Oz the Great and Powerful Image
Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 474 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 42
  2. Negative: 10 out of 42
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Mar 6, 2013
    58
    Much of Oz The Great And Powerful’s fate is tied to James Franco’s performance as Oz, and the center barely holds, with Franco often looking as overwhelmed by the task as he was by his hosting job on Oscar night.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 7, 2013
    50
    There's no Judy Garland songs, no Scarecrow, no Tin Man, no Cowardly Lion. There's also no simplicity, no magic, no truth.
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Mar 1, 2013
    40
    A miscast James Franco and a lack of charm and humor doom Sam Raimi's prequel to the 1939 Hollywood classic. Oz the Wimpy and Weak would be more like it.
  7. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Mar 7, 2013
    0
    Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors. There is nothing here that is great, or powerful. Worst of all, there’s nothing here that even feels like Oz.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 155
  2. Negative: 35 out of 155
  1. 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 DisneyThis 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. Expand
  2. Jun 23, 2013
    9
    There are certain films for which can never be produced a fully palatable sequel (or prequel). I think those who made Oz the Great andThere 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
  3. Jun 26, 2013
    8
    Don't listen to the critics and haters, the movie will not do you wrong. It has warm moments and great original characters such as the chinaDon't listen to the critics and haters, the movie will not do you wrong. It has warm moments and great original characters such as the china girl. It also does the classic justice and ties in great with it. Props to James Franco for doing one of his best rolls yet. Expand
  4. Sep 7, 2013
    6
    A triumphant prologue opens up a film that tosses and turns in its confidence and ambition, ultimately falling short of the magical andA triumphant prologue opens up a film that tosses and turns in its confidence and ambition, ultimately falling short of the magical and memorable moments that made the original Oz film such a classic. What the film is missing is the definition of fantasy and reality, the original often toyed with the audience about whether Dorothy ever went to the Emerald City, but this film sets out with many callbacks and mentions to the original, but doesn't add up to a significant or plausible adventure. This is a prequel, a "how it all began" approach, but James Franco shows a different side to the man we may remember, he womanises, frauds and cheats anyone he meets, until he here whisked away in a hurricane (sound familiar?) and ends up in the mystical land that shares his magician name, Oz. While stunning and epic on beauty, it feels empty and a chance to show how far special effects can push the spectrum, the familiar yellow brick road is there, but it was much more fulfilling seeing Dorothy, Scarecrow and friends bouncing along and singing their way to the great city, but in this, Oz arrive in moments after meeting a beautiful witch Theodora (Mila Kunis), who sees no wrong in her new companion, and then he is gone again, off to defeat the wicked witch.
    The film takes an interesting but under-explained twist, one which has very little build-up in terms of deep character development, it all happens very fast, leaving little time to revel in some of the finer moments of the film, the set pieces are big, but the plot inconsistencies put a darker light on moments that could have been appreciated more. These scenes pick up well after a slow start in the land of Oz, but tonal shifts and confusing assumptions still cloud the goal that was trying to be reached by the ambitious director Sam Raimi. I'm still on the fence about the casting of James Franco as the "great and powerful" Oz, he brings an interesting charm to the role, but seems to miss the opportunity at a charismatic and controlling individual, something the heavily rumoured Robert Downey Jr. would undeniably have brought. Mila Kunis is certainly the standout of the film, she plays a conflicted and passionate character in Theodora, proving her worth when it matters most. Her sister in the film is played by the talented Rachel Weiz, who is a charming yet equally cunning witch who never sits easy as the film unfolds.
    This isn't the return to Oz that I'm sure we all hoped for, while there are very impressive visuals and some sturdy performances, one can't help but revisit the old ways to sing a long with Dorothy and her pals, rather than a heavy CGI flick with only passing moments of marvel.
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  5. Sep 23, 2014
    5
    From Director Sam Raimi the guy who brought you (Evil Dead , Spiderman trilogy , drag me to hell) comes his new magical movie. Let me justFrom Director Sam Raimi the guy who brought you (Evil Dead , Spiderman trilogy , drag me to hell) comes his new magical movie. Let me just say Sam Raimi is the horror expert i do not know why Raimi decided to direct oz the great and powerful he is already a legend with directing horrific pictures like Evil Dead , Darkman , Spiderman. Raimi works again with James franco which this movie proves that franco is a nothing but a frail and a rip off for a magician,). The movie also stars Mila Kunis , Michelle Williams , Rachel Weiz , Zac Braff as the monkey , Joey King as the voice of the doll. a good cast makes the perfect recipe for a good movie. Grade B- ( If your a fan of the wizard of oz or Sam Raimi's spider man trilogy you'll love this one) Expand
  6. Mar 19, 2013
    4
    I was really hoping this would be a good film. I grew up in the 1990s and used to watch The Wizard of Oz every year with my family forI was really hoping this would be a good film. I grew up in the 1990s and used to watch The Wizard of Oz every year with my family for Thanksgiving as a kid. And to my surprise, at the age of 23, I can still say it's one of my favorite movies of all-time. With that said, I knew 'Oz: The Great and Powerful' could never reach the status of the original. I just wish I could have liked it enough to walk out of the theater satisfied, and wanting to buy it on Blu-ray. I didn't. Another reviewer mentioned how this is a kid's movie, not a family movie. I couldn't agree more. And it's such a shame, because kids aren't that stupid. Or at least, you don't have to reduce them to that. I appreciated The Wizard of Oz as a kid because Judy Garland was beautiful, and believable, the Witch was scary, and all the side characters played a crucial role in the story. In Oz: The Great and Powerful, I never became attached to any of the main characters (namely James Franco and Mila Kunis), and the side characters felt more like extras from Shrek (except they stayed on screen far longer than they should have). All in all, the semi-clever ending wasn't too bad, and to me, that's what saved the film. If not for that, the poor structure in the first half of the film, and the misplaced acting (Franco and Kunis are good actors, but weren't meant for this film) would have killed it for me. Rent it, or wait for it to come out on Netflix, it's not necessarily worth going to the theater for. Expand
  7. Mar 17, 2013
    0
    Juvenile, awful directorship, an unfortunate use of 3D (incomparable to Ang Lee's use of 3D Life of Pi) which gave me a terrible headache.Juvenile, awful directorship, an unfortunate use of 3D (incomparable to Ang Lee's use of 3D Life of Pi) which gave me a terrible headache. The woeful attempt at homour was absurd.
    Unsophisticated with banal motivational lines about believing blah blah. The actors possessed little acting skills, with perhaps the exception of Michelle Williams who managed to portray a tolerable (but not exceptional) Glinda and Rachel Weisz (who wasn't at her best). James Franco's Oz was extremely annoying and if that's what the director hoped to achieve then he accomplished this feat extremely well. However, the dangers of manifesting the egotistical, greedy and seedy characteristics of Oz without any charming offsetting traits has its disadvantages.Consequently, I felt no empathy with any of the characters with the exception of Theodora (despite Mila Kuni's poor performance) one managed to garner some understanding relating to her hatred of the Wizard (however, I attribute that due to my own feelings of contempt towards him). This film has not lived up to its exceptions but I blame Disney for appointing a terrible Director. With a huge budget it could have done so much more.
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See all 155 User Reviews

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