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 Army of Shadows
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 583
583 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Comes in well under the ninety-minute mark, leaving no room for bombast or overkill.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    If you fancy a modern "Marty," with the old warmth muffled by unfriendly snow, go right ahead. [20 Sept. 2010, p.121]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The Fighter, for all the dedication of its players, takes a heavy swing at us, and misses.
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Much of Sutcliff's most charged material - the chariot scene, a wolf cub that Marcus rears - is omitted from the movie, and once he and Esca embark on their quest the sense of action grows listless, and our heroes start to seem anxious, wet, and bored. [14 & 21 Feb. 2011, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Why, then, do we not feel bullied by the result? Partly because the camera, as I say, tells a subtler tale than the dialogue does, and lures us into a grudging respect for the bravado of Muse and his men; but mainly because of Tom Hanks. This most likable of actors deliberately presents us with a character who makes no effort to be liked.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Most important, given that Onkalo will hide and bury just some of Finland's waste, what about everyone else's? [14 & 21 Feb. 2011, p. 139]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    As nonsense goes, this has a certain gusto and glee, and what dismayed me was that Bekmambetov felt the need to spice it with the addition of coarsely chopped violence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    "All good stories deserve embellishment," Gandalf says to Bilbo before they set off, and one has to ask whether the weight of embellishment, on this occasion, makes the journey drag, and why it leaves us more astounded than moved. And yet, on balance, honor has been done to Tolkien, not least in the famous riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Clooney gives it everything, but what does he get in return? A void where the story is meant to be.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    There are gags and scraps of action that give the movie fits of buoyancy, and these tend to come not so much from the younger, eager performers as from the old hands.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Mister Foe flirts too often with the unlikely and the foolish, yet there is something to admire in the nerve of its reckless characters, so uneasy in their skins.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Once you admit that the Jane Austen depicted onscreen bears scant relation to any person named Jane Austen, living or dead, the film fulfills its purpose.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    All this leaves The Zero Theorem looking both disorderly and stuck. And yet, to my surprise, on returning for a second viewing I found myself moved by the film — by the very doggedness with which it both hunts for and despairs of meaning.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    I can't help wishing that Chabrol would, just once, cast off his own good narrative manners--do away with the irritations of a film like A Girl Cut in Two, which is never more than semi-plausible, and arrange his passions, as the elderly Buñuel did in "That Obscure Object of Desire," into shameless, surreal anagrams of wit and lust.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Skip the coda to this movie, with its tiny upswing of hope, and remember the days at the tables, as dim and endless as nights, and the click of the dialogue.
    • 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]
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    For Your Consideration feels weirdly meek and mild, an unmighty wind that quickly blows itself out.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Marling is the star, and the core of the film's concern. She also co-wrote it with the director, Mike Cahill, yet the result comes across not as a vanity project but as a sobering study of the thoroughly dazed and confused, with a mind-ripping final shot.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    At times, the cutting shifts from the hasty to the impatient to the borderline epileptic, and, while never doubting Scorsese’s ardor for the Stones, I got the distinct impression of a style in search of a subject.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    We get one lovely, cheering sequence of a trashed room putting itself in order, like the untidy nursery in "Mary Poppins," but the rest of the magic here feels randomly grabbed at.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The saddest thing about If I Stay is that it affords Moretz so little opportunity to be non-sad.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Diesel, of course, slots into the Fast and Furious films as neatly as a dip-stick. Not only does his name remind you of the stuff you pump into a car; when he opens his mouth, he actually sounds like a car. [3 June 2013, p.74]
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Who will stay with this film, and glorify it? Two sorts, I reckon: real revellers, randy for sensation, out of their heads; and, a block away, coffee-drinking Ph.D.s, musing on the cinema of alienation, too lost inside their heads to break for spring. [25 March 2013, p.108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    In short, there are moments, in this very uneven film with its lamination of the ancient and the monstrously new, when the spirit of Fellini hovers overhead like a naughty angel. [25 March 2013, p.109]
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    One has to ask: does it allow for immersion? Even as we applaud the dramatic machinery, are we being kept emotionally at bay? [29 Oct. & 5 Nov. 2012, p.128]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    What is most disconcerting about Dominik's film is his choice of rhythm. We pass from reams of conversation, or cantankerous monologue, to throes of extreme violence, then back to the flood of words - most of them to do with buying, selling, slaying, whoring, or doing time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    As a rule, movies about toys need to be approached with extreme caution; some of them have been bad enough to count as health hazards. This one is the exception.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The Mist is itself a supermarket of B-movie essentials, handsomely stocked with bad science, stupid behavior, chewable lines of dialogue, religious fruitcakes, and a fine display of monsters.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The movie is as smooth and deadening as a quart of old whiskey, and every bit as depressing as it was meant to be. But why do it at all? [23 Nov. 1994]
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    A thumper of a movie, full of furious souls.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The movie's problem begins as you lift up your eyes to the hills. In Chekhov these are craggy and hostile, a fitting backdrop to the dried-out souls who dwell below, but Dover Koshashvili's film lingers on green slopes. They suggest fruition and escape, whereas for Laevsky, the eternally stifled dreamer, there should be no way out.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    You can love the look of the movie and still not believe a single word of it. To be fair, the climax is surprisingly touching; somehow, the residents of this cooked-up tale manage to earn our pity and support.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Is the movie fun? Yes, for half the time. An hour would have sufficed. [24 June 2013, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    There are joyous moments when we share Peter's point of aerial view.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    This Merchant-Ivory production strains so hard to portray dignified restraint that it almost seizes up with good manners.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    You have to admire it, when so much of the competition seems inane and slack, but you can’t help wondering, with some impatience, what happened to its heart.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Time and again, as it comes to the next stage of deterioration or distress, it flinches. Try laying it beside Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” which shows the effect of a stroke on an elderly woman, no less refined than Alice, and on her loved ones. Haneke knows the worst, and considers it his duty to show it; Glatzer and Westmoreland want us to know just enough, and no more.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    M:i:III, like many blockbusters, would be nothing without its star.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Running two hours and forty minutes, never finds the same balance: by the time he gets to the lust, it is too late to throw caution to the winds.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Even if you like your movies sick and black, as many people do, it's hard to miss the irony: in the very act of trying to intensify his Southern tale, Friedkin dilutes the impact.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    What ensues is a devout communal effort, tricked out with various hops through time and space, to make us forget that it was a piece of theatre in the first place. Needless to say, the attempt is in vain.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Adapted from the million-selling novel by Janet Fitch. Not adapted enough, I would say. [14 & 21 October 2002, p. 226]
    • The New Yorker
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    A lot more fun than bludgeoning, soul-draining follies like "Terminator Salvation" or the "Transformers" films, and, with a decisive trim, it could truly have fulfilled its brief as a bright, semi-abstract pop fantasy, at once excitable and disposable. Oddly, it did once exist in that form: in the first trailer.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Thanks for Sharing is worth it, because of Pink. [30 Sept. 2013, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Much of the dialogue is scissor-sharp--you would expect no less of Marber, who wrote "Closer"--but he is up against blunt and obvious material.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Yet Oblivion is worth the trip. There are two reasons for this. The first is the cinematography of Claudio Miranda.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    As it is, the movie's lethal climax, with its vague protest against corporate control--and hence in favor of art, music, drugs, or whatever--feels like a poor theft from a more conventional film.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The movie may have significant truths to impart, although I have my doubts, but it feels too inexperienced, too unworldly, to have earned the right to them.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    He can follow any train of thought, so he does, and it’s no surprise when the trains run out of steam.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    There are too many rancors--hatred of life, hatred of others, hatred of their means to happiness--to contend with here, and the loveliness of the verse beats fruitlessly against them, as if against a wharf.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    There are two drawbacks here. One is a shortage of superior zombies, although where one goes to rent extra zombies I have no idea...Second, we have a serious shortage of fright. [30 June 2003, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Spurlock's documentary will tell you how, and whether, you should join the pilgrimage. Because I have never watched "Battlestar Galactica," and because of my absurd reluctance to dress up as Wonder Woman, I wouldn't last five minutes. [23 April 2012, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    What makes Valkyrie more depressing than exciting is that it forces you to ask, against your judgment, what, exactly, he achieved.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    It is no mean feat to make a boring film about Jesse James, but Andrew Dominik has pulled it off in style.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Never quite shrugs off its literary manners. [18 & 25 Feb 2002, p. 200]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The good news is that Matchstick Men is saved. Not by the plot, which entails a con so long that you can spot it coming a mile off, but by the presence of Alison Lohman. [22 September 2003, p. 202]
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    I know that we are meant to be drawn into the undergrowth of these ordinary lives, and the long tale is neatly split into four symbolic seasons;...But do they and their fellow-Brits honestly swell the heart, or do they grate, exasperate, and finally grind us down?
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    In short, the Sheridan of In America wants us to pity his characters for the rough ride that they endure, yet at the same time he traps them inside a bubble of the picturesque and the outlandish. Even if you like this movie, you have to ask: What has it done to deserve its title? [1 December 2003, p. 118]
    • The New Yorker
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The Crudup of "Almost Famous" was both hairier and more appealing than the tortured womanizer of World Traveler. Couldn't Cal have just stayed home, grown a mustache, and called his dad on the phone? [22 & 29 April 2002, p. 209]
    • The New Yorker
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    All we are left with, in essence, is an unlikely love affair, performed by two actors so remorselessly skilled that, by the end, you can't see the love for the skill. [3 November 2003, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Even if you closed your eyes -- a tempting option -- you would still know that you were in the hollering presence of pain. The story is undiluted dread. [10 March 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The problem with any allegorical plan, Christian or otherwise, is not its ideological content but the blockish threat that it poses to the flow of a story.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Too much of the film feels like one of Balsan’s house parties: undriven, indulgent, quite at ease.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    How can one defend this prolonged mumble of a motion picture? Well, some of the motion has a hypnotizing grace.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    This is pitiful stuff, and, like the violence, it eats away at the blitheness for which Kingsman strives, leaving an aftertaste of desperation that the Connery of “Goldfinger,” say, would not have dreamed of bequeathing. The sadness is that Firth, alone in the film, does raise the spectre of those days, radiating a lightly amused reserve amid the havoc.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The film is nonsense, and what counts is whether viewers will feel able to lay aside their logical complaints and bask in what remains: a trip in search of a tan.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Lucky Number Slevin is a bag of nerves. Everything here is too much. The older the actors, the saltier the ham of their performances.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The movie, with spiderlike timidity, scuttles into a corner and freezes. [13 May 2002, p. 96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Everybody in and around this movie is trying too hard...After half an hour, we realized that, instead of enjoying a funny film, we were being lightly bullied into finding fun where precious little exists. [5 April 2004, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Now the mush has taken over, and Columbus has slowed his pace in nervous deference to the solemnity of his plot (not to mention the opulence of his characters' lives).
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    In short, Dark Blue suffers from a problem that, however niggling, is likely to hobble any thriller: no thrills. [17 & 24 February 2003, p.204]
    • The New Yorker

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