'The Raven' Critic Reviews
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.
For a good hour or so, The Raven is gruesome, ludicrous fun. Then it's just ludicrous.
Television Without Pity
Blandly generic in its images and atmosphere.
Film Journal International
Edgar Allan Poe, serial-killer hunter. That's the lamebrain concept of the eerie writer's mysterious final days in Baltimore as posited in this misdirected effort.
Almost by accident amid its many idiotic attributes, it becomes an occasionally mournful tale of the pain and fear that powered Poe's life. It doesn't quite go deeper into his darkness peering. But it's also not a thriller at which you're jeering.
This was easily the least plausible and most nonsensical film I saw on this particular screening day and bear in mind that when I saw it, it was followed by "The Three Stooges."
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.
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.
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.
While I can't really defend this "Raven" as a good movie, I nonetheless enjoyed it...
Philadelphia Daily News
The problem with "The Raven" is that ambitious as it sometimes is, it's never really scary.
Big Picture Big Sound
Part "Seven", part "From Hell", part "Sherlock Holmes", but despite its contrivances there are enough clever nods in the script to keep it interesting.