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Quoth the Critics, Nevermore.

It's the most famous line in Poe's classic poem and a popular line in reviews of John Cusack's new movie.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, what to write about on Criticwire the following morning suddenly there came a tapping, as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Then I realized it was just my dog asking to go out. Kind of killed the whole mood.

After alleviating the business at hand (or paw), I realized that today’s release of “The Raven,” starring John Cusack as famous poet turned private detective Edgar Allan Poe, offered a unique opportunity for critics. Everyone knows “The Raven,” and everyone can quote its most famous line: “Quoth the raven, nevermore.” Ah but quot(h)ing it is easy. Incorporating it into a review, that takes a bit more skill. Here, now, the finest uses of that great line in “The Raven” reviews. I realize this post will soon be forgotten as a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore. But until then:

David Germain, Associated Press:

“It’s just a bore; quoth the raven, ‘Go see something else.'”

Joe Lozito, Big Picture Big Sound:

“[The film] would have benefited from a director who could have said nevermore.”

Joe Neuimaier, New York Daily News:

“But [the] villain… still dresses like The Shadow, while people say things like ‘Poe, you’ve done it again!’ and ‘The ways of God and men, as in Providence, is not our way.’ Okay. After that, we’ll quote ‘The Raven,’ nevermore.”

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:

“Quoth the raven: ‘Eh.'”

Claudia Puig, USA Today:

“It’s tempting to simply say ‘nevermore’ about ‘The Raven.'”

Leah Rozen, TheWrap:

“The raven had it right in Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem. ‘Nevermore’ is precisely what filmgoers will be vowing after sitting through ‘The Raven.'”

Jay Stone, Vancouver Sun:

“There’s a scene in the unhinged Edgar Allan Poe thriller, ‘The Raven’ — and it’s not too soon, I don’t think, to say ‘Nevermore’ — when a man is strapped to a table by a mysterious assassin.

Dr. Frank Swietek, One Guy’s Opinion:

“Quoth this critic: It’s a bore.”

Chris Tookey, The Daily Mail:

“The title echoes Poe’s most famous poem – and the only sensible response is a horrified cry of ‘Nevermore!’”

And, in humble recognition of the one critic who went the extra mile and threw in a “quoth” and a “nevermore” —

Peter Howell, Toronto Star:

“What was Poe doing that made him ponder, weak and weary? Why, quoth ‘The Raven,’ he was chasing a serial killer who was perpetuating ghastly crimes inspired by the horror master’s vivid imagination and fleet pen.”


“Should he ever again attempt drama after this? Nevermore!”

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