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Review: The Raven

May 1, 2012

Taking a quick detour during Avengers Week, here is my review for The Raven.

The Raven

  • Starring:  John Cusack (Runaway Jury), Alice Eve (She’s Out of My League), and Luke Evans (Immortals)
  • Directed by: James McTeigue
  • Synopsis: “Realizing a serial killer is on the loose using Poe’s writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, a young Baltimore detective enlists the author’s help in stopping the attacks. But when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer’s next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it’s too late.” (Collider)
  • Rated: R for language, gory violence, and disturbing sequences
  • Trailer:

“Nevermore: The Raven bores”

“Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.'”
Quoth this critic, “’tis such a bore!”

“The Raven.” A dark tale surrounding the even darker writings of author Edgar Allan Poe in which murders, copying those in the published writings of the morbid author, are actually committed. Poe himself, suspect, is recruited by detectives to help solve the crimes come to life straight from the pages of his work. Directed by James McTeigue (director of “V for Vendetta”) and starring the inconsistent John Cusack, “The Raven” carries with it some of the same style and cinematography, however, it lacks the same amount of story and depth.


The main issue with “The Raven” is that, while a slight tribute to the legendary author’s life and work, it fails to believably meld fact and fiction in a manner that delivers as powerful a punch as the author’s original works to begin with. In a classic “whodunnit” style, “The Raven” takes the audience on a trip to discover the guilty party of the murderous copycat events but without enough true character development to care…even once the reveal is made.


Through questionable acting (Alice Eve), Cusack’s crazed and perhaps accurate representation of Poe, and the drawn out course of events in this film that end up forgettable, “The Raven” will leave you wondering about the mystery that was Poe’s life and death, but without a second thought to the film. Portrayed as more of a venture into the mind and writings of Poe than it is (for that, go to the library), Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is far more entertaining than this film.


While it has a certain air of mystery shrouded in darkness and coupled with violent gore, “The Raven” does very little to keep the attention and remains quite a bore. Will I be seeing this one again?…Nevermore.

Score:  1 out of 5 stars for The Raven

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2012 6:44 pm

    Yeah, I guess we do agree. I wouldnt hammer it that bad, but I think I gave it like a 2.5 out of five for a Lambscore… Its a shame

    Like

    • May 1, 2012 9:23 pm

      I was rather disappointed. But I am glad we agreed on this one. I am finishing my review of The five-Year Engagement. Haven’t read your review yet, I’ll be interested if we picked up on the same stuff.

      Like

      • May 2, 2012 12:01 pm

        Bailed on the Five-Year engagement. Lots of high profile movies this week, I went with Safe, Raven, and Pirates. 4 is just way too many, and now this week is over, so I’m not going back! 😀

        Like

  2. drkaman permalink
    May 1, 2012 6:45 pm

    That’s too bad… I had high hopes for this film.

    Like

    • May 1, 2012 9:22 pm

      Well, if you do see it drkaman, let me know your thoughts, but I won’t be watching this one again. I wanted it to be so much better. On another note, the people I went to go see it with loved it. But not me.

      Like

  3. May 1, 2012 7:55 pm

    Damn everyone is hating this film but I can’t say I am surprised either. When was the last time Cusack did anything mildly interesting? Probably nothing since Being John Malkovich. Somehow he’s still very much on demand, from blockbusters to films like “The Raven”, and I don’t really understand it. His acting has never impressed me.
    I’m definitely not watching this one, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Like

    • May 1, 2012 9:21 pm

      Thanks for reading my thoughts. I wish it was better. I wanted it to be, but Cusack was spotty at best.

      Like

  4. Cat Woman17 permalink
    May 1, 2012 8:41 pm

    I won’t waste my money.. I’d hate to leave feeling… confused. I was excited about seeing this movie.

    Like

    • May 1, 2012 9:20 pm

      as was I. But nevermore.

      Like

  5. May 1, 2012 8:49 pm

    Not terribly surprising to me…But I can’t take John Cusack seriously in movies without an 80s soundtrack

    Like

    • May 1, 2012 9:20 pm

      Yeah, Cusack just doesn’t do too much of merit it seems lately. This wasn’t that much different.

      Like

  6. todayiwatchedamovie permalink
    May 1, 2012 10:59 pm

    It’s never a good sign when my first thought after the bad guy is revealed is, “wait. who is that?”

    If I had been alone, I would have walked out pretty early on.

    Like

    • May 1, 2012 11:12 pm

      I wanted to. Had the same sentiments. yep.

      Thanks for reading and commenting on this man. I was so disappointed.

      Like

  7. May 1, 2012 11:38 pm

    Ouch, yea this looked pretty bad from the trailers and the reviews have been pretty terrible. You only add to the fact that I won’t see this anytime soon 😉

    Like

    • May 2, 2012 3:26 am

      yeah. it’s a skip

      Like

  8. May 2, 2012 12:46 am

    I think this film will just leave me wondering about the mystery of why Cusack is in it. Must be better than 1408 though?

    Like

    • May 2, 2012 3:26 am

      That may be one of the greater mysteries overall. But in all fairness he wasn’t too too bad as Poe. Actually pretty okay.

      Like

  9. May 2, 2012 8:41 am

    I actually can’t say that I know too much about Poe or his writings, which is probably the reason I enjoyed this movie alot more than yourself. I enjoyed the mystery, although I would agree that there was a lack of character development. When the copy cat killer was revealed, I admit I was a little disappointed because the reasons for his actions were not strong enough to make it believable. The end of this movie was lack luster and spoiled what I felt was a decent movie.

    Funny to see that we agreed on Alice Eve’s performance. She was a stiff board, and brought nothing to her character…smh

    I don’t think this movie deserved high marks, but definitely not a 1 of 5…It was at least a 2.5…lol

    Like

  10. May 2, 2012 4:36 pm

    1 out of 5?? Ouch! I was mildly interested in this because the trailer looked pretty good, but ah well, I’ll just rent this one. I knew I didn’t like Alice Eve’s casting as she was terrible in this indie movie I saw her in, and she didn’t impress me in the Comic-con panel either.

    Like

    • May 3, 2012 9:09 am

      Yes. Alice Eve’s casting is pretty much inconsequential. She is not as good as she should’ve been. But, part of that could also be attribute to her part too.

      Like

  11. May 3, 2012 2:56 am

    Jeez… this is doing as well over there as it did over here!

    Looks like they really wanted a Sherlock Holmes-esque thing, but it doesn’t look like it’s worked at all!

    Oh well, John Cusack, time to try again!

    Like

    • May 3, 2012 9:15 am

      …yeah…I remember you telling me it wasn’t doing so well over there. I can now see why.

      bleah.

      Like

  12. May 6, 2012 3:19 am

    That bad huh?
    I thought the trailer looks okay…but ah well

    Like

    • May 6, 2012 9:55 pm

      If you see it, let me know your thoughts

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. Movie News Monday for October 8, 2012 « The Focused Filmographer
  2. TheFocusedFilmographer’s Best & Worst Movie Picks of 2012 « The Focused Filmographer

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