For 597 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 1.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Anthony Lane's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Piano
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 597
597 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    Spielberg wrote a poem. And all the best movies are poems. [25 Mar 2002, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    Wild and unrelenting, but also possessed of the outlandish poetry, laced with hints of humor, that rises to the surface when the world is all churned up.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    I have seen The Host twice and have every intention of watching it again.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The most stirring release of the year thus far is a documentary.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    This is a leap into grandeur.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The Best of Youth takes its chance--almost unheard of, these days--to bloom and unfurl like a novel.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Birdman, right now, is on the money. In Riggan and the rest of the cast, writhing with the dread of being a nobody but appalled by what it takes to be a somebody, we see not just the acting bug but also the New York bug, the love bug, and, if we’re honest, the life bug, diagnosed as what they are: a seventy-year itch.
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Her
    Sad, kooky, and daunting in equal measure, Her is the right film at the right time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Thanks to Whiplash, Simmons will lend comfort to those actors who believe that, if they wait long enough, the right role — their role — will come along. Fletcher is such a part.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    What makes Amour so strong and clear is that it allows Haneke to anatomize his own severity.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    No
    The best movie ever made about Chilean plebiscites, NO thoroughly deserves its Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    On the scale of inventiveness, Inside Out will be hard to top this year. As so often with Pixar, you feel that you are visiting a laboratory crossed with a rainbow.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    This mania is what Marvel followers have hungered for, and it would be fruitless to deny their delight. As Loki says to a crowd of earthlings, "It is the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation." We do, Master, we do.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Still, it is a writer's privilege to trim and tailor at will, and everybody loves a duel. It would take the dullest of curmudgeons not to enjoy the surge of this saga, accurate or not, and the excesses of what already feels like a distant age. [30 Sept. 2013, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Headhunters is admirably swift in style, and dangerously silly in what it begs us to swallow, but at its heart is a consummate depiction of a permanent type - the proud and prickly male, thrown back on his desperate wits. Small may not be beautiful, but it lives.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    There are passages of gravity and grace here that few other directors could unfurl. [27 Jan. 2014, p. 78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What matters most about The Homesman, which Jones co-wrote and directed, is how willingly, and movingly, he cedes the stage to Hilary Swank, as Clint Eastwood did in “Million Dollar Baby.”
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Here is the territory that "Twilight" never dared to enter. It was so busy with crushes, covens, werewolves, and all the other moth-eaten trappings of the genre that it forgot to ask, Why do vampires not die of boredom? Is time not the sharpest stake in the heart? [14 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Joe
    Yet Joe, directed by David Gordon Green, succeeds. Although Green's resume has been as up and down as that of his leading man, his eye for decay has rarely blurred; and now, you sense, he has come to the right place. [14 April 2014, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Best of all, we get to witness Fassbender at full tilt — to revel in that gaunt, El Greco mug of his, which, for all its handsomeness, betrays no sunny side, whether here or amid the shenanigans of “X-Men.”
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What could be a plain tale -- and is in danger of becoming a sappy one -- grows surprisingly inward and dense. [25 Nov. 2013, p.135]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Love Is Strange, however, is not about gay marriage. It is about a marriage that happens to be gay. If the film grows slightly boring, even that can be construed as an advance.
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    That is what I admire in While We’re Young; it shows a director not so much mooning over the past, with regret for faded powers, as probing his own obsessions and the limits of his style.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Inspiring though Marley is, however, it tends to deploy his music purely as an illustration of his life. Not once, as far as I could tell, do we watch a song being played straight through from beginning to end. [23 April 2012, p.82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What fleshes out the movie, and lends it such an extraordinary pulse of life, is the want of words.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The whole enterprise goes far beyond pastiche, wreathing its characters in a film-intoxicated world.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    She (Cotillard) is the center of attention throughout, yet what matters is her willingness to conspire in the Dardennes’ plea for justice.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    This is typical Suleiman, as anyone who saw his no less wondrous work "Divine Intervention" (2002), can testify.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    In one respect, though not a major one, it is a masterpiece: seldom will you find a better class of fadeout.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Leviathan is a tale for vertiginous times, with the ruble in free fall. There must be thousands of stories like Kolya’s right now, lives folding and collapsing, upon which Zvyagintsev could cast his unfoolable eye. Despite that, he is not primarily a satirist, or even a social commentator; he is the calm surveyor of a fallen world, and Leviathan, for all its venom, never writhes out of control.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The director is John Maclean, making his début, and, if he demonstrates how hard it is to handle whimsy, he more than atones for it with two tremendous set pieces — one in a store, and the other in an isolated homestead, girded with cornfields where a shooter can nestle and hide.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    [Farhadi's] gift for pulling us deep into the story, and for conveying the major burdens of these supposedly minor lives, is unimpaired.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    His (Francois Ozon) theme could hardly be less original (think of "Bonjour Tristesse"), but the tautness is that of a horror film. [5 May 2014, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    This is a plum of a part, and McDormand gorges herself. [10 March 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Jacky is not merely beefed up. He is a Minotaur in the making, and that, surely, is why his story becomes such a labyrinth. [27 Feb. 2012, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    If you love the Coens, or follow folk music, or hold fast to this period of history and that patch of New York, then the film can hardly help striking a chord.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The barbs of wit, delivered throughout, are like the retractable daggers used in stage productions of "Macbeth" or "Julius Caesar": they gleam enticingly, they plunge home to the hilt, but they leave no trace of a wound.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    This final film -- after so many dazzling studies of adultery, such as "La Femme Infidele (1969) -- is a touching and unfashionable hymn to married love. [1 Nov. 2010, p.121]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    At last, a good big film. The legacy of the summer, thus far, has been jetsam: moribund movies that lie there, bloated and beached, gasping to break even. But here is something angry and alive: Elysium.
    • 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.

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