A bizarre mishmash of historical elements and subpar on-screen drama capped off with an underwhelming but serviceable performance from John Cusack
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Despite Cuasck's occasional missteps as the writer, "The Raven" is an entertaining thriller.
| Original Score: 5/10
A formulaic murder mystery and a blasé, unenlightening look at the life of Edgar Allan Poe that could really have used an imp of the perverse.
| Original Score: 3.5/10
Despite the best atmospheric clichés the filmmakers could conjure (lanterns, fog, sewers), there isn't much suspense because you don't care much for the characters.
| Original Score: 4.8/10
We really should end with some contrived reference to a Poe story. No burial would be premature enough. Will that do?
| Original Score: 2/5
| Original Score: 1/5
Let's just be sure that from now on we let poor Edgar rest in peace until we have a really good reason to disturb him.
The inherently likeable Cusack fares surprisingly well in one of his darkest roles, but The Raven's clever premise is totally undermined by James McTeigue's tactless, bumbling direction.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
It's shot in the mix-mastered style of the recent Sherlock Holmes TV series, but you'd still need to be pretty weak and weary to sit through this.
...this might be appropriate for an evening at home on Blu-ray.
[Poe] probably deserved better than this movie which turns his heritage into a sub Se7en-style serial killer thriller blended with a bit of Scream for not-so-good measure.
The Raven is a movie with its wings clipped; a murder mystery that feels strangely subdued.
| Original Score: 3/5
"The Raven," a feverish costume thriller, attempts to explain Poe's death by cobbling together spare parts from thrillers about serial killers.
| Original Score: 2/4
The Raven looks great and is well-paced, but a lack of a compelling resolution makes it an anemic effort.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Quoth the raven: "Eh."
McTeigue's film inhabits a middle ground of being too morose for a crowd-pleaser in the style of Sherlock Holmes yet not dark enough for those wanting a seriously disturbing serial killer pic.
Cusack is fine as Poe but let down by a routine script that doesn't conjure up a character of great intrigue.
Poe, not Conan Doyle? Cusack, not Downey? No wit, no fun, no engaging derring do? Beg pardon, Watson, we've stumbled into some foggy crime detective clone, 40 years too early. Best to move along ...
| Original Score: 4/10
The director who stitched The Raven together has no idea how to frame or compose a scene, let alone 'grow' a film organically.
Why resurrect an American literary giant onscreen so he can help a police investigation? Sure, Poe essentially invented the detective genre, but come on.