User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 453 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 77 out of 453
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  1. Sep 21, 2013
    7
    The magic and eye candy will keep you and the kids interested for a while, but where does it all go after that? So, Franco learns his lesson, plays a trick on Weisz, then rewards everyone who helped him along the way. "The best gift I can give to you is the gift of my friendship." says Franco. I bet he got a lot of s**t for that at the roast.
  2. Aug 18, 2013
    8
    Surprisingly dazzling with great special effect and some charming characters. As someone who didn't expect much going into this, and as someone who thought a prequel to the legendary "The Wizard of Oz" was pointless, I must say I was impressed with how much I enjoyed the movie. It in no way lives up to the original movie, but on its own it's still an enjoyable film. It packs humor,Surprisingly dazzling with great special effect and some charming characters. As someone who didn't expect much going into this, and as someone who thought a prequel to the legendary "The Wizard of Oz" was pointless, I must say I was impressed with how much I enjoyed the movie. It in no way lives up to the original movie, but on its own it's still an enjoyable film. It packs humor, excitement, and some surprising emotion. The cast is fantastic, particularly the memorable supporting cast. There are some inaccuracies here and there but overall it ties in nicely with the original movie, and has a slight mature story that tells you not to play with peoples emotions. Overall it's a great film, and while it ay not live up to its predecessor, it's still worth a watch. Expand
  3. Mar 8, 2013
    9
    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.
  4. Mar 9, 2013
    8
    As whimsical as it is beguiling, "Oz The Great And Powerful" overwhelmingly surmounts its potential; thanks to Sam Raimi's perfectly conceived directorial imagination.
  5. Dec 18, 2013
    7
    When I first heard that Disney was doing a prequel to the Wizard of Oz, I was kind of annoyed. Then I remembered that they did a pretty decent job making a sequel to it, 25 years earlier. My hopes got even higher when I heard that James Franco would star in it. To me, he was such an interesting choice to play the wizard. Franco is a very versatile actor, but he's known more for action andWhen I first heard that Disney was doing a prequel to the Wizard of Oz, I was kind of annoyed. Then I remembered that they did a pretty decent job making a sequel to it, 25 years earlier. My hopes got even higher when I heard that James Franco would star in it. To me, he was such an interesting choice to play the wizard. Franco is a very versatile actor, but he's known more for action and comedy, not family films, but he brings a very interesting dynamic to the movie. Much like the Wizard of Oz and Return To Oz, this film is taken directly from the original Oz stories of L. Frank Baum. Once again, instead of just adapting a book, the screen writers picked and chose from several stories to create this one, and if I may say so, they did a very good job. Of course there is a bunch of Disneyizing to it, as seen with the spunky china girl and the talking monkey, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Franco is terrific and really carries the story. He combines his charms and looks with goofiness and ingenuity to make his character come alive in a way that L. Frank Baum would have loved. He's paired with Mila Kunis who is also really good and used to playing unlikable characters...Shut up Meg! What I especially liked about this film is how they played off the original. Starting in black & white, in an old box format, before opening up to the tradition high def. widescreen view was ingenious. I also loved how people from the black & white story had roles in Oz, just like the original. What was strange though is that they made Oz out to be a real place and discounted the whole dream aspect of the stories. In all of Baum's writings it was never known for a certainty weather or not Oz was a real place. The fact of the matter is that nothing in this genre will ever be as good as the original Wizard of Oz, but The Great & Powerful answers a lot of questions, is taken directly from the writings of the original author, has a great cast, and really does an impressive job of connecting to a film that was made 75 years earlier. Expand
  6. 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 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.
  7. Jun 24, 2013
    8
    You can dissect this movie in every way and find a way to degrade it to the original, or you can take it for what it is. It is a delightful treat to see great visuals with wonderful characters.
  8. 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 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
  9. Mar 24, 2013
    8
    Surprisingly, this was one spectacle. Even though it doesn't live up to the original "The Wizard of Oz" it's still one to behold. I was afraid that it would be like "Alice in Wonderland" a wonderluss boring tale with some bad acting. Thank God that wasn't the case. It does have cheesy moments, but overall it's a visual marvel.
  10. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    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 reallyA 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
  11. Oct 1, 2013
    8
    Oz the Great and Powerful was actually better than I thought it would be.My favorite characters in the movie was the China girl, and Witch of the west.Allot of people seem to think this is a remake but it`s a separate story.
  12. Jun 4, 2013
    7
    "To say "OZ" is powerful is pushing its boundaries a little bit, but great is a fair assessment. Oz is a visually stunning spectacle with enough dazzle and humor to make up for its overbearing run-time, middling performances and modest conclusion." B
  13. Mar 25, 2013
    8
    Enjoyable fantasy flick by Sam Raimi may have the same 'plot points' as Disney's own Alice in Wonderland, but done in such an enthusiastic fashion that you just can't help but smile. Raimi and the casts infuse so much energy into this production that it covers up some inconsistencies in the plot. Psychedelic production values and a lot of humor made this feel like an acid trip. While theEnjoyable fantasy flick by Sam Raimi may have the same 'plot points' as Disney's own Alice in Wonderland, but done in such an enthusiastic fashion that you just can't help but smile. Raimi and the casts infuse so much energy into this production that it covers up some inconsistencies in the plot. Psychedelic production values and a lot of humor made this feel like an acid trip. While the CGI might feel a little too much, but when it works (i.e. in China doll's case), it really works. One thing I like is that Oz doesn't really gain any magic powers by the end of the film, and its conclusion is so consistent with his character and his abilities. Kudos for Franco for selling this character, in a role meant for Rob Downey Jr. of all people. Expand
  14. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    Great visuals, nice cast. the monkey is cool too. The storyline is OK, it's like a prequel to the original Oz. The 3d effects are decent. Such movies are good to let your brain rest and to take you away from everyday routine. Nothing more.
  15. Mar 23, 2013
    7
    This film had many things that could have gone wrong, but they really did a great job. It´s beautiful and colourful. The beginning in black and white is cool and when the wizard finally arrives in Oz... wow it´s so beautiful. Of course this is a film based on the visual effects and tries to pay homage to the original. But it´s not an empty film at all. It´s way better than Alice inThis film had many things that could have gone wrong, but they really did a great job. It´s beautiful and colourful. The beginning in black and white is cool and when the wizard finally arrives in Oz... wow it´s so beautiful. Of course this is a film based on the visual effects and tries to pay homage to the original. But it´s not an empty film at all. It´s way better than Alice in Wonderland. The actors did a good job. The movie is constantly funny and people enjoy it from start to finish. There are a few moments that feel truly scary (totally unexpected for me) and the two best characters (the monkey and the little porcelain girl) are great. Incredible that they make you feel sad for a character like that little porcelain. Totally recommendable. Not a masterpiece but at least what all big blockbusters full of visual effects should be Expand
  16. Mar 12, 2013
    7
    Oz: The Great And Powerful turns out to be a very honorable prequel to 1939's The Wizard Of Oz. The script and acting is so well written and intelligent. Not to mention it has an all-star cast including James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, and Rachel Weisz who are all very believable for each of their roles. But one of the biggest things that blew me away was the special effects.Oz: The Great And Powerful turns out to be a very honorable prequel to 1939's The Wizard Of Oz. The script and acting is so well written and intelligent. Not to mention it has an all-star cast including James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, and Rachel Weisz who are all very believable for each of their roles. But one of the biggest things that blew me away was the special effects. Very well made movie. My rating is 3/4 stars. Expand
  17. Mar 10, 2013
    9
    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 somewhatThis 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
  18. Mar 12, 2013
    7
    “Oz the Great and Powerful” deals with the themes of believing and how powerful faith can be. The story handles the theme very well with clever writing and homages to the older film (keep in mind that this is a prequel to the actual story and not the 1939 classic film by MGM). Sam Raimi does a good job of directing the film. He mixes humor with the more semi-serious moments. There are“Oz the Great and Powerful” deals with the themes of believing and how powerful faith can be. The story handles the theme very well with clever writing and homages to the older film (keep in mind that this is a prequel to the actual story and not the 1939 classic film by MGM). Sam Raimi does a good job of directing the film. He mixes humor with the more semi-serious moments. There are moments of excitement that gets the blood going and legitimately scary moments that make you jump out your seat. However, the story mainly in the middle gets a bit confused on what it is about and what’s happening. Along with that, certain things feel a bit rushed particularly when Oz arrives in Oz.

    The acting and characters for the most part are decent. Oz, James Franco, is pretty much the scene stealer as one would hope from a movie titled “Oz.” Franco brings a lot of charisma and charm to the character along with being relatable. He sometime goes a bit over the top, but when he puts on his big cheesy smile almost everything is forgiven. Mila Kunis is okay in the movie at best, but half way through she become not so good. Her character feels forced and any emotion she tries to convey comes off as trying too hard. There’s a flying monkey and little porcelain girl that bring a lot of the heart to the film. They’re incredibly likable and help show off some of the humanity in Oz.

    I particularly like the visual effects. The backgrounds are well detailed and immerses the viewer into the world. There are some moments were you can tell it’s CGI and the character don’t blend well with the background, but they don’t appear very often. The musical score by Danny Elfman is effective, but not too memorable until the third act.

    Overall, “Oz the Great and Powerful” isn’t great, but it is still pretty good. The special effects are great, but have some spotty moments, the score my Elfman is solid, and James Franco’s performance steals the show. However, there are some minor story issues in the first two acts and the acting by the rest of the cast, especially Mila Kunis, leaves more to be desired. The final act of the film is spectacular though and sums up everything great about the film incredibly well. I give it an incredibly high 3.5/5, acting could use some work, but Franco and the third act make this a really good experience.
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  19. Jun 23, 2013
    8
    The film starts off unimpressively in B&W and old-timey but if you can endure past Oscar's trip to Oz then you're in for a visual feast. You really need a 55-in or larger 3D HDTV to really benefit from this offering, I have one from LG, and the cinematography stands out as its own feature. We come into Oz in full saturated color at full 1080p, quite a treat. And there are severalThe film starts off unimpressively in B&W and old-timey but if you can endure past Oscar's trip to Oz then you're in for a visual feast. You really need a 55-in or larger 3D HDTV to really benefit from this offering, I have one from LG, and the cinematography stands out as its own feature. We come into Oz in full saturated color at full 1080p, quite a treat. And there are several jump-from-your-seat moments that are best experienced in 3D. The plot and characters are aimed more at tween girls but it's tolerable for the rest of us, especially towards the climactic end for which you should have tissues on hand. Overall, it's a great prequel for one of America's enduring family classics. Expand
  20. Apr 20, 2013
    7
    Not the best movie of year 2013,but fair enough humor and 3De ffects make movie is watchable.I felt movie is lacking a steady plot.Anyway this worth to watch if you in to simple pop corn movies.
  21. Jan 11, 2015
    10
    Though it most certainly doesn't have as much songs as the original film, Oz the Great and Powerful is a spectacular film that you'll enjoy a lot! It has plenty of funny scenes and the end will make you want to root on the good guys!
  22. Mar 8, 2013
    7
    There are times it is magical and reminds you why you love the original. Then there are other times it is too campy and too corny. Franco may have been miscast but he does a fine job in the role and Zach Braff provides a lot of laughs as his monkey sidekick. It's not awful just don't be expecting art.
  23. Mar 9, 2013
    7
    If you are expecting this intense, exciting adventure, you will be disappointed. If you are expecting a hilarious comedy, you will also be disappointed, just as you would be if you were expecting this emotional powerhouse, or a thought provoking masterpiece. What this is is a very mild version of each of those, which by no means should be taken as a serious movie. This is actually prettyIf you are expecting this intense, exciting adventure, you will be disappointed. If you are expecting a hilarious comedy, you will also be disappointed, just as you would be if you were expecting this emotional powerhouse, or a thought provoking masterpiece. What this is is a very mild version of each of those, which by no means should be taken as a serious movie. This is actually pretty similar to recent story adaptations such as Snow White and the Huntsman and Alice in Wonderland, neither of which I really liked. It's not very original at all, it drags in spots, but it has a few laughs, some mildly emotional moments, and a small bit of exciting action. What separates this from those movies is James Franco's performance. He is so intentionally over the top, that it gives the impression that the movie doesn't take itself too seriously. James might be the only person involved in the whole movie who realizes how hokey and corny it is, but he owns it, and that makes it enjoyable. He basically hams up the screen as if he is making a mockery of the script. The movie would be pretty terrible if this quest to defeat the witch were taken as seriously as the script seems to take it, but James has fun with it, and doesn't take the movie seriously at all, which becomes contagious. I guess you have to go into it with that same attitude for it to work. It works for little kids anyway, but James makes it work for adults too. Of course it looks great, and there are some genuinely good moments too, like how they reveal the witches. I do like the references to the original movie, like how it starts out in black and white (basically things they could get away with without having the rights). Kids will like it, and adults will like it if you like the original, and you go into it taking it very lightly. Expand
  24. Apr 17, 2013
    8
    I am not particularly fond of the original movie, which I consider to be overly saccharine and wildly overated, mostly by people who fantasise obsessively about "movie magic" and how great the movies of the thirties and forties were. I really wasn't expecting much. In fact I only went to this one because I made an error in booking. So I was pleasantly surprised at how witty, emotionallyI am not particularly fond of the original movie, which I consider to be overly saccharine and wildly overated, mostly by people who fantasise obsessively about "movie magic" and how great the movies of the thirties and forties were. I really wasn't expecting much. In fact I only went to this one because I made an error in booking. So I was pleasantly surprised at how witty, emotionally engaging and spectacular this film is. James Franco is not all that appealing, but the performances of the three witches are great especially Michelle Williams. The special effects are pretty good, the humour was fine, the romantic riffs were deftly handled. And the porcelain doll was particularly well done she has most of the best lines, for a start. The 3D was excellent as well. Congrats to Sam Raimi for pulling something so good out of pretty unpromising material. A real labour of love, with plenty of movie magic of its own. Expand
  25. Apr 27, 2014
    8
    This movie is good, don't get me wrong. But the only way you can really enjoy it is if you block out everything you already know about the original classic the Wizard of Oz. At times it's hard to follow if you are clinging onto that, especially as half of the characters that are in this movie, don't even get the slightest mention in the original which is mean to come after this one on aThis movie is good, don't get me wrong. But the only way you can really enjoy it is if you block out everything you already know about the original classic the Wizard of Oz. At times it's hard to follow if you are clinging onto that, especially as half of the characters that are in this movie, don't even get the slightest mention in the original which is mean to come after this one on a timeline scale. However, forgetting all that the movie is whimsical and magical, and actually at times makes really good comparisons to the original story. Expand
  26. Apr 25, 2013
    10
    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!
  27. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    James Franco is the best actor I've ever seen. True Talent!!! He deserves much more attention because he is great!
  28. Apr 25, 2013
    8
    This movie is not half bad. James Franco was a good pick for the role. If they had gone with Robert Downey, his persona would have made all the interactions seem too dirty while Franco's silly innocence keeps it light. Great effects and some good humor are also what make it worth the watch.
  29. Apr 1, 2013
    10
    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
  30. Mar 9, 2013
    9
    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 theThere 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
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: Lawrence Toppman
    Mar 10, 2013
    58
    What we get here is Oz the Amiable and Unthreatening.
  3. 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.