For 552 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 1.6 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 552
552 movie reviews
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Comes in well under the ninety-minute mark, leaving no room for bombast or overkill.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    This Merchant-Ivory production strains so hard to portray dignified restraint that it almost seizes up with good manners.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    There are joyous moments when we share Peter's point of aerial view.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The saddest thing about If I Stay is that it affords Moretz so little opportunity to be non-sad.
    • 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
    Cera can be winning enough, with his flat-toned goofiness, in films like "Superbad," but there's only just enough of the guy to fill out one dramatis persona; two at once prove to be beyond him. [11 Jan. 2010, p.83]
    • The New Yorker
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    One is forced to ask: who wants to make, or watch, a major Hollywood musical about mental block?
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Seems a touch too long, too airless, and too content with its own contrivances to stir the heart.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    From the start, it feels handsome, steady, and stuck; the ties that bind the historical bio-pic are no looser than those which constrain a royal personage, and the frustration to which Victoria would later admit is legible in the face of Emily Blunt, who takes the title role.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The narrative lacks a magnetic north; it encompasses so much, and the needle swings from Jeanne’s predicament to her mother’s dismay and to the support that comes from a celebrated Jewish lawyer, played by the ever-compelling Michel Blanc.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    It would be a shock if Antichrist had turned out to be anything but shocking.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    By the end of the film, you just want to get away from these people.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    There has long been a strain of sorry lassitude in Kaufman's work, and here it sickens into the morbid.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    A minor work, but so menaced by distress that the characters take every opportunity to dance the dark away.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Che
    It would be comforting, and tidy, to suggest that the director had waited all his life for the chance to make this film, as if it meant everything to him; yet I still have no idea what truly quickens his heart, and at some level, for all the movie’s narrative momentum, Che retains the air of a study exercise--of an interest brilliantly explored. How else to explain one's total flatness of feeling at the climax of each movie?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Too much of the film feels like one of Balsan’s house parties: undriven, indulgent, quite at ease.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    "Deep Throat" bore an X certificate. Inside Deep Throat is an NC-17. Neither is suitable for grownups.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    What binds and clads the new movie most thoroughly, however, is not storytelling but the high pressure of atmosphere.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Just creepy and unsavory at moments, but pleased to be so.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The result is clever, and the narrative twistings keep you on your toes, but there's just one hitch: it ain't funny.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Deep and Morton are really flying here (the scene in which the hero instructs the heroine in the passionate possibilities of her art), and they leave the rest of the film looking heavy on its feet. The second half, especially, grows dour and maundering, and by the end the movie seems to flail in desperation, more like a work in progress than like a finished piece.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    There is something willed and implausible at the heart of L’Enfant, beginning with the child himself--the first non-crying, non-hungry infant in human history, let alone in cinema.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Picture my disappointment as I realized that, for all the pizzazz of Superman Returns, its global weapon of choice would not be terrorism, or nuclear piracy, or dirty bombs. It would be real estate. What does Warner Bros. have in mind for the next installment? Superman overhauls corporate pension plans? Luthor screws Medicare?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    This, to put it mildly, is new terrain for Macy, and his journey--from Arthur Miller, as it were, to Céline and Dostoyevsky--does not always convince.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    In the end, the problem with Conversations with Other Women is not that it pulls an ordinary romance into unfamiliar shapes but that it doesn't pull far enough. It may be dotted with fine observations, yet somehow the charm of its novelty grows stale, and the airless feeling of a closed set begins to fester.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    A frantic and funny diversion, but it pales and tires before its time is up. It doesn't know the meaning of enough.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    How, then, does The Good German--adapted by Paul Attanasio from Joseph Kanon's novel--wind up so insubstantial, its impact lasting no longer than a cigarette?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Gray would have been happiest, I guess, to make movies in the nineteen-seventies, and this one feels much closer to 1975 than to 1988; he could certainly use a seventies audience to watch his movies now--one that could be trusted not to grumble about his slow, unexcitable fades.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    As daft, outlandish, and speedy as it needs to be, and, for all its newfangled effects, touchingly old-fashioned in its reverence for the Jules Verne novel that inspired it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The over-all effect is bizarre, daring you to be amused by something both brilliant and bristling with offense; if you sidle out at the end, feeling half guilty at what you just conspired in, then Stiller has trapped you precisely where he wants you.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    It's a shame, then, that the later stages of Lakeview Terrace should overheat and spill into silliness. The plot is compromised, not resolved, by the pulling of a gun.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    This film's got EVERYTHING, although purists might quibble that it lacks any sliver of plausibility or dramatic interest.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The only person who wakes the movie from its slumbers is Emily Blunt. She gets a nothing role as a publicist, and makes something both sultry and casual out of it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    As I took off my gray-lensed 3-D spectacles at the end of Monsters vs. Aliens, I felt not so much immersed as fuzzy with exhaustion. What I had seen struck me less as a herald of shining possibility than as a thrill ride back to the future--back, that is, to an idea of the future, and a stale one at that.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    You can’t deny the smiling mood that wafts through the film like incense, and to that extent it honors the original three days; but not once does a character’s show of feeling stir you, send you, or stop you in your tracks, and the loss is unsustainable.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The line between the dispassionate and the dull can be ominously faint, and when Rohmer kicks off his film with ten or fifteen minutes of solid anecdotal chat, you fear for the stamina of the audience. [13 May 2002, p. 96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Never quite shrugs off its literary manners. [18 & 25 Feb 2002, p. 200]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    I suspect that Buffalo Soldiers is not about the Army at all. Without much ado, it could have been turned into “Buffalo Management Consultants” or “Buffalo Movie Executives.” Any clenched community would suffice. [8 August 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The movie is of minimum interest; the story of the movie, however -- or, rather, of the way in which it has been engulfed by its own publicity -- is bound to fascinate connoisseurs of cultural meltdown.
    • 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).
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The few good jokes (most of them courtesy of the Pharaoh's high priests, voiced by Martin Short and Steve Martin) are swallowed up in this humorless epic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    As a whole, Shattered Glass is carefully constructed, intently played, and shot with creepy calm. It is also, by a considerable margin, the most ridiculous movie I have seen this year. [3 November 2003, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The hero's restlessness infects the rest of the movie; the story feels febrile and unhappy, and Allen seems to take his dissatisfaction out on his helpless characters--especially the women.
    • 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
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    There are many unanswered questions here (why, for instance, does Pitt's Grim Reaper seem semi-retarded?), not to mention unintended spasms of comedy; in the end, however, they all get swallowed up in the mush.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    What fun there is derives from the smart editing (Rodriguez did his own cutting, and he's quicker on the draw than most of the pistol-packers) and from Antonio Banderas, who, stepping neatly into the Mariachi's boots, lends irony and calm, and even a trace of sweetness, to a nothing role.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    A scruffy, thick-grained piece of work, shot in thirty days and scrawled not with luscious coloring but with the tense and inky markings of a society that is fighting to keep its reputation for togetherness, and wondering what that reputation is still worth. [18 & 25 Feb 2002. p. 199]
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    LaBute's attempt to follow in the footsteps of Restoration comedy is undercut by the fact that his dialogue is only fitfully funny, and you can't help but feel soured by the flat, ritualistic look of the action. The one enlivening performance comes, surprisingly, from Jason Patric.