‘Lone Ranger’: What Critics Are Saying

"The Lone Ranger" $217.8m

Big-budget Western debuts on Wednesday

With Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” set to bow on Wednesday, critics have begun weighing in on this summer’s most expensive movies. Here’s what a few have to say about the Johnny Depp Western.


“A moderately amusing but very uneven revisionist adventure with franchise and theme park intentions written all over it.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter


“It’s an extravagantly squandered opportunity.”

Stephanie Zacharek, The Village Voice


“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.”

Keith Uhlich, Time Out of New York


“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.”

Peter Debruge, Variety


“In the end, The Lone Ranger is one hot mess — an entertaining one, to be sure, but still a mess.”

Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News


“Someone needs to drag this thing out behind the barn and put a silver bullet in its brain. It’s the only kindness this movie deserves.”

Drew McWeeney, Hitflix


“Since it’s impossible to simultaneously sacrifice and worship a sacred cow, The Lone Ranger feels schizophrenic, a state of affairs that would be forgivable if it delivered as a comedy or Western or even as an brainless piece of summer entertainment.”

Alonso Duralde, theWrap


“Tonto – and his sidekick, the Lone Ranger – come to the rescue in style!”

Jon Niccum, Kansas City Star

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  1. Trevor says:

    Maybe if these “said critics” could see that this great attempt of a plot gave us movie-goers something to grab a hold of. I wasn’t that familiar with the origin of LR, but the story was handled well and was entertaining & comedic in its own right. Enjoyed the quality of the film content including the physical properties used in making this film; graininess & grit and the Western authenticity.
    Bravo to Depp & Hammer!!

  2. vivi says:

    I was not disappointed! After all the “critics” slammed this movie, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! I’m a Depp fan and loved it!

  3. Susan Cutchins says:

    Another “I grew up with this stuff” viewer, and when we were kids it was a fantasy, and this one fulfilled that kid stuff in me, so thumbs up here.

  4. Clayton Moore says:

    It was not what I expected. I am disappointed. This made the Lone Ranger look like a buffoon! It strayed too far from my memories of a hero.

  5. My sister and I (of an age that grew up on Clayton Moore’s LONE RANGER, and Jay Silverheels Tonto) got up early Wednesday and made the first showing of THE LONE RANGER, both of us with misgivings, having heard the reviews–all I can say is I’m glad we went anyway as we both really enjoyed it and were pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was. The first part, establishing the back story of the Lone Ranger is serious, with one super gross out moment, and hopefully if they make a series out of it, the following movies will be more in the line of the second half of the movie. We both liked the “chemistry” between Depp and Hammer and my sister was delighted, as I had sent her Variety’s review, to find she wasn’t “exhausted” by the end the end of the movie. I do hope word of mouth will help this movie, because we thought, after the first “heavy” part of the movie,the rest was just plain fun–with a little magic—and contrary to Variety’s critic, we’d love to see it made into a series.The only criticism we both had was at the end, when they tried a new thing, of running the credits over a western landscape scene, with credits in white lettering-we really didn’t think it worked, for those like us who like to read the credits because you couldn’t really read them. if they could find a way to do readable credits over an end like that we thought it would make a difference.

  6. John Vegas says:

    saw it today, it did start out slow, I don’t know why it is that film makers think they have to spend a huge amount of time in establishing the background of characters that are already well known, this was also a problem with the man of steel. On a scale of 1-10 I would give TLR a 5 about the same as man of steel. Now for a real bad movie, Hangover 3.

  7. Meaux says:

    Haven’t seen it yet but it is just another vision of an old concept. I would not expect this one to compare to the old ones, if JD is in it, it will have a strange twist to it. I already give it two thumbs up.

  8. Mary McGuire says:

    Just saw TLR today and found it started out slow, but gained momentum, it was very “tongue-in-cheek” in it’s dialogue and storyline. Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer did their zany characters a good turn. The roughnecks were just that in their performances. Nice to watch a film without innuendo and bad language for a change. HiYoSilver, Away!

  9. As a 74 year old I think it’s terrible to destroy the image of “Tonto” (Jay Silverheels) like this, I havn’t even seen the movie but can tell it’s a BUST!

  10. Steve Harris says:

    Based upon the reviews I would say it would be lacking the speed of light, covered with a cloud of dust, and earning hardly any silver!

  11. Gina Lawter says:

    They also said that about POTC when it first came out. Guess they missed the Zombies, and/or vampires.

  12. Scott says:

    It’s a mind numbing experience. More is rarely enough in this thing. They really should have hired a screenwriter.

  13. It’s strictly curiosity opening weekend then word-of-mouth thereafter; but 2/3rds of the box office gross for all Hollywood films is generated by overseas markets. So whatever domestic movie reviewers have to say immediately informs the story line of THE LONE RANGER, but the final word ($) takes a time.

  14. DANN GIRE says:

    “The Lone Ranger” is one piece of crazy, insane action filmmaking owing more to a Road Runner cartoon than a classic western. (Watch out for the carnivorous bunnies! I’m serious.)

  15. Terry says:

    Um,this movie is so racially bias. Why would we give this junk its due? Depp is in white face doing shuck and jive Native Ameican style . Just the stuff them clowns over at Disney love.

  16. Robert Whalen says:

    If the William Tell overture is not on the soundtrack then it is an unforgivable error in judgement. I will see the movie and hopefully feel that it does justice to my childhood memories.

    • The William Tell overture is in the movie,i also grew up on the old series, and can only say this is very different, fun after establishing how he became the Lone Ranger, and though it is funny, it is an homage in it’s own way to the old series. My sister and i enjoyed it, but taste is personal. Hope you do.

  17. Brendan says:

    This reminds me of 1999’s highly anticipate western blockbuster from Barry Sonnenfeld… Wild Wild West.
    Tons of hype and promotion… for a forgettable dud.

  18. Elaine says:

    I was afraid this movie would become a vehicle for Johnny Depp’s quirkiness and oddity. Sometimes that can be a great thing, as in the Pirate movies, but I’ll have to think long and hard before going to see this movie. Hmmmmmm!

  19. Caroline says:

    I don’t care what they say; I’m going with my teen boys and we’re gonna have a good time. . . .

    • Rosa Yoder says:

      You need to see this movie. It is HILARIOUS! this from an older female. Seriously, I loved it!

    • Lynne Sands says:

      This weekend I’m taking my 91-year-old Mom, who remembers The Lone Ranger from radio. I hope the movie doesn’t break her heart.

      • Lynne Sands says:

        Well, we took Mom, and here’s her review:
        Direction: “Terrible”
        Script: “Stupid”
        Acting: “The Tonto character should stick to being a pirate, the Ranger can’t act at all. Liked the villains a lot. Especially that Butch character.”
        Scenery: “Gorgeous, but it isn’t Texas”
        Mom gave it 3 out of ten stars and wants the radio show back.
        Me, I agree with her.

    • Steven says:

      Agreed! I am watching this too. My kids and I will love it. People are just too judgmental and fail to have a nice time at the movies.

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