Metascore
44

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

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 426 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
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: 92 out of 149
  2. Negative: 36 out of 149
  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 24, 2013
    8
    "Oz: The Great and Powerful" falls to the middle 'cause it's little bit too frightening for kids and too childish for adults, but is saved by great acting, especially Franco with his not-too-serious performance and excellent visual effects Expand
  4. Sep 11, 2013
    6
    A decent enough movie that has some rather pretty visuals. Some interesting characters and it is fun to see how the land of Oz came to be what it was in the classic movie.

    Some OK performances, but nothing memorable. Milla Kunis, while unbelievably hot as usual, perhaps seems to be having too much fun with her role, if ever there was a modern example of over acting, she is it. Franco is,? Well? Franco is Franco. A bit hard to see him as anything else as his range isn't that far. China Girl (Joey King) was just so adorable and my favorite character of the movie. A really heartwarming performance. The rest of the cast are just forgettable.

    Overall:
    An OK movie that was better than I expected, but not by much.
    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 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 13, 2013
    4
    A melodramatically cheesy script, a little miscasting, and some missed opportunities at twists make this much-anticipated film a disappointment. For those wanting winks and nods at the MGM classic will become desperate for anything. Those who are able (and willing) to watch with fresh eyes without any expectations might find this film more enjoyable. 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 149 User Reviews

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.