The Wolf Man Reviews

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Top Critic

Hollywood Reporter
April 7, 2015
The Wolf Man serves its horror straight. A very substantial cast undertakes to sell believably a tale of superstitious folklore.
Paul Chambers
Movie Chambers
October 26, 2014
The original and only entry in the Wolf Man series that I truly like. Lon Chaney, Jr. was born to play the troubled Larry Talbot, a guy who gets bitten by a werewolf (Bela Lugosi) and openly laments his future as the hairiest man in Europe. Nicely done.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
October 13, 2014
Horror movies today rely on gore and as many jump out of your seat moments as they can throw at you. This one relies on old fashioned atmosphere and acting ability and that's all it really needs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Alan Jones
Radio Times
October 6, 2013
This Universal classic not only established Lon Chaney Jr as a horror star but also instigated most of the cinematic werewolf lore concerning pentagrams, the Moon and the fatality of silver.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
February 15, 2010
Even with a canon that includes the definitive versions of (among others) Frankenstein, Dracula and The Phantom of the Opera, this 1941 classic has always remained my favorite of the studio's prolific output.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Rob Humanick
Projection Booth
February 13, 2010
Most horrifying is the potential inability to sway our own innately darker tendencies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Josh Larsen
February 10, 2010
Chaney may appear to have had a bad run-in with a hair dryer, but he's still the definitive villain as tragic hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
October 26, 2009
A film of sometimes uncertain greatness that is nonetheless the most entertaining and effective Universal monster movie since Bride of Frankenstein.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks
March 10, 2009
The Wolf Man's tantamount pleasures are its economy and speed, its silvery manipulations of light and shadow, and the panache with which the lighting, the story, and the rich cast navigate [its] tone.
Full Review | Original Score: B+

TV Guide's Movie Guide
October 8, 2008
A feast of horror, for animals of all kinds.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Variety Staff
October 8, 2008
The Wolf Man is a compactly-knit tale of its kind, with good direction and performances by an above par assemblage of players, but dubious entertainment.
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
October 8, 2008
A stodgy Universal thriller from 1941, redeemed by a name-heavy cast and by Lon Chaney Jr.'s lumbering, affable performance in the title role.
Steve Biodrowski
September 16, 2008
A classic despite its flaws.
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Film Threat
July 16, 2007
In spite of its age, the emotional impact, and sheer terror hasn't lost its punch with great performances, and a tragic ending.
| Original Score: 5/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
August 14, 2006
It's a good, solid film, held together by Chaney's appealing performance and great supporting players like Lugosi as Bela the gypsy who turns into a wolf.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Theodore Strauss
New York Times
August 8, 2006
Without any build-up either by the scriptwriter or director, he is sent onstage, where he, looks a lot less terrifying and not nearly as funny as Mr. Disney's big, bad wolf.
Top Critic
Don Macpherson
Time Out
January 26, 2006
There's undeniable magic within the staid format.
Gabe Leibowitz
September 21, 2005
Charming & fun 40's monster schlock.
| Original Score: 3/5
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies
April 15, 2005
It's not as boring as Dracula, but not nearly as inventive as, say, Bride of Frankenstein.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
January 7, 2004
The key to getting some good, fun chills out of a silly old movie like The Wolf Man is atmosphere: Watch after midnight. Turn off the lights. Light a few candles. Don't let your feet dangle off the edge of the couch or bed.
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