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
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 6, 2013
    67
    Oz the Great and Powerful vacillates between visual wonders and earthbound duds. Is there enough here to make viewers believe? Most probably. Even though the film has no ruby slippers, we all know there’s no place like home.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Mar 6, 2013
    63
    Some of the surprises in Oz the Great and Powerful, the much-anticipated "Wizard of Oz" origins movie, are delightful. Others, however, sink the movie just below the point of recommendation, with the primary drawback falling on the lovely shoulders of Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis, as early versions of Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West, respectively.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Mar 7, 2013
    63
    As a series of sights, which movies like these are, Oz the Great and Powerful is more like "Oz the Digital and Relentless." Certainly this is true in its final half-hour, which seemed to me to be all explosions.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Mar 4, 2013
    80
    If there are post-Harry Potter children who don’t know or care about The Wizard of Oz, they might be at sea with this story about a not-very-nice grownup in a magic land, but long-term Oz watchers will be enchanted and enthralled. There’s even a musical number, albeit an abbreviated one. Mila Kunis gets a gold star for excellence in bewitchery and Sam Raimi can settle securely behind the curtain as a mature master of illusion.
  5. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Mar 5, 2013
    75
    Raimi manages to keep things engaging, which is a very real act of wizardry in and of itself.
  6. 75
    The cast, plainly packed with second or third choices, lets it down. Is there anything in James Franco’s past that suggests larger-than-life, a fast-talking, womanizing con-man? And the three witches – Theodora, Evanora and Glinda – are Bland, Blander and Blond Bland.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Mar 6, 2013
    75
    Nothing in it comes close to the magic, the originality or the everlasting entertainment value of the original, which only cost $2.777 million and didn’t use a single computer-generated graphic. This says more about how much better movies were in 1939 than they are today. Still, I had enough fun to predict that history (or at least a tiny piece of it) seems destined to repeat itself. People just can’t get enough of this stuff.
  8. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Mar 7, 2013
    75
    Most of the time, though, it's a confusing mishmash featuring a fine actor too willfully operating outside his comfort zone.
  9. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 10, 2013
    75
    It's familiar enough to be comfortable but not so familiar that it feels worn and repetitive.
  10. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 7, 2013
    75
    That's why the more you like the Judy Garland film, the more you might appreciate Oz the Great and Powerful. Appreciate. Enjoy. Admire. Be glad to see. Have fun with ... But as for love - well, love will be harder to come by.
  11. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Mar 7, 2013
    67
    It took brains to create such a sumptuous fantasia with pixels and keyboard swipes. Now, if it only had a heart.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 452 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 151
  2. Negative: 35 out of 151
  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 »