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?
| Original Score: 1/5
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.
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.
Frears's strongest hand is a set of colourful characters played with verve...
| Original Score: 3/5
Not just an utterly tepid comedy, but possibly the most lifeless film in Frears' generally acclaimed oeuvre.
Frivolous fun at best, archly affected tedium at worst.
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.
Like a loud guest at a party who's amusing for a while, until you just have to escape to the next room.