Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 42
  2. Negative: 10 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Mar 18, 2013
    30
    At the center of the movie, in place of the ardent, emotionally pulverizing Judy Garland, there is James Franco...as he smirks and winks, his reflexive self-deprecation comes off as a gutless kind of cool, and it sinks this odd, fretful, uncertain movie like a boulder. [18 March 2013, p.86]
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 7, 2013
    30
    Oz the Great and Powerful, like so many products of movie studios that have lost their way, is a Tin Man of epic proportions — bright and shiny, with no heart.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Mar 5, 2013
    30
    Oz tilts towards the mawkish, as the sham wizard learns the value of selflessness and an incessant Danny Elfman score tugs so shamelessly at your tear ducts that it would make the Tin Man surrender his heart on the spot.
  4. 25
    Unfortunately, it has the model of the 1939 film to remind us how lacking in delight this version is.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Mar 7, 2013
    25
    About the movie industry’s misguided belief that it can distract the audience from a film’s narrative weaknesses with little more than flash and spectacle. That con might have worked with the rubes once upon a time, but in case Hollywood hasn’t noticed, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Mar 7, 2013
    25
    Oz the Great and Powerful is an oppressive, bloated bore.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Mar 6, 2013
    25
    Save your money and wait for the new 3-D version of the 1939 classic that Warner Bros. has promised for later this year.
  8. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 7, 2013
    20
    Can the major studios still make magic? From the looks of Oz the Great and Powerful, a dispiriting, infuriating jumble of big money, small ideas and ugly visuals, the answer seems to be no — unless, perhaps, the man behind the curtain is Martin Scorsese or James Cameron.
  9. Reviewed by: Calum Marsh
    Mar 5, 2013
    12
    An amorphous melange of ill-fitting reference points and misappropriated aesthetics, a lumbering family blockbuster both tiresome and wholly indistinct.
  10. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Mar 7, 2013
    0
    Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors. There is nothing here that is great, or powerful. Worst of all, there’s nothing here that even feels like Oz.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 440 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 150
  2. Negative: 35 out of 150
  1. Mar 8, 2013
    1
    It's March and there is finally a film released in 2013 that I was looking forward to going to the theater and watching. My expectations forIt's March and there is finally a film released in 2013 that I was looking forward to going to the theater and watching. My expectations for this film were not super high, I certainly would never expect it to live up to the original which is one of the greatest films of all time. I expected a respectable origin story, great visuals, and maybe a few easter eggs thrown in for fans of the original. With Raimi directing two of the better young actors working today, and two other more than capable actresses I didn't feel that my expectations were too high. I was blown away...with how poorly this film turned out.

    In two hours plus there is no story here that we don't already know from the original material, none, the screen writing couldn't possibly have been lazier. The acting is bad, soap opera bad. Some may possibly give Franco or Williams a pass because of the material. However no one will give Kunis a pass when she is transformed into the wicked witch of the west. If you need a reminder of how an over the top stereotypical witch should be played go back and watch a few minutes of Margaret Hamilton's version.

    There are several new characters introduced, as expected and as there should be. Unfortunately not one of them worked. Some are introduced for humor, some to tug at the heart strings, and some for plot devices. Not one of them is effective, and none of them are memorable.

    Probably most disappointing of all were the visuals of the film. I know the 1939 version probably doesn't actually look better, but the fact that I had that thought several times during the course of the movie gives you a glimpse into how poor the visuals were. The only exception was the opening credits and first 20 minutes of the film. All this was the black and white portion of the movie. These are the only moments where it is not obvious that the actors are on a sound stage going through the motions.

    The Wizard Of Oz was perfect family entertainment. Whimsical, humorous, frightening, and endearing. The characters were one dimensional, yes, but they were fun and we cared about them. Oz The Great And Powerful is none of these things. All I wanted was a glimpse back into aspects of the original. Instead I received my worst theater experience since Spiderman 3. Wait who was responsible for that one?
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 11, 2013
    8
    First off, what is with the hate on James Franco? He performed just fine! The film is actually better than it had any right to be, and in someFirst off, what is with the hate on James Franco? He performed just fine! The film is actually better than it had any right to be, and in some respects, it makes the 1939 film even better. The film looks great too. The visuals look really colorful and beautiful. The clever twists at the end are just the icing on the cake Full Review »
  3. Mar 9, 2013
    8
    This film is a pleasant surprise. Unlike other fairy tale movies like both Snow White movies and Alice in Wonderland, this film hasThis film is a pleasant surprise. Unlike other fairy tale movies like both Snow White movies and Alice in Wonderland, this film has characters you care about. James Franco does a solid job as Oz, but it's the supporting cast, (like Zach Braff's Finley the monkey and a little adorable china doll) that makes this film an enjoyable ride. Full Review »