Lantana (2001) - Drama, Mystery, Romance

Hohum Score



The relationships of four couples unravel after the discovery of a young woman's body in Lantana bush in suburban Sydney.

IMDB: 7.2
Director: Ray Lawrence
Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush
Length: 121 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 35 out of 205 found boring (17.07%)

One-line Reviews (158)

I highly recommend it.

There are a lot of comments on this site that portray the film as a bore and I attribute that to the deliberate pacing employed.

Time and time again I've gone to movies the critics loved and found them a)incomprehensible or b) just boring.


These interrelated stories form a credible plot that skilfully examines the emotional turbulence and pitfalls experienced by many people who are in their forties and which at the same time provides an entertaining puzzle.

The first hour is dedicated to establishing the various characters like the cop, his wife, the woman he is fooling around with, her estranged husband, the neighbors of the women etc. The interplay between the characters and the different situations are very fascinating.

Well acted, well shot and well scripted, "Lantana" dragged me into the lives of its characters.


"Lantana" effectively shows that ordinary life is more interesting and compelling, if done right.

Great movie, suspenseful and intricate.

This movie is just boring.

Intriguing, interesting and non-sexually seductive.

The lives of suburban Sydney unravel in an engrossing, thoughtful drama .

Stunning - best film I've seen this year .

But it is an enjoyable (though perhaps not all that memorable) story of adults trying to follow their hearts in a relationship cloudy world.

There was a complaint that this film is "slow.

An intriguing story, revealed layer by layer; textured characters; and sharp direction combine to make this an absolutely peerless drama (in the past decade at least).

"badly acted", "superficial", "boring" - just some of the negative terms used.

Or, it might be that, after sitting through two hours of co-neurosis, director Lawrence wanted us to leave the theater with a feel-good notion about dark places.

Sure, the pace may be slow, but it only makes you feel that you're spending more time inside this world, which is too gripping to leave.

The unexpected twists and turns in the characters' development makes for many surprises and keeps the viewer guessing the whole movie.

I wanted the story to work, the characters were engrossing enough, I just felt that overall the haphazard themes and overplayed obstacle of "trust" was just chaotic.

All in all a very enjoyable film.

Very well done Australian independent film, which shows that great acting and writing can overcome a fairly contrived script, in this case (obviously) based on a play.

Totally compelling.

While I can appreciate the effort put into this film, it was way too slow for my taste.

LANTANA is a boring film by any standards.

Simply fascinating to watch how the film develops and the characters interplay.

I was hooked by the amazing depictions of the characters' struggles with themselves and those around them, and also by the police investigation, the conclusion of which is so simple, yet so unpredictable, thanks to the makers' astonishing ability to make you think what their characters are thinking.

Ray Lawrence directed in an unusual but compelling manner in which the scenes are sharply focused and cut to linger in our minds.

Sonja has dragged Leon to dance class in hope of exciting some passion between them; instead, he meets Jane and becomes passionate with her.

The interlocking of the characters, the witty use of coincidence, the slow realization of each character as to the real meaning of his or her own relationships; all this was handled so deftly.

The pacing is precise - those who call it slow have no idea how to watch a film.

The interplay between them is intriguing.

This movie really tried to be something elseit's a pseudo-hollywood melange of boring dialogue, pointless scenes and other details that added nothing to the structure, plot for meaning (if there was some meaning) of the film.

I was also intrigued by Geoffrey Rush as John Knox an academic mourning the loss of his murdered daughter as well as the dissappearance of his wife, in actuality Rush is most usually intriguing.

From this moment, you'd be forgiven for thinking this film will turn into an intricate, tense and gripping edge of your seat thriller.

Screenwriter Andrew Bovell's adaptation of his own stage play "Speaking In Tongues" is well-written, intelligent and thoroughly absorbing to watch and director Ray Lawrence's sensitive pacing is perfect for this type of material.

Intriguing look at the difficulties of long-term relationships .

I was involved with "Lantana", but was untouched by it; I walked out of the theater feeling cold.

Slow movie with dull characters caught up in a boring story.

It felt like after every scene there was a poorly -made fade and the juxtapositions of the sex scenes against previous dialogue or other action was pointless and not dramatic or intense the way it feels it was supposed to be.

Based on the play by Andrew Bovall, the film is a psychological murder mystery that avoids most of the Hollywood gloss and predictability and leaves the viewer with four intriguing couples whose lives intertwine in a surprising way.

and a very entertaining drama.

Lantana is gripping and suspense filled.

The musical score is unhelpful, and painfully banal.

The unexpected connectedness of lives and the intricacies of love .

What a great movie - what a joy to watch - a complex story told in a simple and entertaining way.

"Lantana" benefits from highly effective and tight direction (not a shot is wasted) driven by an intelligent, intriguing script (nothing is what it appears to be) with sparkling dialogue ("This isn't an affair.

It's a shame to see great actors like Geoffrey Rush waste their time on an uninspired yawn-fest like this.

However it is ponderous in pace and uses some unsatisfying caricatures.

These interrelated stories form a credible plot that skillfully examines the emotional havoc and pitfalls experienced by many people who are in their forties-fifties, and which at the same time provides an entertaining mystery.

enjoyable with online commentary .

Intimate and absorbing through and through thanks to an accomplished cast.

The story is engaging and well-written but there are too many dull moments.

Not slow, but paced just right- this story of human conflict, doubt, despair, love and confusion is the perfect movie to watch and maybe even get involved in.

Brooding, subtle and smart are the words for LANTANA and I highly recommend it.

For example, I always thought "The Ice Storm" was missing something, and even parts of the mostly intriguing "Magnolia" seemed a little hackneyed.

Rather, it is a slow, drawn out drama that doesn't really tie into the `crime' until the last third of the movie.

What I left the theater with was this: With a few more characters "Lantana" could have been a four hour movie; with a couple less it could have been a good movie.

i was kept guessing till the end of the film who was having an affair with who and who killed who, which is rare as too many films bore me or if good enough captivates me and i dont try to figure them out!

Lantana is an absorbing movie of mystery and relationships.

If you can tolerate uninteresting cinematography, dialog that tries too hard to be meaningful, and a corny, who-gives-a-toss emotion charged ending...

Truly engaging.

"Lantana" is an intelligent and entertaining film.

Tedious talk fest .

This rates highly on my 'most boring movie ever' list.

The mood is gloomy throughout but the characters are engrossing and and the story is relentlessly gripping.

Individually commonplace, together they are a fascinating comparative study of long-term relationships: the trouble they get into, the trouble they get out of, and the inevitable slow death of others.

It was obvious that trust was the underlying moment in Lantana, but it was so blazingly pushed in your face that it became tedious quickly.

Fascinating interwoven stories and very well done.

While it's absolutely fascinating to see how screenwriter Andrew Bovell opened up his play "Speaking in Tongues," though both stand on their own, particularly for their frank look at the issue of the frailty of trust and betrayal, between husbands and wives, lovers, families and friends.

It is trite that a morality play must have a moral, and this did not.

A refreshing, intriguing piece from Australia .

Utterly engrossing .

Tightly-wound and absorbing, "Lantana" is a real sleeper and worth a rental for mystery buffs.

It starts out as a character study - with the most uninteresting characters to have ever graced a cinema screen.

This is an absorbing, wry, on occasion witty, and slightly stagey drama about four couples whose lives become entangled more or less by chance.

Intriguing Australian film that's a must for independent film fans.

The confusing circumstances that reach sporadically at the weak threads of this film are painful to watch, and will eventually transform an avid viewer into a dulled participant.

"Lantana" is one of the most compelling, involving films of the year.


She fulfills the cliché that the psychiatrist is the craziest of them all.

I can't say much about the movie, other than it was engrossing and kept my attention.

What is, in retrospect, a very complicated plot is rendered simple and compelling by the strength of Bovell's writing and the understated performances of a stellar cast.

The incident was boring.

This is one of those rarities, a movie which walks the tightrope between being a perfect drama and an absorbing mystery and does it spectacularly well.

This movie was a disappointment, this is defiantly not a movie I'd recommend or watch again, as its is slow and nothing happens in it at all for the whole two hours of the movie nothing at all happened.

You can feel the tension as the scenes play out, and in a way you don't want the movie to end, so compelling it is.

He is a cop on the edge.

One of Sonja's other clients is Patrick, who is engaging in his own form of deceit, by sleeping with a married man.

Unpredictable, captivating yarn .

Any movie that is too obscure to communicate its own a point is, well, pointless.

Although, i must admit the film is intense and occasionally slows to a less than ideal pace, it allows for some important thinking time.

Too Pretentious Too Self Absorbed .

Anthony LaPaglia is slow and boring, in others words perfect for the main character in this movie.

Absolutely fascinating!

Whatever it is, it is exciting.

Expressions are important, but, (yawn,) language has its charms, too, as the great screenwriter of "Lantana" would attest.

It keeps you interested by its clever plot, unexpected sequences and situations.

An engaging character study .

The actors do a very good job in portraying their non-Ozzie and Harriet characters but surely Anthony LaPaglia stands out as a numb/violent police detective who falls from grace out of boredom, as does Kerry Armstrong his not-so noble wife.

Intriguing too.

The investigating detective, for example, is in many ways a typical adult male, keen on objective facts, but dull to emotional subtleties; so, he bangs his way through the investigation, missing obvious signs and clues, which only become apparent to him toward the end of the investigation.

My wife and I got a good night's sleep the other night, trying to watch this uninvolving snoozer.

Upon saying that I have to reflect that every character in this film is intriguing, that is its strength.

That said, the supporting characters are quite fascinating too; Kerry Armstrong has a very strong turn as LaPaglia's wife, while Geoffrey Rush and Barbara Hershey hold a lot of interest in how differently they react to their preteen daughter's death.

The fascinating question as to how these strategies have evolved is left unaddressed.

The movie becomes a bit of a drag at points, especially because it isn't always clear were the movie is heading to, which is good for the genre but it also makes the movie too slow and at times boring in this case.

The Australian milieu, novel to most of us, only adds to this thoroughly enjoyable work.

One of the year's most compelling character studies.

The interplay between the characters and the different situations are fascinating.

"Lantana" is the antithesis of big, dumb, effects-laden "blockbusters," which oddly enough often become boring with their overload of "exciting" things going on.

The characters do become embroiled in the second half, however, and the story is then more engrossing.

And the soundtrack, which is primarily made up of Buena Vista Social Club-style Cuban dance music, is very entertaining.

At the same time, the story is engaging, with elements of mystery and suspense, and 'Lantana' never preaches.

He was intense and intimidating while powerfully giving us a very conflicted human character.

The theatre we saw it at is one of those arthouse type places and it was filled to the brim with blue haired pretentious couples and even they liked it.

He plays a cop who is walking on the edge: about to explode at any time.

This movie was NOT a thriller, it was a bore.

Ray Lawrence gradually fleshes the characters out in his realistic, intense, and often confronting style; Raw performances are captured in one take under natural light.

A foreign-film-hater's stereotype come to life, Lantana is a well-made but painfully boring soap opera that avoids the Hollywood cliche's at the price of zero entertainment value.

Lantana is a film well worth watching and listening to, and I can't believe it'll be getting absolutely no mention at this year's awards.

The first hour of this two hour movie is a little slow.

When you initially read a brief description on the movie, it appears as if it is going to be a thrilling mystery.

It opens with the slow revealing of a dead woman caught up in a bunch of bushes, before progressing on to the main stories.

Despite good reviews I found this film disappointing The basic plot was good and the films structure gave some tense and gripping moments .

An interesting film then that works off the back of engaging characters and relationships.

Uninteresting .

Pretentious rubbish.

This would have to be, without doubt, one of the most boring films I have ever had to endure.

Want an intriguing movie- this is it .

Granted, it is easy to bill this 2002 Australian drama as a thriller, but those who expect such a film may be disappointed by a relatively slow-burning plot and moderately paced character study.

Perhaps build-up a bit too slow.

At the center of the film is four couples, immersed in guilt and depravity for different reasons.

Those qualities make the characters absorbing.

it is rare to see a film that has the dialogue above action and even rises above cliche's.

A film that works as entertainment, but even more by way of enlightenment, `Lantana' is engrossing, engaging cinema that will make you think and reflect about the changes you've encountered and will encounter in your own life; an inspired film that reaches out and touches the humanity that resides within all of us, that mirror being held up that affords us a good look at ourselves and allows us to decide whether or not we like what we see.

"Lantana" is an intriguing film that will keep the audience wondering and guessing - does Valerie suspect her client of an involvement with her husband?

The problem was the whole story line was monotonous, the whole movie is about 4 different couples living their lives and how they all have a connection some how, however the movie is so slow and for a two hour long movie is just boring.

An exciting movie highlighting the hard edge to coupledom .

The plot was dragging horribly, dialogues were weak as hell, stupid coincidences aplenty, predictable scenes, really, I've nearly left in the middle...

Slick and Empty .

An original, beautifully acted, engaging, and satisfying film .

I don't even know why I have a spoiler alert as Nothing happens at the start nothing happens at the end, this movie was just painful and Boring the whole way through, the whole movie was boring and the this is meant to be some deep and profound movie, it's not.

Like unintentional voyeurs, we observe the intimate details and secrets of the disjointed group, as the detective assigned to investigate the mystery does his work.

It casts a stark,intense light on contemporary relationships, how fractured and vulnerable and vulnerable they have become.

Be very clever in smoothly taking us to the logically unexpected.

Facile and Empty Moralizing .

However the second halve of the movie surely compensates enough and the movie becomes mostly intriguing to watch.

Slow and Monotonous .

The "mystery" (a vanishing wife) happens after one hour of film and one does not really care what happened to her or who might have killed her because she is an uninteresting character.

On the downside, the movie is extremely tedious, unfocussed, and ultimately clumsily constructed.

Painfully boring, this movie plods along following the lives of uninteresting people who live very uninteresting lives.

The ending was boring.

The other fascinating question is why the precarious equilibrium these strategies seem to maintain, is worth maintaining in the first place.

As most very good films it involves a small cast and just a few settings, it has no car chases, no bravado and no guns, but is still one of the most riveting films I've seen.

The setup was boring.