'The Raven' Critic Reviews
Despite a handful of narrative missteps and a few errant accents, it's actually a pretty compelling "what if?" story.
Leonard Maltin's Picks
...the dark-hued film is so grisly and unpleasant that when the mystery is finally solved, the only satisfaction derives from knowing that it's over.
Quoth the Raven - nevermore. it seems like good advice because nothing in this movie is worth ravin' about.
It's not even Edgar Allan Poe: Game of Shadows.
Daniel M. Kimmel
New England Movies Weekly
Take away all the 19th century atmospherics, and this could be an episode of some contemporary TV crime drama.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Go to the library instead.
Quoth The Raven, this is a bore
For the most part, The Raven is propulsive, character-thin and plot-heavy.
A lumpy and uninvolving mess.
a darker, morose Midnight in Paris... without the time travel
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
...this might be appropriate for an evening at home on Blu-ray.
The script is filled with expository dialogue, and you can't tell from the actors' approaches either what century they think they're in or what tone it's all meant to bear.
Given the option, you'd skip to the end, read the last few pages and move along.
...the killer's 'diabolical' use of the victimized writer's imagination and the revelation of his identity seem utterly random, like the screenwriters put plot elements on a whiteboard then never bothered to try and weave them together in intriguing ways.
The period look is dead on and adds to the moody atmosphere of "The Raven," as does art direction, costume design and makeup. Unfortunately, looks alone do not make a film. A good story is needed, too.
Jaime N. Christley
While full of welcome gore and blood spatter, it's bankrupt of any creative spark.
A darkly sumptuous, exceedingly enticing murder mystery. John Cusack's turn as Poe is just plain terrific.
One Guy's Opinion
A dumb and cheesy period potboiler...Quoth this critic: It's a bore.
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"The Raven" is simply ordinary, which is the death knell for a movie based on the works of a writer who contributed so much to American literature.
Mark Reviews Movies
It is a clever setup, too, making the constant sabotaging of it all the more frustrating.
Let's just hope the "nevermore" part of Poe's original writing applies to any notion of "The Raven 2," "Son of the Raven" or "That's So Raven the Movie." (Full Content Review for Parents also available)
San Francisco Chronicle
The story has its moments, and yet there is something about this tale of a serial killer's patterning his crimes on Poe's most gruesome works that doesn't completely satisfy.
The story gets increasingly conventional as it goes on, until Poe becomes just another action hero, following an increasingly illogical, National Treasure-esque set of clues through a series of confrontations.
There's just no invention emerging from McTeigue, who submissively satisfies the basic needs of the script, failing to accelerate the funhouse atmosphere of 1840s Baltimore as it's hit from all sides by a literate lunatic.