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 1.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Anthony Lane's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Kid with a Bike
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 550
550 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Nothing out of the ordinary happens in Blue Valentine, and that, together with the vital, untrammelled performances of the two leading actors, is the root of its power.
    • 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
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    This is typical Suleiman, as anyone who saw his no less wondrous work "Divine Intervention" (2002), can testify.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    In short, The Descendants is the latest exhibit in Payne's careful dissection of the beached male, which runs from Matthew Broderick's character in "Election" to Jack Nicholson's in "About Schmidt" and Paul Giamatti's in "Sideways."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Von Trier's latest fable is nothing without its blaze of majesty - or, as his detractors would say, its bombast.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Anderson's great gift is to catch the generations as they intersect. [4 & 11 June 2012, p 132]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Best of all -- and the only thing that has really made me laugh at the movies this year -- is a lengthy scene in which Coogan, inspired by the landscape, confesses his desire to star in a traditional costume drama. [13 & 20 June 2011, p. 128]
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What the writer and director, Sean Durkin, delivers here is not a cult film at all but something more troubled and insidious - a film about a cult.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The Artist is not just about black-and-white silent pictures. It is a black-and-white silent picture. And it's French.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It is the greatest biblio-climax of any film since "Fahrenheit 451," although Truffaut's prayer was that reading might yet survive calamity and carry the torch of the civilized. Detachment snufffs out that faith; books it warns us, are the first thing to go. [19 March 2012, p.91]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Stroker slips down the gullet with less fuss, but there are enough blood sprays and snapped vertebrae to pacify the director's clamorous fan club -- and, for the rest of us, plenty of chances to reconsider his style. It is, unquestionably, something to behold. [8 March 2013, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    The result feels, like Shakespeare's play, at once ancient and dangerously new.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Blancanieves is a feast for the film-crazy. [8 April 2013, p.89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Strangest of all, we go along with it in a sort of dream, scarcely pausing to complain, so expert is Mungiu at drawing us into the fold of these passionate souls. [8 March 2013, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 77 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
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    From the beginning, you can feel this restive, pulsing movie burn from discontent toward disaster. The whole thing should sap the spirit, and make you despair of a lost and wasted country, yet you are constantly shocked awake by the energy of Arbor, whether it is spent on insolence, initiative, or grief. The boy’s a bright wire.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Miraculously, he (Polanski) brightens the faded material, and conjures his most graceful work in years.
    • 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
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    There is no whodunit here — the horror is plain in the opening shots — and the how is presented with great restraint, but the why remains veiled and mysterious long after the film has ended.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Al Mansour is too smart to overdo the symbolic spin, but the thrust of her film, toward the end, could hardly be more urgent. [16 Sept. 2013, p. 72]
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Enemy may crawl and infuriate, and, boy, does Villeneuve get rid of the grin. But the film sticks with you, like a dreadful dream or a spider in the bedclothes. Shake it off, and it's still there. [17 March 2014, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 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
    • 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
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The monologue that Goldblum delivers there, grand with illusion and larded with mouthfuls of canapes, is entirely delicious -- roguish and absurd, but lending the film a zest that it was in danger of losing. [17 March 2014, p.79]
    • 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.”
    • 84 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    This new Star Trek is nonsense, no question ("Prepare the red matter!"), but at least it's not boggy nonsense, the way most of the other movies were, and it powers along, unheeding of its own absurdity, with a drive and a confidence that the producers of the original TV series might have smiled upon.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    No one is denying the energy and the dread that stalked the best B movies of the past, but, when the best director of the present revives such monsters, how can he hope to do better than a B-plus?
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    An efficient, politically inert fantasy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The film is slowed by its own beauty, but it is salvaged by two majestic scenes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    You don't feel bamboozled, fooled, or patronized by District 9, as you did by most of the summer blockbusters. You feel winded, and shaken, and shamed. [September 14, 2009, pg.115]
    • The New Yorker
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Beyond question a return to the dark, simmering days of their best work, in “Blood Simple” and “Miller’s Crossing.”
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    What IS surprising is the unembarrassed energy that Boyle devotes to his pursuit of the obvious; there’s nothing wrong with the formulaic, it would appear, so long as you bring the formula to the boil.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    9
    And here's the strangest thing of all: it works. [September 14, 2009, pg.ll4]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    There is no denying the boldness of Persepolis, both in design and in moral complaint, but there must surely be moments, in Marjane’s life as in ours, that cry out for cross-hatching and the grown-up grayness of doubt.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    How could Frears and his cast rise above the sins of the miniseries? One answer is the force of that cast...The other thing that rescues and refines The Queen is one of the basic bonuses of moviegoing, more familiar of late from documentaries like "Touching the Void" and "Capturing the Friedmans": you come out arguing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Craig has the courage to present a hollow man, flooding the empty rooms where his better nature should be with brutality and threat. His smile is more frightening than his straight face, and he doesn’t bother with the throwaway quips that were meant to endear us to the other Bonds.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The problem is not that the film debases the book but that movies themselves are too capacious a home for such comedy, with its tea-steeped English musings and its love of bitty, tangential gags.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The first twenty minutes of Wedding Crashers are rabid with simple pleasure.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    There is certainly a trill of suspense to be had from these ideological heists, but Weingartner’s movie is never quite as keen-edged as it hopes or needs to be.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Think about it a day later, though, and its hectic swoop from romance to thriller to campaign manifesto leaves oddly little afterglow. The gardener is the only constant here; so much else burns up and blows away.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    How can one not revere a movie director who causes the printers of travel brochures to cry out in distress? The Greece of sun, sand, and sea is not open for business here, Angelopoulos having decided that grandeur, grief, and grayness are more his line of work.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Without Nancy and her demon lover, Polanski's Oliver Twist feels handsome, steady, and respectful; it has that touch of mummification which wins awards. But Dickens had murder in mind--women killed for their kindness, children for lack of food--and he wanted us to howl and hyperventilate. He asked for more.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    You cannot help being stirred by the reach and depth, the constant rebuffs to sloppiness, of a strong ensemble.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    I wouldn't trust him (Downey) to look after my handkerchief, but I'll watch him in anything, and that is why Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang--smug as it is, and more like a day in the reptile house than a night at the movies--remains a slithery treat.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The more it sags as a thriller, the more it jabs and jangles as a study of racial abrasion.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    It is one of those movies--Antonioni's "Red Desert" being the most flagrant example--that spend so much time brimming with moral and political suggestion that they almost forget to tell us what's actually going on.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    If Cars is something of a letdown, that is not because of the moral messages that it delivers but because of the heavy hand with which it cranks them out.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    In the end, Lower City is never quite as energetic as it wants to be, touched by the strange, milky lethargy that steeps every waterfront film.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The work of both Babluani brothers is weirdly stilled and mature, already devoid of the need to show off--serves only to thicken the horror.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    As the movie shows, the whole furtive business of ratings is indeed ridiculous and should be overhauled.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Yet the film, against my wishes, left me unmoved.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    That is an unusually gloomy proposition not just for a studio movie but for a society that, despite the acts and sites of official commemoration, must find good cause to forge ahead from catastrophe. Reign Over Me closes with, at best, a cautious hope, leaving us more anxious than when we went in, and throughout the film there is a stunned and bewildered air hanging over the city, like a heavy smog.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Their kinship (Gere/Molina)--wholly unsexual yet lit, like that of Martin and Lewis, with an exasperated love--is the beacon of the movie, and it just about survives the lengthening shadows of the later scenes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The Valet does not show Veber at his best. His palate for misunderstandings of every vintage is as refined as ever; what he has lost is his taste for human failing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The result, like many of Winterbottom's films, lies an inch short of disarray; we CAN keep pace with the investigation, but only just, and that sense of splintering honors the unpredictability of the setting.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    In previous movies, Michael Bay dabbled wearily in Homo sapiens. At last he has summoned the courage to admit that he has an exclusive crush on machines, and I congratulate him on creating, in Transformers, his first truly honest work of art.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    There is honor, boldness, and grip in the new movie, but other directors can deliver those. Werner Herzog is the last great hallucinator in cinema, so why break the spell?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Yet the film, directed by Laurent Tirard, has something. To be exact, it has Fabrice Luchini and Laura Morante, as M. and Mme. Jourdain.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Cronenberg made a movie called “The Dead Zone,” and I sometimes wonder whether, for all his formal brilliance, he has ever torn himself away from that locked-in, airless state of mind. You walk out of Eastern Promises feeling spooked and sullied, as if waking from a noisome dream.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The Darjeeling Limited works best when the level of artifice is at its highest and most overt.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    It packs political machination, helicopter gunships, single-malt whiskey, Las Vegas, Islamabad, naked butts, and eight years of war. The film, adapted from George Crile’s book, doesn’t always work, but it sure offers value for money.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The whole work drips with a camp savagery (hence the presence of Sacha Baron Cohen as Pirelli, a rival barber and faux-Italianate fop), which in turn relies on the conviction that death itself, like sexual desire, exists to be sniffed at and chuckled over.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Cloverfield is a vastly old-fashioned piece of work, creaking with hilarious contrivance. I was thrilled, for instance, to hear someone actually speak the line “It’s alive!”
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    As the film concludes with his upraised hand, conductor’s fingers unfurling against a blue sky, you do feel that you have witnessed a small victory of wisdom over indifference and ennui. When in doubt, strike up the band.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The air of mystery here is appealing, because the secrets behind it seem to matter both a great deal and not at all--rather like love, which has been Lelouch’s subject ever since he made "A Man and a Woman."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Quantum of Solace is too savage for family entertainment, but, as a study in headlong desperation, it's easier to believe in than many more ponderous films.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    They give excellent value for money, launching into song the way that normal folk go to the bathroom--regularly, politely, and because, if they didn't, well, darn it, they might just burst.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Watching A Christmas Tale, with its bursts of old movies, dregs of empty bottles, lines from books, and fragments of half-forgotten conversations, is like getting to know a family other than your own by leafing through its scrapbooks and laughing at its photograph albums, while it bickers in the next room over stuff you may never understand.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    For all its oddities, this movie does carry weight, and, with more than eight per cent of Americans out of work, the timing of its release here could not be more acute.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    So compact and controlled is this fine film.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Although Not Quite Hollywood was clearly put together with fanatical love, the suspicion remains, as often with genre cinema, that these trash-rich movies are a lot more fun to hear about, and to watch in snatches, than to sit through.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Jacques Audiard’s film, which lasts two and a half hours, maintains an unflagging urgency, stalling only when the double-dealing grows too dense.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The fact that Mother keeps its balance is a tribute to the leading actress.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Noomi Rapace throws herself into the title role, but something about the conception of her character, and about the far-reaching urgency of the sociopathic shocks behind the killing, smacks of a filmmaker pushing too hard. That is why the movie finds it impossible to wind things up.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    You leave the film like one of Giovanni's patients rising from the couch -- far from healed, but amused and pacified by the sympathy that has washed over you. [4 Feb 2002, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    As Mostow proved in “Breakdown” and “U-571,” he can churn out excitement at a steady pace; whether he can handle dread--altogether a more unstable material--is another matter. [14 & 21 July 2003, p. 85]
    • The New Yorker
    • 36 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    A short, meaningless blast of fun from Disney.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The great Bebe Neuwirth should apply for a patent on her slow and dirty smile. The scene in which she introduces her new conquest to her girlfriends over tea, and pretty well pimps him to any takers, is worth the price of a ticket. [29 July 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Most of the innumerable sequels were tripe, but this one has a freshness -- even a kind of wit -- mixed in with all the blood.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    No one could claim that the film is a distinguished contribution to cinema, but it would be churlish to resist its geniality and speed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The sense of period, of ungainly English pride, is funny and acute, but the movie mislays its sense of wit as the girls grow up.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    After a while, you stop counting the chases -- they just get longer and louder, and it's like watching the revival of a forgotten art form; the fact that it's done with a minimum of special effects makes it all the more stirring.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The movie is, literally, a tough act to follow, thanks to the brusque, undemonstrative way in which Haneke chops from one subplot to the next. [3 Dec 2001, p.105]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Its characters are no different from the rest of us, in the cluster of their annoyances and kicks, yet utterly removed from us by a system that frowns upon ordinary desire. Jafar Panahi's movie, unsurprisingly, has been outlawed in Iran. Nobody likes a prophet. [19 January 2004, p. 93]
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Viewers will be split between those who wonder about this silly, trumped-up story and those who already know and love the silliness for what it was. [4 November 2002, p. 110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Leconte lacks the austerity to complete a film in which nothing much occurs. And so, with some reluctance, we are bustled toward a climax. [12 May 2003, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    For all its scruffiness, the lurching strike-rate of its gags, and the unmistakable smell of amateur dramatics given off by its repertory of rotating players with their stick-on Ted Nugent beards, Life of Brian jitters with good will. [3 May 2004, p. 110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    British director Michael Winterbottom has made his best and most driven picture to date. [22 September 2003, p. 202]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The brilliance of Fin is that he reins in a lifetime of rage, and there is a determination in his eye, and in the line of his chin, that practiced moviegoers will, possibly to their surprise, identify as halfway to sexy--the world-weary smolder of the leading man. [6 October 2003, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker