As Starfish the film is released in UK cinemas today, a number of reviews have been shared online, some with very kind words about Tom's performance. Read the reviews in full via the links below. Then visit the Starfish official site to find out where the film is showing near you.
The crippling effects of sepsis (blood poisoning) on a young husband and father is the harrowing subject of this true-story drama. Shocking but not voyeuristic, moving but not mawkish, Bill Clark's chronicle of a couple battling against the medical odds is boosted by pitch-perfect performances from Joanne Froggatt and Tom Riley. 4**** Radio Times
...The performances really sell the drama. It’s first and foremost a story about a family, offering a relatable means for us to cling onto the story and feel invested when one of the most horrendous, unthinkable ordeals is thrown at them. What could have been a mawkish and exploitative exercise is handled with sincerity, tact and above all a deep sense of empathy. The National
A brutally honest family drama that boasts a pair of great lead performances. Little White Lies
Riley’s and Froggatt’s poignant central performances are encompassed in an affecting circle of love, guilt and frustration, that climaxes in a blazing outpour of honest and raw soul bearing... ...A dynamic British indie that highlights essential human drama in amongst an inconspicuous disease, Starfish packs a potent punch about life’s fragility. 4**** Den of Geek
This harrowing film succeeds in part because it is, at its core, a love story about life and not about death. But the execution is everything, and credit is due to Clark’s sensitive, well-researched and thoughtfully-written script and the strong, nuanced performances from Frogatt and Ray that always ring true. Indeed it is hard to imagine the results were the actors not up to the task. It must have been daunting for them to act in the presence of the real Tom and Nic who were apparently on the set, particularly when Tom Ray served as a body double for scenes that no amount of CGI could render convincing. Mature Times
One comes away from the film with real respect for the raw honesty of the performances: Joanne Froggatt is Nicola and Tom Riley is Ray. The Guardian
The film’s clear intention is to bring huge awareness of this debilitating disease to the forefront, which it does admirably, but there is much more to it than that – notably the two performances by its two lead actors. Riley is outstanding as Ray, ably projecting his performance through prosthetics for what must be two-thirds of the film’s running time, but it is Froggatt who flexes her acting chops to overwhelming effect in a heart-rendering, supremely raw performance as the equally suffering Nicola, burdened by financial woes, personal heartache and loss as she adjusts to a new personal life. The Hollywood News
Riley encompasses all manner of emotion and is excellent underneath the first-rate prosthetics in a performance reminiscent of John Hurt as John Merrick in David Lynch’s THE ELEPHANT MAN, where the emotion rises above the make-up. Audiences may find the images challenging, but the film should not be denied a screening or an audience. Like others, Sepsis is a condition that is not well known to the world – and STARFISH will open up channels and dialogues. The film ultimately is a tale of how love transcends the many challenges and tough setbacks to lead the way and make the world go round. Verdict **** Film And TV Now
The Express gave it 3 stars, as did the Financial Times, who called the film 'moving'.