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Raven, The (15)


A fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe's life, in which the poet pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer's stories.

More information on this production is available at

The critical consensus

McTeigue lets the story drag in the second half, with one too many chases down cobbled streets as the shadowy killer gets away in the nick of time. Hardly a fitting epitaph, you might think, to a writer of Poe’s stature.

***(*)(*)James Mottram, The List, 17/02/2012

Besides being an author, Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most vicious, merciless critics of his age. He would not have let this get past him without skewering its shortcomings with a barbed quill.

**(*)(*)(*)Kim Newman, Empire Online, 05/03/2012

The result, alas, is as implausible as the stars’ gleaming choppers. Who knew they had such great dentistry in 1840s Baltimore?

**(*)(*)(*)Neil Smith, Total Film, 05/03/2012

Screen hokum gets no hokier.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 08/03/2012

Cusack is fine as Poe but let down by a routine script that doesn’t conjure up a character of great intrigue.

**(*)(*)(*)Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 08/03/2012

Dull, tedious thriller that manages to say nothing interesting or new about Poe.

**(*)(*)(*)Dan Jenkins, Little White Lies, 08/03/2012

The result is either a downmarket take-off of Se7en or an upmarket take-off of Saw; I’m not sure which is worse.

**(*)(*)(*)Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 08/03/2012

It runs out of steam in the final 10 minutes, but there's some gruesome drama and Cusack is on decent form.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 08/03/2012

Luckily, the producers realised how viewers would respond after watching The Raven: Nevermore!

Jonathan Romney, The Independent, 11/03/2012

Moderately entertaining.

Philip French, The Observer, 11/03/2012

It’s shot in the mix-mastered style of the recent Sherlock Holmes TV series, but you’d still need to be pretty weak and weary to sit through this.

**(*)(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 14/03/2012

While never coming close to creating the sort of lasting, macabre masterpiece that Poe is more commonly associated with, The Raven is still worth a look.

***(*)(*)Rob Carnevale, The Herald, 08/03/2012

Features about Raven, The (15)

John Cusack tackles Edgar Allan Poe

Genevieve Hassan, BBC, 08/03/2012

Edgar Allan Poe's stranglehold on popular culture

Philip Horne, The Telegraph, 09/03/2012

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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