For 576 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 Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 576
576 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Sometimes too ominous for its own good.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The result is an unorthodox blend of courtroom drama and old-style weepie, and somehow it comes off. [23 Dec 1993]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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.”
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    9
    And here's the strangest thing of all: it works. [September 14, 2009, pg.ll4]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 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.
    • 74 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    No one who was not laughably self-involved would agree to a project like 20,000 Days on Earth, and yet Cave, to his credit, comes most alive in his hymns to other selves.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The great virtue of the movie is its length: a fat-free seventy-six minutes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Turing will survive this film with his enigma intact, but the movie itself is the opposite of enigmatic, and Cumberbatch merits more.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The writer and director, Paul King, scatters the tale with handfuls of eccentric charm, first in the forest and then in the home of the Browns. At one point, borrowing freely from Wes Anderson, he frames it as a living doll’s house, with each member of the family hard at work or play in a different room.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Timbuktu is hard to grasp, as befits the sand-blown setting and the mythical status of the name. The more you try to define the movie, the faster it sifts away.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Maps to the Stars is at its most potent and beautiful by far when it becomes a ghost story — when the departed, not just Havana’s mother, return to quiz the living.
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker

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