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 460 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0

Trailer

Autoplay: On | Off

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On
Stream On
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 154
  2. Negative: 35 out of 154
  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. 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 performanceOz 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
  5. Mar 8, 2013
    5
    Ever since my love for film sprang to life in the form of Christopher Nolan’s Memento in 2000, I have been dreading the moment that I wouldEver since my love for film sprang to life in the form of Christopher Nolan’s Memento in 2000, I have been dreading the moment that I would have to publicly, and in print, come out and say that the 1939 feature film version of L. Frank Baum’s childrens stories The Wizard of Oz was by no means a favourite of mine.

    Made 48 years after the year of my birth, the American classic is undoubtedly an achievement in style, form and film especially knowing that the cinematic venture had four directors attached to it at one time, a slew of production issues and inexplicable disasters.

    Today, 74-years after the original American classic, Disney has decided to carefully [given copyright laws and agreements] deliver a prequel to audience members and their grandparents without many lions, or tigers or bears, or ruby slippers or chin moles, oh my! Nearly a decade ago, Disney decided to adapt a film from a amusement park ride in the form of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Fast forward ten years, and now Disney is doing the opposite and trying to make a feature film an elaborately lush, often cheesy and nauseating roller-coaster type film in the form of Oz the Great and Powerful. But just like any other roller coaster, Oz the Great and Powerful does have its fun and amusing moments. Starting in the same fashion of the original film, Oz the Great and Powerful shines in glorious black and white. Introducing us to Oscar Diggs (James Franco) in tributing 4:3 Academy ratio then to a 16:9 widescreen ratio once Diggs enters the magical land of Oz, director Sam Raimi and his team gets it right at first. But as the land of Oz begins to widen and its characters, as well as Diggs’ journey, begins to unfold, somewhere over the rainbow is where the story and movie looses so much of its magic.

    Franco plays Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Issac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, small time magician in a moving circus, con-artist and 20th Century playboy. After playing a routine show with his trusty and undervalued sidekick Frank (Zach Braff), Oscar gets a surprise visit from a former flame Annie (Michelle Williams) informing him of her engagement. Sentimental and vulnerable, Oscar is chased away from the circus on a hot-air ballon where he is faced off against an angry twister and sent in to the colourful world of Oz. Rich and saturated with colour, Oz fatefully introduced Oscar to Theodora (Mila Kunis) and is brought to speed about the prophecy of a great and powerful wizard appearing out of thin air to the land to free them from the evil witch. Skeptical at first, before knowing of his inheritance in gold thanks to his advisor Evanora (Rachel Weisz), Oscar’s agrees to rid of the evil witch. Aided by an unusual team of friends, Finley, a monkey with wings (voiced by sidekick Zach Braff again) and China Girl (Joey King) as well as the Glinda The Good Witch (Michelle Williams), Oscar, simply a man in a fantastical world, is faced with his greatest con yet.

    There is no denying the enchantingly entertaining spirit of Oz the Great and Powerful. Screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and Robert Lindsay-Abaire tried so very hard [given so many copyright regulations] to keep the spirit alive from Braun’s literature and the original feature film. But where the film lacks in spirit and true spell-binding beauty it makes up for in CGI-laden set designs and characters. It is quite a shame to think that the most emotionally involving and manipulating instances of the film revolved around Finley and China girl, two CGI-derived characters. Although the film really feels authentic and one may get lost in the first black and white act, one becomes a bit distracted with the constant objects shooting out of the small 4:3 ratio frame repeatedly. It seems like Disney has yet to find a film where they can exercise Real D 3D in moderation. But one must not forget the origins of the man who was at the helm of Oz the Great and Powerful, Sam Raimi. A masterclass in camp and B-films, Raimi was the man responsible for the lowest AND highest points for Spider-Man on film as well as the cheap and campy Evil Dead trilogy. In true original fashion, Raimi never strays away from the cheap thrills, cliched one-liners, and narrative predictability. Raimi and his crew tried so hard to find the magic of its predecessor but must be soon realizing that there is no place like home, especially given his success in the horror genre with his last entry Drag Me To Hell.
    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.
    Expand

See all 154 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. Spring Movie Preview: 21 Notable Upcoming Films

    Spring Movie Preview: 21 Notable Upcoming Films Image
    Published: March 6, 2013
    Get a look at all of the films coming to theaters in March and April, including the latest Stephenie Meyer adaptation, a G.I. Joe sequel, a Tom Cruise sci-fi film, and new movies from Danny Boyle, Terrence Malick, Derek Cianfrance, and Shane Carruth.