Anonymous Reviews

Top Critic
Judith Newmark
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 4, 2011
Will Shakespeare, whose words shine on, bright and brave, Is turning o'er with laughter in his grave.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 30, 2011
File this one in the category of entertaining historical fiction. There are facts here, but one must possess more than a passing familiarity with history to be able to spot them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 29, 2011
John Orloff's screenplay could have used a rewrite by de Vere -- or whomever.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
October 28, 2011
Knowing that non-Masterpiece Theater audiences will grow fidgety over this sort of thing, Emmerich and Orloff throw in plenty of sword-fighting, bear-baiting, and bodice-ripping.
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
October 28, 2011
The digitally wrought period settings are simply gorgeous.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
October 28, 2011
This is irresistible as self-knowing camp: the players ham it up in high fashion and the script crams at least one lurid revelation into every scene.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
October 28, 2011
What's disappointing about Anonymous is that it isn't dumb enough. Rather than plunging merrily ahead with its fanciful counternarrative, the movie keeps stopping to actually, seriously make its case -- to posit and explain and persuade.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 28, 2011
Like vermin, facts here are banished / Logic dispelled, plain motives all vanished ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
October 28, 2011
Anonymous may not convince anyone, but it certainly should entertain them.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
October 28, 2011
As silly as most of this is, Anonymous is undeniably a handsome picture. The costumes are gorgeous, with enough velvet and brocade to make everybody seem downright upholstered.
Full Review | Original Score: 5
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 28, 2011
Audiences may chuckle. Stratfordians, prepare for conniptions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
October 28, 2011
Take the political intrigue of Elizabeth, add the backstage drama of Shakespeare in Love, and divide by the adherence to fact and logic that propelled 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow.
Top Critic
Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
October 28, 2011
If you are looking for something more intellectual, and certainly more accurate in its portrayal of a rich period in English history, you will have to go elsewhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 28, 2011
Apart from these few light moments, Anonymous is a case of ingenuity wasted on an unintelligent enterprise.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 28, 2011
"Anonymous'' is a thoroughly entertaining load of eye candy with solid performances, even if John Orloff's exposition-heavy script practically requires a concordance to follow at times.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 28, 2011
Don't let the frilly costumes, courtly language and historical pretense fool you: "Anonymous" is still a Roland Emmerich movie - a blessing when it comes to vigor and a curse when it comes to subtlety, proportion or sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
October 28, 2011
Though the cast is energetic and the intrigues diverting, you'll have to distance yourself from reality to enjoy so much outlandish scheming.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
October 27, 2011
The very qualities that fuel the historical hokum of Anonymous -- over-the-top royal intrigue and incest, violent literary backstabbing, frothing conspiracy -- also happen to make for wild entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 27, 2011
As the Bard probably would not say, Anonymous is some crazy shit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
October 27, 2011
It's Shakespeare as B-movie, if you will, or to borrow from the bard, a boffo blast, which I'm pretty sure is from either "King Lear" or "Hamlet."
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 27, 2011
In a movie that rings false at every turn, Ms. Redgrave's Elizabeth is truly and infallibly regal.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 27, 2011
Anonymous is no more or less far-fetched than Emmerich's prior efforts. But it is much, much more confusing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 27, 2011
Roland Emmerich destroys things for a living. Why not the reputation of a man who lacked the imagination to blow up the Sistine Chapel?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 27, 2011
So disappointingly dopey that it's unworthy of anyone's time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 27, 2011
Historians will quibble with the timing and accuracy of a lot of the film, and you know what? Let them. The rest of us can enjoy the performances and the sumptuous look of the movie, which is a lot more satisfying, anyway.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 27, 2011
A vulgar prank on the English literary tradition, a travesty of British history and a brutal insult to the human imagination. Apart from that, it's not bad.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 27, 2011
Scholarly debate about the Shakespeare Authorship Question has little to do with this tale told by an idio...syncratic moviemaker up to little more than mischief.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
October 27, 2011
Anonymous, far from ascending the brightest heaven of invention, is a muddled, often confusing film, unable to mesh its political and theatrical plotlines. Worse, it undermines its own argument by cramming in too many fanciful possibilities.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Laura Miller
Salon.com
October 27, 2011
By attempting to weave the fancies of the Oxfordians into a coherent narrative, Anonymous does highlight the over-the-top melodrama inherent in anti-Stratfordianism itself.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 27, 2011
"Anonymous" is ridiculous, and like Oliver Stone's "JFK" it sells its political conspiracy theories by weight and by volume. But dull, it's not.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
October 27, 2011
It's as dull as it is brainless, the work of creators who've spent far more time concocting silly stories about Shakespeare than learning from him.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 27, 2011
Much ado about nothing, indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 27, 2011
Anonymous is so dubious in its intent and so tangled in its execution, it might have worked better as a comedy like Notting Hill or The Boat That Rocked, where Ifans could agreeably play the fool as before.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 27, 2011
A splendid experience: the dialogue, the acting, the depiction of London, the lust, jealousy and intrigue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
October 26, 2011
Oliver Stone's JFK looks reasonable compared to this.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 26, 2011
Dubious history aside, Anonymous is a well-acted yarn that also is a tribute to the unstoppable force of art -- even if it implies that only an aristocrat could create it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 26, 2011
As the initial whiff of scandal eventually gives way to great, repetitive blubbering about the brilliance and significance of Shakespeare's works, "Anonymous" ultimately feels like much ado about nothing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
October 26, 2011
Other than ludicrously pulpy fun, Anonymous, true to its title, ultimately signifies nothing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 26, 2011
Historians are already calling Anonymous preposterous humbug, but I found it a complex cornucopia of ideas and panache. You go away sated.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
October 25, 2011
Think of it as a high-end Christmas panto, as a red-faced, enthusiastic cast are put through the paces by their barking, domineering director. Louder, faster, bigger, more!
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
October 25, 2011
This is high camp, nothing more.
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
October 25, 2011
Even though Emmerich is working with ostensibly more refined material here, the ham-handed touch of the man who gave us The Day After Tomorrow... is felt quite heavily throughout.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
October 24, 2011
The more far-fetched the idea, it seems, the more strenuous the effort to pass it off as authentic.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 24, 2011
A well-polished cowpat that will confuse and bore those who know nothing about Shakespeare and incense those who know almost anything.
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
September 28, 2011
A handsomely staged and decidedly straight-ahead costume drama under Roland Emmerich's nearly CGI-free direction.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 10, 2011
Surprisingly, this is easily director Roland Emmerich's best film.