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

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6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 408 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. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 5, 2013
    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: 90 out of 144
  2. Negative: 34 out of 144
  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 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 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. Jul 29, 2013
    8
    No matter what age bracket you are in, you'll enjoy it. It doesn't have the best action or storyline but the casting and character performances was spot on. Expand
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    6
    At heart Oz is a moral story of good and bad (the witches), and good and great (Oz), though the journey of the characters from one to the other are not always as complete (Oz) or credible as they could be (the wicked witch).

    Starting with Oz himself, a 'magician' in Kansas, nothing wrong with that, he knows he is a fraud, but he is also an arrogant, womanising, unscrupulous shyster. By the end of the film, I'm not sure how many of those traits he has learnt the error of, despite upsetting most of Oz, before saving the day with a combination of earthly illusions and charm. James Franco's casting raised eyebrows, however I think he brought a degree of humility to the role that made Oz vaguely likeable. I am certain I could not have coped with Robert Downey Jr's (the producers first choice) style of arrogance in the role.

    Franco is supported by an accomplished cast of witches in Kunis, Weisz and Williams, and its Williams who wins hands down with her measured and gentle performance. Kunis is smouldering as always while Weisz seems to be trying too hard. Without giving anything away, I was disappointed in the transformation of one of the witches to the famous Wicked Witch of the West. The gravitas of the role seemed too much for the actress in question. Zach Braff adds value as Oz's beleaguered assistant in Kansas and the voice of a comedy sidekick flying monkey in Oz. The same can be said for Joey King, voicing China Girl with a sincerity that belies her years.

    Director Sam Raimi delivers a vibrant, colourful landscape, similar to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, that looks sublime at times but sometimes the CGI was overpowering. The green screen certainly earned its pay-check. Raimi adds some neat references to the film's source, most notably the 4:3 sepia tone introduction in Kansas, which looks great in addition to the old fashioned style of shots.

    Overall, considering my expectations I was slightly disappointed but there is just enough magic here, in Raimi's visuals and elements of the plot, to suggest the return to Oz was worthwhile.
    Expand
  5. Nov 29, 2013
    6
    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. Expand
  6. Mar 18, 2013
    4
    I was mostly baffled by the amount of dialogue in what was intended to be a children's movie. Every 10 minutes of action (and by action, I mean characters actually doing something, not necessarily fighting) was interrupted by another 20 minutes of dialogue-based exposition. 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. 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.
    Expand

See all 144 User Reviews

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