Tall Dark Stranger Isn't a Woody Allen Classic
But critics think it's a decent return to familiar territory
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2010 1:18 PM CDT

(Newser) – Woody Allen is back exploring familiar ground with another stellar cast (Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, etc.). The result? Critics were amused but don't think it ranks high in the Woody pantheon.

  • Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: "This kinder, gentler Allen is still clever, still amusing, and the film itself is a confection tempting enough to consider a taste. Yet there is that empty-calorie letdown after it's over."
  • Ella Taylor, Village Voice: A "mildly entertaining but heavily trodden comedy" that "is more Bergman-lite than Shakespearean tragedy." A great cast keeps it going.

  • David Denby, New Yorker: "The picture moves swiftly and surely, with people arguing, seducing, complaining, separating, reuniting. ... Much of the writing is good, and the acting is superb, but the constant wrangling wore me out at times."
  • Michelle Orange, MovieLine: It's a "minor" entry to the Allen canon, but it's still "fascinating" to watch him wrestle "with his pet themes of mortality, identity, and moral relativism."