"The Raven," a new mystery thriller that imagines Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) helping police solve a series of murders inspired by his stories, follows in the footsteps of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" movies, combining 19th century literary figures and Hollywood flair. Alas, many movie critics have found the result scattered and silly.
In a mixed review, The Times' Betsy Sharkey calls the film "more pulp fiction than macabre masterpiece," though she does concede that it has "a nifty idea" at its center. What's lacking most, Sharkey says, "is the tightly constructed tension-building that Poe did so unsettlingly and inventively well." On the plus side, Luke Evans is "excellent" as the detective who teams up with Poe, and style points are awarded to cinematographer Danny Ruhlmann and costume designer Carlo Poggioli.