24 October 2012 7:13 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – John Cusack is an enormously likable actor, and for the first third of James McTeigue’s period thriller, he holds audience interest long enough to inspire hope for a better two thirds. Alas, the film crash lands soon after that, as McTeigue proves to have little to no interest in his central subject, one of the greatest writers in the history of literature.

Edgar Allan Poe’s tormented life as an orphaned genius turned struggling literary critic would make fine subject matter for a first-rate feature, and it’s clear that the intentions behind “The Raven” were promising enough. By creating a fictional narrative that forces Poe to deconstruct his own psychology in order to solve a string of ghastly crimes, screenwriters Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare aimed to explore the writer’s persona by trapping him in one of his own dark tales. Unfortunately, Livingston and Shakespeare made »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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