For 585 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 2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Anthony Lane's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Host
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 585
585 movie reviews
    • 61 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
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    About Elly both clutches us tight and shuts us out, adding wave upon wave of secrets and lies.
    • 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
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The beautiful joke of Factotum is that Dillon is nobility itself.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    No male director would have put so much as a toe inside this trouble zone, although Kent does borrow a helpful domestic hint from “Shaun of the Dead”: rather than vanquish our worst nightmare, why not tame it, lock it away, and hope?
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The result feels, like Shakespeare's play, at once ancient and dangerously new.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It's a film that you need to see, not a film that you especially want to.
    • 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
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Inherent Vice is not only the first Pynchon movie; it could also, I suspect, turn out to be the last. Either way, it is the best and the most exasperating that we’ll ever have. It reaches out to his ineffable sadness, and almost gets there.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The charm -- the midsummer enchantment -- never feels forced; it steals up and wins you. A true romance.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Blancanieves is a feast for the film-crazy. [8 April 2013, p.89]
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Not to warm to this movie would be churlish, and foodies will drool on demand.
    • 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
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    '71
    As the camera darts down alleyways, or prowls the housing projects where soldiers fear to tread, what really concerns Demange — and what lends such a kick to O’Connell’s performance, on the heels of “Starred Up” and “Unbroken” — is the bewilderment and the panic that await us, whoever we may be, in limbo.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Miraculously, he (Polanski) brightens the faded material, and conjures his most graceful work in years.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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."
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It is equipped, like an F-15 Eagle, to engage multiple targets at once.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The invective energy of Four Lions and its Swiftian vision of a confederacy of dunces are never in doubt. The problem is one of form. [15 Nov. 2010, p.99]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The first twenty minutes of Wedding Crashers are rabid with simple pleasure.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Stranger by the Lake, it must be said, flirts with monotony. There is something both fascinating and numbing in the rituals on display, and in the matching rhythm of the film's approach. [27 Jan.2014, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    So skilled are both Carell and Tatum that the movie itself falls prey to the characters’ repression. Though never less than careful and clever, it’s also a stunted and fiercely unhappy piece of work, straining hard to deliver home truths about a commonweal that has beaten itself out of shape.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Performs the unlikely trick of being both taut and plotless.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    It seems not just against the odds but against the laws of nature that a film as bookish, as suburban, and as self-consciously clever as In the House should also be such fun.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Indeed, there is barely a frame of Branagh’s film that would cause Uncle Walt to finger his mustache with disquiet.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    I happen to prefer the extreme unslackness of “Halloween,” and the resourceful pluck of Curtis, to the dreamier dread of Maika Monroe. Nonetheless, like her pursuers, It Follows won’t leave you alone.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Yet the great thing about White God is that the more you command it to sit and stay — to settle down as a plausible plot, or to cohere as a political fable — the more it slips its leash and runs amok.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The fact that Mother keeps its balance is a tribute to the leading actress.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    So compact and controlled is this fine film.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The Good Thief is too spindly and unconfident for an actor of this bulk, yet without him it would curl up and die. [7 April 2003, p.96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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!”
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Affleck the movie director makes you truly, badly want his bunch of ne'er-do-wells to pull off their heists without a scratch, and you can't ask for much more than that. [20 Sept. 2010, p. 120]
    • 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
    • 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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    As the movie shows, the whole furtive business of ratings is indeed ridiculous and should be overhauled.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    It takes a female director, I think, to catch children, young and old, at these fragile hours, and also to trace a residue of something childlike in their elders.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The strength of the movie resides mainly in the work of its cameraman, Chris Menges, who delivers a barrage of images as rousing and changeable as the fortunes of Collins himself.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    It was with both joy and mystification, therefore, that I found myself cackling at What We Do in the Shadows like a witch with a helium balloon.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The result is that Shall We Kiss? puts its viewers in a bind worthy of the lovers themselves: should we organize a Socratic symposium on the issues raised by the film, or hurl our popcorn violently at the screen?
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    You cannot help being stirred by the reach and depth, the constant rebuffs to sloppiness, of a strong ensemble.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The tension of Calvary is fitful at best, and much of the movie trips into silliness, but in Brendan Gleeson -- in his proud bearing and his lamenting gaze -- we see the plight of the lonely believer in a world beyond belief. [4 Aug.2014, p.74]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    A Master Builder is a bold endeavor, thriftily made, and there is muscle and volume in the performances; but had Demme hung back, and kept things cooler and quieter, the mastery of what Ibsen built, and the agon of his extraordinary hero, would have cast a more looming shadow. [4 Aug. 2014, p.75]
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The film is slowed by its own beauty, but it is salvaged by two majestic scenes.
    • 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
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    More than forty years have passed since A Woman Is a Woman won the Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival for "originality, youth, audacity, impertinence." (When did you last see a movie that might warrant such an award?) [26 May 2003, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The great virtue of the movie is its length: a fat-free seventy-six minutes.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Yet the film, against my wishes, left me unmoved.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Such is the hazard of the cartoon: as a form, it thrives on elongation and excess, yet, within its vortices and crannies, who knows what moldy prejudice can breed? [1 December 2003, p. 118]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The father's resignation to that fate is, on balance, the most compelling aspect of the film, and I will not readily forget the sight of him staring out over the town and mourning the long history of his homeland. "We built an industrial colony on top of sheep pens," he says, "and thought we were making a revolution." Maybe Attenberg is topical, after all.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Nightcrawler has patches of clunkiness, to be sure, and Lou’s face-off at a police station, near the end, feels graceless and unnecessary. Yet the movie is quite something, and, despite its title, it doesn’t really crawl.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    What is missing from the film is wit—the deep wit that comes from playing off species and environments against each other.

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