For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
Critics reviews
The Lone Ranger
Gore Verbinski United States, 2013
Americans rejected the notion of watching its storied past as essentially violent. The Lone Ranger attempted to have it both ways. It’s a rollicking adventure film with a spring in its step, cut with a disturbing, angry lesson in alternative history. The narrative we choose to ignore.
March 03, 2015
Read full article
The dovetailed histories of film and the 19th-century western expansion provides plenty of grist for Verbinski’s mill, but he’s an able enough builder to erect something resembling a grand design of his own. If the movie remains deeply imperfect, it’s only because the ingenuity of its moment-by-moment, sequence-by-sequence construction far outpaces the uncertainty of its lumpy script…
January 09, 2014
Read full article
…The film makes history a game, a play-area for myth. That’s a lot to tackle in a popcorn blockbuster… Where Django Unchained is bluntly righteous, and moral, The Lone Ranger is somehow both oblique and open, allowing characters to change their minds as their understanding of the world’s machinations become complicated by a “reality” forever out of balance and frankly up for debate.
November 11, 2013
Read full article
The Lone Ranger is every bit as big, daft and clumsy as you’d expect. It’s predictably bloated at 149 minutes and there’s an uneven tension between the cartoony Disney blockbusting and the absurdo realism. But the whole thing is top-and-tailed by two absolutely spectacular runaway train sequences which appear to reference more than one Buster Keaton romp.
August 08, 2013
Read full article
The Lone Ranger clearly intends to inherit the revisionist Western mantle, with the massacres and the psychosis and the politicalized rage, while keeping the laughs and slapstick action. Typical of Verbinski’s more-is-more attitude, he doesn’t seem to see the problem with putting wildly clashing elements together and stirring vigorously.
July 17, 2013
Read full article
The film has an antic spirit and lots of pleasurable detail – but it’s finally too baggy, too exhausting, and (like Man of Steel, another recent behemoth) about an hour too long… By the standards of summer blockbusters, Lone Ranger has both edge and personality. But how much can a person take?
July 15, 2013
Read full article
The Lone Ranger, like [Verbinski’s] last two Pirates movies, seems conceived to deliver spectacle by the bulk, which means carrying the baggage of multiple subplots for the purpose of multiple climactic sequences. The Lone Ranger began as a frivolous radio adventure serial for boys in the 1930s, and the idea of adapting it for the present does not make it any less frivolous. The more elements Verbinski and company add, the more fun gets taken away.
July 10, 2013
Read full article
For all its miscalculations, this is a personal picture, violent and sweet, clever and goofy. It’s as obsessive and overbearing as Steven Spielberg’s “1941”—and, I’ll bet, as likely to be re-evaluated twenty years from now, and described as “misunderstood.”
July 03, 2013
Read full article
Making the Lone Ranger’s right-hand the narrator was clearly a move that was meant to right the wrongs of the past, finally giving the sidekick the wheel. Unfortunately, it’s only a platitude. Lacking any character depth (though he’s at least given a back story), Depp’s Tonto may not be overtly racist, but it’s an uncomfortably reductive portrayal of "red face.
July 03, 2013
Read full article
The Western is an inherently political genre because it renders as physical action the functions of government that, in modernity, are often bureaucratic and abstract. But that’s exactly where the highly constructed conceptualism of “The Lone Ranger” disappoints: it renders the physical abstract. Despite the elaborate and often clever gag-like action stunts… and the occasionally grotesque violence, the movie seems not to be there at all, replaced throughout by the idea of the movie.
July 03, 2013
Read full article
No 149-minute Western should feature more close-ups of timepieces than of horses or human beings. It should not spend a reported $250 million to feature a plot in which a railroad tycoon looks to bilk magnates of their millions. It should not see the fraught historical relationship between Native Americans and white people as the perfect occasion to test a new theme-park ride.
July 03, 2013
Read full article
If there’s a more bizarre major studio release than “The Lone Ranger” this year, I’m not sure I want to see it. Not that I mean to insult this movie, which I suspect may actually be a genuine act of subversion on the part of its makers and is thus strangely … admirable. Still. The damn thing is pretty exhausting.
July 03, 2013
Read full article
I halfway believe that the discordant qualities of “The Lone Ranger” are intentional – and I know for sure that it’s an ambitious and inventive film that’s always trying to tweak formula and play with audience expectations. If anything, it’s overstuffed with imagination and ideas, and when it comes to Hollywood movies I very much prefer that to the default setting. See it with an open mind, and you may well be surprised.
July 02, 2013
Read full article
Though it lacks the sustained manic energy of Rango or Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Lone Ranger is crammed with enough fun matter—rollercoaster train chases, fourth-wall gags—to compensate; the slower scenes are at least interesting to look at, thanks to Verbinski’s detail-packed compositions. Hammer’s performance—always game, never mugging—certainly helps; his likable but buffoonish Lone Ranger is an essential part of the movie’s irreverent tone.
July 02, 2013
Read full article
The cowboys-and-Indians nostalgia… seems pleasant from a distance, but reviving this specific type of old-school film gives Disney a free pass to make yet another white-dominated and male-dominated diversion… The Lone Ranger is a work of tremendous hypocrisy, as it villainizes industry, big business, and the pursuit of wealth, when the evidence, from casting on down, shows that all three things seem to comprise the film’s reason for being.
July 02, 2013
Read full article
He gets in his own way; he’s like a crazy, egomaniacal producer and idiosyncratic filmmaker in one body. (This is strange because the film has its own crazy, egomaniacal producer in Jerry Bruckheimer.) The best parts of “The Lone Ranger,” and they exist, are silly and weird. The worst parts, and they exist, too, aren’t as life-sapping nor as needlessly labyrinthine as "Pirates.
July 02, 2013
Read full article
It’s all too much and not enough—a succession of disparate, can-you-top-this episodes inelegantly piling up like skidding cars on a freeway. And that’s not even taking into account the action scenes. Lord, those action scenes: Monotonous, loud and relentless, they’re a punishing example of the self-satisfied, digitally augmented ephemera that typifies modern Hollywood moviemaking, and House Bruckheimer in particular.
July 01, 2013
Read full article
Between reminders of all the atrocities committed by white men, we’re supposed to laugh and have fun. That’s an uneasy fit, and Verbinski can’t pull it off. Besides all that, the plot is extremely simple in its overcomplexity…
July 01, 2013
Read full article