Harry Styles has been surprisingly at the forefront of the film festival circuit over the last few weeks, as the singer has launched his acting career to a new level. The “Watermelon Sugar” singer has certainly attracted attention for this career move, especially given his much-talked-about film, Don’t Worry Darling. His performance there was overshadowed by behind-the-scenes drama on the Olivia Wilde-helmed flick, but My Policeman allowed him to showcase his skills without all of the noise. The trailer attracted a lot of attention from Styles’ fans, but now critics who have seen the film are weighing in.
My Policeman premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend, and Styles took a break from his Madison Square Garden residency to promote the film alongside his co-stars Emma Corrin and David Dawson. The film is a period drama about a love triangle between a policeman, museum curator and a school teacher. It depicts a same-sex romance during the 1950s, when homosexuality was illegal. Early critic reviews out of TIFF for My Policeman have caused quite a stir on Twitter, especially in regards to Styles’ performance.
Many critics have a lot of positive things to say about the film, including CinemaBlend’s very own Corey Chichizola, who praised Styles while highlighting the importance of queer storytelling.
#MyPoliceman truly moved me. It’s an important story that shows how many queer folks the system left behind in past generation. Harry Styles had a strong performance as the titular character. #TIFF22September 11, 2022
Fandango’s Erik Davis was impressed by performances across the board, and liked the unique perspectives the film used to frame the story.
A sweet & sometimes somber love story, #MyPoliceman features excellent performances across the board, in particular David Dawson, Emma Corrin and Harry Styles. Loved the structure & how it keeps shifting perspective. Understated, but also powerful when it needs to be #Tiff22 pic.twitter.com/Wih0xH60oHSeptember 12, 2022
Variety’s Jazz Tangcay also enjoyed the film, singling out a strong performance by Styles, and the devastating narrative at hand.
Haven’t stopped thinking about Harry Styles and his performance in #MyPoliceman. It’s arresting and simply beautiful. The film is devastating and heartbreaking. Great ensemble performances especially from Emma Corrin and Rupert Everett. That end scene though. pic.twitter.com/MuwKXQJZAbSeptember 12, 2022
However, not everyone was as impressed by Styles or My Policeman in general. The film currently has a less than stellar score on Rotten Tomatoes, and RogerEbert’s Robert Daniels wanted more from the film.
Not much works in MY POLICEMAN, a stuffy period piece lacking chemistry, specificity, and namely, good acting. My #TIFF22 review via @ebertvoices https://t.co/gVEf72JobMSeptember 12, 2022
IndieWire’s Ryan Lattanzio thought Styles missed the mark in My Policeman, feeling that the film should’ve delved deeper than it did.
He said MY POLICEMAN isn’t “a gay story about these guys being gay.’ It’s about love and about wasted time to me.” Those remarks — and his performance — suggest H*rry St*les didn’t understand the assignment. My #TIFF22 review. https://t.co/nFTW3UxgrASeptember 12, 2022
It looks like My Policeman, like Don’t Worry Darling, is a divisive film, with many strong opinions about its narrative and performances involved. Styles has previously received positive attention for his small role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, so he definitely has the performing chops. His future in the MCU might also be at play considering his cameo appearance as Eros/Starfox in Eternals. Clearly this will not be the last time we see Styles on the big screen.
To see for yourself whether we have a budding movie star on our hands, you can check out My Policeman in theaters on October 21, and it will be streaming for Amazon Prime subscribers starting November 4th. You can also see Harry Styles in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, in theaters on September 23rd. For more information on movies coming out later this year, you can check out our 2022 movie schedule.