User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 437 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 73 out of 437

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  1. Apr 28, 2014
    I tend to rate movies based on a few basic points: is it true to itself; is it interesting/stimulating; and does it leave me with a different mood ie does it move me?

    I tend to be moved by corny, black and self-aware humour, and Oz managed all three: hence this movie was great for me!

    There are different ways to define movies by genre, and this one falls, in my private method of
    delineation, of 'death dream'. Other movies such as the original Oz, Donnie Darko, Dark City, and possibly the Matrix, fit this bill. Moving an audience past the end of life and onto the bridge between here and not-here is a challenge, and one I love seeing done with consistency within the definitions of the movie itself.

    Matrix 2 and 3 were dismal failures becuase they left the lead-centered nature of Matrix 1, and ventured from exploration of concepts into something preposterous. These other movies were successful in the way they maintained the psychological focus within the main character's perceptions and projections, and the world within the movie operated as a function of their psychology.

    Oz the Great and Powerful is a pure death-dream movie, and is a continuous journey from one regret and failure to another as the main character transmutes guilt to wholeness. I thoroughly enjoyed the main character's journey!

    One a more superficial level, the style of the movie was completely integrated with the characterisations, and I LOVED the wicked witches three! Casting was spot-on! There was an almost total absence of non-white characters - green face-paint and monkeys don't really count, but it was wonderfully refreshing to have the male require saving from time-to-time! And: My name's 'Knuck!!!'

    Final verdict: Ya!
  2. Oct 23, 2013
    If anyone was going to tackle the works of the L. Frank Baum and catch the imagery Sami Rami was the perfect choice. The idea was intriguing and not only did Disney pull it off, they also gave us another reason to love the world of Oz.

    Oscar(James Franco) is a magician, or more of a con artist and when he ends up in Oz after being pulled into a tornado everyone in Oz thinks he has come
    to fulfill a prophecy to defeat the evil witch.

    The world of Oz is stunning. The visuals for the most part are incredible.It was a pleasant surprice that they did not go too close to the original so viewers would not be making comparisons scene by scene.

    The first half hour did feel very rushed and they could of benefited with developing the character of Theodora (Mila Kunis)

    A couple of the casting choices seemed miscast like Racheal Weisz who didn't seem to fit the role of Evanora. Mila Kunis defiantly steals the show with a fascinating personality who you seemed to really care about.

    James Franco played his character fine and it was a brave choice to cast someone so young.

    Overall Oz is a must see for anyone who enjoyed either 1939 Wizard of Oz or the novels. It most certainly has the potential to become a successful franchise.
  3. Sep 5, 2013
    I have always loved Disney. This is a movie I wouldn't expect from them, because their movies are normally kid movies. This was amazing, and it is my favorite movie. It is hilarious, well-written, interesting, and you are always on the edge of your seat.
  4. Jul 20, 2013
    I made plans to see this movie, then I saw it was rated 64% and I was like "oh crap...". Then I saw it anyways and thought it was great. I really like movies that take you to a new world and this did just that. The movie was somewhat unpredicatable which I liked. Anyway, i'd recommend it. I came out of the movie feeling like I just saw something great.
  5. Jun 23, 2013
    There are certain films for which can never be produced a fully palatable sequel (or prequel). I think those who made Oz the Great and Powerful knew this and didn't try to make a seamless transition; that was the right choice. I was hesitant going into this film, thinking it would be a disappointment, but I found myself smiling knowingly, laughing many times and in awe of the new places to be found in the world over the rainbow. Could I ever say that any movie made today can stand alongside the original classic, The Wizard of Oz as an equal? Of course not. But this is the best attempt that I think anyone could hope for and if you judge it on its own and for the tie in's made, I think it's great...and powerful. Expand
  6. Apr 27, 2013
    Oz is in my opinion, a masterpiece. This movie is a prequel to the original book and brings with it all the wonder and whimsy of the Land of Oz. The CGi isn't photorealistic, but this lends to that whimsy. It indicates that this world is something different and fantastical. The "shallow" story is the result of this being a world for children. It isn't supposed to be dark or gritty, it is supposed to be clean and innocent.

    All I can say is watch this movie while keeping in mind the source material.
  7. Apr 25, 2013
    Fantastic, a very enjoyable movie. The movie graphics are amazing, the colours are great and the characters are brilliant. A very good plot and good story line, very exciting and dazzling, a must see!
  8. Apr 5, 2013
    This movie changed my life. I feel liberated, a new (wo)man, as if I can go out and literally carpe diem James Francos performance was nothing less than Oscar worthy, Golden Glove worthy, Grammy worthy, hell it should be made into a Broadway musical so that he can win a Tony for it as well! The acting in this movie was, as i previously stated, life changing. I repeated myself just to get my point across. Seriously, life changing. Life changing. Life changing. Life changing. So, metacrtic lurker, you may be asking why so life changing? Go see the film and you shall see the face of God, nay Oz.
    Gossip Girl
  9. Apr 1, 2013
    that was amazing. I loved the films like Alice in Wonderland and this movie was kind of like that, i thought the cast was good and the 3D fit in well and it was very entertainig. Overall 10/10 i would reccomend this to anyone who liked Alice in Wonderland
  10. Mar 26, 2013
    The Wizard of Oz has been 1 of my favorite movies since I was a little girl. When I first saw the previews for Oz, The Great and Powerful, I instantly wanted to see it. So, on opening night, I took my 12 year old cousin who was also excited to see it. My expectations were set pretty high considering my love for The Wizard of Oz. This movie did not disappoint. I was truly amazed at how well this prequel was constructed, informing you about how things cam to be in Oz before Dorothy was there (how the great wizard had come from Kansas as he had told Dorothy, the reason "nobody have ever seen the great Oz" and the relationship between Oz and the witches. It was done in such a way to get the point across without forcing it into the story too much. There were plenty of humorous pieces fit in to relate to an all age audience, without being inappropriate. The one thing that was missing with the story behind the ruby slippers, but I found out later that MGM has the slippers under copyright as this was their addition to the movie, not what was in the book.

    For those expecting a remake of the 1939 movie, forget it. This is more like a prequel without being called one. There is no scarecrow, tin man or cowardly lion. There are several other characters who are included as well as many new friends who will tug at your heartstrings. Some of the movie may be a little scary for young children, but otherwise it is something to be loves by audiences of all ages.
  11. Mar 20, 2013
    A fabulous fantasy and a blast to watch, Oz the Great and Powerful is visually powerful and a great family movie!!! Great acting (you actually feel sorry for a specific character), fantastic visuals, and a handful of references to Disney fairy tales and the original 1939 classic. Plus, despite being over 2 hours long, this Oz prequel never has a boring moment integrated into it. Sam Raimi has outdone himself!!!

    Its' also clean for the most part. Though I do have to point out that if your younger ones were frightened by the witches/flying monkeys in the original Oz, stay FAR AWAY from this hot air balloon ride. This rendition of the classic magical land is a considerably darker and scarier place. Unlike the G-rated original that's fine for most 4 and 5 year olds on up, this PG-rated prequel of sorts is more for ages 9 and up.

    For a more detailed review, visit
  12. Mar 17, 2013
    I was skeptical about this film because of the poor reviews, and I went only because my 6-year-old son demanded it. I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the story and cinematography. How the Wizard of Oz came to be was craftily and clearly explained--very faithful to the original story. James Franco was a very likeable con artist with a good heart. My son enjoyed the plot twists and the fun action sequences in the hot air balloon. I've been tiring of films that overstimulate with special effects at the expense of story, but this film had a nice balance of action and character development. The titles were particularly original and artistic. A great family film! Expand
  13. Mar 13, 2013
    Great movie that while watching I couldnt help but get excited about the original movie and how this one ties it all together.. explains why this character is the the way they are.. worth watching.. 3d effects are cool.. nothing too breathtaking so 2d would be just as enjoyable. Go see it.. actors and actresses did well.. found myself wanting more at the end.. like felt quick because it was so enjoyable Collapse
  14. Mar 13, 2013
    It's a masterpiece. The "professional" reviewers are again, completely out to lunch. A beautifully realized vision of the land of Oz, and perhaps the best prequel ever made, and no I am not related to Sam Raimi.
  15. Mar 13, 2013
    A solid prequel to the classic that is 'The Wizard of Oz', and while it might make you think twice about the original (similar to what Wicked did for me) it's certainly for the good. Heavy on CGI, perhaps, but that seems to be the way films are going these days. The actors all played their roles perfectly and I particularly liked Finley & China Girl. It's also a great storyline that really picks up towards the end with a great ending. Overall a film I thoroughly enjoyed Expand
  16. Mar 13, 2013
    James Franco is the best actor I've ever seen. True Talent!!! He deserves much more attention because he is great!
  17. Mar 12, 2013
    It is a daunting task to follow anything that has greatness attached to it. When "The Wizard of OZ" came out in 1939, it was anything but a success but with the passage of time became a film classic and is now imprinted on our collective psyche. The marvel of "Oz Great and Powerful" is it's production design, from the opening titles, from Kansas to Oz itself is a technical wonder. While the temptation is to draw from all Oz before it, I do believe it succeeds on it's own and will become an enduring film that we will want to see again and again. Expand
  18. Mar 10, 2013
    Went and saw OZ The Great and Powerful today in 3D and it was SPECTACULAR!! It was fantastic!! VERY very worth seeing!! Especially on a big screen and especially in 3D. Very well done, well written, spectacular effects, good action, good story, good humor, good adventure Definite must see and certainly a must-own!
  19. Mar 10, 2013
    This movie worked for me. I do not understand the lukewarm reception this film gets. Possibly its that people have all seen the first one and have spent a lifetime imagining this material. What I found watching this movie is a great homage to the first film while never trying to outdo its predecessor. Some scenes fell flat but others shined like the china doll sequence. It is somewhat predictable but is a great piece of work. Expand
  20. Mar 10, 2013
    Enjoined every minute of the movie, from the visuals to the characters. A nice fairytale that does exactly what it should do. Do not listen to the haters.
  21. Mar 10, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. To me, the most important test of a movie is whether or not it was entertaining. I was thoroughly entertained. It was worth the price of the ticket. The special effects were awesome. And I could see Mila Kunis evolving into the Wicked Witch we've all come to know and love (hate Those that compare it to the first movie,to its detriment, are comparing apples and oranges. This was not a re-make nor was it intended to be. It was a good story in its own right, and I enjoyed it. As did my 8-yr old granddaughter.While she's seen "The Wizard of Oz", it hasn't had the imprint on her that those of us from another generation share, and she's still talking about it. I think Disney did a great job overall. Expand
  22. Mar 9, 2013
    There seem to be a lot of cynics out there who wish to view this as a simple cashgrab by Disney. While it may have some of that, the film on a whole does not suffer it. It is a most enjoyable experience in a way that the Star Wars prequel trilogy failed to achieve it does not try to live up to or surpass the greatness of the original. Rather, it tries and succeeds at using some of the magic of yesterday to tell a story for today's audience. An outright remake would have drawn poorly comparisons from the get-go, while this you could still walk into open-minded (if you don't listen to critics like Mr. Morgenstern who was just waiting for the opportunity to use a turn of the phrase in the Tin Man and make us belief that his opinions should matter. If you are getting your movie watching advice from WSJ instead of your real life friends and family first, and the actual public second well, there is no hope for you anyway). This walked a fine balance and told a suspenseful-enough tale that reminds you that magic does not have to die in your childhood. Expand
  23. Mar 9, 2013
    MGM did Disney a great service by wanting way too much for the use of certain similarities from the original movie and I'll explain why. By not allowing the likeness of the major characters in the original it made the Oz universe more vast, something I was disappointed with the Star Wars prequels. In Star Wars they wrap everything up nice and neat leaving no room for the imagination. This is one movie that I believe is being beaten up for all the wrong reasons. If you go into this and let yourself be engaged with movie, you will find yourself in a magical world that makes over two hours seem like 45 minutes. My family loved this movie and as it was done the sold out audience erupted in applause. I personally thought it was as good as the Avengers. I've grown up with Sam Rami movies since "The Evil Dead" and I love his film making. All I can say is that I hope this is a huge success so that there can be a sequel and we get to find out how the ruby slippers come about. Great fun and a great movie. Expand
  24. Mar 8, 2013
    It's been a long time since I've seen anything this visually brilliant. Oz The great and the Powerful is magic for any child's eyes! This remake of the classic is very well done, other than its gazing fashion which is brought up a lot in this film which is good for a remake. I think every Disney fan won't be disappointed by Sam Raimi 's elegant cinematic experience.
  25. Mar 8, 2013
    This is a awesome movie, do not believe in haters from critic, these people don't like popular movies. Oz is a movie to the people, to Disney fans around the world.

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
    At the center of the movie, in place of the ardent, emotionally pulverizing Judy Garland, there is James 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: Lawrence Toppman
    Mar 10, 2013
    What we get here is Oz the Amiable and Unthreatening.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 10, 2013
    It's familiar enough to be comfortable but not so familiar that it feels worn and repetitive.