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 Kid with a Bike
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 552
552 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The profuse pleasures of Boyhood spring not from amazement but from recognition — from saying, Yes, that’s true, and that feels right, or that’s how it was for me, too.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    For the first, and maybe the only, time this year, you are in the hands of a master.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    So smartly has del Toro thought his fable through, and so graceful is his grasp of visual rhyme, that to pick holes in it seems mean; yet Pan's Labyrinth is perhaps more dazzling than involving--I was too busy reading its runes and clues, as it were, to be swept away. It is, I suspect, a film to return to, like a country waiting to be explored: a maze of dead ends and new life.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Mungiu’s pacing is so sure, however, in its switching from loose to taut, and the concentration of his leading lady so unwavering, that the movie, which won the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, feels more like a thriller than a moody wallow.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The writer and director, Asghar Farhadi, has thus created the perfect antithesis of a crunching disaster flick, such as "2012," which was all boom and no ripple.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    Spielberg wrote a poem. And all the best movies are poems. [25 Mar 2002, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The architecture of Pulp Fiction may look skewed and strained, but the decoration is a lot of fun. [10 Oct 1994, p.95]
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Peter Jackson has not really made a movie of The Lord of the Rings; he has sprung clear of it to forge something new. He has drawn a deep breath, and taken the plunge. [5 January 2004, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    What makes Amour so strong and clear is that it allows Haneke to anatomize his own severity.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    If you love the Coens, or follow folk music, or hold fast to this period of history and that patch of New York, then the film can hardly help striking a chord.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Such is the hazard of the cartoon: as a form, it thrives on elongation and excess, yet, within its vortices and crannies, who knows what moldy prejudice can breed? [1 December 2003, p. 118]
    • The New Yorker
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    How could Frears and his cast rise above the sins of the miniseries? One answer is the force of that cast...The other thing that rescues and refines The Queen is one of the basic bonuses of moviegoing, more familiar of late from documentaries like "Touching the Void" and "Capturing the Friedmans": you come out arguing.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Seldom has our modern taste for the confessional mode been so smartly explored. [20 May 2013, p. 123]
    • The New Yorker
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Ari Folman, the director of Waltz with Bashir, has made a movie so unusual that it overflows any box in which you try to contain it. Call it an adult psycho-documentary combat cartoon and you're halfway there.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Beyond question a return to the dark, simmering days of their best work, in “Blood Simple” and “Miller’s Crossing.”
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Jacques Audiard’s film, which lasts two and a half hours, maintains an unflagging urgency, stalling only when the double-dealing grows too dense.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Her
    Sad, kooky, and daunting in equal measure, Her is the right film at the right time.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Finding Nemo is, as it happens, the most dangerously sugared of the Pixar productions to date--how could any father-finding-son saga be otherwise?--but the threat is now one of oversophistication. [9 June 2003, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Imagine my relief when Bob, Helen, and the kids, for all the nicety of their emotions, turned out to be--if I can risk a word that may be taboo in Pixar land--cartoons. Long may it stay that way.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    That is the quiet triumph of American Splendor: behind the playfulness, it cleaves to an oddly old-fashioned belief that a life, even a life as mangy as Mr. Pekar’s, gains in depth and darkness when it is crosshatched with the imaginary. The nerd needs no revenge. [18 & 25 August 2003, p. 150]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    There is no denying the boldness of Persepolis, both in design and in moral complaint, but there must surely be moments, in Marjane’s life as in ours, that cry out for cross-hatching and the grown-up grayness of doubt.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The project gave me pause. Although Oppenheimer has called it “a documentary of the imagination,” whatever that means, would a measure of investigation have spoiled it? We hear that Congo personally exterminated a thousand people. Does that figure stand up, and does it not matter more than his dawning remorse? There is no disputing that we are right at the heart of darkness, but around it is a larger body of evidence, which awaits another explorer.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The Best of Youth takes its chance--almost unheard of, these days--to bloom and unfurl like a novel.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    If there is any justice, this year's Academy Award for best foreign-language film will go to The Lives of Others, a movie about a world in which there is no justice.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    You feel wiped and blinded by such ravishment, yet a voice within you asks: Come on, guys, can't you just stop for the holidays?
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The film may have dated as a cautionary left-wing tale, yet it has stayed fresh as a study in the minutiae of power. [1 Oct. 2012, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It is equipped, like an F-15 Eagle, to engage multiple targets at once.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The Artist is not just about black-and-white silent pictures. It is a black-and-white silent picture. And it's French.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    There aren't many performers who can deliver the fullness of heart that such a plot demands, but Winslet is one of them. [22 March 2004, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    The story worms further into the guts of Victorian experience than most historical dramas, because it aims at the most neglected aspect of that age, and the most alarmingly modern: its surrealism. [29 Nov 1993, p.148]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Barnard's film, as if nervous of being felled by the straightforward, sinewy thump of Dunbar's writing, ducks and weaves in a series of sly approaches. [2 May 2011, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The most consuming and most exhausting of its kind since “The Dreamlife of Angels,” fifteen years ago. From the moment when Adèle first catches sight of Emma, on a busy crosswalk, the movie restores your faith in the power of the coup de foudre and yet redoubles your fear of its effect; love, like lightning, can both illuminate and scorch. The problems of two little people, it turns out, do indeed amount to a hill of beans. Some hill. Some beans.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Filmed in a hot and bleached black-and-white, it manages to swerve from culture-clashing farce to alarming suspense without losing control.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The virtues of Jackson's trilogy, thus far, have been pace and astonishment, which is almost the same thing. [6 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The barbs of wit, delivered throughout, are like the retractable daggers used in stage productions of "Macbeth" or "Julius Caesar": they gleam enticingly, they plunge home to the hilt, but they leave no trace of a wound.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    It's a pleasure to find a thriller fulfilling its duties with such gusto: the emotions ring solid, the script finds time to relax into backchat, and for once the stunts look like acts of desperation rather than shows of prowess.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    I certainly came out of Nobody Knows feeling numb; only later, reflecting on the fact that the movie was inspired by a true story, did it occur to me that the numbness could have been deliberate, and that what suffused this picture was a mist of anger.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The result demands a patient viewing, and maybe more than one; only after a second dose did I get the measure of Garrone's mastery, and realize how far he has surpassed, not merely honored, the author's courageous toil.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    What Park has done is resurrect not just the spirit but, as it were, the bodily science of early comedy. Like Chuck Jones, and, further back, like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Park is unafraid of the formulaic--—of bops on the head, of the unattainable beloved, of gadgetry gone awry--because he sees what beauty there can be in minor, elaborate variations on a basic theme.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    This slow and stoic movie, hailed as a gay Western, feels neither gay nor especially Western: it is a study of love under siege.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    The real reason to see The Kid with a Bike is that it offers something changelessly rare and difficult: a credible portrait of goodness. [19 March 2012, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The movie is a daunting blend of head trip, cinéma vérité, music video, and auto-therapy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    By the time of the closing shot -- twists of fog rising like spectres from a leaden sea -- even the most stubborn viewer will be lying back in a state of happy hypnosis. [16 December 2002, p. 106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Lincoln, written by Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg, and derived in part from Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," is a curious beast. The title suggests a monolith, as if going to this movie were tantamount to visiting Mt. Rushmore, and the running time, of two and a half hours, prepares you for an epic. Yet the film is a cramped and ornery affair, with Spielberg going into lockdown mode even more thoroughly than he did in "The Terminal."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    What IS surprising is the unembarrassed energy that Boyle devotes to his pursuit of the obvious; there’s nothing wrong with the formulaic, it would appear, so long as you bring the formula to the boil.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The eye must travel not merely through the earth's crust but backward in time, as well. Indeed, you could argue that Herzog has succeeded in making the world's first movie in 4-D. [2 May 2011, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    This movie can hardly help being beautiful, in such a rarefied domain, but what matters is that it never looks merely beautiful. [28 Feb. 2011, p. 81]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Henry James, who loved the place, accused himself of "making a mere Rome of words, talking of a Rome of my own which was no Rome of reality." Sorrentino has made a Rome of images, and taken the same risk. But it was worth it. [25 Nov. 2013, p.134]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Finally, a voice-over from Jimmy Carter, lauding the efforts of those involved. All this is, frankly, uncool - a pity, because the rest of Argo feels clever, taut, and restrained.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    On reflection, and despite these cavils, we should bow to The Master, because it gives us so much to revere, starting with the image that opens the film and recurs right up to the end-the turbid, blue-white wake of a ship. There goes the past, receding and not always redeemable, and here comes the future, waiting to churn us up.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    I prefer to think of Akin, however, not as a forger of patterns but as an ironist who understands that bad luck is a crucible, in the heat of which we are tested, burned away, or occasionally transformed. The Edge of Heaven is about something more exasperating than crossed paths; it is about paths that almost cross but don't, and the tragedy of the near-miss.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    On the surface, Apatow's films are about sex--obsessively, exclusively, and exhaustively. (This one lasts more than two hours.) But that is a clever feint, for their true subject is age.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Turtles Can Fly has little space for mawkishness, and the kids are far too cussed to be cute. It is, in every sense, the more immediate achievement: it hits and hurts the eyes (the rainy days are lousy enough, but the skies of royal blue, above such grief, feel especially insulting), and it also seems to bleed straight out of the headlines.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The pathos of About Schmidt -- of the careful, Chekhovian work that it could have been --gradually slides away. [16 December 2002, p. 106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The movie has a hard forties snap to it -- lust is a weapon and love is a letdown.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    [Farhadi's] gift for pulling us deep into the story, and for conveying the major burdens of these supposedly minor lives, is unimpaired.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Anthony Lane
    I have seen The Host twice and have every intention of watching it again.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Tucked away inside the grandeur, though, and enlivened by jump cuts, is a sharp, not unharrowing story of a father and son, and, amid one's exasperation, there is no mistaking Malick's unfailing ability to grab at glories on the fly.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Watching A Christmas Tale, with its bursts of old movies, dregs of empty bottles, lines from books, and fragments of half-forgotten conversations, is like getting to know a family other than your own by leafing through its scrapbooks and laughing at its photograph albums, while it bickers in the next room over stuff you may never understand.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Bean, a lovely guy with a touch of Mickey Rooney, is one of the stars of Sington’s rousing show. There was something unearthly, in every sense, about the astronauts in their prime.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It's a film that you need to see, not a film that you especially want to.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    No weirder than Kaurismäki's previous efforts. Indeed, compared with “Leningrad Cowboys Go America,” this venture tells an alarmingly straight tale. [7 April 2003, p.96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Anderson's great gift is to catch the generations as they intersect. [4 & 11 June 2012, p 132]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Love Is Strange, however, is not about gay marriage. It is about a marriage that happens to be gay. If the film grows slightly boring, even that can be construed as an advance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    This Merchant-Ivory production strains so hard to portray dignified restraint that it almost seizes up with good manners.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    In short, Haynes is so smart, tolerant, and thoughtful that he has to be saved by his actors. Julianne Moore takes this picture further, perhaps, than anyone can have dreamed. [18 November 2002, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    What is most winning about Distant is that it can peer past the grief and find a scrap of comedy. [15 March 2004, p. 154]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    For all its mayhem, runs like a mad and slightly sad machine, whirring with hints of folly and regret, and the ending, remarkably, makes elegant sense to a degree that eludes most science fictions. How to describe it, without giving anything away? Scrambled, but rare. [1 Oct. 2012, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Yet the film, against my wishes, left me unmoved.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    In short, The Descendants is the latest exhibit in Payne's careful dissection of the beached male, which runs from Matthew Broderick's character in "Election" to Jack Nicholson's in "About Schmidt" and Paul Giamatti's in "Sideways."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    I cannot remember a major movie, not even "The Godfather," that forced me to peer so intently into the gloom. [2 December 2002, p. 87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    This is a leap into grandeur.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    By the end of the film, you just want to get away from these people.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    This new Star Trek is nonsense, no question ("Prepare the red matter!"), but at least it's not boggy nonsense, the way most of the other movies were, and it powers along, unheeding of its own absurdity, with a drive and a confidence that the producers of the original TV series might have smiled upon.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Less fruitful is the casting of Michelle Pfeiffer as May's older cousin, the mysterious Countess Olenska, with whom Archer falls hopelessly in love. With her silly blond curls, Pfeiffer looks more plaintive than the dark exotic of Wharton's imagination.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    From the beginning, you can feel this restive, pulsing movie burn from discontent toward disaster. The whole thing should sap the spirit, and make you despair of a lost and wasted country, yet you are constantly shocked awake by the energy of Arbor, whether it is spent on insolence, initiative, or grief. The boy’s a bright wire.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    The film is a hybrid. Its backdrop is despair, but the foreground action has the silvery zest of a comedy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    To some degree, “Hidden” is a cat-and-mouse thriller, the only problem being that mouse and cat insist on swapping roles.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Nobody does shrewishness better than McEwan. [8 August 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Werner Herzog may lack heroes, nowadays, who seem adequate to his fierce capacity for wonder. When occasion demands, however, he can still turn the world upside down.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The whole work drips with a camp savagery (hence the presence of Sacha Baron Cohen as Pirelli, a rival barber and faux-Italianate fop), which in turn relies on the conviction that death itself, like sexual desire, exists to be sniffed at and chuckled over.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Think about it a day later, though, and its hectic swoop from romance to thriller to campaign manifesto leaves oddly little afterglow. The gardener is the only constant here; so much else burns up and blows away.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The most stirring release of the year thus far is a documentary.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Best of all -- and the only thing that has really made me laugh at the movies this year -- is a lengthy scene in which Coogan, inspired by the landscape, confesses his desire to star in a traditional costume drama. [13 & 20 June 2011, p. 128]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Inspiring though Marley is, however, it tends to deploy his music purely as an illustration of his life. Not once, as far as I could tell, do we watch a song being played straight through from beginning to end. [23 April 2012, p.82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    Kevin Macdonald has a terrific tale on his hands, and his telling of it, very British in its matter-of-factness, can barely be faulted; yet the facts drop away, and it becomes impossible not to read the movie symbolically--as a journey to the center of the earth, or farther still.
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    A minor work, but so menaced by distress that the characters take every opportunity to dance the dark away.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    It is the first film to be directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, and what it shares with other coruscating débuts, from “The Four Hundred Blows” to “Badlands,” is a sense that it HAD to be made. There is a controlled wildness at the heart of such movies, whose narratives ask to be handled as delicately as explosives. [15 March 2004, p. 154]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    As with "Together," Moodysson has pulled off a staggering dramatic coup, and again we are forced to ask: How does he do it? [21 & 28 April 2003, p.194]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Anthony Lane
    The most fruitful twist in Late Marriage is that at its core lies not a snippy domestic farce but a prolonged, dirty, and wholly credible sex scene, which starts and stops and starts again, and in which argument and arousal are entwined like limbs. [27 May 2002, p.124]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Blancanieves is a feast for the film-crazy. [8 April 2013, p.89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The only player to conquer Chicago is Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is no Charisse in her motions but who gets by on a full tank of unleaded oomph. [6 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker