• R, 1 hr. 34 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Stephen Frears
    In Theaters:
    Dec 7, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Mar 4, 2013
  • Weinstein Co.

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Lay the Favorite Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 7, 2012
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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"Lay the Favorite" is a small and not particularly ambitious movie, but it's pleasing and exceptionally well made.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

December 7, 2012
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express

The story is borderline inconsequential but the characters are lively and engaging and the performances strong.

Full Review Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 3/5

June 21, 2012
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon

Watchable comedy drama that gets by thanks to a terrific central performance by Rebecca Hall and colourful supporting turns from the rest of the cast...

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 3/5

June 20, 2012
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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Frears's strongest hand is a set of colourful characters played with verve...

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

June 19, 2012
Michael Nordine
Film Threat

Hardly the film anyone familiar with Frears's better work would want or expect, but that isn't to say it's entirely without merit.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 3/5

February 18, 2012
Nathan Rabin
AV Club

It's a decidedly soft-boiled tale populated by some of the nicest degenerate gamblers you'd ever want to meet.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B-

January 23, 2012
Jeremy Kay
Guardian [UK]

While this is a lesser work in the Frears canon, it's still a likable caper.

Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]

January 23, 2012
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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Those of us who still venerate Frears as a pioneer of British indie cinema in the '80s pine for him to have higher goals than a ditzy true-crime romp, but maybe that's our problem rather than his.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

January 23, 2012
Staci Layne Wilson
Yahoo! Movies

While everything seems to be going in its favor, Lay The Favorite is a losing bet.

Full Review Source: Yahoo! Movies

March 13, 2013
Mike Scott
Times-Picayune

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.

Full Review Source: Times-Picayune | Original Score: 1/5

March 8, 2013
Todd Jorgenson
Cinemalogue.com

... offers little insight into its subject or its setting and feels like it's been chopped up in the editing room.

Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com

December 10, 2012
Jeremy Mathews
Paste Magazine

Poor Rebecca Hall. If someone had told her there was no hope for Lay the Favorite, she could have saved some energy.

Full Review Source: Paste Magazine | Original Score: 3.4/10

December 7, 2012
Maitland McDonagh
Film Journal International

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.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

December 7, 2012
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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What has happened to director Stephen Frears?

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 1/5

December 6, 2012
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Best to say as little as possible, cut one's losses and move on.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

December 6, 2012
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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The dots are there, but they don't connect.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

December 6, 2012
Scott Tobias
NPR
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A listless comedy built around a vivacious protagonist.

Full Review Source: NPR

December 6, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 1/5

December 6, 2012
Jeff Beck
Examiner.com

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.

Full Review Source: Examiner.com | Original Score: 1.5/4

December 6, 2012
Page 1 of 3
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