User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 93 out of 100
  2. Negative: 3 out of 100

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  1. Jan 22, 2011
    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.
  2. Oct 29, 2012
    Ed Wood is a strangely uncharismatic bio-pic from Burton and Depp. It has some nice photography, some decent performances and great period design but I felt myself drift off into boredom during the final third.
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    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.
  4. Mar 7, 2012
    Ed Wood is clearly a very personal film for Tim Burton. He's obviously got great affection for the director widely dubbed "the worst of all time", and through this affection, Burton promotes sympathy in us as well. Johnny Depp is a compelling protagonist, making Wood's personality quirks amusing, but never to the point of parody. We are rooting for this Tinseltown underdog throughout the film, and desperately want him to succeed. Bill Murray is also good cast completely against type, as Wood's flamboyantly gay friend Bunny Breckinridge, who is seeking sex reassingnment. The real highlight of the film though is Martin Landau, who is simply perfect as a bitter, sweary, drug-addicted elderly Bela Lugosi. Less impressive is Sarah Jessica Parker playing Ed's girlfriend Dolores Fuller. I've never really seen the appeal of SJP, and her performance as Dolores does nothing to convert me - she over-acts at times, and is wooden at others, in short, she's extremely inconsistent. While Edward D. Wood, Jr.'s story is a relatively engaging and lively ride (helped a great deal by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski's entertaining script), I can't help but feel that a story more geared towards the elderly Bela Lugosi character would have made for a far more interesting film. Once you've gotten beyond Wood's ineptitude as a filmmaker, his used-car-salesman-style dialogues with prospective film backers and his tendency to walk on set in a skirt and high-heels, his potential as a dramatically resonating main character is limited. The scenes dealing with Lugosi and his tragic later years are the best in the film, and could have been expanded to a full-length human tragedy. That said, Ed Wood is never dull, on the contrary, Tim Burton's love-letter to the critically-despised, yet cult favourite director of Plan 9 from Outer Space is, for the most part, well-acted, well-written, funny and engaging. It's an exceedingly worthy biopic of a rather fascinating little man. Expand
  5. Dec 20, 2011
    This has to be one of Tim Burton's best. This whole film was very well produced. Tim Burton's dark humor keeps me laughing and a little disturbed at times. Getting to the actual review, this is a biopic about a real life film director that has been named the worst director in cinematic history. His name is Ed Wood.(that's why they called the film Ed Wood). Although this was filmed in 1994 it's in black and white. But the color isn't what makes a film good and anyone that saids otherwise needs help. This film features a much younger Johnny Depp so I would recommend this to mostly females. The acting was very good. The writing was also good especially the one liners. There where so many funny one liners that if you talked you missed them. Although being a comedy this film is also quite serious. Especially the relationship between Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi. Towards the end it was very touching and depressing. If you like this movie then you might also want to check out Ed Wood movies like Plan 9 from Outer Space and The Bride of the Monster. Expand
  6. Sep 30, 2014
    Entertaining, well written,and excellently directed and performed! Overall a good movie. It is not the best movie film out there but in its genre I would say it is a solid 8! This film shows that complexity is not a pre-requisite to have a great movie, great movies can be simple too :)
  7. Apr 29, 2012
    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, 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
  8. edo
    Apr 8, 2012
    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.
  9. Dec 23, 2013
    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.
  10. Jan 3, 2013
    Ed Wood impresses with a good cast (though it can get confusing with the many speaking parts it exhibits) but is a film that leads into nowhere. Obviously, Burton reveres Wood in some strange way, but he can't (or just doesn't) stop this biography of drifting off into a boring tale of a strange transvestite. A 80 minute flick would've told everything that needed to be told. But besides the protrecting, Ed Wood is an interesting as well as odd story and you can have a nice time with it. Collapse
  11. May 23, 2013
    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
  12. Nov 2, 2013
    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!!
  13. Sep 5, 2014
    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.

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
    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.