User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 451 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 76 out of 451
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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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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  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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!
  14. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    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 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.
  16. Mar 9, 2013
    8
    Oz the Great and Powerful is a mixed bag. It's very big, extremely colorful, and full of unique characters. I took the family to see it and found that it was perfectly suited for almost all ages. There was no violence or blood and only a couple of 3D staged frrights, mostly in the form of flying monkeys (which was the scariest part of the the original WOO). The characters were notOz the Great and Powerful is a mixed bag. It's very big, extremely colorful, and full of unique characters. I took the family to see it and found that it was perfectly suited for almost all ages. There was no violence or blood and only a couple of 3D staged frrights, mostly in the form of flying monkeys (which was the scariest part of the the original WOO). The characters were not terribly well developed but everyone had their place and it was fun to watch them chew up the scenery. The effects were a mixed bag with some of it being very good but others (mostly long shots of characters running) looking obviously CGI. The story itself plays right along the lines of WOO with character failings and encounters being resolved or re-met in Oz. The CGI characters looked terrific and the China Doll was absolutely precious. It was very easy to forget you were looking at CGI. The ending was very satisfying and my favorite part of the movie. I think the only place it missed was revealing an important character note very early. The original WOO held onto a mystery until the very end and I expected that here. Aside from that, the various plot points tied up nicely and we left the theater smiling.

    Oz the Great and Powerful isn't a masterpiece, but it's a very, very good film. Based on other reviews, I really should have seen the 3D version. Go see this today.
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  17. Mar 10, 2013
    9
    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
  18. Mar 12, 2013
    9
    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. WhileIt 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
  19. Mar 8, 2013
    8
    This film was fantastic. The sets perfectly evoked the 1930s original. James Franco was excellent. It even manages a black white start :)

    I have never disagreed so much with the critics about a film ever.

    Go and enjoy, pure entertainment.
  20. Mar 9, 2013
    10
    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.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
  21. Mar 8, 2013
    10
    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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. Mar 8, 2013
    8
    I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Once again the critics miss the point. Oz is a great popcorn movie, with beautiful scenery, believable acting, wonderful special effects, and appropriate amounts of comic relief. Most importantly the writers do a great job tying the prequel into the original movie. The movie may not win any awards but it will likely win over movie goers.
  26. 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.
  27. Mar 9, 2013
    7
    I was undecided about this one for a while; it gets dark for it's demographic. Like Jack the Giant Slayer, I wasn't sure whether it was meant for children or adults. Unlike Jack the Giant Slayer, this one made use of its amazing graphics, instead of being an excuse for them.
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  28. 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
  29. Mar 30, 2013
    8
    "Oz the Great and Powerful" is a beautifully executed callback to the original 1939 film. The most important thing to remember is that this is a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz." There is just enough Oz and enough differences to make this a successful film. Fantastic visuals, clever sleight of hand, and a talented cast makes this a joyful experience for people of all ages.
  30. 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
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.