While everything seems to be going in its favor, Lay The Favorite is a losing bet.
A shrug of a film featuring unremarkable characters in an unremarkable story that never does more than limp toward it flat and flimsy third act.
| Original Score: 1/5
... offers little insight into its subject or its setting and feels like it's been chopped up in the editing room.
Poor Rebecca Hall. If someone had told her there was no hope for Lay the Favorite, she could have saved some energy.
| Original Score: 3.4/10
This shaggy-dog story based on the improbable real-life adventures of exotic dancer-turned-bookie-turned-journalist Beth Raymer is never quite as amusing as it thinks it is, despite a charming performance by Rebecca Hall.
Frears has a lot of fun with the bad tempers and high spirits of this crew of adrenaline junkies, and though the story falls a little flat, the script is sprinkled with dry wit.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
"Lay the Favorite" is a small and not particularly ambitious movie, but it's pleasing and exceptionally well made.
| Original Score: 3/4
What has happened to director Stephen Frears?
Best to say as little as possible, cut one's losses and move on.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
The dots are there, but they don't connect.
| Original Score: 2/4
A listless comedy built around a vivacious protagonist.
Hall works like mad to create this character, giving her a breathy voice and hair-twisting tics and wide-eyed expressions that, rather than rounding her out, only flatten her.
What little plot "Lay the Favorite" has is lost in a mess of a screenplay that does absolutely nothing to stand out in any way whatsoever.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Hollywood celebrities romping around in a candy-colored Alexa-shot criminal underworld, pretty much as a means of passing time.
| Original Score: 1/4
Incoherent, loud and saddled with a lead character far less smart ... 'Lay the Favorite' simply lays down dead.
A wan comedy about gambling that takes no risks ...
This is one bugged-out burlesque you can easily close the iron door on.
| Original Score: 2/5
As forgettable a motion picture as can be found during the 2012 holiday season.
Just kind of, well, lays there. Or lies there. It matters to those of us who value the English language, but not to many others. Like this film.
Frears locks into survival mode to carry on through the cinematic disorganization, resembling a man who knows he's bet on the wrong horse.
| Original Score: C-