James Donner’s review published on Letterboxd:
The work of a director determined to cancel out Artemis Fowl from his filmography at all costs. Thankfully, this movie is nowhere near as bad. But unfortunately, it feels disappointingly half-baked.
From the story that blazes it’s way to the finish line so quickly that it forgets to develop characters or invite you to feel anything, to the distracting technical mess that includes bizarrely leveled audio that reeks of Branagh spending too much time with Christopher Nolan and the black and white cinematography that looks frustratingly flat/ feels like a post-production afterthought. I’m shocked at how rushed this all feels.
It’s a shame Belfast is such a mess, because there are some truly charming moments and performances (particularly Judi Dench, whose scenes come close to salvaging this. And Jamie Dornan. Great here and I will pay $100 to an Oscar telecaster to accidentally play his song from Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar when he is nominated). You can tell that this is a deeply personal movie for Branagh and it’s clear the elements of something special are there. It just seems like it was never properly assembled.