Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

The Lone Ranger Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Wrong, brother. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Johnny Depp's Tonto wears a dead crow on his head in The Lone Ranger. The star himself carries a dead movie on his shoulders.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    This is slick trash. A bloated, unfunny, sometimes downright bizarre train wreck featuring some of the loudest, longest and least entertaining actual train wrecks in recent memory.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Peter Debruge

    Extravagant but exhausting...this over-the-top oater delivers all the energy and spectacle audiences have come to expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production, but sucks out the fun in the process,

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    The Lone Ranger has it all, but what you end up with is not much. It's an extravagantly squandered opportunity.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's a 2 1/2-hour slog, with tonal inconsistencies and monotonous, drawn-out action sequences. Scenes alternate between frenetic and tedious.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    A moderately amusing but very uneven revisionist adventure with franchise and theme park intentions written all over it...This attempt by Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to plant the flag for another Pirates of the Caribbean-scaled series tries to have it too many ways tonally, resulting in a work that wobbles and thrashes all over the place as it attempts to find the right groove.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Though the story is mostly faithful to the established origin of the character, it's not until the last 15 minutes, when "The William Tell Overture" arrives in its full glory, that this starts to feel a little like The Lone Ranger. But that's too little, too late. And when The Ranger (played here by Armie Hammer) finally shouts "Hi-yo Silver," the moment is spoiled by turning it into a joke.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Lone Ranger reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Occasionally entertaining but overlong and overly violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Lone Ranger is a reboot of the famous TV show and film serials about a lawman-turned-vigilante and his trusty Native American sidekick, Tonto. Only in Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski's take, Tonto (Johnny Depp) isn't merely a secondary character -- he's the story's guide, catalyst, and narrator. There's a surprising amount of violence -- not just the body count, but also persistent references to cannibalism (including a scene of a man's heart being cut out and eaten, albeit partially in shadow) and rape. (Some of the scary scenes are interrupted by flash-forwards, relieving the intensity, but things still get tense.) The language is mild, as is the sexuality (although one scene does take place in a brothel, and a supporting player is a madam), and the drinking is done by adults. A kid holds a gun to a man who's threatening his mother's life, and the lesson that sometimes the law can't provide true justice takes a bit of discussion. On the plus side, Depp has said he is in fact of Native American heritage and had the support of several Native American groups in his portrayal of Tonto.

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Lone Ranger. Is there more, less, or the amount you expected in the movie? What is the violence motivated by? What is its impact?
  • Johnny Depp, who's partially of Native American heritage, and Disney reached out to the Native community to make sure that his portrayal of Tonto wasn't offensive. Do you think they succeeded?
  • Discuss the history of the railroad, the idea of manifest destiny, and why the country's Westward expansion was so pivotal in the decades after the Civil War. Talk about the facts that there really were many Chinese men involved in the making of the railroad and that the history of the Native Americans in the late 19th century is one of death and loss of land.
  • This adventure is an origin story for the Lone Ranger of television lore. What do you think of the story line? Has it sparked or renewed your interest in the TV show?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The message is rather dubious, because the law doesn't necessarily provide true justice, so ultimately the Lone Ranger decides to work outside law enforcement. Tonto and John do form a brotherhood of sorts and, despite all their bickering, have each other's back again and again.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The Reid brothers are both upstanding, moral men who believe in what they do: Dan as a Texas Ranger and John as an attorney and man of the law. Tonto is dedicating to righting the wrong that led to the deaths of so many of his tribe. He helps the Lone Ranger again and again, though they do work outside of standard channels/procedures. Rebecca, Dan's wife, is the opposite of a damsel in distress. She displays courage and bravery throughout the film.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: More violence than you might expect, and some of it is pretty close up. Villain Butch Cavendish not only shoots people, but he's also known for eating their body parts. Audiences watch as he slices a man's stomach open and then holds his victim's heart in his hands. In silhouette, he's then shown eating the heart. There are lots of explosions, and the body count is quite high. A group of white (and one Mexican) outlaws dresses up like Native Americans and terrorizes people using arrows, burning down homes, etc. Butch's crew kills people -- usually with guns. The Army fights Native Americans, sparing no one. A woman is kept as a hostage and slapped/pushed/threatened. Butch alludes to rape when threatening her. Men are scalped and blown to pieces and drowned; horses are shot and killed in battle. A young man lies and says that Tonto and the Ranger threatened to "violate" him. A boy holds a gun on a man who's threatening his mother, and a boy is slapped in the face by a man. There's also a very startling scene in which seemingly cute bunnies turn ferocious.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A couple of kisses and a passionate embrace. A scene takes place in a brothel, but nothing too risque is shown other than women dressed in cleavage-baring corsets.

  • language false2

    Language: Native Americans are referred to as "savages," "Injuns," and "heathens"; other insults and exclamations include "hell," "harlot," "damn," "drunks," "ass," "oh my God," and "idiot."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: No product placements in the movie, but there are plenty of off-screen endorsement deals, from LEGO sets targeted at kids 9+ to promotions at Subway restaurants.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink from jugs and wine glasses. A couple of men smoke cigars (accurate for the era).