Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    Voluptuous dance about love, pain and the whole damn thing.
  2. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    It's one of the best surprises of the holiday season.
  3. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    A wonderfully acted, acutely observed psychological drama.
  4. 100
    Elegant but never overstated, sinister but never coldhearted, this is a note-perfect masterwork on a modest, human scale.
  5. Stuns with writing, acting, direction.
  6. 100
    Astonishingly well acted film, so much so that it seems unfair to single out any of the performances. Mr. Lawrence's camera sense is as sure and unobtrusive as his feel for acting. The movie just seems to happen, to grow out of the ground like a thorny plant, revealing the intricate intelligence of its design only in hindsight.
  7. 90
    The acting is top-notch, and LaPaglia, who makes the cop's torment palpable, gives the performance of his career.
  8. A remarkably thoughtful drama, Lantana makes it clear not only how hard to come by any emotional comfort is in this life, but more important, why we can't give up on the struggle.
  9. 90
    Lawrence constructs a vivid pastiche of human foibles, nicely flavored with a touch of suspense and some well-timed jolts of humor. In the end it's a terrifically entertaining film, if not quite so profound as the makers might wish.
  10. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Lawrence's style, naturally lit and roughly realistic, matches the writing. Lantana sometimes has the air of a routine police procedural, sometimes the quality of a dour film noir. But this movie, so alert to mischance and dreams that don't quite work out as they should, has a good soul, a heart yearning for decency.
  11. 90
    Notable for its power of surprise and its refusal to immediately clarify the confusion of these lost souls.
  12. Has a refreshingly keen ability to see everything from multiple angles.
  13. 90
    Perceptive, powerfully acted psychodrama.
  14. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Haunting, powerfully acted, penetratingly written, it's about people coming home -- and not coming home -- to their marriages.
  15. 88
    More intent on engaging the heart as it explores the mysteries contained within - mysteries that, as Lawrence and his spot-on cast demonstrate, are far more compelling than simple murder.
  16. 88
    This description no doubt makes the film seem like some kind of gimmicky puzzle. What's surprising is how easy it is to follow the plot, and how the coincidences don't get in the way.
  17. It's LaPaglia's finest, deepest role and he's matched by Armstrong, who makes Sonja's undaunting optimism palpable within a trying marriage that's gulping for breath.
  18. 83
    The story is ingeniously intricate but never gimmicky or implausible. As it develops, the suspense grows about what direction the story could possibly take next.
  19. Striking for its performances -- especially Anthony LaPaglia.
  20. In addition to the strong script, the ensemble performances are topnotch, with no one hogging the limelight.
  21. 75
    For the briefest of moments, someone not paying attention might mistake Lantana for a mystery. -- Lantana is actually an examination of human interaction.
  22. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    There's some genuine suspense in Lantana, including one unbearably tense moment that is worthy of Hitchcock. But the movie's most unnerving aspect is the way in which it suggests true happiness may be impossible to regain once you've lost it.
  23. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Steeped in quiet despair, Lantana is a psychological thriller that emphasizes the psychology over the thrills. It's a smart, heart-twisting picture.
  24. 75
    This isn't a mystery except in the most general sense. It's a dense, Altman-esque psychological drama centering on 10 characters whose lives become as tangled as the lantana.
  25. While the movie is well acted and creative, its story and style are too self-consciously clever to build a high degree of emotional power.
  26. 70
    Love is indeed the greatest mystery, as Lantana's tagline goes, and while the film is ultimately still and interesting and fairly involving one, it's a bit unfortunate that the filmmakers weren't content to simply explore that quandary instead of manufacturing another.
  27. While viewers who expect a conventional suspense film may be disappointed in Lantana overall, it does succeed on a smaller, more intimate scale.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. TonyB.
    Nov 28, 2008
    Well acted but sluggish and slow.
  2. parker
    Feb 21, 2006
    Simply superb in virtually all phases: acting, scene orchestration, directing,, etc. captivating throughout, unpretentious, with unusual depthSimply superb in virtually all phases: acting, scene orchestration, directing,, etc. captivating throughout, unpretentious, with unusual depth & perception in evidence. thought provoking. Full Review »