For 564 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 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Anthony Lane's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 564
564 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Shyamalan often tries too hard, but nobody else can conjure such a sudden flood of worry, or summon so unmistakable a stink of evil, and you come out of Signs, as you did from "The Sixth Sense," in severe need of loud music, bad jokes, and drinks with cherries and umbrellas in them -- anything to waft away the fug of unease. [12 August 2002, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Yet the film, directed by Laurent Tirard, has something. To be exact, it has Fabrice Luchini and Laura Morante, as M. and Mme. Jourdain.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    With its somersaulting trucks, drafts of quaffable blood, and skies full of digitized ravens, Bekmambetov's movie has every intention of whacking "The Matrix" at its own game.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    The Mist is itself a supermarket of B-movie essentials, handsomely stocked with bad science, stupid behavior, chewable lines of dialogue, religious fruitcakes, and a fine display of monsters.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    For those who think of cinema as dramatic roughage, The Reader should prove sufficiently indigestible.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    Stroker slips down the gullet with less fuss, but there are enough blood sprays and snapped vertebrae to pacify the director's clamorous fan club -- and, for the rest of us, plenty of chances to reconsider his style. It is, unquestionably, something to behold. [8 March 2013, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    The result is a lively bout between bio-pic and fairy tale.
    • 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).
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    A long, lumbering brute of a movie, no easier to maneuver than the vessel itself. [29 July 2002, p. 92]
    • 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
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    One problem with Lawless, though, is that it feels chock-full of entrances that never quite lead anywhere. [3 Sept. 2012, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Quantum of Solace is too savage for family entertainment, but, as a study in headlong desperation, it's easier to believe in than many more ponderous films.
    • 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?)
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    One of the year’s more luscious releases, offering not just the sleekest car chase but the most romantic of rainstorms.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    To be at once earthy and ethereal is an uncommon gift. I noticed it, in Browning, when she starred in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," as the calmly eccentric Violet Baudelaire. Already, as a teen-ager, she seemed older and wiser than the events unfolding around her, and, likewise, in Sleeping Beauty, she impugns the drooling antics of the elderly.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Feels at once secondhand in its eagerness and unknowing in its scorn.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    Miss Potter is a grave disappointment, because it never listens out for that note. It is a soft, woolly film about a smart, unsentimental woman who did constant battle with her frustrations.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    To find a comic-book hero who doesn’t agonize over his supergifts, and would defend his constitutional right to get a kick out of them, is frankly a relief.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    They give excellent value for money, launching into song the way that normal folk go to the bathroom--regularly, politely, and because, if they didn't, well, darn it, they might just burst.
    • 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
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    A thumper of a movie, full of furious souls.
    • 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
    • 56 Metascore
    • 20 Anthony Lane
    The problem is that Snyder, following Moore, is so insanely aroused by the look of vengeance, and by the stylized application of physical power, that the film ends up twice as fascistic as the forces it wishes to lampoon.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Having dreaded the prospect of Sylvia, I admired it precisely because it refuses to play along with the mythologizing that has sprung up, and vulgarized, the lives of two poets. [20 October 2003, p. 206]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 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
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    An efficient, politically inert fantasy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Yes
    You may get off on this enthralling stuff, But after half an hour I'd had enough.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Once you admit that the Jane Austen depicted onscreen bears scant relation to any person named Jane Austen, living or dead, the film fulfills its purpose.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Skip the coda to this movie, with its tiny upswing of hope, and remember the days at the tables, as dim and endless as nights, and the click of the dialogue.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Along with Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, Burton is one of the few magi who know what can be dredged up, even now, from the cauldron of special effects. [21 May 2012, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    Can a director be arrested for the attempted hijack of our emotions?
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Viewers will be split between those who wonder about this silly, trumped-up story and those who already know and love the silliness for what it was. [4 November 2002, p. 110]
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    What Rachel McAdams is doing in this nonsense is anyone's guess, but she must realize that the long journey from "Mean Girls" to Mary, with her mousy bangs and her timid pleas counts as a serious descent. [11 Nov. 2013, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    There are gags and scraps of action that give the movie fits of buoyancy, and these tend to come not so much from the younger, eager performers as from the old hands.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Clooney gives it everything, but what does he get in return? A void where the story is meant to be.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Thanks for Sharing is worth it, because of Pink. [30 Sept. 2013, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    A slight and rueful affair, intermittently funny.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    Forget satire; this guy doesn't want to scorch the earth anymore. He just wants to swing his dick.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    Yet Oblivion is worth the trip. There are two reasons for this. The first is the cinematography of Claudio Miranda.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    Made me laugh precisely once, as a magazine editor let fly with a Diane Arbus gag. It is no coincidence that she is played by Candice Bergen, who gets just the one scene, but who is nonetheless the only bona-fide movie star on show.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    All is dour and dun. We are a long way from Errol Flynn marching in with a deer slung over his shoulder, or from the Fairbanks who didn’t merely scamper and swing from one errand of justice to the next. He SKIPPED.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    This film's got EVERYTHING, although purists might quibble that it lacks any sliver of plausibility or dramatic interest.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Smart, saucy, and ingenious in the extreme. The trouble is that when a subtext is dragged to the fore, however splendidly, the poor old text gets lost.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    Far too long, but thanks to Depp--and to Bill Nighy, properly mean beneath his suckers and blubber--it swerves away from the errors committed by the other big movies this summer.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    Most of the innumerable sequels were tripe, but this one has a freshness -- even a kind of wit -- mixed in with all the blood.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Anthony Lane
    It is the greatest biblio-climax of any film since "Fahrenheit 451," although Truffaut's prayer was that reading might yet survive calamity and carry the torch of the civilized. Detachment snufffs out that faith; books it warns us, are the first thing to go. [19 March 2012, p.91]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    A confused, humorless grind.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    The truth is that almost nobody, and certainly no nation, emerges well from this sour endeavor. [18 & 25 August 2003, p. 150]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    Ferocious onslaught of obligatory good cheer.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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?
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    More like the Pelican Long-and-Drawn-Out: well over two hours of plots, subplots and super-subdialogue.
    • 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."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Anthony Lane
    A trim thriller with an enviable lack of grandeur. [21 Jan. 2013, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Anthony Lane
    All this leaves The Zero Theorem looking both disorderly and stuck. And yet, to my surprise, on returning for a second viewing I found myself moved by the film — by the very doggedness with which it both hunts for and despairs of meaning.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    "Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness," Captain Jack says. Sir, you speak for us all.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    Illogical and glum. [30 Sept 2002, p. 145]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    It would be a shock if Antichrist had turned out to be anything but shocking.
    • 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
    • 49 Metascore
    • 10 Anthony Lane
    But by the end, the charm and delicacy of the 1961 cartoon have long been replaced by laborious gross-outs. Is this now official Disney policy?
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Anthony Lane
    One is forced to ask: who wants to make, or watch, a major Hollywood musical about mental block?
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Anthony Lane
    The movie--directed by Atom Egoyan, who should know better--is closely adapted from “Nathalie,” a French film of 2004, with Gérard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Béart, but what seemed like standard practice for Parisians comes across here as unsmiling porno-farce.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Anthony Lane
    In short, this popular love story isn't much of a story, and falls badly short on love.

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