For 540 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
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Army of Shadows
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 540
540 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    So compact and controlled is this fine film.
    • 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]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    9
    And here's the strangest thing of all: it works. [September 14, 2009, pg.ll4]
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The fact that Mother keeps its balance is a tribute to the leading actress.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    If there's one movie this spring that you shouldn't see with a date, it's Everyone Else, unless you are looking for a quick, low-budget way to break up. Not that Maren Ade's film is especially gloomy or cynical; merely that it functions as a fearsome seismograph, charting not just the major quakes in a relationship but also the barest tremors.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    To find a comic-book hero who doesn’t agonize over his supergifts, and would defend his constitutional right to get a kick out of them, is frankly a relief.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Mesrine was no more a movie star than John Dillinger was, but both men could dream, and Cassel catches the folly of such dreaming, with its blasts of thuggery and its rare flashes of style, as neatly as anyone since Warren Oates took the title role of "Dillinger," in 1973.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The film has a resigned bitterness, hard to shake off, that feels right for the experience of tough guys, from whatever period of history, who find themselves at the tattered edge of what they take to be civilization.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Performs the unlikely trick of being both taut and plotless.
    • 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]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    RED
    The good news is that, while "The Expendables" was the kind of product that should be shown to health inspectors rather than critics, much of Red is jovial and juvenating. [1 Nov. 2010, p.121]
    • 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]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Against all expectations, you approach Rabbit Hole with a heavy heart and leave with a lighter one.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Cedar Rapids is certainly a guys' movie, yet it leaves us with the unmistakable impression that men are simple engines. [28 Feb. 2011, p. 80]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Above all, what makes the movie work -- what renders it not merely exhausting but fulfilling -- are the boys. Bier summons fine performances all around, but Nielsen, in particular, turns the role of christian into a drama all its own. [4 April, 2011, p. 82]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Barnard's film, as if nervous of being felled by the straightforward, sinewy thump of Dunbar's writing, ducks and weaves in a series of sly approaches. [2 May 2011, p. 89]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The result is a sad suburban pastoral, a strain of film you don't see much of, or not enough; it may feel somewhat stretched, and Rush's additions to Carver barely push it past ninety minutes, but anything hectic or hasty would have spoiled the mood. [16 May 2011, p. 132]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The movie, which Miranda July wrote and directed, is pretty sharp, not to say acidic, on the silliness of good intentions, but she also takes care to slant the best lines toward the subject of time, and its terrible crawl.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    You could argue that the film is too wrenching a departure for an actress as earthy as Farmiga, but that, I suspect, is why she took the risk - daring herself, in the person of Corinne, to slip the surly bonds of beauty and desire.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The result is a lively bout between bio-pic and fairy tale.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    To be at once earthy and ethereal is an uncommon gift. I noticed it, in Browning, when she starred in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," as the calmly eccentric Violet Baudelaire. Already, as a teen-ager, she seemed older and wiser than the events unfolding around her, and, likewise, in Sleeping Beauty, she impugns the drooling antics of the elderly.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    It is the most oppressive of the great tragedies, and "Macbeth" aside, the leanest, and the task that Fiennes has set himself is to liberate it from the theatrical while preserving the dramatic bite. In that, he succeeds with brio. [23 Jan. 2012, p.86]
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Given the earnest mayhem that prevails at your local multiplex, there is surely a place for a lightly mocking modernist with a growing distaste for the modern. [9 April 2012, p.84]
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    What really grips the new movie, for all its amused glances at Swiss Guards and ceremonial pomp, is the prospect of a single soul in crisis. [9 April 2012, p.85]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Along with Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, Burton is one of the few magi who know what can be dredged up, even now, from the cauldron of special effects. [21 May 2012, p.80]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Only at the end do we sense Shelton forcing her hand, and arranging, rather too neatly, for the rebalancing and desaddening of all concerned. [25 June 2012, p.85]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Christopher Nolan, for all his visionary flair, wants to suck the comic out of comic books; Anne Hathaway wants to put it back in. Take your pick.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    One problem with Lawless, though, is that it feels chock-full of entrances that never quite lead anywhere. [3 Sept. 2012, p.78]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Finally, a voice-over from Jimmy Carter, lauding the efforts of those involved. All this is, frankly, uncool - a pity, because the rest of Argo feels clever, taut, and restrained.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    This Must Be the Place is dazzling to behold, not least when our hero leaves Ireland. [29 Oct. & 5 Nov. 2012, p.128]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Lincoln, written by Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg, and derived in part from Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," is a curious beast. The title suggests a monolith, as if going to this movie were tantamount to visiting Mt. Rushmore, and the running time, of two and a half hours, prepares you for an epic. Yet the film is a cramped and ornery affair, with Spielberg going into lockdown mode even more thoroughly than he did in "The Terminal."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    A trim thriller with an enviable lack of grandeur. [21 Jan. 2013, p.79]
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Still, there is a time to stop quibbling, and to laud the fact that this movie was made at all. [24 June 2013, p.85]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The project gave me pause. Although Oppenheimer has called it “a documentary of the imagination,” whatever that means, would a measure of investigation have spoiled it? We hear that Congo personally exterminated a thousand people. Does that figure stand up, and does it not matter more than his dawning remorse? There is no disputing that we are right at the heart of darkness, but around it is a larger body of evidence, which awaits another explorer.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Nothing here is so well defined, and the tone of the film begins to suffer. I cannot imagine returning to it as one does to "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," hungry for fresh minutiae. [2 Sept. 2013, p.80]
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Heldenbergh owns the role, holding the camera's gaze with ease. The look and the sound of him hark back to Kris Kristofferson, but there is a hint of Nick Nolte, too, around the eyes--unfazed by the world, yet easily bewildered by its wiles. [11 Nov. 2013, p.91]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Extravagant care is taken with minutiae, and the directors, Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, whistle through the first twenty minutes of the plot with a controlled giddiness that would leave many live-action adventures staggering in their tracks. Yet what a curious plot it is.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The director is John Lee Hancock, who does what he did with “The Blind Side,” where he commandeered a true and jagged tale, tidied up the trauma, and made sure that everyone lived sappily ever after. Sandra Bullock carried the day then, and now Emma Thompson repeats the process.
    • 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]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    In short, The Last of the Unjust is every bit as quarrelsome as it should be. Murmelstein, recounting the circumstances in which he took mortally serious decisions, dares to ask us if we could have done any better.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Even as this fine documentary unveils the "mystery woman," as she once described herself, it remains intent on the molding of her myth. [31 March 2014, p.80]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    This is not life imitating art. This is art going to bed with life and staying there for the rest of the afternoon. [31 March 2014, p.81]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The movie may be a grim warning against the perils of technology and its ability to spew alternative realities, but Cronenberg himself can hardly claim to have his feet firmly planted on the ground.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    This Merchant-Ivory production strains so hard to portray dignified restraint that it almost seizes up with good manners.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    It treads enjoyably over old ground, and it has a surprisingly foul mouth, though rather than cruising along with the ease of Allen's best work it tends to hobble, and it closes in a flurry of undecided endings.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    You can't help feeling that what this enterprise required was Louis B. Mayer, or, though one has no wish to be cruel, Harry Cohn. [3 February 2003, p.98]
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Both of them (Zellweger and McGregor) are set adrift by the movie's discomforting demands, and only in the closing credits (this really is a top-and-tail movie) do they get to do what people do most fruitfully instead of sex, which is to make a song and dance about it. Who needs love? [26 May 2003, p. 102]
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Makes a suitable staging post in Witherspoon's headlong career. She may want to forget it by Christmas, yet its cushioned slackness allows her to sharpen her grasp of a steely American type: the girl next door who will kill to get out of town. [30 Sept 2002, p. 145]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    There are simply too many characters to get a handle on, and the sheer proliferation of special effects offers Singer a license so unfettered that most of the mutants act not according to their natures but purely on the ground of what, at that juncture, looks most groovy. [12 May 2003, p. 82]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Meirelles's picture is so keen to brandish its social wrath, and its spirits are so rampagingly high, that the bruises it inflicts barely last a night. [20 January 2003, p. 94]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    In Insomnia, the crunch comes as the hero and his opposite number hook up on a ferry, to discuss what each of them knows about the other. This should be Nolan's big moment, his answer to that quiet, magnificent interlude in Michael Mann's "Heat," when Pacino met De Niro in a coffee shop. -- But Williams and Pacino just don't mesh. [27 May 2002, p.124]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    This is the fifth movie to be written and directed by David Mamet, and it's his most bizarre one yet; people speak in that dreamy, lockjawed manner we first heard in "House of Games," and their entire lives appear to be lived under the spell of some nameless paranoia.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    For all the lunacies bared within this film, it has the tick and thrum of a solid studio machine, occasionally shocking but never surprising; it will be watched by everybody, but it feels as if it were made by nobody. [14 & 21 October 2002, p. 226]
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Having dreaded the prospect of Sylvia, I admired it precisely because it refuses to play along with the mythologizing that has sprung up, and vulgarized, the lives of two poets. [20 October 2003, p. 206]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    What is most disappointing about Big Fish is the nervousness of its fantasizing--a strange unwillingness, new in Burton's work, to trust the wit of the audience. [15 December 2003, p. 119]
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    You may feel safe in your bed, but be warned: even as you sleep, Earth is under threat from a vast, overheated surplus of character actors.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The sticking point of the movie is its exorbitant length: two and three-quarter hours does seem like an awful long time to patch up a horse, and a movie that goes straight for your heart should not be allowed to fester.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    It's all very well to satirize perfect white females, but if you're sick of their attitudes why single them out as protagonists in the first place? What happened to the Asian Nerds? Or the Unfriendly Black Hotties? Or the tired teachers? Why can't we see a movie about them? [10 May 2004, p. 108]
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Comes in well under the ninety-minute mark, leaving no room for bombast or overkill.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Never has a blockbuster, I would guess, required so many soliloquies. What with the mournful Molina, the hazed-over Dunst, and the puffy uncertainties of Maguire, we in the audience are the only ones who still believe, without qualification, in thrill and spill.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The film is based on the novel by Helen Schulman, who co-wrote the script with Kidd, and it suffers from the same hobbling that bedevils so many literary adaptations; namely, that what strikes a reader as a conceit of some delicacy will strike a moviegoer as clunking whimsy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The Nichols of 1971 was bold and speedy, keeping pace with Jack Nicholson's contempt, whereas the more civilized Nichols of 2004 seems a beat behind the lines, waiting for peace or charity to break out. They never do.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Oldboy has the fatal air of wanting so desperately to be a cult movie that it forgets to present itself as a coherent one.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The Interpreter is long and tangled, the score is yet another drownout from the thundering James Newton Howard, and the avowed thoughtfulness--about sub-Saharan politics, about the clashing commitments to peace and justice, about the kinship of damaged souls--is at once laudable and vaporous.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    One imagined that a movie about the Crusades would be gallant and mad; one feared that it might stoke some antiquated prejudice. But who could have dreamed that it would produce this rambling, hollow show about a boy?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Dahl’s story was never intended to be anything other than a sticky-fingered feast, whereas the movie flits through pedophobic creepiness and ends up as a slightly costive parable of family values.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    As for the title, well, it made me think of Thomas Carlyle's wife, who read Browning's long poem "Sordello," enjoyed it, but still couldn't work out whether Sordello was a man, a city, or a book. So it is with 2046. A place? A date? A hotel room? A bar tab? You tell me.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Not once does this ruffled sweetness seem like Hanson’s natural terrain. "Wonder Boys" took emotional risks, daring to suggest that with age comes not wisdom but confusion and crummy robes, whereas everything in the new film is designed to slot together with an optimistic click.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein's script promises more fun than it delivers, slowly frittering away its store of jokes and thrills.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The film's plea for old-fashioned pride and racial tolerance is muffled by a plain, unanticipated fact: Pete Perkins is out of his mind.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    If he had told the story straight, without such hedging, and at half the length, it would have borne far more conviction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Woman Is the Future of Man is doomed to infuriate, and its scrutiny of disconnected beings, filmed in long, hold-your-breath takes, might feel like old hat to anyone reared on Antonioni, yet Hong has a grace and stealth of his own, and his scenes tend to tilt in directions that few of us would dare to predict.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    M:i:III, like many blockbusters, would be nothing without its star.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Far too long, but thanks to Depp--and to Bill Nighy, properly mean beneath his suckers and blubber--it swerves away from the errors committed by the other big movies this summer.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Thanks to Lane, Hollywoodland, no great shakes as a thriller, becomes a quiet horror story about the monstrosity of time.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The one, transfixing virtue of Marie Antoinette is its unembarrassed devotion to the superficial. There is no morality at play here, no agony other than boredom, and, until the last half hour, not a shred of political sense. The fun dies out of the film--in fact, the film itself expires--when Coppola suddenly starts dragging in discussions of the American Revolution.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The writer and director, Jeremy Leven -- himself a former shrink -- has taken a heavy conceit and lightened it into comedy, which is what it deserves.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    For Your Consideration feels weirdly meek and mild, an unmighty wind that quickly blows itself out.