Hollywood celebrities romping around in a candy-colored Alexa-shot criminal underworld, pretty much as a means of passing time.
| Original Score: 1/4
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
An attractive proposition let down by a cack hand.
| Original Score: 2/5
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.
| Original Score: 1/5
Rebecca Hall gets an A-for-effort, but her blinding performance is mostly squandered in this vanilla crime farce.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Lay the Favourite ... is a surprising turn off of talent not worth betting on for a profitable night out's big-screen entertainment.
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.
As forgettable a motion picture as can be found during the 2012 holiday season.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Not just an utterly tepid comedy, but possibly the most lifeless film in Frears' generally acclaimed oeuvre.
There is too much about the intricacies of gambling for it to be funny and it's too light to be interesting.
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.
Incoherent, loud and saddled with a lead character far less smart ... 'Lay the Favorite' simply lays down dead.
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.
| Original Score: 2/10
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.
The dialogue is shrill, the emotional moments are foghorned with deafening musical cues, and every scene is lit like an advert for orange juice.
What has happened to director Stephen Frears?
Like a loud guest at a party who's amusing for a while, until you just have to escape to the next room.
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-
Why was Lay the Favourite made?
While everything seems to be going in its favor, Lay The Favorite is a losing bet.