Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,152 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Iron Man
Lowest review score: 0 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
Score distribution:
2,152 movie reviews
  1. It's one of the best surprises of the holiday season.
    • Wall Street Journal
  2. Excites us with words not spoken, passions not played out. A mood story more than a love story, it's all about sustaining a state of exquisite melancholy in the face of desire.
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. A magnificent documentary.
  4. One of the great films of our time, or any other.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. Extraordinary...The movie has the intensity of an epic, only its subject matter is everyday life. [19 Oct 1993, p.A18(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. Essentially a coming-of-age story set in working-class North Carolina in the 1970s. But it's so startlingly original that it transcends the genre. This is a wonderful film, from puckish start to momentous finish.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. Pirandello didn't have a patch on its complexities. Here's a popular entertainment with an eclectic soundtrack raising penetrating questions of identity in astonishing sequences that interweave live action with comic-book art.
  8. With its breathtaking visual style and careful attention to sound and movement, the movie provokes contemplation about the ways people communicate – through words, through music, through sex, and, most significantly, through touch. [14 Dec 1993, p.A14(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  9. Casts a spell and then some -- a ringing testament to the power of motion pictures.
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. An improbably bountiful subject -- kids on skateboards turning themselves into virtuoso artist-athletes -- has been brought to life in a wonderful, unpretentious documentary.
    • Wall Street Journal
  11. A magnificent movie. [19 Oct 1993, p.A18(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  12. It's powerful entertainment. [22 Sept 1992, p.A16(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  13. Give yourself away to this movie and you'll be glad you did.
    • Wall Street Journal
  14. The kind of movie they don't make any more -- a seriously beautiful, deliberately paced drama that meanders for a while at the pace of a summer romance, then explodes with phenomenal force.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This extraordinary flight from the humdrum is not to be missed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  15. Mr. Frears is as good with the small touches as he is with the big ones – and that means they're great. [24 Jan 1991, p.A8(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  16. Transcends its star's controversial career and, in the bargain, stands head, shoulders and heart above every other Hollywood movie that we've seen so far this year.
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. Magnificent.
  18. This brilliant satire, styled as a murder mystery, is the best insider's view of Hollywood since "Sunset Boulevard." [15 Dec 1992, p.A16(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. Beautiful (sometimes sublimely so), daring (sometimes outrageously so), seriously crazed and terrifically funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
  20. The most imaginative movie to come along in ages. [18 Oct 1994, p.A14(W)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. Against all odds in an era of machine-made spectaculars, Mr. Jackson and his collaborators have created a film epic that lives and breathes.
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. Everywhere in Nowhere in Africa, skill and art translate into vivid life.
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. The movie has its own genuine charm and one hilarious high: Billy Crystal & Carol Kane are simply wonderful. [24 Sept 1987, p.24(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. Goes from good to great in 90 minutes, and then it's over, except that it's really not, because this small masterwork grows even deeper and more affecting as it takes up permanent residence in your memory.
    • Wall Street Journal
  25. A movie that falls outside the ordinary, or even the extraordinary. There is enormous passion and artistic integrity throughout this film. [11 Jan 1994, p.A10(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  26. It is plainly, though not simply, a masterpiece from an acknowledged master of contemporary animation, and a wonderfully welcoming work of art that's as funny and entertaining as it is brilliant, beautiful and deep.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. Giddily funny in a singularly American idiom, and shot, by Lance Acord, with an eagle eye for cultural absurdities, Ms. Coppola's film is also a meditation on love and longing, shot through with a sensibility that's all the more surprising for being so unfashionably tender.
    • Wall Street Journal
  28. This joyous farce is a big, big deal, and Jack Black is nothing less than majestic as a scruffy, irreverent rocker passing himself off as a pedagogue in a private school.
    • Wall Street Journal
  29. Just as Aubrey's authority springs from skill and knowledge, so does the film's power. They don't make movies like this any more because few people know how to make them.
    • Wall Street Journal
  30. The invisible wizard Peter Jackson makes use of every scene to show us the meaning of magnificence. Never has a filmmaker aimed higher, or achieved more.
    • Wall Street Journal
  31. An absolutely thrilling recreation, in documentary style, of a now-legendary story.
    • Wall Street Journal
  32. One of those rare collaborations that artists dream of, and that film lovers crave.
    • Wall Street Journal
  33. Here's an entertainment to warm the heart of anyone who grew up (or failed to) on the formative joys of action movies.
    • Wall Street Journal
  34. Once in a great while a film seems right in every detail. Andre Techine's Strayed ("Les Egares") is such a film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  35. Please see this movie, and take any kids old enough to read subtitles. It's one of a kind.
    • Wall Street Journal
  36. One of those rare and complex dramas that you can enter, not simply watch.
    • Wall Street Journal
  37. Sideways makes you glad about America, about movies, about life.
    • Wall Street Journal
  38. Rapturously beautiful, startlingly audacious and often very funny, the film employs many of the techniques that were used so pleasingly in "Amélie."
    • Wall Street Journal
  39. An astonishing combination of spectacle, suspense, martial-arts flash, sublime silliness, anti-gravity action and passionate intensity -- before and after everything else, it's a grand love story.
    • Wall Street Journal
  40. A work of huge, if unobtrusive, ambition -- a vision of modern life, appropriate for sophisticated adults as well as for kids, that is both satirical and, of all things, inspirational. It's a great film about the possibility of greatness.
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. A drama of rare distinction, and wonderfully funny in the bargain.
    • Wall Street Journal
  42. Foreign films can be as enchanting as ever, and perspective-expanding too. The latest proof is Up and Down, a wonderfully funny, giddily intricate Czech comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  43. Bergman's Saraband is sublime.
    • Wall Street Journal
  44. What Mr. Hoffman has done here borders on the miraculous.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. Brokeback Mountain aspires to an epic sweep and achieves it, though with singular intimacy and grace.
    • Wall Street Journal
  46. Astonishingly vivid. The illusion of reality is so nearly complete in this magnificent French-language film by the Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne that the screen becomes a perfectly transparent window on lives hanging in the balance.
    • Wall Street Journal
  47. Quite remarkably, though, its clear-eyed view of an unprecedented American tragedy leaves us with emotions that audiences of those earlier days would readily recognize -- love of country, bottomless grief, an appreciation of life's preciousness and fragility. A film that can do this and also teach is to be cherished. And seen. It's time.
    • Wall Street Journal
  48. The screenplay, by William Monahan, is simply sensational. Scenes play brilliantly. Feelings flow like molten lava. The dialogue overflows with edgy wit and acidulous arias of imprecation.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. Rather than dwell on the darkness and squalor, von Donnersmarck has fashioned a genuinely thrilling tale, leavened with sly humor, that works ingenious variations on the theme of cat and mouse, speaks to current concerns about personal privacy and illuminates the timeless conflict between totalitarianism and art.
    • Wall Street Journal
  50. A splendid war movie. The combat sequences are harrowing -- all the more so for the director's spare, sharp-eyed style -- and the performances are phenomenally fine.
    • Wall Street Journal
  51. The view taken by Clint Eastwood, directing from Iris Yamashita's exemplary screenplay, is elegiac, but -- and this is remarkable, given the nature of the production and the sweep of his ambition -- not at all didactic. He lets the film speak for itself, and so it does -- of humanity as well as primitive rage and horror on both sides of the battle.
    • Wall Street Journal
  52. The result of the intricate interplay is a fairy tale for adults that is violent, sometimes shocking, yet utterly engrossing. And eerily instructive; it deepens our emotional understanding of fascism, and of rigid ideology's dire consequences.
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. With a calmness that bespeaks confidence, this small, spellbinding second feature by Hilary Brougher brings together two women, trapped in separate states of denial and distress, who manage to end each other's entrapment.
  54. The writer-director Adrienne Shelly, who died in New York City late last year at the age of 40, took such perishable ingredients as wit, daring, poignancy, whimsy and romance, added passionate feelings plus the constant possibility of joy, decorated her one-of-a-kind production with pastel colors and created something close to perfection.
  55. Once proves to be as smart and funny as it is sweet; it swirls with ambiguity and conflict beneath a simple surface. In all of 88 minutes, Mr. Carney's singular fable follows its guy and girl through a week of musical and emotional growth that could suffice for a lifetime.
  56. The characters are irresistible -- why would anyone want to resist a hero who so gallantly transcends his rattiness? -- the animation is astonishing and the film, a fantasy version of a foodie rhapsody, sustains a level of joyous invention that hasn't been seen in family entertainment since "The Incredibles."
  57. It's nothing less than a miracle that the director, Craig Gillespie, and the writer, Nancy Oliver, have been able to make such an endearing, intelligent and tender comedy from a premise that, in other hands, might sustain a five-minute sketch on TV.
  58. If watching movie violence is cathartic, then this film amounts to heavy therapy. It's much more than that, however. This is the best film the Coen brothers have done since their glory days of "Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski," maybe the best they've done, period.
  59. The movie has done what those who've cherished the book might have thought impossible -- intensified its singular beauty by roving as free and fearlessly as Bauby's mind did.
  60. This unpredictable and hilarious paranoid fantasy is a contemporary, urban "Wizard of Oz," peopled by punk artists and Yuppie vigilantes instead of wicked witches and Munchkins. [5 Sep 1985, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  61. A singular achievement -- romantic, sensuous, intelligent and finally shattering in its sweep and thematic complexity.
  62. Daniel Day-Lewis's portrayal is not just the performance of the year -- there will be injustice if he doesn't win an Oscar -- but a creation of awesome proportions.
  63. Elegantly crafted, brilliantly acted film.
  64. The gadgetry is absolutely dazzling, the action is mostly exhilarating, the comedy is scintillating and the whole enormous enterprise, spawned by Marvel comics, throbs with dramatic energy because the man inside the shiny red robotic rig is a daring choice for an action hero, and an inspired one.
  65. The first half hour of WALL-E is essentially wordless, and left me speechless. This magnificent animated feature from Pixar starts on such a high plane of aspiration, and achievement, that you wonder whether the wonder can be sustained. But yes, it can.
  66. James Marsh's documentary raises the bar for the genre to skyscraper height.
  67. I thought "Topsy-Turvy" was perfection, a spirited evocation of the partnership of Gilbert and Sullivan, plus a blithely definitive depiction of the artistic process. Happy-Go-Lucky is perfection too, assuming you go along with its leisurely pace, which I did quite happily.
  68. Slumdog Millionaire is the film world's first globalized masterpiece.
  69. Benjamin Button is all of a visionary piece, and it's a soul-filling vision.
  70. The Class is clearly a microcosm of contemporary France, beset by social and economic tensions. More than that, though, it's a saga of education's struggles in many parts of the modern world. If only the film were pure fiction.
  71. An absolute stunner, a feature-length animated documentary, from Israel, in which the force of moving drawings amplifies eerily powerful accounts of war, shaky remembrance and rock-solid repression.
  72. Mr. Fukanaga's purpose is to evoke the immigrants' experience, which he does with such eloquence and power as to inspire awe.
  73. Shall We Kiss? gives us storytelling as art. Emmanuel Mouret's romantic drama, in French with English subtitles, is expert, intricate, ineffably droll, ultimately provocative and entirely enchanting.
  74. How long has it been since a movie left you literally speechless?
  75. A first-rate action thriller, a vivid evocation of urban warfare in Iraq, a penetrating study of heroism and a showcase for austere technique, terse writing and a trio of brilliant performances. Most of all, though, it’s an instant classic that demonstrates, in a brutally hot and dusty laboratory setting, how the drug of war hooks its victims and why they can’t kick the habit.
  76. As wish-fulfillments go, this is a movie lover's dream.
  77. This film is cunningly crafted in every detail--direction, script, performances, comic timing, special effects--from thunderous start to delicious finish.
  78. Genuinely and irresistibly inspirational.
  79. The third film of the trilogy turns out to be gorgeously joyous and deeply felt.
  80. An absolutely phenomenal film by the Korean director Bong Joon-ho.
  81. This tale of an English schoolgirl's hard-won wisdom is thrilling --for the radiance of Carey Mulligan's Jenny, who's wonderfully smart and perilously tender; for the grace of Lone Scherfig's direction, and the brilliance of Nick Hornby's screenplay.
  82. The Ghost Writer is so rich you may feel you paid too little for your ticket when the whole thing meets its very Polanski-ish climax. Please don't tell anyone.
  83. Uncompromising in its style, story and characterizations.
  84. The wonder of the film is how good it makes us feel. Greenberg scintillates with intelligence, razor's-edge humor and austere empathy for its struggling lovers.
  85. Computer travel may not be the real thing, but IMAX makes this an astonishing trip all the same.
  86. This gorgeous film, always tender and sometimes dark, is a deeply resonant comic drama that's concerned with nothing less than life, death, love, sex, guilt and the urban logic of mortality.
  87. A dulcetly crazy, certifiably hilarious and eerily mysterious little comedy.
  88. It isn't saying too much, though, to call Mia Hansen-Løve's French-language drama beautiful, profound and, given the gathering tensions of its story, phenomenally full of life.
  89. Spectacular for its humanity, austere beauty and heart-stopping urgency.
  90. This movie will stir your heart and open your mind. It's a group portrait of practicing patriots.
  91. Felix (Duvall) simply wants to host his own goodbye, maybe have a band, and the reasons why are the reasons Get Low is essential viewing. That, and the acting.
  92. A thrillingly funny and casually profound film.
  93. Never before, not even in the claustrophobic submarine epic "Das Boot," has a physical point of view so completely dictated a philosophical point of view.
  94. A phenomenal debut feature with a terrific title, David Michôd's Animal Kingdom is both a study in Darwinian survival-in this case survival of the shrewdest-and a group portrait of ruthless predators in the underworld of Melbourne, Australia.
  95. This is a time when urgent issues are often explored in polemic documentaries, as well as a fateful moment when the future of public education is being debated with unprecedented intensity. Waiting for 'Superman' makes an invaluable addition to the debate.
  96. This account of Facebook's founder, and of the website's explosive growth, quickly lifts you to a state of exhilaration, and pretty much keeps you there for two hours.
  97. Inside Job has the added value, as well as the cold comfort, of being furiously interesting and hugely infuriating. It's a scathing examination of the global economic meltdown that began more than two years ago and continues to affect our lives.
  98. One of the high points of last month's Telluride Film Festival was, as I wrote at the time, spending 5½ hours in a darkened theater-with one short break around the four-hour mark-to watch Olivier Assayas's shocking and edifying epic.
  99. No screen portrait of a king has ever been more stirring-heartbreaking at first, then stirring. That's partly due to the screenplay, which contains two of the best-written roles in recent memory, and to Mr. Hooper's superb direction.

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