Review: The Good, the Bad and the Stupid in ‘The Dark Tower’

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star in “The Dark Tower,” a mess of a movie based on Stephen King’s sprawling, multivolume series of the same title.

Comments: 126

  1. "...the otherworldly Roland, whose name suggests the Arthurian legend with knights and so forth."
    Stephen King explicitly cites the eleventh-century poem The Song of Roland as an important influencer on his writing.

    Now there is a property worth developing.

  2. Incorrect. "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" Is a Robert Browning poem. He was an English poet (David GK) and Stephen King's inspiration for the "Dark Tower". How can you ever confuse "My first thought was, he lied in every word,
    That hoary cripple, with malicious eye"?? You need to do your SK homework. Mayhap read the first book again and compare, otherwise you have forgotten the face of your father.

  3. Yep, and the Browning poem.

  4. Hello. I'm familiar with the Dark Tower series and like it very much. Aero, I didn't understand your comment. The first line of the poem Chillde Roland to the Dark Tower Came is "My first thought was, he lied in every word." Is there a conflict?

  5. I'm so sad to read these scathing reviews of a film adaptation I had such hope for. Alas, if only the producers had focused on the very thin and compact first book of the epic, things may have turned out differently, and better. Mr. King should have insisted on this, since I've read he had all but veto power over this film.

  6. Oops The Song of Roland is a French poem, not Arthurian. A wonderful adventure it is, too.

  7. Arthurian Romance was widely popular in Medieval France - check out Chretien de Troyes or the Lays of Marie de France some time.

  8. Just about anything featuring the amazing Idris Elba is worth watching, though when I saw the trailer I was sorry that a kid was used as a plot device. If they'd used a young girl actress, it might have added something special.

  9. RE Matthew McConaughey.
    Pretty soon, stars will appear with expiration dates tattooed on their foreheads. Other than flogging for Mercury, his shelf-life was up 2 years ago.

  10. Would that be when he won Best Actor, along with well received turns in a number of other films? And it's Lincoln...Mercury has been out of business for many years.

  11. word is it will join the dust bin of king movies that just dint transtlate to film....
    such a waste of good talent.
    made with best of intentions, it jus turned out sour.

  12. But the preview was so amazing! That two minutes of film could do no wrong...sigh.

  13. Roland? Arthur? Charlemagne is rolling over in his grave.

  14. "The Hobbit". A short children's book turned into a trilogy of films with a running time of close to eight hours. "The Dark Tower". A seven book series turned into a 95 minute film. Makes sense to me?

  15. My understanding is that this movie covers only what's in Book #1, not the whole series.
    True?

  16. I'm sure they have 17 sequels lined up and ready to film if this one is a hit.

    Let's hope this one isn't a hit.

  17. T3D - It's nothing like The Gunslinger, and it incorporates items from some of the later ones. There's a lot of focus (too much, absolutely-it felt like a kids' movie) on Jake's regular earth life, virtually none of Roland's backstory (simply that he's a gunslinger, a brief scene with his father from the trailer, and Walter says everyone he cares about died), and there's no real sense of the larger story. The ending is completely different (no mountain abyss scene, for starters!).

    From what I read beforehand, it seemed as though they were playing on the concept that the general events of the series repeat, so this was a different time than the one in the books (I guess to justify the differences).

  18. Sorry to tread on the master, but this series has always been a mess.

  19. Agree.

  20. Unfortunately, This was exactly what I feared when I heard they were making this movie. The books are fantastic, but so was "Starship Troopers" and a number of other books where the movies fell flat. They couldn't even make a live action version of The Last Airbender, and that had already been storyboarded out for them.

  21. All I really want to know is, did you like the movie?

  22. A snarky review. The dynamic of sarcasm is often to compensate for one's own feelings of inferiority by running down other people.
    And, as has been pointed out, the reviewer's intellectual slip is showing. Roland? King Arthur? Time for a little remedial history research.
    I wish the NYT could do better with these reviews. When they are less than capable, it remains hard to know whether to see the movie.

  23. I can't even trust a film review by a critic who A. cannot seemingly write
    very well, and B. can't even be bothered to find out that
    one of the primary influences on King's Dark Tower Series
    is Browning's poem "Childe Roland" and the Frankish legends/cycle
    of The Song of Roland, etc. This is much more
    important to the series than any Arthurian legendry. And that's
    just for starters. I haven't seen the film yet, I was hoping for a
    masterpiece based at least to some degree on the first few novels
    in King's series, alas, it appears the whole project has gone
    terribly astray from what it might've been. I'll reserve final
    judgment till I actually see the film. I feel this would've turned
    out better if they'd stuck to adapting the first two Dark Tower
    novels as one film, or even just the first, even if it DID turn out to be
    somewhat slow, difficult, or dense. And PG-13 just waters the
    whole thing down to mush. Like David Lynch once said, "you water it down you're just shooting down into warm junk." But since this isn't even
    really based upon King's actual novels (or at least, doesn't follow the first few novels as any kind of straight adaptation, or is simply combining some
    elements thereof with the final Dark Tower Book 7) in any chronological
    sequence, it's a comedy of errors. It's watered down, but not even really based on the strongest elements of the first few sequential Dark Tower
    novels, but rather an uneasy amalgam of the whole, or "sequel." Or something.

  24. Actually, Stephen King writes that Roland is a direct descendant of "Arthur Eld." It's a reference that ties Roland to the Arthurian myths. "How old and cold his blood must run," muses Susanah.

  25. REMARKABLE that both Ms. Dargis and Mr. Chang, the reviewer for the Los Angeles Times, describe Walter as "...a Vegas lounge lizard"!

  26. It's the most obvious metaphor, I had the exact same impression from seeing a trailer for this.

  27. Talking points? Distributed by ... ?

  28. I know King considers this his master achievement and I love his work, taught it in high school for several years.
    I've tried several times to get into the series but just can't. Forced myself to get 1 1/2 volume and gave up.

    The McConaughey lines in this review are top notch though!

  29. The first novel is absolutely some of King's finest work, as was some
    of the contents of Different Seasons, all of which were/are decidedly
    atypical of King's primary oeuvre, though strains of horror and suspense
    run through all of it, basically. But anyway the first Dark Tower novel
    is really the finest of the entire series. It's the most "lit'rary" and best-written,
    even if not the most action-packed of the series. Plus, the first Donald M. Grant edition had the wonderful illos. by the Master Michael Whelan!
    Which just added to the wonderful work of art that the entire 1st Grant edition was. Nobody knew in 1982 what a prized landmark tome it would become. It's more akin to something Michael Moorcock would have written, (sort of) than any of King's "horror" novels.

  30. I'm a King fan since "Carrie," but good grief, they TEACH his stuff in school? Please tell me you're joking.

  31. Comp--why not? CARRIE is a classic that has even more anti-bullying/peer-hatred resonance now than it did when first published. As well, it's relevant to teens.

  32. I'm sorely disappointed that King licensed The Dark Tower away in this fashion. The series of novels could only have been brought to screen effectively as a high production value series from the likes of HBO, Netflix or Amazon, with many hours and seasons to fully explore the incredibly complex narrative. This is precisely the type of project that showrunners like David Benioff and Dan Weiss might have sunk their teeth into. The attempt to distill this story into a 120-minute narrative was doomed to failure.

  33. let alone 95 min...agreed.

  34. Just read The Dark Tower. As a Stephen King fan for many years, my opinion remains that Mr. King is a superb storyteller but an abysmal writer. Many of his sentences are incomprehensible; it is the arc of the story that carries his novel. This was too much a ripoff of Lord of the Rings--as he pretty much acknowledges in the forward to the book--I think. Really I couldn't sustain interest in the Forward: Mr. King has begun to take himself seriously as a Man of Letters, and it is unbecoming.

  35. No -- King is a fine storyteller and a SUPERB writer, but he has a fatal flaw. He just cannot STOP. He can't edit himself. He's too egotistical plus too famous and rich for anyone else to edit his work -- so his books just GO ON and ON and ON. And writes way too many, with no sense of when it is too much.

    Someone gave me a hard cover copy of "Duma Key" -- far from his best work -- and certainly not his longest -- and the darn thing is the size of a concrete building block. You can barely hold it to read it, and that is for a tale that could have easily been contained in a short story or novella.

    Don't even get me started on "Under the Dome". I'm still mad about that one.

    With a good editor, Stephen King had the potential to be far more than just a rich best selling writer, but one of the great fiction authors of all time -- but ego, money and power blew it for him.

  36. King is a compulsive writer--he mentioned a while back that writing is what keeps him sane--so it makes sense he'd have a huge output. That said, one could make a good case that THE SHINING, his short stories, and a few of his novellas alone make him one of the great fiction writers of all time.

  37. Sergio Leone inspired King? Possibly. But the main inspiration was Robert Browning's poem "Childe Harold to the Dark Tower Came."

  38. Oops, I meant Childe Roland of course. Childe Harold is Byron's poem.

  39. All four - Browning's poem (which is a real head-scratcher), the Leone film, the Song of Roland, and the Arthurian idea of an order of noble knights fighting for order and civilization. And of course it is King's homage to Lord of the Rings.

  40. Not surprised, but disappointed. Love 80% of Stephen King, but plowing through this book series was a slog. Far too long and convoluted, couldn't imagine how they would turn it into a feature length movie. I'll watch anything that includes Idris Elba, but won't run to the theater for this.

  41. That's because the movie is not an adaptation or condensation of the books. It's a different, stand-alone iteration of the story.

  42. No more blockbusters, Hollywood. I like King's short stories more than his novels, but none of the stories has been made decently into a film, either.

    It is just Hollywood hubris to think one of the King's big books could, though Carrie and The a Shining set the bar high. At least The Dark Tower is not about D.C. or Marvel superheroes. There is that.

    Looking forward, perhaps in vain, to a new era of small movies about normal people on Keystone Earth.

  43. King's short stories are better.
    They did a good movie based on one Stand By Me.
    Only King novel I ever liked was Carrie, first film of it was good too.

  44. No decent movies? Shawshank Redemption, Misery were 2 examples of amazing adaptations.

  45. I'd forgotten Stand by Me. That was superb work!

  46. "...whatever they thought they were doing here remains as mysterious as Walter’s hair product."

    Hee. McConaughey's hair looks scarier than anything else in the movie.

  47. Idris Elba is horribly miscast. Did anyone involved with this movie actually read the books? Roland Deschain's a white guy who should look like Clint Eastwood in the Outlaw Josey Wales. Its similar to casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, no,no,no. Jack Reacher's a BIG guy, 6'4", 240. So easy to get right, but no.

  48. Stephen King was happy with the casting of idris Elba.

  49. I would point you to the film, The Shawshank Redemption. Red's character in the book was, if memory serves me at all, of Irish descent. I can't imagine that character as anyone other than the character Morgan Freeman brought to life.

    In the same vein, I thought one of Al Pacino's finest portrayals was of Shylock, and Mr. Pacino is hardly Jewish. This is not the same as casting Chuck Connors as Geronimo.

  50. @Tom: actually it is EXACTLY the same as casting Chuck Connors as Geronimo, or my personal favorite: John Wayne as Ghengis Khan ("The Conqueror", 1956).

    If you want "race blind casting", that sir, is what you have asked for. It cuts both ways.

  51. "[McConaughey]...has truly developed into the Zen master of sleaze."

    Amazing really when you think about his early career. But sleazy he is and on an epic scale. It makes one wonder how long it will before Lincoln recognizes this. Their commercials make me cringe.

    At any rate, I will see this for Idris Elba.

    I like to support his efforts whenever I have the opportunity.

  52. I think the point is that McCoughnahey is great at playing sleazy, not that he is personally sleazy. I'd say he's done an amazing job reviving himself as a first rate actor after several years of rom coms and fluff. He did win Best Actor for Dallas Buyer's Club, and is was quite well deserved.

  53. McConaughey's character in the Lincoln commercials is an obvious take on his TRUE DETECTIVE role.

  54. well, I feel the review was pretty spot on.
    In fact, I am re-reading the entire series just to get the bad taste out of my mouth left after seeing The Dark Tower movie.
    Edris Elba was amazing, he did the best he could with what he was given. They didn't use 2% of the series massive amount of lore. I saw someone post that they should have made a series out of it. Spot on. HBO, Netflix, Amazon, ETC... could have turned this into something legendary. if they would have slowed down and taken their time, they could have captured the essence of the series and all the things that made it great.
    Instead. I just wasted 90 minutes of my life. I would say 5 minutes of the movie was cool. not all in one spot though.

  55. There is at least as much material in the "Dark Tower" series (7 volumes; no I have not read them all) as in George RR Martin's "Song of Ice & Fire" -- so why not a Game of Thrones-like cable series? It could run for years! and King is certainly popular and famous enough that it would have a broad audience. Why cheap out with a 95 minute film?

  56. Sounds like another one of those "human head on a carrot" concoctions, where filmmakers think they know better than the source material and everything goes sideways.

    This isn't even an adaptation but sort of a sequel? To a roughly 7,000 page epic adventure, but it's only 90 minutes long? You can see this sinking ship from a long way off.

    I like Idris Elba and have been rooting for him to make it as a genuine movie star, but this sounds like a serious misfire for what could've been a breakout role.

  57. Les Miserables is roughly 1400 pages long in English.

  58. If you want to spend time out with family or friends go see a movie. Maybe, you just need to get away from family and friends...go see a movie. It's never not humorous when movies are compared to the novels they're based on. You'll never find an equal plane. Why compare whales to dolphins? That wall was meant for more than beating your head against.

  59. Critics. Got to love them. They write thinking they are experts. They are not. Its a personal preference you like or you dont. Anyone thinking you can get words from paper to a movie isnt too bright. Go with flow and enjoy this micro managing a movie from paper to a book is a waste of life. I liked it and thats what matters.

  60. So, you don't value critical thinking? You'd rather just proceed through life without forethought or reflection and never express your opinions to others, or hear from them about theirs? You don't read editorials, or music reviews? You never ask you friends "how was dinner"?

    Let me suggest to you that life without critical thinking isn't worth living. Art is enjoyable in the moment; it's far more enjoyable when compared to other art you have experienced, and to the consensus of other like-minded thinkers.

    I, for one, very much respect and value Ms. Dargis' critical insight. Does that mean I accept her every word as gospel, or will always see a movie she recommends? Of course not. I take her critical opinion, and the opinions of other people I respect, formulate my own expectations, and then decide whether or not to experience the art.

    To do anything less is to rob yourself of a primary joy in life, and to undermine your appreciation of art, and of the human experience.

  61. "Anyone thinking you can get words from paper to a movie isn't too bright."
    Great Cesar's Ghost! You all but said SK isn't too bright. Critic or writer, both bring words to LIFE from "paper." (Although he likely use a word processor for this series, so I suppose technically it's not paper). But neither the writer nor the critic is the one who makes the movie. How hard is it to understand that the studio hires screenwriters who write the script??? A good SCRIPT yields a timeless movie such as "Casablanca," or "The Wizard of Oz," or "Birth of A Nation." And that, Child, is bringing 'words from paper to a movie.'

  62. Just so you all know...
    Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came by Robert Browning

  63. Yes! I'm surprised nobody else seems to have picked up on this, the most obvious reference. I'm not sure what the Browning poem has to do with the "Dark Tower" series - I haven't read any of the latter (and now doubt if I'll bother with the movie) - but the poem deals with knightly idealism in the face of disillusionment and the corruption of idealism. Very powerful stuff from a poet who was much underrated in his day.

  64. this was the inspiration for the book according to King The

  65. Roland was a Frankish leader of Charlemagne's southern troops, famous for the Battle of Roncevaux Pass as memorialized in the Song of Roland. He has absolutely nothing to do with Arthurian legend. No reason to be so sloppy with your references.

  66. Hence the "and so on" — Arthur came about in roughly the same age as the famous Chanson.

  67. A brush so wide as to paint into meaninglessness.
    It's the Browning reference that's actually relevant.

  68. Look, if you didn't read the series don't try to understand what this movie is aiming for. It's a standalone that would be way cooler if you understood what's up. It's a sequel to the series, not an adaptation - which is important to remember. There are Easter Eggs littered everywhere in this movie and in the series that related to King's universe. This movie is the tip of the iceberg, I wish you could understand what's beneath the water!!! Read the series.

  69. Would reading the series make this a better movie? Perhaps it is just a bad movie.

  70. So Milakegrl, you blame the audience for not reading the books that makes this an incomprehensible mess? Maybe, just maybe, the movie is an incomprehensible mess.

  71. yes

  72. Too bad really, but several movies based on Stephen King's work have been disappointing.

    Two corrections too, Roland is not an Arthurian knight, the name should remind people of "The Song of Roland", which is a French mythologized knight errant story. Also maybe of the movie Orlando, which was pretty good.

    And the hair product Mr. McConaughey is sporting is obviously Grecian Formula number 5, made famous by Reagan's use of it.

  73. Really tired and bored with all the comic book movies except Capt. America and Winter Soldier but I'll watch anything with Mr. Elba in it as one of the best actors working today. Would love to see him somewhere in the next James Bond movie now that Daniel Craig committed to making another one.

  74. This is not based on a comic book, though...

  75. I love hat series. I watched the movie trailer and thought, well, this is garbage. Apparently they did not even film the novels but the movie depicts some later "cycle" where Walter is defeated. So no monster crabs, no Blain, the mono, no Eddie & Susannah. Maybe not even real Zen gunslinger training (man, how that helped Eddie to kick his drug habit). But much standard apocalypse imagery and slomo gun fights. The novels do not spend too much time on Keystone Earth because it is more boring than Mid-Earth. Except that dreary time the characters stalked "Stephen King", some author who lives on Keystone Earth and might have some clues to the Tower.

  76. Surely, if this movie is a Stephen King production, there has to be an evil "clown" somewhere in it?
    If not how about a mentally challenged "psychic" another of Mr. King's staples?
    Perhaps, if it had those, it might have gotten a somewhat better review.

  77. well... the film does star a boy with "the shine" (a Stephen King trope if there ever was one).

  78. You haven't read many of his books I suspect.

  79. While the movie clearly wasn't a masterpiece, it's clear from this review, the critic has no real knowledge of King or the series as a whole.

  80. Counterpoint: Should that be a requirement for reviewing the film?

  81. Yes. To expound to a national audience without knowing what you're talking about isn't exactly intellectual honesty, and by no means exhibits any intellectual rigor. It smacks of the willful ignorance emanating from the White House.

  82. I guess now that adults read comic books too, there's no point at all in making movies for adults.

  83. It's rated PG-13, elitist snob. Does that make it a kiddie movie?

  84. I love King's Dark Tower series (though I think he rushed the last two volumes after his terrible accident had him worrying about having enough time to finish it. I'll see this film, but The Dark Tower without Eddie and Susana and Oy ain't The Dark Tower. We must await a great mini-series of the caliber (Sorry, Roland!) of Game of Thrones. It would have to be fearless (I can already hear grumblers calling Susana's split personality "racist), but how I would love to see the epic truly brought to life!

  85. Haha ! Saw it. A sprawling mess. Avoid. P.S. The McConaughey lisp keeps getting worse. Whenever he speaks, I look around the screen for a low boiling teakettle.

  86. Just saw the trailer, and that was loud and boring. By the bye, Roland isn't Arthurian; that tale is the Matter of Britain. His tale is the Matter of France. You want to see a real battle-- claim Roland for Britain and let the French know.

  87. I loved the first 5 books of the DT series. Then came SK's accident resulting in a long hiatus. Then he spat out the last 2 books, which for me were so bad, I gave away the whole set of books as soon as I finished them. I never wanted to read them again because I hated the ending so much. Because of that, I didn't think I'd watch the movie but thought, if the reviews were good.... but I guess not.

  88. For those sniping at Ms. Dargis for her dismissive review: It's scoring a whopping 17% on RT. Read some of the blurbs. She obviously not alone in her opinion of the film.

  89. I'll never understand in a million years WHY Sony wanted this epic series to be distilled down to one movie. The Dark Tower series was (and STILL is) a prime candidate for a 4-6 movie series at least.

    There's that much material there. I thought studios were all about the long-running sequel thing. Can't believe such supposedly imaginative minds couldn't break this huge Saga down to well-written, character-driven films.

    So sad for this travesty of a film - it's an injustice to the series.
    They should have handed this over to Peter Jackson.

  90. I read and loved all the Dark Tower books (even when Stephen King wrote himself into them and the cop out of the ending.) But I saw this movie today and it's true. It's a train wreck. I don't see why anyone who isn't familiar with the Dark Tower series would care. It didn't hew to the spirit of the books at all.

  91. Message doesn't really matter. It's a comfort paen to those who want to see IA and MM dribble on screen. That's the cynicism if mainstream filmaking.

  92. Hold on...so there are no lobstrocities featured in this adaptation? What the devil is wrong with these filmmakers?

  93. Book 2!

  94. The name Roland, I believe, is not Arthurian but based on “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning (1812–89). I might be wrong but I seem to remember Stephen King in an interview saying the poem was evocative and the imagery led to the book(s)?

  95. The poem's title is taken from King Lear.

  96. Stephen King CHOOSES to live in Maine. The way life should be. Enough said.

  97. I had often thought of a movie series of the Dark Tower and in my thoughts I pictured Roland to resemble Clint Eastwood in his Jessie James day. I expected piercing blue eyes loaded in mystery , along with wisdom and street smarts. When I found out that Roland would not be type cast I had a strong feeling that there would be a tidal wave of artist interpretation away from the heart of the series and the characters. I did not expect a Tsunami! After the reviews I can not bear to watch the movie. As it is apparent a masterpiece has been handled with a total lack of understanding and no concept of the hear of the the series. The classic good vs evil but what makes SK such a master is his ability to develop a relationship with his characters and the reader. This relationship we have with the Dark Tower heroes is not one we take lightly. As number 1 fans of SK we can not accept a mock movie of the world and people we have come to know and love so well.

  98. so you're mad because he's not a blue eyed white guy?

  99. yes, is miscasting

  100. Except Mr. Elba is one of the few things about this film that works.

  101. Roland's a reference to Childe Roland, and ultimately to Roland of the medieval Matter of France, not to the Arthurian legends (though Roland in the book and movie is said to be a descendant of 'Arthur Eld' and his guns are made from Excalibur).

    I suspect a lesser-known mythology is way too confusing for most people--the NYT doesn't have a lot of geeks on its staff. So in that respect I guess it is going to fall flat for the general public, which at least has some vague idea who Spiderman and Darth Vader are.

    Hey, I liked the movie.

  102. McConaughey "flashing some tanned chest"? Reviewer's wish fulfillment; his chest has rarely been so pale.

  103. This is the funniest movie review I've read in a long time, though obviously it doesn't entice me to watch the movie. Won't someone PLEASE cast the magnetic Idris Elba in something that I would like to watch.

  104. Try the TV series "Luther."

  105. WOW! Who is grinding the ax. If you don't like the genre, don't review the movie. I can't imagine it is as bad as represented. Hoping to be surprised because I love the story and like all the actors involved. Curses, foiled again.

  106. I have friends who loved the books and hate the movie. Just because the reviewer doesn't like it doesn't mean she had an ax to grind.

  107. Dear Donald:
    You should read the reviews more often. Dargis loved Wonder Woman, Lord of The Rings and quite a few other fantasy and sci-fi movies.
    It's not the reviewers job to do anything except describe what the director put on the screen for us to see. She has - at least - seen it. Talk about shooting your mouth off without reviewing the "evidence"!!
    I don't suppose you've written A.O. Scott about a review of a movie he thought was ludicrous recently??? Jeez, man, learn to separate the critic from the criticism.

  108. And if you don't like negative criticism of a movie you probably shouldn't be reading a film critic. Can never understand why people think film critics should reflect their own bland tastes.

  109. So, Manohla, stop beating around the bush and tell us, did you like it?

  110. One important note for everyone to remember is that this is a SEQUEL to the books, not an adaptation. But if they don't address that it is a new turning of the Wheel in the movie that is a problem. They have made it very clear outside the movie though that it is a sequel.

  111. It's not a sequal to the books. Already point made by King and director that it is based on books 6 and 7. It's a horrible social justice experiment gone bad. Elephant in the room is that a black Roland was brought in as an attempt to bring a bigger audience. No excuses it's a pathetic film and the politically correct NY times of course shows their racism by making excuses for Elba when the focus was mainly on Jake.

  112. I am not familiar with the books or the story, so went into this with no expectations. I enjoyed it. Matthew McConaughey was great as the smarmy embodiment of evil, Idris Elba was great as a struggling embodiment of good, and I was able to follow the story just fine. I wouldn't say it rates high on my list of great films, but I enjoyed it and thought it was an interesting story.

  113. I liked the movie better than the first book. Couldn't bring myself to read the rest of the opus, just too weird. The second drink girl on the bus deserves an Oscar!

  114. There was only one movie to make for The Dark Tower: The Song of Susannah. All the rest should have come after. How could they miss that. So obvious, what a lost opportunity.

  115. Idris Elba is one of the best actors in the game today. His performance in Beasts of No Nation was staggering. I can't believe he's wasting his time doing crap like this.

  116. That's ur problem.

  117. I went to see The Dark Tower on Friday. It wasn't terrible, but then, I never was able to get into the book series. It struck me as more of a kid-centered movie, deliberately twisted so the teenagers could relate more to Jake than to Roland. As for why the reviewer, and many people I would suspect, thought this was Arthurian is that the movie refers to it as such, saying Roland's gun was made from Excalibur.

    Many people have said that this movie was a missed opportunity, and they are correct. I seem to remember four people tackled writing the script for this movie, which leads me to believe that it was bear to wrestle and pick through and decide what direction the film makers should strike out in for cinematic glory. They got it wrong. If they had made this the dark, weird, and unique story that (people tell me) made the book series so good, they would've had a golden franchise.

    But, hey, Jurassic World was terrible and there is a sequel to that forthcoming. We may just see the fabulous Idris Elba back in leather in no time.

  118. Roland in King Arthur's Court?!!?!?! He wasn't even English; he was French!

    Time for Ms. Dargis to review the "Song of Roland" of the "Matter of France".

    Perchance do you speak of the paladin Orlando of the "Matter of Britain"?

  119. SK is great storyteller and writer. The Stand might be his best work. Having said that, he does have a few flaws. Most would agree that many of his works needed a disciplined editor. His other problem is development of characters types that he has no real life experience with. The Dark Tower is the perfect example of an African American woman who is a caricature. I have always though that King should do more research on character types or avoid using them. I will go to see Dark Tower with no expectations.

  120. The Dark tower has influenced reviews some being really good and some being really bad. Personally, I believe that the movie franchise did really well and even though that I have not seen the movie I feel that this movie will do really well in the ratings not only by the critics but as well as the rotten tomatoes I want to see the Dark Tower really bad and I believe that this film franchise will be the next big thing. The man in black, the gun-slinger, and the little kid. The main reason and item that moved me in this article was the fact that they brought in the movie a world that looks like a world after an apocalypse which I thought that symbolized what would happen after war and the affects of what would happen if we do not see the error of our ways and try to save humanity instead of destroying it. Our greatest gift in us is our humanity. This gift is our weapon. It could save us or it could destroy us. Our humanity is what could have saved the gun-slinger's world and may have turned his world to thrive and flourish. The title of the movie film franchise the dark Tower to me symbolizes the struggles we have inside of us with our emotions. The gun-slinger's world symbolizes the darkness inside all of us while the kid's world symbolizes the light and the dark tower symbolizes our humanity keeping those forces in balance from trying to take over us fully. Everyone has a demon inside of them and once that demon is let out their will be darkness. The balance is the tower.

  121. The Dark tower has influenced reviews some being really good and some being really bad. Personally, I believe that the movie franchise did really well and even though that I have not seen the movie I feel that this movie will do really well in the ratings not only by the critics but as well as the rotten tomatoes I want to see the Dark Tower really bad and I believe that this film franchise will be the next big thing. The man in black, the gun-slinger, and the little kid. The main reason and item that moved me in this article was the fact that they brought in the movie a world that looks like a world after an apocalypse which I thought that symbolized what would happen after war and the affects of what would happen if we do not see the error of our ways and try to save humanity instead of destroying it. Our greatest gift in us is our humanity. This gift is our weapon. It could save us or it could destroy us. Our humanity is what could have saved the gun-slinger's world and may have turned his world to thrive and flourish. The title of the movie film franchise the dark Tower to me symbolizes the fact of our humanity that is keeping both the darkness and the light from overpowering us. A quote from this movie the Dark Tower, from the man in black, "death always wins" I do not believe that this is true because your humanity will keep the two driving forces in balance and like the tower being our humanity it will always be their to guide us through our problems and conflicts.

  122. Critics really have their head in the wrong place, com'on come on down from there. Who cares that it doesn't follow the book to a 't'. Really, that makes it better. I've read all the books, my wife hasn't we both likes it, she's not even a King fan.
    You critics are far off on this one, as usual.

  123. The reviewer has missed the most obvious reference, Robert Browning's haunting 1855 poem 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.' I attach the last verse.
    There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
    To view the last of me, a living frame 200
    For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
    I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
    Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
    And blew “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.”

  124. all true, but I still loved it for what it is, part King, part western, part sci-fi,
    all good vs evil. Definitely not high brow.

  125. I honestly loved the movie and the book series. This review and many others seem extremely harsh. It’s also hard to fit 8 books into one movie but whatever I thought it was amazing and I’m glo to see it again tomorrow.

  126. As a long time King fan I was excited when I heard my favorite books were going to be told on film. However after following all the info disbursed as the film was being written/made, my expectations had to change.

    The movie was so far away from the actual books (don't care which ones you want to compare the movie to) but at least it was entertaining enough and walked away not completed disappointed. But here are my thoughts:
    1. Roland talked way too much and openly showed too much concern for Jake. His personality was just all wrong for Roland.
    2. The Man in Black was in the movie too much and he, as well, showed a personality that was inconsistent with any of the books. Also, he seemed to be more in the real world looking for children than wandering in the desert.
    3. The movie took place more in NY than in Mid-World (that was a shame)
    4. Way too much conversation and interfacing between Roland and The Man in Black (which was all of a sudden always referred to as Walter O'Dim).

    Here is my take on the movie in total:
    Just as the newest Star Trek movies are meant to be not a prequel or sequel to the original Star Trek movies but supposedly placed in an alternate reality/timeline - this movie fits into that mindset as well. It stands to reason that since "there are other worlds than these" that in one of those other worlds these characters and story line could exist. Just saying this is not The Dark Tower as we read it - but a look at one of those 'other worlds'.