Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Lighthouse is the ultimate showcase of pure madness. It also provides two of the most talented individuals in Hollywood an opportunity to show their stuff, and they take advantage of every second. Anyone who questions Eggers’ ability to direct has another thing coming once they see this film. Never have I seen a film embrace its atmosphere like The Lighthouse. From the brilliant choice of black & white, to the unconventional aspect ratio, everything makes you feel a certain way. Sometimes that way is strange and other times, that way is exactly how the characters feel. There were moments when I wanted to get up and lose my mind along with these men, because the film (almost) brainwashes you to feel that way.
Pattinson is fantastic, as he showcases every bit of range haters need to buy him as Batman. This character is broken, and continues to fall apart as we progress. Dafoe captures exactly what you expect because we know he’s brilliant, but it’s still fascinating to watch. Their chemistry is what keeps this story moving. That, along with the spectacular visuals, bring an experience unlike any other in 2019. The Lighthouse feels like The Witch, when you discuss how off-putting the imagery can be. I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as a “Horror” film, as it is more in the vein of a Fantasy-Drama. There are Horror elements for sure, as Eggers does what we know he thrives at, but they aren’t overwhelmingly obvious like they were in his first film (in a good way).
He has now proven that he can take on two distinctly different films and nail them in different ways. His character buildup is what allows him to standout. The ending had me questioning just as many elements as I expected to. For me, it paid off more than the ending to The Witch, and it captured everything he intended. You will find no cinematography (this year) better than that of The Lighthouse. Every shot had me salivating for the next scene. It isn’t necessarily a film to appeal to the average moviegoer, but there is a nice amount of humor in here to keep most people entertained (incase they find the story to be overwhelming). The screenplay, visuals, sound design, and performances combine to make this something special. The Lighthouse is another A24 home-run.