User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 452 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 76 out of 452
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  1. Nov 9, 2014
    5
    Oz lacks the magic of its source material and might just be too dark and dull for young viewers. James Franco gives an uninspired performance and to say that a china doll was the best character sums it all up. It's visuals dazzle though.
  2. May 31, 2013
    2
    Underwhelming. Amounts to a series of colour palette choices and some adequate CGi. This abomination should be avoided at all costs. If fast forward had been available at the screener, I would have been home in time for YouTube. Grow up!
  3. May 8, 2013
    4
    Honestly just wanted to see this film by Michelle Williams; and the truth not me surprised, was what I expected: a bad film. Good Special effects but its only this, no more.
  4. Apr 23, 2013
    4
    Mention the Wizard of Oz in America and everyone has an opinion, it's an institution. In Britain it doesn't have the same effect which may make most people over here quite cynical when it comes to this prequel or maybe it means they will see it impartially. However this didn't happen for me because ultimately it just felt like any other fantasy film, a pretty one for sure but nothing in itMention the Wizard of Oz in America and everyone has an opinion, it's an institution. In Britain it doesn't have the same effect which may make most people over here quite cynical when it comes to this prequel or maybe it means they will see it impartially. However this didn't happen for me because ultimately it just felt like any other fantasy film, a pretty one for sure but nothing in it ever distinguished it as the prequel to a classic. In fact it turned me off the original slightly. The film follows Oz an arrogant, slimy Kansas magician who is swept up in a hurricane and transported to Oz. He must travel the land that sees him as its savior despite his inherent nature. However he must contend with an evil witch (or two) along the way as well. It's a shame that a director known for being adventurous and ambitious plays Oz so incredibly safe in not only casting but story. There are certain qualities to be found in Oz that are hidden away beneath a wealth of mediocrity and problems, most of which reduce the film to an average family picture that will leave you empty on your exit. James Franco makes a good Oz but there is nothing surprising about his performance, it just feels as though he was a good choice, but not the right one. Michelle Williams however continues to impress with her turn as Glinda the good witch as she is knowledgeable, whimsical and a realist, something Williams shows almost effortlessly. Rachel Weisz entertains too but she is let down by Mila Kunis who is terribly miscast. Her naive witch comes across as irritating and when her character changes, you can guess how, she just becomes loud and even more irritating. An attempt to call back to the camp of the original just turns into poor emulation, especially in regards to the witches. The story itself is basic, bordering on formulaic forcing the film to impress with its visuals which like i said it does but it just isn't enough. The addition of sidekicks for Oz makes him a different kind of Dorothy with Zach Braff and Joey King playing a flying monkey and a china doll who can see the best and the worst in him. In fact the two of them are the most memorable parts of this film adding some great comic relief as well as most of the film's heart. The film has heart but it doesn't have enough to mask the problems and all around average feeling the movie creates Expand
  5. Mar 10, 2013
    7
    The wicked witch might not be so wicked, but be prepared for an epic visual triumph, that dazzles the mind and satisfies the ears with a great, albeit a bit overblown soundtrack. This might not be the Oz that you remember, but it remains fresh enough for another trip back through the yellow brick road.
  6. Mar 24, 2013
    1
    Everything about the original has turned into a laughable embarrassment that is heartless and mindless. The Great and Powerful Oz is bland, uninteresting and carries no magic or wonder to it. As for James Franco, this should be a wake up call that his acting career needs to end.
  7. Mar 26, 2013
    3
    Main thing is James Franco's miscasting,he was Raimi's choice, 'cause he had work him in SM trilogy.But it should have been Johnny Depp,he is kinda born to play such fantasy roles,so he is the most perfect for Oz.Weisz is quite good,as she is always,and Mila and Williams are nothing special.The story is soooo predictable at the end.A Movie to entertain the people who only care about CGIMain thing is James Franco's miscasting,he was Raimi's choice, 'cause he had work him in SM trilogy.But it should have been Johnny Depp,he is kinda born to play such fantasy roles,so he is the most perfect for Oz.Weisz is quite good,as she is always,and Mila and Williams are nothing special.The story is soooo predictable at the end.A Movie to entertain the people who only care about CGI and nothing else.And Disney cant repeat Alice's success 'cause, 3D revolution is over and WHO CARES 3D now huh??!!. Expand
  8. Jul 23, 2013
    0
    I am going to start out right away and say this movie was terrible. Just terrible. I had hopes for this movie but they were shattered within the first twenty minutes of the movie.

    There was probably only one likable character in the entire movie and it wasn't Oz. In fact, he was probably the least likable character. I thought choosing Jame Francco to play Oz was a bad move. Most of the
    I am going to start out right away and say this movie was terrible. Just terrible. I had hopes for this movie but they were shattered within the first twenty minutes of the movie.

    There was probably only one likable character in the entire movie and it wasn't Oz. In fact, he was probably the least likable character. I thought choosing Jame Francco to play Oz was a bad move. Most of the casting for the movie was bad.

    The special effects were terrible. It reminded me of Revenge of the Sith were everything was green screened. I am serious, EVERYTHING WAS IN GREEN SCREEN. I even notice background cows that literally look like something from a 1990s PC game. Also the 'lovable' monkey awkward and obviously fake. I am unsure if they even tried to make the CG portions of the film fit with the two real things on screen.

    The overall story was pointless too. I mean was there really a need to go back and tell the story of Oz other than money? NO. I was uninterested throughout 98% of the movie. That 2% is when the china girl doll thing was on the screen, she was the one interesting character in the whole movie. They tried to portray Oz and a con man was silly and how he just suddenly changed his ways was absurd because there was no build up, all of a sudden, boom, he was good.

    I need to stop before i saw something insulting. This i a terrible movie. Don't see it, Don't buy it, Don't rent it. It ranks and one of the worst movies I have seen.
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  9. May 27, 2013
    2
    Just terrible. This movie was definitely done 100% in front of a green screen and for 3D and it clearly shows. The animations are sloppy, the 3D "gotchas" are cringe worthy, the story is terrible and the acting is just laughable. How does James Franco get acting jobs?
  10. Apr 29, 2013
    1
    The thing that lets this film down the most is the terrible terrible dialogue. If you're drowning in water and there's nobody around, do you start yelling "I can't swim!" No you don't. It's as if the director thinks we're so moronic that we need everything spelled out for us. James Franco is incredibly annoying to the point where you want to just slap that inane smile from his face. HisThe thing that lets this film down the most is the terrible terrible dialogue. If you're drowning in water and there's nobody around, do you start yelling "I can't swim!" No you don't. It's as if the director thinks we're so moronic that we need everything spelled out for us. James Franco is incredibly annoying to the point where you want to just slap that inane smile from his face. His acting is ATROCIOUS, but with a script like that it's hardly surprising. Loaded with cliches (cackling witches anyone?) this film is a soulless, special effects driven mess that will be forever known by people with taste as a thorn in the side and embarrassment to the original. Avoid like the zombie plague Expand
  11. Apr 28, 2013
    3
    It is boring and less magical than recent movies with almost the same plot such as Alice in Wonderland which is amazing, but this it is not entertaining not good but the thing is that it is visually stunning, it is like lyrics without music, it is not good, it is not entertaining, it is boring and
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Mar 11, 2013
    3
    How anyone actually likes this is a shock to me! Bad acting, bad directing, bad special effects. A pointless prequel to say the least. James Franco was awful, completely unbelievable as Oz. Sam Raimi should be embarrassed at how bad this movie is. It had no heart, no brain, and no courage.
  16. Mar 16, 2013
    1
    This movie is horrible. Dialog is bad. Horrendous. Visuals are ok, not eyecandy material. There were a few convincing moments, but that's not enough. This movie isThis movie is horrible. Dialog is bad. Horrendous. Visuals are ok, not eyecandy material. There were a few convincing moments, but that's not enough. This movie is badddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd. Expand
  17. 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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  18. Mar 10, 2013
    3
    Excessive length kills an already verbally challenged storyline. I must confess to not being a huge fan of the land of Oz. There is no denying the classic status of 1939's 'The Wizard of Oz', but recent theatrical productions have either been truly awful (Wicked) or overly familiar ('Wizard of Oz). This Oz fares no better. James Franco is charismatic as the fake wizard injecting bothExcessive length kills an already verbally challenged storyline. I must confess to not being a huge fan of the land of Oz. There is no denying the classic status of 1939's 'The Wizard of Oz', but recent theatrical productions have either been truly awful (Wicked) or overly familiar ('Wizard of Oz). This Oz fares no better. James Franco is charismatic as the fake wizard injecting both humour and a liveliness into the proceedings, but the film runs out of steam long before the second half. Compensations are to be had with the aesthetics of the film. Costumes, Art-Direction, Visual effects and Make-up are all truly amazing and the film looks the millions of dollars that it probably cost to make. It is probably the best looking film of the year so far. However, it is probably the worst scripted also, and where film making is concerned it is always better to have a good story to get involved with than a visual feast. Both in sync is the ideal. This Oz is basically a boring, but beautiful series of pictures. Expand
  19. 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
  20. Mar 15, 2013
    0
    Disappointing does not even begin to describe how I felt when watching this movie. The only enjoyable part is the first 15-20 minutes, when everything is in black and white. After that, the movie descends into horrible cliches and the worst acting I have seen in a long time (looking at you Mr. Franco). Normally even a bad movie can keep me entertained with great visuals. Unfortunately,Disappointing does not even begin to describe how I felt when watching this movie. The only enjoyable part is the first 15-20 minutes, when everything is in black and white. After that, the movie descends into horrible cliches and the worst acting I have seen in a long time (looking at you Mr. Franco). Normally even a bad movie can keep me entertained with great visuals. Unfortunately, most of OZ's visuals were absolutely terrible. The "funny" flying monkey side kick is alarmingly fake looking. The most fun you will have seeing this movie is driving to the theater. Expand
  21. 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.
  22. 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 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 theIt'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?
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  23. Mar 13, 2013
    3
    One of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. James Franco's slapstick/over the top/general hospital es-que performance will go down as one of the most cringe worthy performances on screen ever. Mila Kunis brings no intimidation/menace to her role, Rachel Weiss feels cold and one noted in her role. The only reason I did not give this movie a 0 rating is because the Porcelain girl,One of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. James Franco's slapstick/over the top/general hospital es-que performance will go down as one of the most cringe worthy performances on screen ever. Mila Kunis brings no intimidation/menace to her role, Rachel Weiss feels cold and one noted in her role. The only reason I did not give this movie a 0 rating is because the Porcelain girl, The monkey and Glenda were all fantastic in their roles. I would have much preferred a movie about Glenda and not about Oz, or at least not about James Franco's Oz. Expand
  24. Mar 8, 2013
    8
    It's a visual treat. The Special Effects are AMAZING!! Followed by great performances esp by Rachel Weisz. It is funny occasionally and the monkey character 'Finley' voiced by Zack Braff is Fantastic. Overall a Fun Movie. The script could have been sharper.
  25. Mar 10, 2013
    7
    Genuinely Funny. Characters are good and the annoying ones are supposed to be annoying. Old fashion looking purposefully low quality effects are awesome. Very good cgi visuals it is very good looking. Entire black and white intro is awesome.
  26. 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!
  27. Mar 26, 2013
    3
    Going into this "Oz", I expected at least a moderately coherent plot, serviceable acting, and some decent special effects, but apparently even those expectations were too high. For the amount of money spent on this movie, and the amount of work put into it, the result is underwhelming to put it mildly. The overall quality of the film could be compared to a Disney Channel movie. JamesGoing into this "Oz", I expected at least a moderately coherent plot, serviceable acting, and some decent special effects, but apparently even those expectations were too high. For the amount of money spent on this movie, and the amount of work put into it, the result is underwhelming to put it mildly. The overall quality of the film could be compared to a Disney Channel movie. James Franco's acting ranged from decent to bad, and Mila Kunis' performance ranged from sleepwalk-acting to soap opera-level awful (at some points she was unintentionally hilarious). I would recommend it for children 6 and under, but even then, there are scenes in "Oz" that would actually be terrifying for very young children. In the end, I will say to just avoid this movie if possible. Expand
  28. Mar 10, 2013
    10
    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.
  29. Mar 9, 2013
    8
    A fun movie to go out and see with friends. Visually, it's amazing. I wish they executed a few parts of the story better than they did, but all in all, it's great fun
  30. Mar 10, 2013
    10
    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!
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.