User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 128
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  1. CT
    Jun 2, 2007
    10
    Wow, I just watched this again after several years (2007). The first time I just smiled or chuckled, this time I was ROTFLMAO. I rented Plan 9 as well and watched it *before* watching Ed Wood - it made all the difference in the world! The one thing I had to keep saying to myself while watching Plan 9 was, "This guy was dead serious! This isn't a movie parody!" Watching Ed Wood gave Wow, I just watched this again after several years (2007). The first time I just smiled or chuckled, this time I was ROTFLMAO. I rented Plan 9 as well and watched it *before* watching Ed Wood - it made all the difference in the world! The one thing I had to keep saying to myself while watching Plan 9 was, "This guy was dead serious! This isn't a movie parody!" Watching Ed Wood gave me a psuedo-peek behind the camera so to speak. I recommend it to anyone; it is a very entertaining film, but greatly enhanced if you watch Wood's film(s) beforehand. I can't wait to get my hand's on Glen or Glenda and Bride of the Monster. "Pull the string! Pull the string!" Expand
  2. Jan 22, 2011
    10
    Tim Burton's best film, without the slightest hint of doubt. Every performance, every joke, every set; just about everything in this movie was perfect. It's so good, that I consider it one of my personal favorites.
  3. RD.
    Dec 11, 2006
    10
    Fantastic movie. Never bores you. And the best performances are given by Martin landau as Lugosi and Johnny Depp as Wood. Also Bill Murray is hilarious. This film should have been a hit. But it is sad. You feel pity for the characters in this movie--mainly for Lugosi as Landau performs him fantastically.
  4. MichaelF.
    Aug 24, 2001
    9
    This is an excellent film! So funny but true! I love this movie!
  5. S.L.Kotar
    Mar 20, 2002
    10
    This film is not a comedy about Ed Wood; it is the tragedy of Bela Lugosi. Close your eyes and listen to Martin Landau - he IS Bela Lugosi. Open your eyes and you will believe you're watching "Bride of the Monster" being filmed. Mr. Landau could have given the great Lugosi no better tribute than the humanity he instilled into his portrayal. From those of us who cherish Bela, bless you.
  6. JoeH.
    Feb 27, 2004
    10
    No one seems to have genuine information regarding Disney's decision to pull the "ED WOOD" dvd. The rumors abound. I bought the dvd on ebay and have found no easter eggs, if anything it makes me want to go out and buy some of those old "classics". One can't but shake his head in wonder at the irony at the current career of Mr. Wood. Maybe they wish to retitile the movie "Pumping No one seems to have genuine information regarding Disney's decision to pull the "ED WOOD" dvd. The rumors abound. I bought the dvd on ebay and have found no easter eggs, if anything it makes me want to go out and buy some of those old "classics". One can't but shake his head in wonder at the irony at the current career of Mr. Wood. Maybe they wish to retitile the movie "Pumping Irony" . It's now on sale on ebay at some starting prices of $130!!! I paid $50 and it was worth every penny, but again I'm the only one outside the Academy to see it in the theater. Expand
  7. armandos.
    Apr 6, 2005
    10
    My favorite Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie of all time. The contrast between the reality of Ed Wood's life and the fantasy he creates in his mind is truly endearing-if you love great irony. Landau's performance is awe inspiring. A great flick.
  8. MattS.
    Dec 16, 2003
    10
    I love this movie, I watch it everytime it is on. I am a big fan of Burton and Depp, and this movie is another piece of my collection. It tells the story of a no good producer/director/actor that is a transvestite and is friends with a homosexual and bela Lugosi (Dracula) and who makes awful movies. It is a very funny movie and I recommend it. It also happens to be a real story.
  9. LemuelS.
    Oct 24, 2004
    9
    This is one of my all-time favorite movies, so much so that I just bought the DVD, and I never buy DVDs of movies. I like the subject because I enjoy his bad movies. I expected the movie to be mean, but Tim Burton doesn't take any cheap shots. I think what I like is Ed Woods unbounded optimism.
  10. DanC.
    Feb 1, 2004
    10
    A great movie with excellent performances! The Best Performances were Depp's, Murray's and Landau's. I never cared so much about someone I never heard of. The world's worst film director is a hero! Ed Wood is one of the best of the decade.
  11. DecepticonP.
    Oct 26, 2004
    10
    A marvellous, stylish, comedic tragedy. Depp and Burton are a phenominal team who deliver with great affection a tale of the biggest movie loser of all time. In Australia, many of Wood's movies are available for a piffling $5 so check them out and you will see this movie does NOT over-exagerrate how awful his work was. Nor how much he believed in it.
  12. JamesM
    Dec 11, 2005
    10
    Both the best Tim Burton and Johnny Depp movies of all time. It's in my top 20, undoubtably.
  13. Aug 27, 2010
    9
    Johnny Depp shines in his role as the infamous quirky film director trying to hit it big with grade-Z movies. As absurd as it is brilliant, this definitely ranks as one of Tim Burton's finer films.
  14. Apr 29, 2012
    9
    Let's just get something straight, this is not a biopic. This is a comedy first and foremost. This film chronicles the first few years of the film making career of Edward D. Wood Jr albeit quite loosely. It is very well acted, and very funny. Johnny Depp does a fantastic job at playing Ed in that he sympathetic, but we can still laugh at him. I really loved the music in the film too, itLet's just get something straight, this is not a biopic. This is a comedy first and foremost. This film chronicles the first few years of the film making career of Edward D. Wood Jr albeit quite loosely. It is very well acted, and very funny. Johnny Depp does a fantastic job at playing Ed in that he sympathetic, but we can still laugh at him. I really loved the music in the film too, it was very unique and fit the mood of the film very well. What I really liked was how if you knew anything about Ed Wood, or had seen some of of his films, you'd catch little jokes that people who didn't know about Ed Wood wouldn't. Great film, and one of my all time favorites. Expand
  15. edo
    Apr 8, 2012
    10
    Burton at his best, not surprise that almost 20 years after the release, he hasn't topped this. Perfect portrayal of Wood's not so desired turn of events during his career, to accomplish that without feeling sorry for the character, but rather to find certain motivations to believe in and defend one's passions, both entertains and leaves an extra of moral conclusions for the watchers.
  16. Dec 23, 2013
    9
    Funny, entertaining and not your typical Tim Burton movie. It follows Ed Wood, Hollywood's most famous (or maybe infamous) director for making terrible movies such as Plan 9 From Outer Space. It's a quirky film and in a way it immortalizes Ed Wood in endearing way. All and all it's a pretty great film and certainly worth a watch.
  17. May 23, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie may be one of those gems that are usually buried beneath other gems; gems that everyone are already accustomed to, but ever so rarely look for variety. You don't need me to tell you that this film is an homage to the now deceased Edward D. Wood Jr, and also that this isn't based off entirely true facts. Such things like Bela Logosi never swore so much, and other tiny details. With that said, I Don't entirely care if they don't get some facts right; unless of course they're drastic, but I say that what they didn't put in or whatever made this movie purely magnificent. By far one of the greatest tellings of a filmmaker ever. Never before have I felt so much sympathy for an actual bad director, mostly I would despise them. Here though you get an amazing performance by Johnny Depp playing Ed Wood. He's so energetic, such a swell guy making awful pieces of crap. You just ask yourself: How can I hate a person when they're such a nice and likeable? This movie is just a joy to watch, I was just so enthralled with every minute of the film. It's almost perfect; almost, the actors are good, the story is very interesting, and it can really get to sometimes. Like I said in how it gets to you I mean that it's not only funny, but actually very touching. Scenes of what we don't see in real life finally on the big screen, really makes one think of what do actors go through when in the film business. My ending statement: This movie is a excellent picture that should be viewed by everyone. Expand
  18. Nov 2, 2013
    10
    The one he'll be remembered for. Excellent!!! Dramatic, romantic, funny, exciting!!!! Watch this movie!!! The best movie of Tim and one of the best of Depp!!
  19. Sep 5, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Leave it to Tim Burton to make a tribute to the art of filmmaking through a biopic on a person who is generally considered one of the worst directors to ever make films, Ed Wood. The fifties sci-fi and horror film director who basically have been called everything from the most incompetent filmmaker of all time to an oblivious avant-gardist and misunderstood poet. The story starts with Edward D. Wood Jr as a struggling young screenwriter and director who is having trouble to find a studio willing to finance his first picture, when a film about the controversial topic of sex change comes to his attention. Ed desperately tries to convince the producer that he is the best man for the job on the grounds that he's a cross-dresser, but is rejected. Later that same day Ed has a run in and forms a friendship with the out of work acting legend, Bela Lugosi, a former horror-star with a severe morphine addiction. He returns to the studio and offers to get them Lugosi for their sex change film if he's allowed to direct and filming of the first, Edward Wood Jr, film Glen or Glenda begins.

    Ed Wood is a very rare film in many ways and not the average type of character study. It only depicts the rise, if you might call it that and not really any fall or many downs. Ed wood as a character is dealt with in a very comedic and lighthearted fashion making it the ultimate feel-good film. The fascinating friendship between Ed and Lugosi take as big a part of the story as the career of Ed and the two characters are brought to life through incredible performances from Johnny Depp and Martin Landau. The supporting cast is a solid bunch consisting of Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, George Steele, Max Casella, Brent Hinkley and Bill Murray. Costuming and makeup are both perfectly done to resemble the fifties and the film is shot in very atmospheric black and white intended to mirror Ed Wood's own films. Tim Burton probably decided to direct this film out of true admiration for the cult-filmmakers passion and loyalty to his vision, which really sets the tone for the entire film and sends the message that even the most popular filmmakers today have something to learn from this small time director of cheap b-movies.
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Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    20
    This Ed Wood is dead wood.
  2. If Ed Wood has a major failing, it's the lack of momentum. Wood's career had nowhere to go, and to some extent the film has the same problem. [23 September 1994, p.C34]
  3. A comedy of the ridiculous in which the ridiculous turns unexpectedly sublime.