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‘Lone Ranger’ Gets Mixed Reviews: Critics Torn Over Johnny Depp Reboot

Wed, July 3, 2013 1:17pm EDT by 2 Comments
The Long Ranger Review
Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

The early reviews are in, and although we loved it, not everyone is crazy about this wild west flick. See what the critics — including’s own Bonnie Fuller — have to say!

Whenever the Wild West goes big-budget Hollywood and Johnny Depp piles on costume makeup, fans go nuts. So shouldn’t that winning combination equal box-office gold? With a 4th of July weekend opening and hunky star Armie HammerThe Lone Ranger is sure to be a hit with summertime moviegoers — even if the critics aren’t 100 percent on board. Hey, at least Editor-in-Chief Bonnie Fuller gives it her seal of approval!

‘The Lone Ranger’ Movie Reviews

The Associated Press:

Stretching hard to both reinvent an out-of-date brand and breathe new life in the Western with a desperate onslaught of bloated set pieces, [this film] is a poor locomotive for Depp’s eccentric theatrics. For 2 ½ hours, … Lone Ranger inflates, subverts and distorts the conventions of the Western until, in an interminable climax, the big-budget spectacle finally, exhaustingly collapses in a scrap heap of train wreckage.


[The movie’s] to-do list is ambitious. One: Dust off a proto-superhero from the radio-drama days, and sell him to the new Sherlock Holmes crowd. Two: Allow Johnny Depp, whose flamboyant Jack Sparrow turned Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean films into blockbusters, to run riot as Tonto, a rogue Comanche wearing witch-doctor makeup and a crow on his head. Three: Flip manifest destiny on its head by putting the Indian ahead of the cowboy. The Lone Ranger succeeds on all counts — perhaps too well. The movie is so imaginative, so brimming with ideas that it can’t quite decide what to be. (Two Pirates veterans co-wrote the script.) It’s a rollicking action-adventure with locomotives, rooftop shootouts and a bright-white Silver who has the powers of Pegasus.

New York Daily News:

Even Johnny Depp can’t save The Lone Ranger. … Director Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger is for anyone who thought the Native American guy from the Village People and a western-wear model would make the perfect blockbuster-action team. … Not quite a parody but broader than an homage, The Lone Ranger fights itself at every turn. Verbinski, who with Depp did three “Pirates of the Caribbean” adventures as well as the animated Rango, has energy to spare but a restless spirit.

USA Today:

[Depp is] the best thing about the movie. But it’s a 2½-hour slog, with tonal inconsistencies and monotonous, drawn-out action sequences. Scenes alternate between frenetic and tedious.

In general, the only consistently good words about the film have revolved around the impressive cinematography, action sequences, and stunning natural scenery. Overdrawn scenes and the gruelling film duration aside, this movie is perfect for a holiday weekend escape. Watch our own review of the movie below, and let us know — HollywoodLifers, are YOU going to give The Lone Ranger a chance?

WATCH: ‘The Lone Ranger’ Review: Action & Adventure

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— Kristine Hope Kowalski

More ‘The Lone Ranger’ News:

  1. Armie Hammer Jokes About Working With Co-Star Johnny Depp
  2. Johnny Depp And Armie Hammer Ride As Tonto And The Lone Ranger – First Pic
  3. Julianne Hough’s Printed Premiere Look For ‘The Lone Ranger’