Scholarly debate about the Shakespeare Authorship Question has little to do with this tale told by an idio...syncratic moviemaker up to little more than mischief.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
A vulgar prank on the English literary tradition, a travesty of British history and a brutal insult to the human imagination. Apart from that, it's not bad.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Dubious history aside, Anonymous is a well-acted yarn that also is a tribute to the unstoppable force of art -- even if it implies that only an aristocrat could create it.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Don't let the frilly costumes, courtly language and historical pretense fool you: "Anonymous" is still a Roland Emmerich movie - a blessing when it comes to vigor and a curse when it comes to subtlety, proportion or sense.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Roland Emmerich destroys things for a living. Why not the reputation of a man who lacked the imagination to blow up the Sistine Chapel?
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
This is high camp, nothing more.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
Though the cast is energetic and the intrigues diverting, you'll have to distance yourself from reality to enjoy so much outlandish scheming.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
In a movie that rings false at every turn, Ms. Redgrave's Elizabeth is truly and infallibly regal.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
The digitally wrought period settings are simply gorgeous.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
The very qualities that fuel the historical hokum of Anonymous -- over-the-top royal intrigue and incest, violent literary backstabbing, frothing conspiracy -- also happen to make for wild entertainment.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
Audiences may chuckle. Stratfordians, prepare for conniptions.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Even though Emmerich is working with ostensibly more refined material here, the ham-handed touch of the man who gave us The Day After Tomorrow... is felt quite heavily throughout.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
The more far-fetched the idea, it seems, the more strenuous the effort to pass it off as authentic.
David Denby - New Yorker
A splendid experience: the dialogue, the acting, the depiction of London, the lust, jealousy and intrigue.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
"Anonymous" is ridiculous, and like Oliver Stone's "JFK" it sells its political conspiracy theories by weight and by volume. But dull, it's not.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
This is irresistible as self-knowing camp: the players ham it up in high fashion and the script crams at least one lurid revelation into every scene.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
Anonymous is no more or less far-fetched than Emmerich's prior efforts. But it is much, much more confusing.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
So disappointingly dopey that it's unworthy of anyone's time.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Anonymous may not convince anyone, but it certainly should entertain them.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Historians will quibble with the timing and accuracy of a lot of the film, and you know what? Let them. The rest of us can enjoy the performances and the sumptuous look of the movie, which is a lot more satisfying, anyway.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Historians are already calling Anonymous preposterous humbug, but I found it a complex cornucopia of ideas and panache. You go away sated.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
A handsomely staged and decidedly straight-ahead costume drama under Roland Emmerich's nearly CGI-free direction.
Robert Koehler - Variety
"Anonymous'' is a thoroughly entertaining load of eye candy with solid performances, even if John Orloff's exposition-heavy script practically requires a concordance to follow at times.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Anonymous is so dubious in its intent and so tangled in its execution, it might have worked better as a comedy like Notting Hill or The Boat That Rocked, where Ifans could agreeably play the fool as before.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Emmerich takes the story at face value and delivers a film unlike any of his others. That is to say, a boring one.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
Apart from these few light moments, Anonymous is a case of ingenuity wasted on an unintelligent enterprise.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
By attempting to weave the fancies of the Oxfordians into a coherent narrative, Anonymous does highlight the over-the-top melodrama inherent in anti-Stratfordianism itself.
Laura Miller - Salon.com
What's disappointing about Anonymous is that it isn't dumb enough. Rather than plunging merrily ahead with its fanciful counternarrative, the movie keeps stopping to actually, seriously make its case -- to posit and explain and persuade.
Dana Stevens - Slate
File this one in the category of entertaining historical fiction. There are facts here, but one must possess more than a passing familiarity with history to be able to spot them.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Surprisingly, this is easily director Roland Emmerich's best film.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
As the initial whiff of scandal eventually gives way to great, repetitive blubbering about the brilliance and significance of Shakespeare's works, "Anonymous" ultimately feels like much ado about nothing.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Oliver Stone's JFK looks reasonable compared to this.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
As the Bard probably would not say, Anonymous is some crazy shit.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
It's Shakespeare as B-movie, if you will, or to borrow from the bard, a boffo blast, which I'm pretty sure is from either "King Lear" or "Hamlet."
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
...it's ultimately clear that Emmerich should stick to the larger-than-life, blockbuster fare with which he's become associated.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
The director offers up an unfocused but intriguing alternate look at William Shakespeare.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
Roland Emmerich takes a questionable literary controversy and deftly forms it into an Elizabethan political drama in the Shakespeare-themed 'Anonymous'.
Amy Curtis - We Got This Covered
Bad history beautifully done.
Don't let the fact that it's different - or unadulterated bullshit of the highest order - put you off a story that, in truth, is more interesting than it is wholly entertaining or accurate.
Ali Gray - TheShiznit.co.uk
It may be one of the signs of the apocalypse, but thanks to a well-written screenplay, spot-on performances, and a fantastic production design, Emmerich has finally made a great film.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Leonard Maltin - ReelzChannel.com
Roland Emmerich's lurid, pulpy approach isn't subtle, but it suits the material, since this is presented as a controversial expose.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Fairly absorbing in an alternately classy and salaciously trashy way that operates not too unlike Emmerich's popcorn entertainers.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Richard Knight - Knight at the Movies
Es saludable que el director Roland Emmerich haya decidido cambiar de genero; Anonimo es lo mas interesante que haya hecho en toda su carrera... lo cual, pensandolo bien, no es un gran merito.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
This movie is lurid fun that is much smarter than it has any business being.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky - Ebert Presents At The Movies
Calling Anonymous Roland Emmerich's masterpiece ranks high on the list of most meaningless claims of 2011. But it's true.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Any hope of Emmerich and writer Orloff putting together a coherent argument is destroyed by muddled narrative.
Paul Scantlebury - Flicks.co.nz
Anonymous premises Edward's manhood partly on his sexual prowess and partly on his poetry, but it loses sight of the latter's allusions and intrigues, and instead falls in love with its own most obvious sensations.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
O Germanos megalokatastrofologos prepei na peripoioyntan th senariakh idea toy John Orloff kapoy gia 8 xronia, kai se ayta h arxikh eksetash mias logias ypotheshs, phre emprepws Tudor-ianes diastaseis eksoysiastikhs intrigkas
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Handsome, inconsequential "investigation" into the political and theatrical life of Elizabethan England makes a mystery of history.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
What's distressing isn't the film's plodding incoherence or wild-eyed credulousness but its misplaced priority: It suggests that what's most interesting about this writer we call Shakespeare is not the genius of his words but the puzzle of his identity.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
It didn't have me rethinking history, but for those two hours, it was entertaining enough. I don't know if that will be enough for Emmerich and this "What if?"
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
It's easy to get lost in the facial-hair thicket of actors, earls, lords, Roberts, Thomases and Cecils, and the movie's jarring leaps across the years often make things even more challenging to follow.
Neil Pond - American Profile
A wonderful hypothetical about the identity of William Shakespeare, Anonymous is incredibly credible, a story of intrigue and facades.
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Call it the anti-Shakespeare in Love. Call it the more cultured cousin to Inglourious Basterds. Just don't call Anonymous a fact-based story.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
As a nail-biting thriller of court intrigue, lies, and rebellion, I would be forced to admit that, yes, Lisy Christl's costume designs are really pretty good. I'm drawing a blank on anything else.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Perhaps there is an element of truth in this tale but director Roland Emmerich makes it very hard to believe with this muddled story.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
Bereft of comedy, Anonymous is the cinematic equivalent of limp celery. It's crying out for a crisp rewrite from the Bard himself but alas, poor yawners, all we get is Fakespeare.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Will Shakespeare, whose words shine on, bright and brave, Is turning o'er with laughter in his grave.
Judith Newmark - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dave White - Movies.com
The loud, overwrought Anonymous is an affront to the richness and beauty of Shakespeare's work -- no matter who really wrote it.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
I felt absolutely drawn along in this film. I had a really boisterous, Elizabethan good time.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
The film presents an interesting argument, but didn't entirely convince me.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
Though Anonymous is historical hogwash of the highest order, it is never less than highly entertaining.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Though far-fetched, this celebration of storytelling is an exhilarating and visually lavish thrill ride.
Michael Simms - FILMINK (Australia)
Anonymous is earnest, high-camp and regularly ridiculous, but it's also a fun and gripping adventure for lovers of stagecraft or Tudor mystery.
Rima Sabina Aouf - MovieFIX
Overlong, labyrinthine and most certainly speculative in its history, "Anonymous" benefits from a central conceit that is too intriguing to be dismissed.
Jon Niccum - Kansas City Star
What sinks it is the pervading sense that Emmerich wants us to take it seriously.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Anonymous is fun -- if you take the anti-Shakespearean tale as events set in an unreal, alternate universe.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Shakespeare's work proves that imagination is more important than fact - Anonymous stumbles badly while trying the opposite approach.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Emmerich can keep track of hurtling cars and crumbling buildings, but distinguishing between one scruffy Elizabethan and another is apparently beyond him.
Sam Adams - Philadelphia City Paper
Roland Emmerich is the doyen of historically inaccurate disasterpieces, the pre-eminent cinematic misinterpreter of scientific theories, and the gullible go-to-guy when it comes to half-baked conspiracy thrillers. Anonymous is [his] 'perfect storm'.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
'Anonymous' a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
It's geeky forgettable fun for Shakespeare nerds with a suitable sense of the absurd, but possibly a bit dull for Emmerich's usual fanbase.
A remarkably restrained and complex film that explores the power that popular entertainment has to embed ideological ideas into the minds of the audiences who consume it.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Creaking narrative construction succumbs to gigantic cracks of exposition and a maze of disjointed flashbacks in Roland Emmerich's disastrous attempt at demystifying the identity of the Bard.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
The American screenwriter John Orloff may have wished for a muse of fire, but unfortunately he's been given an ear of cloth, and his film would hardly pass muster as a sixth-form end-of-term romp.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
This film is not really about promoting an alternate theory of authorship so much as presenting an intriguing (if unlikely) scenario and seeing how it would play out. It makes for a ripping good story, whether or not it's factual.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
...disappointing, overly long, convoluted, confusing, and fatuous, exacerbated by the depiction of Queen Elizabeth I as a profligate slut.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
The film may piss off more viewers than it wins over, but there's no denying that Anonymous has balls the size of The Globe Theatre.
Jim Vejvoda - IGN Movies
An opulent 16th century costume drama that serves as a far-fetched, alternative-history curiousity, continuing the mystery.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
What must not be forgotten is this is an entertaining piece of imaginary work in itself - as suggested by the opening prologue by Derek Jacobi.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
A tale worthy of a Shakespeare play in its own right when not more suited for the Enquirer, the film is striking to behold. But a great deal longer than it needs to be, tossing in homicidal swordplay, vintage boy toys and kinky inbred royal closet lust.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
John Orloff's screenplay could have used a rewrite by de Vere -- or whomever.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Bountiful in look and scandal yet convoluted in plot and historical validity, Anonymous tries to be a serious work of art but doesn't have the credibility or filmmaking discipline needed to present its wild conspiracy theories.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Power, betrayal, incest and the theatre are the red-hot ingredients of this intriguing and potentially explosive costume drama.. My lament... is the jumbled, convoluted storyline
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
There's absolutely nothing pleasurable about this self-serious and remarkably stupid drama.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
At its conclusion not everything is entirely clear, but enough pieces fall into place to leave a feeling of satisfaction.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The largely British cast strive gamely to salvage a film that takes itself far too seriously.
Geoffrey Macnab - Independent
All in all the dreary script creates a glass ceiling that the film could never bust through, more laugh-inducing than controversy-inspiring.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
There are plenty of reasons to hate Anonymous, but its biggest crime by far is that it is just one more example of the gradual dumbing-down of the world that we live in.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Full of so many soap opera twists and turns you would have thought Shakespeare or Aaron Spelling came up with the plot.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Slickly told, mildly diverting but ultimately fraudulent.
Matt Mueller - Total Film
Emmerich steps out of his comfort zone to offer a beguiling picture of Elizabethan London and a neatly balanced tale of political intrigue and personal heartache.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Convoluted at worst and confusing at best, Anonymous looks pretty and is for the most part competently acted, but it's not Shakespeare. Not by a mile.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
If you can ignore the inaccuracies, jumbled chronology and the often clunky dialogue, Emmerich's film is a surprisingly entertaining costume romp, ripely acted, vividly realised, and full of all the mud, blood, sex and violence the period can offer.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Emmerich can say what he likes, but I would rather go read whomever wrote the great folio.
Dan Lybarger - Huffington Post
The whole thing is splendidly decked out and dramatised with swirling panache.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
As historical entertainment, it is bracing in its twists and turns. As a tribute to the power of words and the beauty of language in the hands of a genius, it is superb
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Knowing that non-Masterpiece Theater audiences will grow fidgety over this sort of thing, Emmerich and Orloff throw in plenty of sword-fighting, bear-baiting, and bodice-ripping.
If convolution where compliments, Anonymous would be one highly flattered film.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Anonymous strives to be boring, Emmerich attempting to deliver performance-first directing, but ending up with string of flat, sloth-paced back-and-forths.
Matt Patches - Hollywood.com
The coolest element of the whole thing is probably the way the movie ties art (specifically those plays) and politics together.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
Like vermin, facts here are banished / Logic dispelled, plain motives all vanished ...
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
As silly as most of this is, Anonymous is undeniably a handsome picture. The costumes are gorgeous, with enough velvet and brocade to make everybody seem downright upholstered.
Bob Mondello - NPR
Take the political intrigue of Elizabeth, add the backstage drama of Shakespeare in Love, and divide by the adherence to fact and logic that propelled 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow.
Christopher Orr - The Atlantic
There are great moments in Anonymous, from its arresting opening scene ... to recreations of the first performances ever given of Henry V and Hamlet before a spellbound throng of groundlings...
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
If you are looking for something more intellectual, and certainly more accurate in its portrayal of a rich period in English history, you will have to go elsewhere.
Charlie McCollum - San Jose Mercury News
Uneven drama questions Shakespeare's identity.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
Shakespeare in Blah. Playful premise, weak script. Palace intrigue that isn't intriguing.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
That's right: I come to praise Emmerich, not to bury him.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
A shapeless muddle, with a handful of good scenes adrift in a sea of general mediocrity.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
From the man who brought you Godzilla and 2012...a loud and ludicrous historical rewrite about the supposed hidden authorship of Shakespeare's plays
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Disaster filmmeister Roland Emmerich meets Shakespeare: behold, Bard-Zilla is nigh!
Kimberly Gadette - Doddle
Directed with the usual sledgehammer hand of actioneer Roland Emmerich, the purple prose of the Elizabethan poet is mauled into the blue balls of Queen Elizabeth's suitors as the not-so-virgin Queen reigns supreme in the halls of shame.
Staci Layne Wilson - Buzzine Magazine
It offers a ludicrously reductionist view of England's greatest writer, William Shakespeare, and a grotesquely offensive portrait of its most celebrated monarch, Elizabeth I.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
About the time I realized a character I had been thinking was named Edward was really named Robert, I realized something else: I no longer cared about any of these pantalooned drips.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
don't go into Roland Emmerich's Anonymous expecting some kind of enlightenment
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
As literary conspiracy theories go, this is a long way from cheese and wine in the English faculty lounge.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
Anonymous might be riper than a month-old plum, but it's every bit as juicy.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
Books have been written to argue that de Vere, Earl of Oxford, is the true author of Shakespeare's work, and if this subject interests you at all, you're better off sticking with one of those.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Anonymous, far from ascending the brightest heaven of invention, is a muddled, often confusing film, unable to mesh its political and theatrical plotlines. Worse, it undermines its own argument by cramming in too many fanciful possibilities.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
A messy, often goofy, and very occasionally entertaining melodrama from Roland Emmerich.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
In trying to make a bio-pic of Shakespearean proportions, Anonymous can't help but look like a fraud.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
Arguing over who really penned Hamlet is a little bit like arguing with a Christian over who wrote the Bible. It all comes down to faith. Still, the movie is as entertaining as it is cluttered.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
It is, at the very least, a curiosity, one with some clever casting and a few very fine performances at its core.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Emmerich takes on the Bard, as you like it!
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
Emmerich's mirthless hatchet job is hoisted with its own petard.
David Evans - Little White Lies
I have to give special mention to actor Edward Hogg, who apparently thought he was playing Count Rugen in "The Princess Bride."
Michael A. Smith - MediaMikes
[A] tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing... This is a sordid movie: not the good, juicy sort of sordid, but the dreary and depressing sort of sordid.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Anonymous leaves us longing that [its scenario] is incorrect, if only for the fact that the popular view of Shakespeare's authorship is at least an interesting one.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
A fortnight is about how long it will take you to sort out ... an absurdly structured movie that could have benefited from an iron and a volume knob.
Matt Pais - RedEye
You know you're in trouble when it takes well over an hour to figure out that the two on-screen figures you've been watching are actually playing the same character forty years apart.
It's as dull as it is brainless, the work of creators who've spent far more time concocting silly stories about Shakespeare than learning from him.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
Anonymous proves that Emmerich is more than capable outside of the disaster genre. He just bit off more than he can chew, as is his tendency.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Much ado about nothing, indeed.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
To accurately and intelligently follow ANONYMOUS, you need a copy of Burke's Peerage.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
I remained confused about the characters and their stories throughout but enjoyed the production value very much.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
Anonymous is poignant and shocking by turns, while maintaining an entertaining pace.
Karen Krizanovich - Radio Times
Emmerich delivers an interesting argument and has created an entertaining film.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
It is entertainingly bizarre: like seeing a whole film asserting that Salieri must have written the music attributed to that moronic yobbo Mozart.
The behind the camera crew...do a fine job in setting and maintaining the period feel. Too bad the story by John Orloff falls short of the production by muddling an intriguing concept.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A strange combination of garbled history and woozy period political melodrama that tries unsuccessfully to treat Shakespeare in the way 'Amadeus' did Mozart.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Emmerich's name is forever associated with bloated spectacle like "The Day After Tomorrow." Here, he finally uses his powers for good, creating a vast, virtual 16th-century world without sacrificing human details like De Vere's ink-stained fingers.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
...other than Ifans' soulful, weathered performance all that's really notable is Emmerich's backdrops.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
An intriguing look at Tudor England and the Bard who caught the spirit of the times and the heights and depths of the human adventure.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
This deeply dopey travesty's worst instincts are nearly its only entertaining ones.
Bill Weber - Slant Magazine
It's a weird feeling to be bored by a Roland Emmerich feature.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Anonymous winds through a thick registry of lords and earls taking sides in various revolts and coups, and a playbill of Shakespeare's jealous theater peers. It's tough to keep track of who is getting beheaded or dragged to the Tower of London.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
Few could ever have predicted that Emmerich would be the man to bring the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship to the screen
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
By and large it's a comedy of errors, but not as Shakespeare intended it.
Stella Papamichael - Digital Spy
A disappointing, over-stuffed and frequently dull drama with dreadful dialogue, dodgy performances, an uneven tone and a poorly structured script.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Shakespeare himself would probably love it. He did write Twelfth Night, for goodness sake.
Francesca Steele - Sky Movies
Other than ludicrously pulpy fun, Anonymous, true to its title, ultimately signifies nothing.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Think of it as a high-end Christmas panto, as a red-faced, enthusiastic cast are put through the paces by their barking, domineering director. Louder, faster, bigger, more!
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
The defenestration of one of England's greatest dramatists by one of Germany's poorest.
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
Blends broad comedy, bloody action, heart-wrenching romance and dark dealings into a movie that dashes headlong from start to finish...a surprisingly satisfying film.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
This period drama turns an academic dispute into absurd entertainment.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
It's more of an interesting curio to a blockbuster career but there's fun to be had here if you look hard enough.
Philip De Semlyen - Empire Magazine
it fails on its own merits as a messy biopic and even messier historical epic whose authenticity becomes irrelevant when its execution is incompetent.
Todd Gilchrist - The Playlist
All the fixins for a convoluted, costume drama of, dare I say it, Shakespearean proportions.
Kam Williams - AALBC.com
A well-polished cowpat that will confuse and bore those who know nothing about Shakespeare and incense those who know almost anything.
In the end, the film is watchable mainly because the plot is so outrageously contentious.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Anonymous is a fun costume drama, and one of Emmerich's better films.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Why is Emmerich, destroyer of worlds, elbowing his way into the conversation about Shakespearean authorship? Because the debate is explosive -- and he can't resist packing on more dynamite
Amy Nicholson - Boxoffice Magazine
Anonymous is, at the very least, a curiosity, one with some clever casting and a very fine performance at its core.
S.T. VanAirsdale - Movieline
Roland Emmerich's meticulously crafted and often well-acted expose of the "real" William Shakespeare is shocking only in that it is rather good.