The Professor and the Madman (2019) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Professor and the Madman (2019)

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Based on the worldwide best-selling novel by Simon Winchester, THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN is an extraordinary true tale of madness, genius, and obsession about two remarkable men who created history with the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary. The compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857 and was one of the most ambitious, and revolutionary projects ever undertaken. Professor James Murray (Mel Gibson) took on the challenge of creating the most comprehensive dictionary ever compiled, but knew that it would take him and his team over a century to compile all known definitions. However, by "crowd sourcing" the work, that is, by enlisting definitions from people all over the world, the dictionary could be compiled in mere decades. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W.C. Minor (Sean Penn), had submitted more than ten thousand words. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was a convicted murderer and being held at an asylum for the criminally insane.

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Cast

Mel Gibson
as Prof. James Murray
Sean Penn
as Dr. W.C. Minor
Natalie Dormer
as Eliza Merrett
Jennifer Ehle
as Ada Murray
Stephen Dillane
as Dr. Richard Brayne
Ioan Gruffudd
as Henry Bradley
Jeremy Irvine
as Charles Hall
Aidan McArdle
as Defence Attorney Clarke
Adam Fergus
as Alfred Minor
Brendan Patricks
as Winston Churchill
Kieran O'Reilly
as Minor's Father
Bryan Murray
as Henry Liddell
Brian Fortune
as Head Board Member
Joe McKinney
as Attendant No.1
Sean Duggan
as Tom Coleman
Olivia McKevitt
as Clare Merrett
Oengus Macnamara
as Bailiff #1
Shane Gately
as Angry Spectator
Robert McCormack
as Harold Murray
Steve Gunn
as Lambeth Man
Shane Noone
as George Merrett
John Morton
as Scriptorium Assistant
Ronan O'Connor
as Gate Guard
Abigail Coburn
as Elsie Murray
Lucas Browne
as Eastman Minor
Richard O'Connor
as Angry Spectator 2
Nora Cooper
as Hilda Murray
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Critic Reviews for The Professor and the Madman

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

Simon Winchester's book was a best-seller, but you'd never know why from watching this turgid adaptation, which gives you the gist of these events with all the insight and heft of a B-minus high-school book report.

May 10, 2019 | Full Review…

We'll never know where Shemran's movie truly lost its way, but its current form of saving face by sounding smart will make viewers want to simply move on from it, just like its star and director and have.

May 10, 2019 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Gibson is fine; it's everything else that doesn't work.

April 12, 2019 | Full Review…

Surprising history of dictionary packs compassion, violence.

May 14, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The movie works when it focuses on the story about a friendship between two men who are obsessed. [Full Review in Spanish]

May 11, 2019 | Full Review…

Despite not being happy with the final product, [Mel] Gibson doesn't hold back and proves he still has the dramatic chops to deliver a memorable performance if studios would give him a chance.

May 10, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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