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Customer Review

102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Literary or Thriller Fans This Movie is For You!, April 27, 2012
This review is from: The Raven (DVD)
On October 3, 1849 Edgar Allan Poe was found wandering the streets of Baltimore, delirious, calling out the name Reynolds. There have been lots of theories as to what Poe died of, from tuberculosis, rabies or to a drunken bender. "The Raven" puts forth a more romantic theory and a detective story for the man who invented the modern detective novel.

"The Raven" as a movie demonstrates that you can make a movie that bridges the biographical facts of Poe's life and its own artistic vision and still make an interesting movie. The movie is driven by the premise, a serial killer starts a series of killings in Baltimore that emulate some of the more gruesome murders in Poe's stories. When the first murder is done inside a locked room, police detective Fields (Luke Evans) recognizes it as the setting of an Edgar Allan Poe story. Fields brings in Poe (John Cusack) at first as suspect, but when another murder occurs Poe quickly becomes the first criminal profiler and consultant. Poe helps Fields both in what kind of mind the killer may have and of course in the details from his stories. The killer kidnaps Poe's girlfriend Emily (Alice Eve) with the killer promising clues as to Emily's whereabouts with each new murder he commits.

The filmmakers, director James McTeigue and writers Ben Livingstone and Hannah Shakespeare don't try to recast Poe's character as a superhero or give the movie Poe attributes that the real Poe didn't or couldn't possess. As mentioned before, the filmmakers stick fairly accurately to the known elements of Poe's last few days, although there are some artistic liberties taken, and they still present an entertaining movie with a few twists and turns as to who the murderer is.

Cusack is spot on as Poe from his look, thin with a black mustache and goatee, to (more importantly) Poe's character. Poe was a writer who had the ultimate confidence in his own abilities as a writer and was dismissive of his contemporaries, especially if they were more successful. Cusack is supported by a cast that hits every note right.

If you think a movie about Edgar Allan Poe won't have enough action for you, this is a movie for you. If you're more literary minded and think this movie will have too many inaccuracies or violate Poe's character or will throw in too much action, you won't be disappointed.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 27, 2012, 3:17:45 PM PST
Profguy says:
That said it perfectly and also with a rating I agree with...though my initial thought was 3 stars, with consideration I raised it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 5:26:08 PM PST
Jym Cherry says:
Thank you Profguy!


Posted on Jun 27, 2013, 9:17:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2013, 9:17:42 AM PDT
elfillinois says:
Completely agree with this review - Cusak (one of our more under-rated actors, as evidenced in "Losing Grace") more than pulls it off, and as a long time fan, I admired his performance. For me, the story started slow, but the Poe personality more than held my attention until the story itself took off. A much better film than I expected, and I was holding my breath through the last 30 minutes. Not a "great" movie but a darned good one and especially for Cusak fans, well worth the time.

Posted on Jan 25, 2014, 7:40:21 PM PST
Loved this movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2014, 9:44:56 AM PST
Jym Cherry says:
Thought it was good, think I might watch again to check it out!


Posted on Apr 15, 2016, 12:38:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 15, 2016, 12:47:38 PM PDT
Pam Payant says:
I completely agree. This is one for my DVD library. John Cusack adaptation of Poe was terrific. This movie has suspense, action, drama, and I even found some humor in a few of the scenes. No; not completely historically accurate, but I knew this was a fictional take on Poe. If historical accuracy is what you are looking for, you may want to try a documentary.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2016, 6:15:47 PM PDT
Jym Cherry says:
Glad you liked the review. I haven't seen the movie since it's release but now have a hankering to, I hope it holds up!


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2016, 5:20:51 AM PST
U.N Owen says:
Love reviews like this; informative but succint without giving much away. Some reviews have this wall of text that gives me vertigo!

Do you have other murder mysteries you recommend?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2016, 5:36:19 AM PST
Jym Cherry says:
Thanks U.N. I'll have to see the movie again and see if it holds up to my original opinions.


Posted on Dec 18, 2016, 8:51:33 AM PST
Profguy says:
Jym, I DID see it again about a month ago and liked it even more the second time. I think you will too.
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Location: Wheaton, IL United States

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