fourth feature, Life, starring Robert Pattinson as photographer Dennis Stock and Dane DeHaan as actor James Dean during the period Stock was commissioned to photograph Dean for Life magazine in 1955.”


“Pattinson clearly does enthusiastic photographer pretty well, and his character in the untold story of one of the biggest celebrities to ever live is an important one.”


“Before “East of Eden” and becoming a household name, James Dean was a rising actor photographed by Dennis Stock for LIFE magazine, which is the focus of Anton Corbijn’s latest film, “Life.”

Dane DeHaan stars as Dean, a rising Hollywood star filled with fear and skepticism, who is featured on the cover of LIFE thanks to Stock, played by Rob Pattinson. As Dean and Stock travel from Los Angeles to New York and Indiana, the two form a friendship as Dean rises to fame. “

Dark Horizons

“The first trailer has been released from the Anton Corbijn-directed “Life” starring Dane DeHaan as James Dean and Robert Pattinson as the Life magazine photographer Dennis Stock who was sent to profile him.

The pair embark on a road trip just as the tragically short-lived superstar is beginning his ascent with the soon to be released “East of Eden”. The pair revealed and rediscovered themselves on this road trip around the United States.

Stock is responsible for some of the most iconic images of Dean including the rainy Times Square photo. No U.S. release date has been set as yet, but the film opens next month in several European countries.”

We Got This Covered:

“Anton Corbijn, the director behind the lens of projects as varied as A Most Wanted Man and George Clooney’s The American, is tackling a real-life biopic for his latest feature Life, which has today revealed its first full-length trailer.

Charting the meteoric rise to superstardom of one James Dean (Chronicle and The Amazing Spider-Man‘s Dane DeHaan), the upcoming drama from the photographer-turned-director will tell the story of his friendship with Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson), a budding photographer for LIFE magazine that captured some of the earlier, undocumented vignettes of Dean’s storied journey to becoming a bona fide household name.

Having helped get Dean’s foot – and roguish good looks – in the door, Stock and the model-turned-actor take a road trip from Los Angeles to the Big Apple, and Anton Corbijn’s feature film will track their burgeoning friendship. Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Kristen Hager and Kelly McCreary complete the cast.

Life will make its debut in France come September 9 ahead of a planned US release sometime in the fall.”


“Ever since I saw the first clip of Life, Ive been overwhelmingly curious about the film. Photojournalist Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) wants to capture a young, unknown James Dean (Dane DeHaan) on camera for Life magazine, but no one believes that this guy will be a star one day. Of course, we know how the story ends, but the fun is in getting there. The retro vibe reminds me of another DeHaan film, Kill Your Darlings, but of course, with less murder and no Daniel Radcliffe in sight. As the trailer goes on, James helps Dennis realize that the story he’s making really isn’t about James; it’s about Dennis. (Ah, full circle!) The movie doesn’t yet have a US release date, but hopefully that will change.”

The Playlist

“Titled simply “Life,” Corbijn brings his well-observed understanding between the photographer and subject in a drama that stars Dane Dehaanas the reluctant star James Dean, and Robert Pattinson as the sensitive photographer Dennis Stock who manages to capture some intimate moments with the iconic actor. Here’s the official synopsis.”

USA Today

“Robert Pattinson plays a small, casual observer next to a cinematic giant — the one and onlyJames Dean. And while it’s a little unnerving to see the equally good-looking Pattinson next to a dreary-eyed, haunting Dane Dehaan, we’re pretty happy with this casting.”


“The movie’s trailer, debuted by Dazed Magazine, features Pattinson’s New Yawk accent as well as DeHaan’s take on Dean’s perfectly coiffed hair, charming awkwardness, and “pureness,” as Pattinson’s Stock describes in the trailer.”

Vanity Fair

Robert Pattinson has spent the past 10 years in front of the camera, but in the upcoming period drama Life, theTwilight alum gets a chance to move behind the lens by playing a photojournalist profiling the late actor James Dean.”

AV Club

Life is helmed by Dutch director Anton Corbijn (A Most Wanted Man), and while it has no scheduled U.S. release date as of yet, is expected to hit Stateside theaters in the fall of 2015. And those who felt this trailer was a bit too moody may want to check out the French version, which has many of the same scenes (and some new ones) set to upbeat music”


“Premiering earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival, the film centres around the friendship that formed between Dean (DeHaan) and a photographer based at Life Magazine called Dennis Stock, played by Robert Pattinson (Maps To The Stars).

With the esteemed talents of Sir Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) and Joel Edgerton (his directorial debut The Gift currently in cinemas) completing the ensemble along with Anton Corbijn behind the camera (Control/A Most Wanted Man), this is shaping up to be one of 2015’s small-scale delights about a larger-than-life figure”

ET Canada

Life takes us back to where it all started for icon James Dean. The biopic stars Robert Pattinson as he takes on the role of rookie photojournalist Dennis Stock, who’s keen eye spots an icon in the making.”

Consequence of Sound

Life recounts the story of how photographer Dennis Stock (played by Robert Pattinson) captured the images that helped make legendary actor James Dean (an enthralling Dane DeHaan) a star. Corbijn’s firsthand experience has given him an inimitable perspective on the subject-photographer relationship, and the film looks to have captured that beautifully. Get your first glimpse at the relationship between Stock and Dean with the newly released trailer …”

Paste Magazine

“As per Slashfilm, Life’s premise is not unlike that of the recent David Foster Wallace biopic The End of the Tour: DeHaan and Pattinson’s characters embark on a road trip together just as the tragically short-lived Dean is starting his ascent to superstardom, with the two men revealing and rediscovering themselves during the journey. Ben Kingsley and Joel Edgerton also star in Life, which was scripted by Luke Davies (Candy).

However, advance screenings of Corbijn’s film have polarized critics. Variety callsLife an “engaging, elegiac portrait of a legend in the making,” praising DeHaan’s “magnetic take on James Dean,” while The Guardian disparages the film as “a waxworky piece of American icon worship” that “has the inert stasis of a photo spread.”

U.S. audiences won’t be able to decide for themselves just yet: Life is currently without an official stateside release date, although rumor has it the film may come out on Sept. 30, the 60th anniversary of Dean’s death.”


“In Robert Pattinson’s new movie, the noted movie star-heartthrob portrays the man responsible for capturing the aura of one of the world’s very first movie star-heartthrobs. Pattinson takes on the role of photographer Dennis Stock in Life, the trailer for which debuted today. Stock sets out to chronicle an up-and-coming actor who, “won’t be unknown for long,” named James Dean. Yeah, that James Dean.”

Screen Crush

Life represents that latest stage in Pattinson’s “Do everything in my power to not get pigeonholed as freaking vampire” career strategy. So far, it’s definitely paying off. This guy is an interesting actor with a penchant for working with interesting filmmakers. Not everyone comes out of superstardom and decides to play the second lead in an Anton Corbijn project.”

Glamour Mag UK

“Robert Pattinson looks set to wow in his upcoming film Life, in which he plays a Life Magazine photographer who is assigned to take pictures of actor James Dean.”

Guardian UK

“Life does not yet have a release date but is expected to hit cinemas in the US this autumn, timing that usually suggests a bid for awards-season success.” [Note:  Thanks to Peter Bradshaw’s review from Berlin this should also be included in the secition below, but I’m focusing on the positive].

MTV/Twilight Examiner (Amanda Bell)

“Pattinson has maintained a love-hate relationship with the paparazzi, so this image of him as a photog for the flick is a little odd. And also completely fascinating.”

“Fans of the Twilight and Amazing Spider-Man movies should now follow Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan to this true story of Life photographer Dennis Stock and actor James Dean. It’s the latest from director Anton Corbijn (The American) and seems to prove that every actor who portrayed Spidey BFF Harry Osborn also has to play Dean — like James Franco did for a 2001 TV movie. Life already made its debut earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival, but you can find it in theaters and on VOD sometime this fall.”

Empire Online

“Playing a screen icon such as James Dean is not a task that is shouldered lightly, but it’s one that Dane DeHaan is tackling, appearing alongside Robert Pattinson in the first trailer for Life.”

Flickering Myth

Life will be director Anton Corbijn’s follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed thriller A Most Wanted Man. The rest of film’s cast includes Robert Pattinson (The Rover) as photographer Dennis Stock …”

The Wrap

“Robert Pattinson’s character in “Life” shines behind the camera rather than in front of it, as the “Twilight” actor plays a photojournalist profiling James Dean. … In the stylish trailer, Stock tells his editor that he is “working on a photo essay on a unknown actor … he won’t be unknown for long. …”


“….but we’re betting it’s Pattinson who will steal the show, what with his honest depiction of Stock and how easily he inhabits the character. Here’s hoping Corbijn’s shots of L.A., New York, and Indiana—where the real camera magic reportedly happened—are just as compelling.”

India Today

“Putting the popular Twilight series far behind him, Robert Pattinson has been quietly now carving out a reputation as an actor who is embracing art-house, independent pictures. That explains his collaborations with David Cronenberg (Cosmopolis, Maps to the Stars), David Michod (The Rover) and Queen of the Desert (Werner Herzog).”


“Pattinson’s London-heritage seems to help him establish a convincing vintage edge that fits well within the film. In the trailer, Robert blends in perfectly with the era of the film, as he is seen sporting side-swept hair and a sleek suit throughout. …

After the release of the trailer, many are speculating that Pattinson will be one to look out for in this film and this role will likely further his presence as a notable actor from his early teen-heartthrob days as Edward Cullen in the Twilight series.”


Life premiered at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February to mixed reviews. While everyone seemed to enjoy Pattinson and DeHaan’s performances, the rest wasn’t to everyone’s taste so Life currently holds a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes after 5 counted reviews. That’s obviously a very small sampling so take the percentage with a grain of salt.”


“The new trailer for Life, the James Dean biopic starring Robert Pattinson as LIFE photographer Dennis Stock (who was known for capturing many of the most famous images of Dean) and Dane DeHaan as Dean, exhibits some potentially exciting performances, while lacking much in the way of transcendence of biopic tropes. However,  the official description seems to at least want to sell it as first and foremost examining “the nuances and complexities of the relationship between photographer and subject in a way rarely seen or understood by someone outside the business,” perhaps more than being a glorifying replication of a celebrity”


“Edgy, cool, effortless – the reviewers are going to need some new superlatives if the film is anywhere near as good as this trailer.”

Updated:  23 August 2015

The International House of Spicer

“‘LIFE’ trailer shows a beautiful and atmospheric take on the standard biopic formula … Pattinson has broken away from the Twilight shadow and really proven himself to be a diverse actor and one who wants to take on challenging roles (he was really good in last year’s The Rover). … [Corbijn] movies ooze style and emotions due to the careful crafting of the visuals on the screen. This looks like another picture where the cinematography and scenery are going to enrich the storytelling. There are enough intriguing parts here to elevate past what may be a standard biopic script.

Conversations About Her

“The first trailer for Anton Corbijn’s motion picture Life has been released and it has the perfect vintage look we all hoped for. The film centres around Dennis Stock – portrayed by Robert Pattinson – a photographer from Life Magazine, who is assigned to shoot pictures of the legendary James Dean – played by Dane Dehaan.”

Archer Avenue

“What’s not to love about this movie?  A true story of American icon in James Dean, a great young actor to portray him in Dane DeHaan, a little moody acting from Robert Pattinson, a guy who could not possibly be more relevant & hot in Joel Edgerton, perfect professionalism from Ben Kingsley, and the director of A Most Wanted Man to top it all off.  This cast & crew is excellent, and I’m ready to see this movie right now.”

Dweeb Factory (Rob commentary starts at about 6:50)

“I think this is going to be [Rob’s] film where he can tell people in Hollywood that guys I can act … I can be an amazing supporting actor”.

I’ll just add these not so positive ones here shall I:

The Film Stage

“Despite so few films in his résumé before an untimely death, James Dean was immortalized as one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors, and this fall will bring another look at a more intimate aspect of his life. As scripted by Luke Davies and directed by Anton Corbijn, Life centers on the relationship between Dean (Dane DeHaan) and Life Magazine‘s Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson), the latter of whom had been tasked with capturing the up-and-coming actor less than a year before his rise to stardom and tragic death.

We said in our review from Berlin, “Corbijn has successfully offset script weaknesses with striking aesthetics in the past, but this time his characteristic visual flair is surprisingly lacking. Conventionally shot — and with props and production design much too pristine to appear genuine — Life has the look of a period piece made for television (in fact, TV series such as Mad Men orMildred Pierce look significantly more authentic).””

“He’s unreliable, he’s evasive.” The first full trailer has arrived for Anton Corbijn’s new film Life, a drama starring Robert Pattinson as photographer Dennis Stock, and Dane DeHaan as his subject, soon-to-be-an-icon actor James Dean. The story follows Stock who strikes up an awkward friendship with Dean, and follows him all over the country as he meets young fans, and slowly learns what it’s like to be famous. Unfortunately, this film has no life to it at all. I saw it in Berlin when it premiered and despised it, writing a scathing review saying just as much and more. As much as this trailer might grab you, don’t be fooled by it.”


“I have a feeling that even suggesting this will make millions of Robert Pattinson fans leap down my throat, but have you seen the new Lifetrailer? He gets totally out-acted by Dane DeHaan! Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually thought Pattinson was really well suited for his role inTwilight, so he obviously has some skills… I just don’t know that any project since has brought them out, for whatever reason. Which is really weird, I know, but, once you watch this trailer, I think you’ll agree with me.”

  • barbara
    Posted on August 13, 2015

    Critics are they relevant? we all know they are just a bunch of bleary eyed luvvies.
    They have their faves who are mostly cardboard cutouts. The really gifted and serious actors
    are discarded. I stopped reading their tripe some years ago when they all seemed to be on the Rob lets hate him wagon. Yet Robert Pattinson is still here, still choosing to work with seriously gifted Directors. still giving a mesmerizing performance. His star is soaring higher and higher while the bleary one eyed critics are still stuck in the mire. Rob meantime is shining brighter and brighter.xxxxx

  • silvie
    Posted on August 13, 2015

    Actually Bustle, I DON’T agree with you.

  • Carmel
    Posted on August 14, 2015

    All interesting. Thanks Maria

  • Maria
    Posted on August 14, 2015

    @Silvie I originally wrote next to Bustle (aka Clickbait) but then I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction lol.

  • Trish
    Posted on August 15, 2015

    First up, thank you very much, Maria for collating all these ‘reviews’ (of a trailer! – I just love how ‘critics’ can judge an entire movie/performance on a trailer!) Maria dear, your diligence and thoroughness deserve special mention. Second (and I’m sure I’m not alone on this one), fuck off Not because you’re dissing on Rob because I’m a Rob fan, but for your incredibly disrespectful dismissal of a team of artists who dare to bring their particular vision to the screen. Because of course the ‘scathing’ reviewers films are all brilliant. Oh, wait, you don’t make films? Oh, but of course I’d trust YOUR narrow-minded opinion. NOT. “I saw it in Berlin when it premiered..’ WANKER.

  • Maria
    Posted on August 15, 2015

    LMAO @Trish you made me laugh out loud. Love love love your comment. It’s exactly my thoughts – it’s like you’re in my head.

  • Jules
    Posted on August 15, 2015

    LOL bravo Trish, bravo!!!! I can’t stand these morons who can’t find something positive to say so would rather try to discourage others from seeing a film JUST BECAUSE THEY DIDNT ENJOY IT!!!! Who do they think they are. In reality nothing 🙂 loving all the positive buzz for this Maria, thank you so much….so impressive to see it all gathered here and such a great read!! 😉 I loved LOVED the trailer, everything about it and certainly can’t wait to make up my own mind about this film.

  • silvie
    Posted on August 16, 2015

    Love you comment @Trish, so beautifully said.:)))

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