For 550 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 31% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 68% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Anthony Lane's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 550
550 movie reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    The story worms further into the guts of Victorian experience than most historical dramas, because it aims at the most neglected aspect of that age, and the most alarmingly modern: its surrealism. [29 Nov 1993, p.148]
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    Spielberg wrote a poem. And all the best movies are poems. [25 Mar 2002, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    Look closely at Johansson...an immaculate period performance. [15 December 2003, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    What Park has done is resurrect not just the spirit but, as it were, the bodily science of early comedy. Like Chuck Jones, and, further back, like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Park is unafraid of the formulaic--—of bops on the head, of the unattainable beloved, of gadgetry gone awry--because he sees what beauty there can be in minor, elaborate variations on a basic theme.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    The result is clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy—the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot's "The Wages of Fear."
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    For the first, and maybe the only, time this year, you are in the hands of a master.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    If there is any justice, this year's Academy Award for best foreign-language film will go to The Lives of Others, a movie about a world in which there is no justice.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    I have seen The Host twice and have every intention of watching it again.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    The real reason to see The Kid with a Bike is that it offers something changelessly rare and difficult: a credible portrait of goodness. [19 March 2012, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The most fruitful twist in Late Marriage is that at its core lies not a snippy domestic farce but a prolonged, dirty, and wholly credible sex scene, which starts and stops and starts again, and in which argument and arousal are entwined like limbs. [27 May 2002, p.124]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    It's a pleasure to find a thriller fulfilling its duties with such gusto: the emotions ring solid, the script finds time to relax into backchat, and for once the stunts look like acts of desperation rather than shows of prowess.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    That is the quiet triumph of American Splendor: behind the playfulness, it cleaves to an oddly old-fashioned belief that a life, even a life as mangy as Mr. Pekar’s, gains in depth and darkness when it is crosshatched with the imaginary. The nerd needs no revenge. [18 & 25 August 2003, p. 150]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    By the time of the closing shot -- twists of fog rising like spectres from a leaden sea -- even the most stubborn viewer will be lying back in a state of happy hypnosis. [16 December 2002, p. 106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The virtues of Jackson's trilogy, thus far, have been pace and astonishment, which is almost the same thing. [6 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Too long, but it feels sturdy and stirring – there's an old fashioned decency in the way that it exerts, and increases, its claim upon our feelings. [26 Sept 1994, p.108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The casting of Minority Report may be the smartest in the history of Spielberg. [1 July 2002, p. 96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    I cannot remember a major movie, not even "The Godfather," that forced me to peer so intently into the gloom. [2 December 2002, p. 87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The architecture of Pulp Fiction may look skewed and strained, but the decoration is a lot of fun. [10 Oct 1994, p.95]
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    There is something horribly apt in the way Fincher closes the drama in joyless exhaustion, leaving you certain that there will be a sequel to these events, not onscreen but in someone's home, tonight. [8 April 2002, p. 95]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    As with "Together," Moodysson has pulled off a staggering dramatic coup, and again we are forced to ask: How does he do it? [21 & 28 April 2003, p.194]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Kevin Macdonald has a terrific tale on his hands, and his telling of it, very British in its matter-of-factness, can barely be faulted; yet the facts drop away, and it becomes impossible not to read the movie symbolically--as a journey to the center of the earth, or farther still.
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    It is the first film to be directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, and what it shares with other coruscating débuts, from “The Four Hundred Blows” to “Badlands,” is a sense that it HAD to be made. There is a controlled wildness at the heart of such movies, whose narratives ask to be handled as delicately as explosives. [15 March 2004, p. 154]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    This is a leap into grandeur.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Turtles Can Fly has little space for mawkishness, and the kids are far too cussed to be cute. It is, in every sense, the more immediate achievement: it hits and hurts the eyes (the rainy days are lousy enough, but the skies of royal blue, above such grief, feel especially insulting), and it also seems to bleed straight out of the headlines.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The Best of Youth takes its chance--almost unheard of, these days--to bloom and unfurl like a novel.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Werner Herzog may lack heroes, nowadays, who seem adequate to his fierce capacity for wonder. When occasion demands, however, he can still turn the world upside down.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    This slow and stoic movie, hailed as a gay Western, feels neither gay nor especially Western: it is a study of love under siege.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Jones gets everything--the gestures, the generosity, the mean streak, the bending of the ear to recitals of woe, whether across a lunch table or a prison cell. He even nails the voice, like that of a chorister caught running a racket with the incense.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    So smartly has del Toro thought his fable through, and so graceful is his grasp of visual rhyme, that to pick holes in it seems mean; yet Pan's Labyrinth is perhaps more dazzling than involving--I was too busy reading its runes and clues, as it were, to be swept away. It is, I suspect, a film to return to, like a country waiting to be explored: a maze of dead ends and new life.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Filmed in a hot and bleached black-and-white, it manages to swerve from culture-clashing farce to alarming suspense without losing control.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    What Rourke offers us, in short, is not just a comeback performance but something much rarer: a rounded, raddled portrait of a good man. Suddenly, there it is again--the charm, the anxious modesty, the never-distant hint of wrath, the teen-age smiles, and all the other virtues of a winner.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The result demands a patient viewing, and maybe more than one; only after a second dose did I get the measure of Garrone's mastery, and realize how far he has surpassed, not merely honored, the author's courageous toil.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The most stirring release of the year thus far is a documentary.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The movie that we do have is cogent, lavish, and formidable enough, with a Recchi-like power to frighten and seduce.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    This movie can hardly help being beautiful, in such a rarefied domain, but what matters is that it never looks merely beautiful. [28 Feb. 2011, p. 81]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The eye must travel not merely through the earth's crust but backward in time, as well. Indeed, you could argue that Herzog has succeeded in making the world's first movie in 4-D. [2 May 2011, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Tucked away inside the grandeur, though, and enlivened by jump cuts, is a sharp, not unharrowing story of a father and son, and, amid one's exasperation, there is no mistaking Malick's unfailing ability to grab at glories on the fly.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The writer and director, Asghar Farhadi, has thus created the perfect antithesis of a crunching disaster flick, such as "2012," which was all boom and no ripple.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    On reflection, and despite these cavils, we should bow to The Master, because it gives us so much to revere, starting with the image that opens the film and recurs right up to the end-the turbid, blue-white wake of a ship. There goes the past, receding and not always redeemable, and here comes the future, waiting to churn us up.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The film may have dated as a cautionary left-wing tale, yet it has stayed fresh as a study in the minutiae of power. [1 Oct. 2012, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    For all its mayhem, runs like a mad and slightly sad machine, whirring with hints of folly and regret, and the ending, remarkably, makes elegant sense to a degree that eludes most science fictions. How to describe it, without giving anything away? Scrambled, but rare. [1 Oct. 2012, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Rust and Bone might as well be called "Water and Light"; it glitters and flares with the urge to renew those things - limbs, knuckles, lovemaking, and parental bonds - which are easily fractured and lost.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    What makes Amour so strong and clear is that it allows Haneke to anatomize his own severity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    No
    The best movie ever made about Chilean plebiscites, NO thoroughly deserves its Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Seldom has our modern taste for the confessional mode been so smartly explored. [20 May 2013, p. 123]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The most consuming and most exhausting of its kind since “The Dreamlife of Angels,” fifteen years ago. From the moment when Adèle first catches sight of Emma, on a busy crosswalk, the movie restores your faith in the power of the coup de foudre and yet redoubles your fear of its effect; love, like lightning, can both illuminate and scorch. The problems of two little people, it turns out, do indeed amount to a hill of beans. Some hill. Some beans.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Henry James, who loved the place, accused himself of "making a mere Rome of words, talking of a Rome of my own which was no Rome of reality." Sorrentino has made a Rome of images, and taken the same risk. But it was worth it. [25 Nov. 2013, p.134]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Her
    Sad, kooky, and daunting in equal measure, Her is the right film at the right time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Glazer is nothing if not ambitious; the rough edge of naturalism, on the streets, slices into the more controlled and stylized look of science fiction, and the result seems both to drift and to gather to a point of almost painful intensity.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The profuse pleasures of Boyhood spring not from amazement but from recognition — from saying, Yes, that’s true, and that feels right, or that’s how it was for me, too.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    There are times when the movie's entertainment value verges on the scandalous. [4 November 2002, p. 110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Less fruitful is the casting of Michelle Pfeiffer as May's older cousin, the mysterious Countess Olenska, with whom Archer falls hopelessly in love. With her silly blond curls, Pfeiffer looks more plaintive than the dark exotic of Wharton's imagination.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    At its best and quietest, Divine Intervention suggests -- that levity and threat are eternally clasped together, like the lovers' twining hands. [20 January 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    In short, this film is not quite the frozen and brittle comedy that it appears to be, and, if you can stomach it the first time, you may experience a baffling wish to see it again -- to inspect this crystalline curiosity from another angle. [16 September 2002, p. 106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What could have been a narrow, cultish little picture, a mere retro-trip, fans out into a broader study of longing and belonging. [4 Oct 1993, p.214]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    No weirder than Kaurismäki's previous efforts. Indeed, compared with “Leningrad Cowboys Go America,” this venture tells an alarmingly straight tale. [7 April 2003, p.96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    This is a plum of a part, and McDormand gorges herself. [10 March 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    In short, Haynes is so smart, tolerant, and thoughtful that he has to be saved by his actors. Julianne Moore takes this picture further, perhaps, than anyone can have dreamed. [18 November 2002, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Peter Jackson has not really made a movie of The Lord of the Rings; he has sprung clear of it to forge something new. He has drawn a deep breath, and taken the plunge. [5 January 2004, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What is most winning about Distant is that it can peer past the grief and find a scrap of comedy. [15 March 2004, p. 154]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What we glean from Belvaux's trilogy is the reassurance (rare on film, with its terror of inattention) that people are both important and unimportant, and that heroes and leading ladies, in life as in art, can fade into extras before our eyes. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.] [2 February 2004, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What we glean from Belvaux’s trilogy is the reassurance (rare on film, with its terror of inattention) that people are both important and unimportant, and that heroes and leading ladies, in life as in art, can fade into extras before our eyes. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.] [2 February 2004, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What we glean from Belvaux’s trilogy is the reassurance (rare on film, with its terror of inattention) that people are both important and unimportant, and that heroes and leading ladies, in life as in art, can fade into extras before our eyes. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.] [2 February 2004, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    There aren't many performers who can deliver the fullness of heart that such a plot demands, but Winslet is one of them. [22 March 2004, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    John Crowley’s film is high on its own briskness, and its glances at Irish backstreet life land it securely in the terrain that was mapped out by Stephen Frears’s “The Snapper” and “The Van.” [5 April 2004, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The charm -- the midsummer enchantment -- never feels forced; it steals up and wins you. A true romance.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    You feel wiped and blinded by such ravishment, yet a voice within you asks: Come on, guys, can't you just stop for the holidays?
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Imagine my relief when Bob, Helen, and the kids, for all the nicety of their emotions, turned out to be--if I can risk a word that may be taboo in Pixar land--cartoons. Long may it stay that way.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Looking back at the film, I don't buy all this, but no matter; Channing is so stormy, so keen to unleash her resentments, that for an hour or so you do believe in Julie. [17 Dec 2001, p.98]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    This is not just pliable filmmaking; it is an exercise in worldliness, in a feel for the cracks and warps of circumstance, which is all the more startling when you learn that the director is thirty-one.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    I certainly came out of Nobody Knows feeling numb; only later, reflecting on the fact that the movie was inspired by a true story, did it occur to me that the numbness could have been deliberate, and that what suffused this picture was a mist of anger.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It runs roughly two and a half hours, and the intensity spikes with every fight; without Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti, however, it would be flat on the canvas. They make it seem a better and more bristling film than it actually is.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The required resolution is a long time in coming, but there's plenty to keep you diverted, including the light backchat among the semi-weirdos who make up the brothers' family, and Bullock's ridiculously watchable performance.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    By a pleasing irony, the parts of the film that stay with you are concerned not with the dark arts but with something far more unstoppable: teen-agers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    To some degree, “Hidden” is a cat-and-mouse thriller, the only problem being that mouse and cat insist on swapping roles.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Whole passages of non-event stream by, and you half want to scream, and yet--damn it all--by the end of The New World the spell of the images, plus the enigma of Kilcher's expression (she is as sculpted as an idol, and every bit as amenable to worship), somehow breaks you down.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    With its somersaulting trucks, drafts of quaffable blood, and skies full of digitized ravens, Bekmambetov's movie has every intention of whacking "The Matrix" at its own game.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Sophie Scholl: The Final Days may sound like a history lesson, but don't be fooled. It's a horror film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The beautiful joke of Factotum is that Dillon is nobility itself.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    One of the year’s more luscious releases, offering not just the sleekest car chase but the most romantic of rainstorms.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Though Lee still can't resist a fancy visual trick from time to time, Clockers is, at its best—in its compound of the jaunty and the depressing—his ripest work to date.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It is equipped, like an F-15 Eagle, to engage multiple targets at once.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    That is the thing about Gibson, fool that he is in other ways: he has learned how to tell a tale, and to raise a pulse in the telling. You have to admire that basic gift, uncommon as it is in Hollywood these days.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It's a film that you need to see, not a film that you especially want to.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The whole enterprise goes far beyond pastiche, wreathing its characters in a film-intoxicated world.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    On the surface, Apatow's films are about sex--obsessively, exclusively, and exhaustively. (This one lasts more than two hours.) But that is a clever feint, for their true subject is age.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Bean, a lovely guy with a touch of Mickey Rooney, is one of the stars of Sington’s rousing show. There was something unearthly, in every sense, about the astronauts in their prime.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Those who worship Joy Division may bridle at Corbijn’s film for its reluctance to mythologize their hero. Speaking as someone so irretrievably square that I not only never listened to the band but didn’t even know anyone who liked it, I can’t imagine a tribute more fitting than this.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    You exit the cinema in a fever of melancholia, wondering how long it will take you to shed the sensation of alarm. The film is less of a shocker than an adventure in anxiety, testing and twisting some of the classic studies in infantile curiosity.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Mungiu’s pacing is so sure, however, in its switching from loose to taut, and the concentration of his leading lady so unwavering, that the movie, which won the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, feels more like a thriller than a moody wallow.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    I prefer to think of Akin, however, not as a forger of patterns but as an ironist who understands that bad luck is a crucible, in the heat of which we are tested, burned away, or occasionally transformed. The Edge of Heaven is about something more exasperating than crossed paths; it is about paths that almost cross but don't, and the tragedy of the near-miss.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Ari Folman, the director of Waltz with Bashir, has made a movie so unusual that it overflows any box in which you try to contain it. Call it an adult psycho-documentary combat cartoon and you're halfway there.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    However moody, though, Two Lovers didn't strike me as a downer, for the simple reason that it wells with sights and sounds that are guaranteed to lift, not sink, the spirits.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Consume with great caution, and with joy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Cold Souls has its flaws, and it threatens to sag into a Paul-like morbidity, but Giamatti’s anxious mien and unspectacular shamblings have never been better deployed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    I have seen The Baader Meinhof Complex three or four times now, and, despite exasperation with its fissile form, I find it impossible not to be plunged afresh into this engulfing age of European anxiety.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The film is a hybrid. Its backdrop is despair, but the foreground action has the silvery zest of a comedy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Get Low is deftly played, and it rarely mislays its ambling charm, but what a forbidding fable it could have been if the truth about Felix Bush, rather than emerging into sunlight, had slunk back into the woods.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Solondz will never be meek and mild, and there are spasms of shame and awkwardness here that will make even devoted viewers wince as sharply as ever. But the movie, his best to date, and a sequel of sorts to "Happiness," feels drenched in an unfamiliar sadness.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Not to warm to this movie would be churlish, and foodies will drool on demand.