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Thriller . Mystery . Drama . Crime

Plagued with grief over the murder of her daughter, Valerie Somers suspects that her husband John is cheating on her. When Valerie disappears, Detective Leon Zat attempts to solve the mystery of her absence. A complex web of love, sex and deceit emerges -- drawing in four related couples whose various partners are distrustful and suspicious about each other's involvement.

Actors: Leah Purcell , Peter Phelps , Daniela Farinacci , Russell Dykstra , Manu Bennett , Rachael Blake , Kerry Armstrong , Barbara Hershey , Geoffrey Rush , Anthony LaPaglia
Directors: Ray Lawrence
Release: 2002-03-08
More Info:
  • Mick LaSalle

    Stuns with writing, acting, direction.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    Voluptuous dance about love, pain and the whole damn thing.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Elegant but never overstated, sinister but never coldhearted, this is a note-perfect masterwork on a modest, human scale. Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Astonishingly well acted film, so much so that it seems unfair to single out any of the performances. Mr. Lawrence's camera sense is as sure and unobtrusive as his feel for acting. The movie just seems to happen, to grow out of the ground like a thorny plant, revealing the intricate intelligence of its design only in hindsight.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Stratton

    A wonderfully acted, acutely observed psychological drama.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Notable for its power of surprise and its refusal to immediately clarify the confusion of these lost souls.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The acting is top-notch, and LaPaglia, who makes the cop's torment palpable, gives the performance of his career.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    A remarkably thoughtful drama, Lantana makes it clear not only how hard to come by any emotional comfort is in this life, but more important, why we can't give up on the struggle.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    Has a refreshingly keen ability to see everything from multiple angles.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rita Kempley

    Perceptive, powerfully acted psychodrama.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Bill Gallo

    Lawrence constructs a vivid pastiche of human foibles, nicely flavored with a touch of suspense and some well-timed jolts of humor. In the end it's a terrifically entertaining film, if not quite so profound as the makers might wish.

    New Times (L.A.) Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    This description no doubt makes the film seem like some kind of gimmicky puzzle. What's surprising is how easy it is to follow the plot, and how the coincidences don't get in the way.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mark Caro

    More intent on engaging the heart as it explores the mysteries contained within - mysteries that, as Lawrence and his spot-on cast demonstrate, are far more compelling than simple murder.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Jay Carr

    Haunting, powerfully acted, penetratingly written, it's about people coming home -- and not coming home -- to their marriages.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Ted Mahar

    The story is ingeniously intricate but never gimmicky or implausible. As it develops, the suspense grows about what direction the story could possibly take next.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Paula Nechak

    It's LaPaglia's finest, deepest role and he's matched by Armstrong, who makes Sonja's undaunting optimism palpable within a trying marriage that's gulping for breath.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    Striking for its performances -- especially Anthony LaPaglia.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    While the movie is well acted and creative, its story and style are too self-consciously clever to build a high degree of emotional power.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Jami Bernard

    In addition to the strong script, the ensemble performances are topnotch, with no one hogging the limelight.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    This isn't a mystery except in the most general sense. It's a dense, Altman-esque psychological drama centering on 10 characters whose lives become as tangled as the lantana.

    New York Post Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    For the briefest of moments, someone not paying attention might mistake Lantana for a mystery. -- Lantana is actually an examination of human interaction.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Michael Dequina

    Love is indeed the greatest mystery, as Lantana's tagline goes, and while the film is ultimately still and interesting and fairly involving one, it's a bit unfortunate that the filmmakers weren't content to simply explore that quandary instead of manufacturing another.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Marrit Ingman

    While viewers who expect a conventional suspense film may be disappointed in Lantana overall, it does succeed on a smaller, more intimate scale.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Frank Lovece

    Thought-provoking but proceeding at a crawl, the film suffers from performances that are virtually all pitched to the same note of existential ennui -- thank goodness, then, for Rush, who's arrives like a wake-up blast of compressed air.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Dennis Lim

    The scenario eventually becomes so coincidence-choked that the filmmakers have no choice but to play it for mild snickers.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    It's one of the best surprises of the holiday season.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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