For 720 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 68% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Anthony Lane's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Speed
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 720
720 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 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?
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The glum fact is that Gone Girl lacks clout where it needs it most, at its core.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    You should see it just for Chester — the adventurous sham, running ever deeper into a maze of his own devising.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Arnold’s very strength — the mashup of grime and epiphany — is in danger of becoming a shtick. Then, there’s the length: an elasticated plot doesn’t really suit a director who is at her best in specific locations, where people get stuck like flies.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    If only Kim had a sense of humor to match his visual wit. Instead, we get rusted gags and rubbery acting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The movie is gorgeous, as you would expect from Sorrentino, but beauty this great can lead to suffocation. The plot goes round and round and nowhere, and the highlight is a couple of blistering monologues — one from Weisz, delivered while she is cloaked in mud, and another from Jane Fonda, as an aging screen goddess, encased in her own crust of powder and Botox.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    As the feigning wears off, and Captain America: Civil War crawls to a close, you sense that the possibilities of nature have been not just exceeded but exhausted. Even the dialogue seems like a special effect: “You’re being uncharacteristically non-hyperverbal,” Black Widow remarks to Iron Man. Translation: “Say something.”
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Having delighted in the doominess of Drive, as its journey began, I ended much less joyful than repelled.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Why, as a patron of Rock of Ages, do I wish I had taken the precaution of entering the theater drunk? [25 June 2012, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    In The Conspirator, one wishes that the director had found the grace to touch upon, rather than belabor, the parallels between the conspirators of 1865 and the present-day inmates of Guantánamo.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Fassbender, who was, frankly, much sexier and more devilish in "X-Men: First Class," is required to spend much of his time staring with blank intensity into the middle distance.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The trouble with Super, as with "Kick-Ass," is that the director wants to have his cake, put a pump-action shotgun up against the frosting, blast vanilla sponge over a wide area, and THEN eat it. [4 April, 2011, p. 83]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The performances are lusty and concerted, but they remain just that - performances, of the sort that may make you feel you should stagger to your feet at the end and applaud. If so, resist.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    As with Spielberg's "Munich," there is an awkward, irresoluble tension between the movie's urge to thrill and the weighty pull of the historical obligations that it seeks to assume. How much, to be blunt, should we be enjoying ourselves? What do we owe to The Debt? Whatever the sum, it is more than the film itself, gloomy with unease, seems able to repay.
    • 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
    It would be a shock if Antichrist had turned out to be anything but shocking.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The makers of “Wonder Boys,” Douglas’s finest hour, did more to maintain their distance, and their patience, and Solitary Man feels a touch small and sour by comparison. That said, its litany of character studies is more engaging than most of what you will see this summer.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    All movie adaptations of Nabokov fall short, by definition, but this one is the most graceful failure so far.
    • 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?
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    For all its technical sophistication, this movie is as blaring and unambiguous as a picture book for the very young.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Skip Godzilla the movie. Watch the trailer.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Seems a touch too long, too airless, and too content with its own contrivances to stir the heart.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    That is what kids will come away with, together with a dose of wishful thinking: the vague belief that, with good will and a foe from far away, all those feuding parties of the Wild West - the cowboys, the Indians, and the no-good rogues - could have settled their differences and got along just fine. Go tell it to Gary Cooper.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    I happen to find the result intrusive, presumptuous, and often absurd, but, for anyone who thinks that all formality is a front, and that the only point of a façade is that it should crack, Jackie delivers a gratifying thrill.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Everest, in short, suffers from the same problem as Everest: overcrowding.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Allied is written by Steven Knight and directed by Robert Zemeckis, who seems uncertain whether to treat the tale as a wrenching saga of split loyalties or as a glamorous jaunt. Having gathered all the ingredients for derring-do, he forgets to turn up the heat, and the derring never does.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The Last of Robin Hood, written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, is often pallid and thin.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Clooney and company could have used Sturges - or, even better, Clifford Odets - when it came to rewrites. With all the betrayals and gassy ambitions swirling around here, we badly need dialogue to ignite the film, instead of which even the most aggressive spirits keep firing the dampest of lines.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Just creepy and unsavory at moments, but pleased to be so.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    A minor work, but so menaced by distress that the characters take every opportunity to dance the dark away.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    A slight and rueful affair, intermittently funny.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The whole saga, complete with shootings and a car chase, is cooked up for the film. Meanwhile, when it comes to those with whom Davis worked so fruitfully to forge what he calls “social music,” we get nothing of Dizzy Gillespie or John Coltrane, say, and only the odd glimpse of Gil Evans (Jeffrey Grover).
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The ideas behind Enduring Love may be fascinating, but they don’t play; they sulk.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    If you want a Ron Howard movie about a man obsessed with a creature from the deep, In the Heart of the Sea, sadly, is not the place to start. Try “Splash.”
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    If I were a Turkish official, I would not be too worried by this picture. Nothing so slippery can stir up indignation. [18 November 2002, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Compare this film with "Mud," and you realize how desperately you cared about the fate of the boys in "Mud," whereas those in Vogt-Roberts's movie are often too listless and too plaintive to earn, let alone heighten, our anxiety. [3 June 2013, p.74]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    By the end of The Hateful Eight, its status as a tale of mystery and its deference to classic Westerns have all but disappeared, worn down by the grind of its sadistic vision. That is the Tarantino deal: by blowing out folks’ brains, he wants to blow our minds.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The film that results is at once panicky and abstruse, and we are left with little more than the delirious shine of McConaughey’s eyes and the preacherly rapture in his voice.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Shyamalan remains as coolly unstirred by sex as he was in his previous movies--an astounding indifference, given the historical entwining of eros and fright. Even more bizarre is the gradual draining of humor from his work; the anatomy of horror demands a tongue in the cheek to go with the baring of teeth, but much of The Village is a proud and sullen affair.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Anyone who soldiered through "The Expendables," two years ago, will be touched, and a little surprised, to learn that there is more to expend. [3 Sept. 2012, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The result may be the oddest film of the season. It boasts an array of sublime backdrops and a yearning score, but the climate of feeling is anxious and inward, encapsulated in Stiller’s darting gaze, and the movie itself keeps glancing backward, at the lost and the obsolete.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    In Holdridge's movie there is as much to repel as there is to allure, and I cannot imagine leaving a screening of it in anything less than two minds.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    It is possible to applaud Pacific Rim for the efficacy of its business model while deploring the tale that has been engendered — long, loud, dark, and very wet. You might as well watch the birth of an elephant.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    One is forced to ask: who wants to make, or watch, a major Hollywood musical about mental block?
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Boyle is genial, eager, and prolific, and his effusion has ignited films like "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire," yet for every blaze that excites us there has been another that burns itself out without leaving a mark, let alone a scar, on our emotions. So it is with Trance. [8 April 2013, p.88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    And that's it, really: two hours of loneliness, interleaved with havoc. The dialogue has been distilled to expletives and grunts. [16 Sept. 2013, p.74]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Raw
    The curious thing is that, as with many big-budget horror flicks, this small French-Belgian movie feels too pleased with its own outrage; the grosser it grows, the less interesting it becomes. When the carnage was over, I went out and had a steak.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    When Logan and Laura unleash their furious scythes nothing feels settled or satisfied. The world grinds on, fruitlessly weary and wild.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    It's a relief to see Sacha Baron Cohen, in the role of a seamy innkeeper, bid goodbye to Cosette with the wistful words "Farewell, Courgette." One burst of farce, however, is not enough to redress the basic, inflationary bombast that defines Les Misérables. Fans of the original production, no doubt, will eat the movie up, and good luck to them. I screamed a scream as time went by.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    By the time Tarantino shows up as a redneck with an unexplained Australian accent, Django Unchained has mislaid its melancholy, and its bitter wit, and become a raucous romp. It is a tribute to the spaghetti Western, cooked al dente, then cooked a while more, and finally sauced to death.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    As a study in prankhood, this Banksy film can’t touch “F for Fake,” Orson Welles’s 1974 movie about an art forger. Welles both conspired with his untrustworthy subject and held him at arm’s length, like a conjurer with his rabbit, and you came out dazzled by the sleight, whereas Exit Through the Gift Shop feels dangerously close to the promotion of a cult--almost, dare one say it, of a brand.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The standard defense of such material is that we are watching “cartoon violence,” but, when filmmakers nudge a child into viewing savagery as slapstick, are we not allowing them to do what we condemn in the pornographer--that is, to coarsen and inflame?
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The thing that breaks the back of this movie, and makes the second half so much less prodigious than the first, is a simple matter of geography. Once the combatants are split up and scattered around the island (Packard here, Chapman there, Conrad and Marlow stuck in their own heart of darkness), the story loses focus and even starts to drag.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Some sign of mental reach would have been welcome, even if it extended only as far as their children. Indeed, given the title, it's remarkable how little space is granted to the offspring, who are introduced as excretory machines, sex-blocking irritants, and occasional simpering angels, but never as beings unto themselves. Any parents who see this movie should be warned about the final score: Friends 6, Kids 0.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    T2 cannot hope to break the mold, as “Trainspotting” did, but Boyle and his cast rifle eagerly through the shards: a motley of plot scraps, crazed camera angles, flashbacks, trips, sight gags, and musical yelps.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    So rich is that visual yield, however, that it needs no verbal boost. Yet, from the moment that Margot says to Daniel, while sitting next to him on a plane, "I'm afraid of connections," the dialogue strains and grunts so hard for effect that it threatens to pull a muscle.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The new film will recruit new friends to the cause; but if we seek George Smiley and his people, with their full complement of terrors, illusions, and shames, we should follow the example of the ever-retiring Smiley, and go back to our books. That's the truth.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Hearts and Minds, which gives no clue that atrocities were committed by the other side, and which allows Davis to cut from a rampaging football game, back home, to the Tet offensive, will be a lesson to anybody who thinks that Michael Moore invented the notion of documentary as blunderbuss.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Much of the film glides past with a slightly purposeless elegance. Astounding landscapes rise and fall away; enticing women glance and dance and disappear.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The year's most divided movie to date; everything that happens in the higher realms, vaguely derived from Nordic legend, is posturing nonsense, whereas the scenes down here are managed, for the most part, with dexterity and wit. [16 May 2011, p. 133]
    • The New Yorker
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The movie takes time to warm up, it weakens into soppiness at the end, and the game itself, if you think it through, makes very little sense.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    What binds and clads the new movie most thoroughly, however, is not storytelling but the high pressure of atmosphere.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    As is proved by documentary footage at the end, Garth Davis’s film is based on a true story; though wrenching, there is barely enough of it to fill the dramatic space, and the second half is a slow and muted affair after the Dickensian punch of the first.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The movie was written and directed by Brian Helgeland, whose screenplay for “L.A. Confidential” (1997) won an Oscar — deservedly so, for the skein of plot required a steady hand. Legend, by contrast, pummels us into believing that it has a plot, where none exists.
    • 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
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Traces of real history are hard to spot in Fuqua’s Western, but there isn’t much evidence of a real Western, either. You sense that an entire genre, far from being revitalized, is being plundered for handy tips.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The result is sweet and moody, and richly photographed by Sven Nykvist, but you can't help feeling shortchanged; Hanks and Ryan have quick wits, and funny faces to match—they should be striking sparks off each other, not mooching around waiting for something to happen.
    • 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?

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