ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

The Lone Ranger reviews have rode into town and they're ready to start causing a good ol' fashioned ruckus. and 's Western based on the classic TV series has certainly shown some explosive and action filled trailers (most of which involved trains careering off various pieces of landscape), but is the film worth watching? Well, it seems the short answer is no, it's not.

From a quick overview of review aggregating sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, we can see The Lone Ranger is having trouble making its way out of the starting gates. On, it has only scored a measly 20%, placing it at the bottom of the current box office. Metacritic is a bit more lenient, awarding The Lone Ranger 40 out of a 100, based on 9 reviews. Let's have a closer look at some of them.

The Hollywood Reporter's veteran reviewer, Todd McCarthy described The Lone Ranger as:

A moderately amusing but very uneven revisionist adventure with franchise and theme park intentions written all over it...This attempt by Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to plant the flag for another Pirates of the Caribbean-scaled series tries to have it too many ways tonally, resulting in a work that wobbles and thrashes all over the place as it attempts to find the right groove.

The suggestion that the film suffers as a result of its frequent and often over-the-top action scenes is one criticism echoed by many reviewers.

Peter Debruge of Variety explained:

Extravagant but exhausting... this over-the-top oater delivers all the energy and spectacle audiences have come to expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production, but sucks out the fun in the process.

Keith Uhlich of Time Out New York similarly reviewed:

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.

But it also seems when The Lone Ranger isn't throwing locomotives around in explosive set pieces, not much else is happening. Another frequent criticism concerned the tedium of the non-action moments. Claudia Puig of USA Today stated:

It's a 2 1/2-hour slog, with tonal inconsistencies and monotonous, drawn-out action sequences. Scenes alternate between frenetic and tedious.

While Kevin Jagermouth of The Playlist claims:

By the time the origin movie stuff is wrapped up and the audience finally gets to see The Lone Ranger and Tonto on their first of their legendary deeds, it's far too late in the movie, particularly if your patience has already been drained by the simple yet over-elaborately staged plot, that struggles to be compelling.

But perhaps the most common criticism of all concerns arguably the film's biggest selling point: . For many reviewers Depp as Tonto was placed ahead of the titular Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) to the detriment of the entire film. William Goss of said:

The fact that Johnny Depp alone gets top billing above the title, The Lone Ranger, despite not playing said character sums up the generally misguided approach taken by Depp and the creative crew behind the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise in bringing last century’s radio and TV hero back to the big screen in a big way.

We Got This Covered's Jonathan Lack went even further to suggest:

The Lone Ranger may feature excellent direction from Gore Verbinski, but it is a tonally disastrous mess as a whole, and features perhaps the single worst performance of Johnny Depp's career.

While Devin Laraci of Badass Digest concluded:

I hate 'The Lone Ranger' as much as 'The Lone Ranger' hates The Lone Ranger.

So, for the most part The Lone Ranger looks like one to avoid. Personally, I can still see The Lone Ranger doing well on its opening weekend. The draw of Johnny Depp is pretty powerful with certain segments of the movie-going public, although I can imagine the takings will trail off as the bad reviews spread.

What do you think? Based on these reviews will you still go see The Lone Ranger? Do you just want to see a movie with Johnny Depp playing a weird and wacky character?


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