For 583 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 583
583 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Finding Nemo is, as it happens, the most dangerously sugared of the Pixar productions to date--how could any father-finding-son saga be otherwise?--but the threat is now one of oversophistication. [9 June 2003, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Nobody does shrewishness better than McEwan. [8 August 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.”
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The only player to conquer Chicago is Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is no Charisse in her motions but who gets by on a full tank of unleaded oomph. [6 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Sometimes too ominous for its own good.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The pathos of About Schmidt -- of the careful, Chekhovian work that it could have been --gradually slides away. [16 December 2002, p. 106]
    • 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
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    In the end, Ex Machina lives and dies by Alicia Vikander. The film clicks on when she first appears, and it dims every time she goes away.
    • 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
    An efficient, politically inert fantasy.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The result is a lively bout between bio-pic and fairy tale.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Pegg co-wrote the screenplay with the director, Edgar Wright, and together they have fashioned a smart, cultish, semi-disgusting homage to the fine British art of not bothering.
    • 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
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    What will divide viewers is the plot; either the ending makes no sense or it forces you to rethink everything that went before.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Its kitschy grabs at the surreal--the scene in a lunatic asylum, where German troops are billeted, manages to be at once implausible and offensive--that blocks any close engagement with the drama. That said, you must see this film for one unstoppable reason, and that is Lee Marvin.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Shyamalan often tries too hard, but nobody else can conjure such a sudden flood of worry, or summon so unmistakable a stink of evil, and you come out of Signs, as you did from "The Sixth Sense," in severe need of loud music, bad jokes, and drinks with cherries and umbrellas in them -- anything to waft away the fug of unease. [12 August 2002, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The deep drawback of Taking Sides is that it forgets to be interested in music. [8 September 2003, p. 100]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The movie is a daunting blend of head trip, cinéma vérité, music video, and auto-therapy.
    • 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."
    • 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
    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
    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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Nobody could leave The Life Aquatic without the impression of having nearly drowned in some secret and melancholy game.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Smart, saucy, and ingenious in the extreme. The trouble is that when a subtext is dragged to the fore, however splendidly, the poor old text gets lost.
    • 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
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The movie has a hard forties snap to it -- lust is a weapon and love is a letdown.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The latest showpiece for computer animation, with all the contoured, suspiciously gleaming perfection that this entails.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The movie is over before you know it, and is not one to linger in the mind, or indeed pass through the mind at all; but it's a good-humored ride for the senses, never too sickly, and who can say no to that?
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    A trim thriller with an enviable lack of grandeur. [21 Jan. 2013, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 36 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    A short, meaningless blast of fun from Disney.
    • 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
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    What the novels leave us with, and what emerges more fitfully from this film, as if in shafts of sunlight, is the growing realization that, although our existence is indisputably safer, softer, cleaner, and more dependable than the lives led by Captain Aubrey and his men, theirs were in some immeasurable way better. [17 November 2003, p. 172]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    To my eyes, the whole thing past in a blur of fabulous collage. [2 September 2002, p. 152]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The Darjeeling Limited works best when the level of artifice is at its highest and most overt.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    There is no narrator; rather, we are invited to eavesdrop on--or to get an earful from--such figures as Hassan Ibrahim, a jovial reporter with Al Jazeera, and Samir Khader, one of the network’s senior producers. [24 May 2004, p. 97]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    I am casting no aspersions on the director when I say that The Saddest Music in the World is a work of manic depression. The mania is there in the frenzied editing, the inability to concentrate on a detail for more than a few seconds; and the depression is there in the forcible lowering of spirits. [10 May 2004, p. 107]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Against all expectations, you approach Rabbit Hole with a heavy heart and leave with a lighter one.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese and director Clint Eastwood have turned out something sombre and restrained -- almost, in fact, good (though it's too long).
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Even when the male of the species tries to do better, he does his worst; and the most merciless verdict in Klown is delivered not by the law, or by fate, but by the eyes of women.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    At best, I Love You Phillip Morris may be hailed as a necessary step in Hollywood's fearful crawl toward sexual evenhandedness; the film upholds the constitutional right of every gay man to be as much of a liar, a crook, and a creep as the rest of us. Makes you proud.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    There was always a dreaminess in his vision of the city, but now it feels as distant as the polished floors and the Deco furnishings of the Fred Astaire movies that Boris finds--of course--whenever he turns on the TV.

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