Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,523 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Mr. Turner
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
2523 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. One of those rare collaborations that artists dream of, and that film lovers crave.
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. It’s a masterpiece — an overused word, but not the wrong one.
  4. 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.
  5. There are not a lot of moments in documentary cinema that equal Citizenfour. Ms. Poitras was already at work on a film about government surveillance when Mr. Snowden presented himself, and she’s something of a lightning rod, too, one with little evident sympathy for Obama administration data mining.
  6. The characters are really minimalist masterpieces, sculpted, polished and uncompromisingly female.
  7. Damien Chazelle’s musical, consistently daring and occasionally sublime, does what the movies have all but forgotten how to do — sweep us up into a dream of love that’s enhanced in an urgent present by the mythic power of Hollywood’s past.
  8. It’s all too seldom that a feature film combines brilliant acting with a spellbinding flow of language.
  9. Thoroughly entertaining, startling and highly erotic film.
  10. The film doesn't play it safe, so neither will I. Instead, I'll say that it finds Mr. Tarantino perched improbably but securely on the top of a production that's wildly extravagant, ferociously violent, ludicrously lurid and outrageously entertaining, yet also, remarkably, very much about the pernicious lunacy of racism and, yes, slavery's singular horrors.
  11. The members of the cast represent ensemble, naturalistic acting at its finest.
  12. Against all odds, an unquenchable artist has made yet another piece of powerful art.
  13. This isn’t only a wise and graceful film but, in its tossed-off way, a great one, with a debut performance — by a young actress named Lou Roy-Lecollinet — that will prove to be unforgettable.
  14. What you call Mr. Shults’s first film is spectacular.
  15. 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
  16. Brilliantly funny and moving comedy.
  17. The pulp-fictional hero is inhabited by the charismatic Andy Lau who, together with Chinese stars Bingbing Li, Ms. Lau and Tony Leung Ka-fai, makes Detective Dee the most purely entertaining film of our vanishing summer.
  18. Mr. Day-Lewis works famously, and phenomenally, from the inside out. The mystery at the core of his gorgeous performance, which is enhanced by Mr. Kushner's script, has to do with his masterly grasp of Lincoln's quicksilver spirit.
  19. 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
  20. One of the great films of our time, or any other.
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. The best part of Tracks — aside from the spectacular images, the succinct dialogue, the elegant filmmaking and the mysterious beauty of Mia Wasikowska's performance — is what's left unsaid.
  22. To turn a spotlight fittingly on Spotlight, it’s the year’s best movie so far, and a rarity among countless dramatizations that claim to be based on actual events. In this one the events ring consistently — and dramatically — true.
  23. Judged solely as a film, a partially fictionalized account of the decade-long search for bin Laden, it's superbly crafted and relentlessly dramatic. More than that, though, Zero Dark Thirty is a shock to the system, one that's bound to incite discussion of profoundly troubling issues.
  24. Wonderfully funny and subversively affecting.
  25. Michael Haneke's French-language Amour, a perfect film about intertwined lives, proceeds at its own pace, and breathes so deeply that it takes your own breath away.
  26. Mr. Fukanaga's purpose is to evoke the immigrants' experience, which he does with such eloquence and power as to inspire awe.
  27. 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.
  28. Give yourself away to this movie and you'll be glad you did.
    • Wall Street Journal
  29. It's a portrait, by turns chilling, thrilling, mysterious and terrifying, of a woman who refuses to be terrorized.
  30. What Mr. Hoffman has done here borders on the miraculous.
    • Wall Street Journal
  31. So what's left for the audience to hook into? Only pounding action, elegant style, steady-state suspense, marvelous acting and, despite that droll pooh-poohing every now and then, haunting explorations of youth, age and personal destiny. It's a lot to claim for a sci-fi thriller, but I was blown away by Rian Johnson's Looper.
  32. This pitch-dark comedy, which was directed, con brio, by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, sizzles as the camera circles, stalks and swoops. Emmanuel Lubezki’s friction-free cinematography constitutes a virtuoso turn in its own right in a production that’s strewn with superb performances, some of them loud and bold, others subtle and restrained.
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. Zachary Heinzerling's feature-length documentary gathers force slowly, but with such wisdom and calm mastery that I found myself stunned, toward the end, by the beautiful vastness of it all.
  36. 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.
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. Magnificent.
  41. It's one of the best surprises of the holiday season.
    • Wall Street Journal
  42. National Gallery isn’t just about a museum full of famous pictures. It’s about the nature of art, and art’s acolytes; about the mystery of what may lie beneath a particular painting’s visible surface; about the business of art at a time when money can be scarce and attention spans can be short.
  43. 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
  44. 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.
  45. This drama is as big as all outdoors in scope; poetic and profound in its exploration of the senses; blessed with two transcendent performances, by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay; and as elegantly wrought as any film that has come our way in a very long while.
  46. 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.
  47. His new film, in Persian with English subtitles, is of a piece with his best work — tightly focused, rather than broad-gauge brilliant, and another instance of this superb filmmaker turning elusive motivations and the mysteries of personality into gripping drama.
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. Uncompromising in its style, story and characterizations.
  51. What’s so fascinating about the film is that it truly turns on the solving of problems, and its chief solver, stuck on Mars, manages to be so funny, interesting and infallibly likable that you’re invested in his predicament at every moment.
  52. 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
  53. 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.
  54. There's no trace of calculation, only artistic ambitions and hopes that have come to fruition in the year's finest film thus far.
  55. 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.
  56. Rarely have age and shining youth been juxtaposed more affectingly, but that’s only one of many moments of grace in a movie that mines its resonant mythology while moving its story ever forward.
  57. If Timbuktu — a nominee for this year’s foreign-film Oscar — were politically astute and nothing more, it would still serve a valuable purpose. But the film throbs with humanity, and abounds in extraordinary images.
  58. 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
  59. One of the hallmarks of contemporary Danish filmmaking is a seemingly effortless naturalism that springs from superb acting and skillful direction.
  60. Please see this movie, and take any kids old enough to read subtitles. It's one of a kind.
    • Wall Street Journal
  61. Casts a spell and then some -- a ringing testament to the power of motion pictures.
    • Wall Street Journal
  62. A thrillingly funny and casually profound film.
  63. Elegantly crafted and filled with flawless performances, this mysteriously charged drama comes alive in its very first frames.
  64. Tom Hardy, the actor who plays him, is by turns spellbinding, seductive, heartbreaking, explosive and flat-out thrilling. At a time when the studios are spending vast sums of money on a bigger-is-better aesthetic, here's a chamber piece with the impact of high drama.
  65. 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
  66. Computer travel may not be the real thing, but IMAX makes this an astonishing trip all the same.
  67. Her
    Mr. Jonze approaches perfection in the department of deadpan humor. In other hands, his premise could have been a clever gimmick and little more. But he draws us into Theodore's world, then develops it brilliantly, by playing everything scrupulously straight.
  68. This superb film, by Kent Jones, adds three more layers to the book’s alluvial wisdom: stunning clips from Hitchcock features, audio clips from the original conversations and fascinating comments by contemporary directors.
  69. This film is cunningly crafted in every detail--direction, script, performances, comic timing, special effects--from thunderous start to delicious finish.
  70. The whole production speaks well for the power of film; it’s a serious stunner.
  71. 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
  72. Working on a scale that's minuscule by studio standards, the Dardenne brothers have made yet another movie that does what Hollywood used to do - keep us rapt, and leave us grateful.
  73. As a work of nonfiction, it deserves its own nomenclature. "Docu-poem" is too inelegant; "masterpiece" works, although it's been used before.
  74. It keeps you fascinated, even enthralled; elicits astonishment, even wonderment, and makes you grateful for the chance to meet someone remarkable.
  75. 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."
  76. How long has it been since a movie left you literally speechless?
  77. 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.
  78. Benjamin Button is all of a visionary piece, and it's a soul-filling vision.
  79. By turns funny, elegiac and thrilling, it’s a tale of brotherhood and family that takes in the harsh beauty of the land, the elusive nature of right and wrong and the quirky delights of human connections in a time of bewildering change.
  80. Who knew that Unstoppable would be sensational? Talk about well-kept- and welcome-surprises. Tony Scott's latest thriller turns out to be pure cinema in the classic sense of the term. It's a motion picture about motion, an action symphony that gives new meaning to the notion of a one-track mind.
  81. Everywhere in Nowhere in Africa, skill and art translate into vivid life.
    • Wall Street Journal
  82. In one form or another, motion pictures have been with us since the middle of the 19th century, but there's never been one like Gravity. What's new in Alfonso Cuarón's 3-D space adventure is the nature of the motion. It's as if the movie medium had been set free to dance in a bedazzling zero-gravity dream sequence.
  83. A singular achievement -- romantic, sensuous, intelligent and finally shattering in its sweep and thematic complexity.
  84. 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
  85. An absolutely thrilling recreation, in documentary style, of a now-legendary story.
    • Wall Street Journal
  86. Jacques Audiard’s superb drama, which won the top prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, rises to the challenge with the power of art and not a scintilla of sentimentality.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This extraordinary flight from the humdrum is not to be missed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  87. When we peruse this movie, we see a superb evocation of Turner’s latter years, during the first half of the 19th century, and a performance that’s symphonic in the sweep of its eccentricities, vivid in the spectrum of its passions.
  88. His film makes it clear that these monstrous humans are very much a part of our species. In a way, I wish I’d never seen The Look of Silence, because now I won’t be able to forget it. But that’s the point, and the film’s purpose—calling attention to the cost of staying silent, and willfully forgetful, in the face of implacable evil.
  89. Brokeback Mountain aspires to an epic sweep and achieves it, though with singular intimacy and grace.
    • Wall Street Journal
  90. Everything comes together brilliantly in Silver Linings Playbook - for the film's crazed but uncrazy lovers; for the filmmaker, David O. Russell, and best of all for lucky us.
  91. 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.
  92. More than anything, Of Gods and Men is a drama of character, and warm humanity.
  93. Elegantly crafted, brilliantly acted film.
  94. What's so remarkable about their decadeslong campaign, though, is how desperation led to inspiration - to the inspired notion that they, as nonscientists, could still take their fate in their own hands.
  95. You’d never know Theeb was a debut feature from Mr. Nowar’s confident technique, and I found it astonishing, given the perfection of the performances, that all but one of the actors were Bedouin villagers who had never acted before.
  96. Better than a feelgood movie, it's a feelgreat movie -- genuinely clever, affecting when you least expect it to be and funny from start to finish.
    • Wall Street Journal
  97. Mr. Akin's film is so full of life that it leaves you breathless.
  98. Operates in an orbit somewhere between Oliver Sacks and Lewis Carroll. I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time.
    • Wall Street Journal
  99. A huge delight.

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