The Lone Ranger

Film, Action and adventure
2 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
The Lone Ranger

Making a western is trickier than it looks. Treat the genre with respect – as John Ford, Sam Peckinpah and even Quentin Tarantino found – and the Wild West can be one of cinema’s most unpredictable and exciting landscapes. But take it lightly, and all you’re left with is a bunch of silly hats, sweaty horses and tired old matinee clichés. For the majority of its totally unnecessary 149-minute running time, ‘The Lone Ranger’ is a prime example of how not to go west: it’s predictable, derivative and at times quite spectacularly boring.

Johnny Depp plays Tonto, now an old man reminiscing about his days with the titular lawman, played by six-foot personality vacuum Armie Hammer. Tonto rescues the Ranger from certain death at the hands of potentially supernatural villain Butch Cavendish (an underused William Fichtner), and together they ride for revenge.

‘The Lone Ranger’ is by no means a total disaster. Depp’s Tonto may sail close to racial caricature, but his performance is enjoyably robust and deadpan. More notably, the film is bookended by a pair of absolutely crackling runaway train action sequences, arguably director Gore Verbinski’s best since ‘Mousehunt’.

But it’s nowhere near enough to sustain us through the slow patches. With no trace of the freshness and wit Verbinski and Depp brought to the swashbuckler in their original ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘The Lone Ranger’ is content to simply pull another western trope out of the bag – the honky-tonk whorehouse, the ranch raid, the cavalry charge – give it a CGI spit-and-polish, and chuck it in the general direction of the audience. The result is frustrating, lazy and lifeless.


Release details

Release date:
Friday August 9 2013
149 mins

Cast and crew

Gore Verbinski
Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Johnny Depp
Armie Hammer
Ruth Wilson

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
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Totally underrated, to the point that it kind of pissed me off how hard critics were on it. Time will show it to be a great movie.

Totally underrated, to the point that it kind of pissed me off how hard critics were on it. Time will show it to be a great movie.

The film was one hour too long. Had some funny bits but I regret spending the money to see it - looks like the people who made it had more fun than the people who have to watch it

Now I'd be the first to agree that "The Lone Ranger" is not "the Searchers" or "Once Upon A Time In The West", but neither was the original TV series. Apart from the credits it was often studio bound and cheaply made but as a kid in the late 50's I and my friends lapped up every episode, often dressed like the kid in the film. Like the series this film is obvious in its plotting and yes it uses a lot of cliches from other, better westerns but I liked it's big brash stamping style. It was able to spend the bucks that weren't available 60 years ago and give this boy a thrilling ride. However a memo to the producers, no follow up film please, to many good stories yet to be told.

Good but not Great and a good half an hour too long. Persoally I would have preferred if they had not tried to have Depp add the comedic and at times slap stick element to it and kept it a bit more serious. 4 / 10

In defence of the Lone Ranger I thought this was a very entertaining movie. I liked the use of references to the original radio programme and the old TV Show. I think that Johnny Depp is excellent as Tonto. I felt he worked well with Armie Hammer who played the main role as The Lone Ranger. Depp brings an edge to the role combining tragedy and comedy. The lines were really funny, and the action was quirky in places which added to the light-hearted tone of the movie. The only fault I could find with the film was that I thought that it was occasionally too violent for the 12A certificate. My opinion of the negative reports is that they are unfair because the film doesn’t deserve to be slated. I believe that many cinema audiences would agree with me. I strongly recommend to anyone who likes surreal tongue-in-cheek stprytelling that they go and see this thoroughly enjoyable film.

I'm not sure what the professional critics were expecting, it does not have the storyline strength of say "Once upon a time in the West" (probably my favorite western) but it certainly is not as crass as Django or many others. At times I was reminded of the recent Green Hornet/Kato pairing where the "sidekick" is far more important (agreed that Mr. Hammer was not the ideal choice which helps put some bite into Tonto's disappointment at the "resurrection") and I reckon that your opinion of the film will rather depend on whether you go for Depp's version of Tonto. I did. Do not expect modern day graphic violence, it certainly has violent sequences but the worst bits are off screen, and I regard it as a perfectly enjoyable and valid update on the old TV series. Locally it has slid down rapidly from screen 1, I would suggest that you give it a go on the big screen. If you are too late then it would certainly do as post Xmas lunch fare for all the family.

First of all, this is a much better film than is suggested by reviews, including that of Time Out. The cinematography, Johnny Depp's performance, the humour, the runaway train sequences, Hans Zimmer's score and the fabulous William Tell overture are just a few of the positives in this latest take on the The Lone Ranger. Of course, there are the negatives . . it's over-long, it suffers from multiple theme convolution and the narrative pace is uneven. However it's eminently watchable and all in all, is good all round 12A entertainment. Johnny Depp's Tonto is even better than his Jack Sparrow, and you can't blame him for the scriptwriters' failure to find an aesthetically pleasing plot and structure . .. .One has to realize that director, Verbinski took on a fiendishly difficult task in bringing the iconic Lone Ranger to the screen. You can't go for realism if your hero wears a mask and goes around on white horse shooting silver bullets. If you go for special effects, you get slammed by the critics jealous of your big budget. You can't go for romance, because everyone knows the Lone Ranger's best friend is Tonto . .. . and a woman is just going to get in the way . . However, I feel there is a better film in there somewhere, and the director should have taken more pains to find it. Nonetheless this is an enjoyable film, which really has to be seen at the cinema.. or at least a very large TV with a good sound system. Recommended.

Better film than I thought it was going to be and quite a bit funner than I expected. No great shakes but a reasonable 3 star film.