David Edelstein on Gore Verbinski's new adaptation of The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp:
The bigger problem is that he mixes hijinks with sadism and seems oddly desensitized to the horror of what he’s showing. He uses carnage for kicks. In the 1970 film Little Big Man, Arthur Penn used a comic-tall-tale tone to tell a story that built to the genocide of Native Americans. The mix didn’t work—but it was true to the bleak, absurdist spirit of the sixties, which began with the novel Catch 22 and got even darker. The Lone Ranger combines Depp’s shallow, liberal seriousness with Pirates of the Caribbean slapstick spectacle, and the upshot is horrible. It’s like Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee adapted into a Disney theme-park ride.