For 637 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 1.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Anthony Lane's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 637
637 movie reviews
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    The whole film, in fact, which Pitts wrote and directed, lurks on the borders of the unspecified. That is the source of its cool, but also of its sullen capacity to annoy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    This film's got EVERYTHING, although purists might quibble that it lacks any sliver of plausibility or dramatic interest.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    "Deep Throat" bore an X certificate. Inside Deep Throat is an NC-17. Neither is suitable for grownups.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Imagine a different film on a similar theme, with Hubert moved to center stage and García replaced by Pedro Almodóvar, for whom cross-dressers in a Catholic country would be meat and drink. Poor Albert could then retreat into the shadows, where he so evidently belongs, emerging only to pour the wine and clear away the feast.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Parts of Bangkok Dangerous, far from seeming unfamiliar or freshly stylized, offer nothing that you couldn't catch in an episode of "CSI."
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    You have to applaud for sheer folly. This doesn't just reprise another film. It reprises a French film.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Feels at once secondhand in its eagerness and unknowing in its scorn.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    There are not only glancing moments but whole sequences in this movie when the agony of social embarrassment makes you want to haul the characters to their feet and slap them in the chops.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Dull for the first hour and beefy with basic thrills for most of the second.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Say what you like about the feuds of old, they exerted a dynastic thrust that made sense, whereas Leterrier’s magic tricks are the foe of logic; for some reason, the scorpions wind up as friendly transport for our heroes, so why battle them in the first place?
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    We are led through a murky and, it must be said, wholly uninvolving saga of substance abuse and related multiple murders. [6 October 2003, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    As a journey through Darwin's discoveries, Creation fails, although, given the intricacy and the patience of his working methods, it is hard to imagine how such a film might succeed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    It may have the melody, visage and basics of a Bollywood biggie, but truth be told, The Guru, despite it’s zest and lure, gives the far-off genus a bad wrap. [3 February 2003, p.98]
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Suffice to say that even he (one of our finest actors) is trapped by the miasma of unsubtlety that creeps into the film and causes all involved to lose their professional bearings. [5 May 2014, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Sadly, the men here come across as whiny and infantile, and Green is dangerously keen to stress their retardation. [17 & 24 2003, p.204]
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The problem is not that Kurzel cuts the words, which is his absolute right, but that he destroys the conditions from which they might conceivably have sprung.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    As for the overriding reason to see the film, that's easy. Lighten Zahedi's complexion, stuff him in a fright wig, and this fellow would be a ringer for Harpo Marx.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    And there you have the problem with this film. It is gray with good taste — shade upon shade of muted naughtiness, daubed within the limits of the R rating. Think of it as the “Downton Abbey” of bondage, designed neither to menace nor to offend but purely to cosset the fatigued imagination. You get dirtier talk in most action movies, and more genitalia in a TED talk on Renaissance sculpture.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    And so, as the solemnity of the enterprise is frittered away, you feel moved to ask: what is this film for?
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    What we have here is a fouled-up fairy tale of oppression and empowerment, and it’s hard not to be ensnared by its mixture of rank maleficence and easy reverie. The gap between being genuinely stirred and having your arm twisted, however, is narrower than we care to admit.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    You have to feel sorry for Moore, who is called upon to supply an unappealing mixture of neurosis and starch, and whose instinctive frailty is so endlessly exploited by Howitt's movie that the jokes, such as they are, go into retreat. [3 May 2004, p. 110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Put the evidence together, and it’s no surprise that this poor little movie fires blanks. It never wanted to be a Western at all.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    There are moments when music and lyrics bear only the faintest relation to each other, a tricky state of affairs in a work that is almost bereft of spoken dialogue.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    It winces with liberal self-chastisement: Redford is surely smart enough to realize, as the professor turns his ire on those who merely chatter while Rome burns, that his movie is itself no better, or more morally effective, than high-concept Hollywood fiddling.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    A perplexing compound of the silly and the glum.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The directors, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, manage to convince us that we have witnessed an action movie, although in fact the quantity of violence is so minimal that, under Hong Kong law, Infernal Affairs barely qualifies as a motion picture.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    A comedy without one foot on the ground is no more than a flight of fancy, as directionless as a balloon; the master clowns of silent cinema knew that, and so does Mr. Fletcher, the gravid elder statesman of this film. As he says to Mike and Jerry, “I appreciate your creativity, but let’s be realistic for a second.” Be kind. Erase.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    For some viewers, the acidity level of Perry’s movie will be too high to stomach. For others — anyone who thinks that there are too many warm hugs in Strindberg, for example — Queen of Earth awaits.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    "Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness," Captain Jack says. Sir, you speak for us all.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The whole thing makes Dustin Hoffman’s performance in Levinson’s “Rain Man” seem like a triumph of underplaying.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The plot would seem more ingenious if the movie itself didn't copy so many other thrillers (notably "The Silence of the Lambs"), and if it weren't so easy to spot every twist half an hour in advance.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The trouble with Blindness is that it’s so preoccupied with shouldering this symbolic weight that it gradually forgets to tell a story--to keep faith with the directives of common sense.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Throughout Sinister, the rooms remain darker than crypts, whether at breakfast or dinnertime, and the sound design causes everything in the house to moan and groan in consort with the hero's worrisome quest. I still can't decide what creaks the most: the floors, the doors, the walls, the dialogue, the acting, or the fatal boughs outside.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    A thriller stripped of thrills--or, even worse, a thriller that thinks of itself as somehow rising above the vulgar pleasures of excitement.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    No one wants a movie that tiptoes in step with political correctness, yet the willful opposite can be equally noxious, and, as In Bruges barges and blusters its way through dwarf jokes, child-abuse jokes, jokes about fat black women, and moldy old jokes about Americans, it runs the risk of pleasing itself more than its paying viewers.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    You wind up feeling doubly bullied -- first by the brutal enormity of the set pieces, and then by the emotional arm-twisting of the downtimes. [20 May 2013, p.122]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Anyone hoping that 2 Days in Paris will revisit such peppy romance (“Annie Hall”), however, will be frustrated. There is an extra rawness here, a determination to confront and annoy.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The horror flick, at its height, was a lyrical caressing of our fears; by the end of this nonsense, you fear for the well-being of the genre. “It’s dead!” [24 May 2004, p. 96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Larry Crowne is worryingly light on laughs, yet it never dares to worry too much about the plight of its central figure. [11 & 18 July 2011, p.100]
    • The New Yorker
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Even by the standards of disaster movies, The Day After Tomorrow is irretrievably poor: a shambles of dud writing and dramatic inconsequence which left me determined to double my consumption of fossil fuels. [7 June 2004, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Yes
    You may get off on this enthralling stuff, But after half an hour I'd had enough.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    In short, this popular love story isn't much of a story, and falls badly short on love.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    In truth, von Trier is not so much a filmmaker as a misanthropic mesmerist, who uses movies to bend the viewer to his humorless will.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Enigma is, to be blunt, "No way Out" meets "Revenge of the Nerds," and the meetinhg is not a happy one. [22 & 29 April 2002, p. 208]
    • The New Yorker
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The happy couple (Farrell/Dawson) do enjoy one great scene together, and it's the high point of the movie-a naked tussle, in which she puts a knife to his throat. The whole sequence is quick, funny, and arousing, in sharp contrast to the rest of Alexander, which is sluggish, unsmiling.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    It makes “Yellow Submarine” look like a miracle of sober narrative.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    You do wonder how this commanding actor (Neeson)--who carries so much more conviction than the plot--felt about delivering the line "I'll tear down the Eiffel Tower if I have to."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Illogical and glum. [30 Sept 2002, p. 145]
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    For those who think of cinema as dramatic roughage, The Reader should prove sufficiently indigestible.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    What happens, though, and what lures the film into disaster, is that Hartley lets slip his sense of humor (always his strongest asset) and begins to believe his own plot.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The best reason to stay with it is Vaughn, whose lanky wryness wards off the threat of pomposity. The worst reason is Jada Pinkett Smith, who gets stuck with a thankless role as the unwittingly lethal villain -- a newspaper journalist, of course.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The last third of the movie is as bad as anything I’ve seen this year, with the laughs trailing off, and half of the supporting characters, the zestier ones, being airbrushed from the frame. (What director in his right mind would drop Tina Fey from the proceedings?)
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    However mystifying, or downright boring, you find the result, rest assured that the Refn faithful will swoon. Peace be with them.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    That's the problem with this third installment of the franchise: not that it's running out of ideas, or lifting them too slavishly from the original comic, but that it lunges at them with an infantile lack of grace, throwing money at one special effect after another and praying--or calculating--that some of them will fly.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Sparks like that are scattered through, and yet the sad fact is that Jersey Boys is a mess. Parts of it feel half-finished.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    A confused, humorless grind.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    More like the Pelican Long-and-Drawn-Out: well over two hours of plots, subplots and super-subdialogue.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    This awkward and half-digested movie gives off a melancholy reek.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    What lends the film its grip and its haste is also what makes it unsatisfactory.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    The whole thing, shot in the manner of "Masterpiece Theatre," with a flaccid musical score to match, is itself hopelessly antiquated, greeting with very British giggles, and without a trace of honest curiosity, the needs of the women it seeks to honor. [21 May 2012, p.81]
    • The New Yorker
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    I hesitate to ask, but did anyone actually tell McClane, before he arrived, that the Cold War is over?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Toss everything you can find, starting with roughly diced plots, into the blender, press "Pulse," and pray: such appears to be the method behind Tower Heist.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    With its restless parade of grainy closeups, the movie is a haze of retro rapture and wishful thinking, and, above all, a lost opportunity. We don't want to hear any more about ancient constitutional crises. We want to watch a three-way with a former King of England, in a bungalow. Madonna, of all people, missed a trick.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    It's not the most high-concept movie of the year, or indeed of any other. Due Date is most interesting, and most fearful, when it loiters on the threshold of the homoerotic.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    The result is more or less a remake of the great scene in “Sherlock Jr.,” where a dozing Buster Keaton dreams himself through a shuffled sequence of backgrounds. Jumper is ten times as brutal, maybe a thousand times more costly, and eighty-four years late, but it’s a start.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    Streep can do anything. She is, of course, wasted on this elephantine fable; if only Doubt had been made in 1964, shot by Roger Corman over a long weekend, and retitled "Spawn of the Devil Witch" or "Blood Wimple," all would have been forgiven
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    This is trash pretending to serve the cause of history: a "Dirty Dozen" knockoff with one eye on "Schindler’s List."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    Emmerich’s main achievement is to take a bunch of excellent actors, including Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Woody Harrelson, and to prevent all of them--with the exception of Oliver Platt and a pair of giraffes--from giving a decent performance.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    We should not be surprised, then, if this bellowing beast of a movie looks and sounds like the extended special-edition remix of a Duran Duran video.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    The tale begins and ends in a flurry of joke violence; Cameron has decided to spoof what he used to take seriously, and the result, though bright and deafening, feels oddly slack -- he loosens the screws, and our interest drops away.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    The whole thing does seem preternaturally stained with Weltschmerz.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    This is the first occasion on which Moodysson has lost his balance, allowing his wrath to outweigh the charity that he used to extend to even the most boorish of his characters.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    The whole thing appears to have been designed by some crazed Oedipal wing of the N.R.A. And what are the aliens known as? The Others. I rest my case.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    Reese Witherspoon is a woman, aged thirty-five, with a bundle of grownup roles behind her. Yet in order to retain her slot in romantic comedy, it appears, she must reverse into her teens. What makes the transition yet more depressing is the memory of Tracy Flick. [27 Feb. 2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker

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