Lonely Hearts


Lonely Hearts

Critics Consensus

Several genres and plotlines intertwine in Lonely Hearts but don't connect, creating an uneven and unsatisfying film.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,777
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Lonely Hearts Photos

Movie Info

"Lonely Hearts" retells the real life murder spree of Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez and its connection to the tragic story of Detective Elmer C. Robinson, who helped capture the killers, but lost his wife in the process. Robinson was a Nassau County detective, whose work was everything to him, to the exclusion of his family during the 1940s and 50s. As he worked long hours on this infamous case, his wife began a downward spiral which ultimately would take her life.

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John Travolta
as Elmer C. Robinson
James Gandolfini
as Charles Hildebrandt
Jared Leto
as Ray Fernandez
Salma Hayek
as Martha Beck
Scott Caan
as Det. Reilly
Laura Dern
as Rene Fodie
Michael Gaston
as D.A. Hunt
Dan Byrd
as Eddie Robinson
Andrew Wheeler
as Det. Tooley
Alice Krige
as Janet Long
John Doman
as Chief MacSwain
Dagmara Dominczyk
as Delphine Downing
Bailee Madison
as Rainelle Downing
Jason Gray-Stanford
as Officer Chetnick
Sam Travolta
as Foreman
James Martin Roberts
as Young Black Man
Kristian Truelsen
as Bank Manager
Marc Macaulay
as Warden Broady
Steve Maye
as Michigan Cop
Steven Maye
as Michigan Cop
Shannon Murphy
as Patty Forsythe
Nick Loren
as Det. January
Jonathan Rau
as Uniformed Cop
Karl Anthony
as Hotel Clerk
Valerie Grant
as Mrs. Clayman
Matt Huffman
as Mrs. Clayman's Son
Arian Waring Ash
as Marian Duff
Gerald Owens
as Postmaster
Jeff Farley
as Minister
Lauren Leech
as Teenage Girl
Allison McKay
as Mrs. Paterson
Jack Swanson
as Fruit Stand Attendant
Bill Kelley
as Rene's Father
Heather Dawn
as MacSwain's Secretary
Margaret Travolta
as Mineola Female Dispatcher
Rachel Reynolds
as Airplane Passenger
Caroline Ross
as Prison Matron
Traci Robinson
as Prison Matron
Allen Walls
as Featured Dancer
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Critic Reviews for Lonely Hearts

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (17)

Audience Reviews for Lonely Hearts

  • Nov 30, 2011
    Surprisingly good little crime thriller. The setting is a very realistic recreation of the late fourties. Salma is gorgeous, and magniciently evil. The rest of the cast is really good across the board...even Travolta. I really wasn't expecting too much from this movie, but I was really amazed at the quality. Some rather intense brutality scenes, also.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2011
    Man, now that is a stellar visual effect, receding Jared Leto's hairline. What did you think they did it with practical make-up? Please, if they tried that, his hair would just pop back out, because there's no getting rid of it by physical means. Seriously, if they dig him up many decades after his death, if for no other reason, they're going to display his skeleton in a museum because it still has hair, as well as his eye color, because nothing can kill those either. No, his eyeballs will be gone; I'm saying that his freakishly shiny corneas are just gonna be floating there and if that doesn't scream museum exhibit, then I don't know what does, but really, considering the state of severe stupidity society will no doubt be in once the immortal Nicki Minaj - who is immortal because I doubt you can kill a demon - is "Koeen uv da Planut", (No, they're gonna be so stupid that that's how their gonna spell it) they're gonna display ol' Jared Skeleto for his work in 30 Seconds to Mars, for they'll forget all about his acting career, because the immortal Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Again, because they're demons) won't leave the slightest trace of "popular" art films, let alone ones that people hadn't even heard of when they came out. That's a shame even now, because the people need to help get Leto's acting back at the forefront, because darn it, he's one of today's greats. This guy is just too blasted good to be putting acting in the back of his to-do list and here, he further proves that by carrying not just one, but like, five films at the same time, or at least that's how it felt, considering that these genre changes are about as forced as this segway. I love this concept of presenting the story of the "Lonely Hearts Killers" in the slick, but tensely gritty fashion it was meant to be told in, while at the same time, paying homage to the classic era of the detective-crime noir genre. Mr. Todd Robinson has written a fine script, but his execution of it is hit-or-miss, but when it misses, it misses something big. He gets tones down and executes the layers of our characters sharply, but when it comes to shifting the tone and layers, - as his script so often does - Robinson can't catch up as a director. To make matters worse, Robinson can't handle the shifts in focus in the storylines, especially when it comes to the Elmer C. Robinson storyline, where it doesn't seem like our director put in enough interest to make it as interesting as the story of the killers, leaving you begging for that story back when we switch to the Elmer Robinson storyline. Still, when it does finally switch, the transition is bumpy, partially because what storyline we do focus upon, we spend way too much time on, making the film feel severely unbalanced. Whether the director's the grandson to the hero or not, a multi-character study is hard to work with smoothly, especially for a first-timer, and Todd Robinson can't make it all snap together, thus leaving the film to squander its potential and sadly become rather unsatisfying. Still, although his storytelling is a bit off Tim Robinson delivers more as a first-timer than you migh think. He has a tough time shifting tone, but I feel that Todd Robinson delivers on what tone is at hand, whether when he's having to make something entertaining, or dramatic, or just plain tense, and when this film gets dark, it's both horrifying and golden, for Robinson has such an understanding of how to portray these twisted events in a disturbing, yet realistic fashion, and although his storytelling isn't perfect, the way he sets things up and keeps this film on a steady, but sure rise in compellingness, in spite of its uneveness, is extremely impressive. For that, I also have to give credit to the handsomely gritty cinematography, as well as the lively production designs and excellent soundtrack, but really, what carries this film and delivers more than anything else, might just be the performers. Now, as much as we'll give Travolta trash for his more recent work and - lord help us all - performance in "Battlefield Earth", he's still a generally pretty good performer, and here, he shows that by boasting the charisma, emotion and presence to carry what compellingness there is in the rather underwhelming Elmer C. Robinson storyline. Still, there's a reason why Robinson's storyline isn't as interesting as the killers' and that reason is because... well, it's a story about the adventure of charming murderers on the lamb. Still, what carries that storyline is, of course, the sharp chemistry between Salma Hayek and Jared Leto, as well as their fantastic performances. Hayek emits the sharply mysterious atmosphere that make the Martha Beck character and chillingly complex one. Of course, the performance right on par with her's is of course by my man, Jared Leto, who plays up every layer and emotion behind Raymond Fernandez in a humanly charming, when not compelling fashion and if you see this film for nothing else, then let it be for Hayek and Leto's stellar performances. In the end, Todd Robinson's study on the unraveling sanity of the "Lonely Hearts Killers", as well as the struggles of his grandfather as he hunts the killers down squanders its potential, due to the bumpy executions of the shifts in layers and tone that could have made this the darkly complex classic noir throwback it promised to be, but thanks to the very handsomely gritty style, sharp execution of the tones, - bumpy though, their shifts may be - steady rise in compellingness, as well as the all around solid performances, - headed by the stellar Jared Leto and Salma Hayek - "Lonely Hearts" stands as a generally enjoyable noir experience. 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2011
    A bit over exaggerated, but good cast and acting
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 26, 2010
    Real life murderous couple Martha Beck (Salma Hayek) and Raymond Fernandez (Jared Leto) and their murderous love affair is the main story of Todd Robinson's Lonely Hearts. Detective Elmer C. Robinson (John Travolta) his own life a tragedy in itself connects deeply with these two killer lovers as he neglected his own wife so much chasing these two that she took her own life leaving him alone to raise their son. This is the story of Robinson's crusade to bring this bonnie And Cyde type couple to justice. With the aid of his partner Det. Charles Hilderbrandt (James Gandolfini) Robinson tracks these two across the u.s reaping all of the aftermath of their crimes. I hated my comparison to Bonnie And Clyde as they only robbed banks and maybe shot the odd policeman who happened to get in their way. Beck and Fernandez were way different Fernandez who was infatuated with Beck and would even kill for her and did, and Beck who was psychotic in her returned love for robinson Quoted as saying : I was the only woman for Raymond. This movie couldve fallen in the footsteps of Bonnie and clyde if it was only made a tad cooler and more believable. Hayek is awesome in the role in fact left me wanting to see her again in the future in a psychotic role. The only part of this that i didnt like is Hayek is extremly beautiful with a nice figure and the real life Marth Beck was anything but. Weighing in at 250lbs she always feared losing Fernandez to one of his cons. Which made her all the more jealous and murderous. Leto does a solid job as fernandez however i didnt really get the fear that this couple really invoked from these two actors. This movie needed alot more spooky overtones.
    Lee K Super Reviewer

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