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

Lay the Favorite Reviews

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Steve Macfarlane
Slant Magazine
December 6, 2012

Hollywood celebrities romping around in a candy-colored Alexa-shot criminal underworld, pretty much as a means of passing time.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Jeff Beck
Examiner.com
December 6, 2012

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 | Original Score: 1.5/4
Hugh Langley
Little White Lies
June 21, 2012

An attractive proposition let down by a cack hand.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Donald Clarke
Irish Times
June 22, 2012

You can see the veins standing out on the heads of Rebecca Hall and Catherine Zeta-Jones as they strive to make sense of a script that has no time for logic or consistency.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Shaun Munro
What Culture
June 23, 2012

Rebecca Hall gets an A-for-effort, but her blinding performance is mostly squandered in this vanilla crime farce.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Lisa Giles-Keddie
Real.com
June 24, 2012

Lay the Favourite ... is a surprising turn off of talent not worth betting on for a profitable night out's big-screen entertainment.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Graham Young
Birmingham Mail
June 29, 2012

I can scarcely remember a film where someone as massively-talented as the young British actress Rebecca Hall has clearly worked so hard to inject some life into proceedings and to such little avail.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
December 4, 2012

As forgettable a motion picture as can be found during the 2012 holiday season.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
William Goss
Film.com
Top Critic
January 27, 2012

Not just an utterly tepid comedy, but possibly the most lifeless film in Frears' generally acclaimed oeuvre.

Alex Zane
Sun Online
June 22, 2012

There is too much about the intricacies of gambling for it to be funny and it's too light to be interesting.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Mike Scott
Times-Picayune
March 8, 2013

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 | Original Score: 1/5
James Rocchi
MSN Movies
Top Critic
December 6, 2012

Incoherent, loud and saddled with a lead character far less smart ... 'Lay the Favorite' simply lays down dead.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Kimberly Gadette
Doddle
January 24, 2012

Like Rebecca Hall's inane giggle, Lay the Favorite comes across as high-pitched and annoyingly animated without any reason. Not my favorite ... by a long shot.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/10
Tim Grierson
Screen International
June 18, 2012

Whether it's Rebecca Hall's unconvincing performance as a ditzy Florida gal or the story's meandering tone, "Lay the Favorite" is one gamble that doesn't pay off.

Robbie Collin
Daily Telegraph
June 21, 2012

The dialogue is shrill, the emotional moments are foghorned with deafening musical cues, and every scene is lit like an advert for orange juice.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
December 6, 2012

What has happened to director Stephen Frears?

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
January 23, 2012

Like a loud guest at a party who's amusing for a while, until you just have to escape to the next room.

Brian Orndorf
Blu-ray.com
November 20, 2012

Frears locks into survival mode to carry on through the cinematic disorganization, resembling a man who knows he's bet on the wrong horse.

Full Review | Original Score: C-
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
June 21, 2012

Why was Lay the Favourite made?

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Staci Layne Wilson
Yahoo! Movies
March 13, 2013

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

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