Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,252 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Mother
Lowest review score: 0 Henry Fool
Score distribution:
2,252 movie reviews
  1. If this death-obsessed drama is a classic, then give me potboiling life.
    • Wall Street Journal
  2. Ms. Berry works hard in her role, generating some excitement in the course of her distress. But the story's convolutions can't cover a deficit of substance, or sense.
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. The only thing Mr. Tarantino spells out is the violence. I have seen much more blood spilled, yet I felt sickened by the coldness of this picture's visual cruelty. [29 Oct 1992, p.A11(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  4. Feelings play second fiddle to stylized attitudes in Spartan, and fancy style can't conceal the film's clumsiness.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. Mr. Braff's idea of self-discovery is my idea of narcissism.
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. This is an odd and ultimately dispiriting film, despite some intriguing ideas about brute force vs. moral authority, the elaborately staged uprising -- and impressive actors in the cast. That is to say, they've been impressive elsewhere.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. Little more than a showcase for Owen Wilson's amiable shtick, and a showcase in the merchandising sense of the term.
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. The situation in The Situation is grimly photogenic, yet persistently opaque.
    • Wall Street Journal
  9. Like many dreams that enliven filmmakers' nights, this one derives from other, better films, though it does have a few clever twists.
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. Spontaneity has been banished by rigid stylization, and the net effect is as lifeless as a severed head that turns up in a basement freezer.
  11. This time, though, the happy ending plays out in real life, while the screen version falls afoul of a laggardly pace, an earnest tone and a surfeit of domesticity.
  12. This latest iteration of the Tolstoy classic was clearly the product of audacious thinking, stylishly applied. Still, the thinking was as wrongheaded as it was hollow-hearted. Yet another elaborate production chases its audience away.
  13. The movie commits the sin of boredom, partly because Ms. Martin is exceedingly inexpressive.
  14. I've enjoyed Ms. Leoni's comic gifts in the past, and I'll enjoy them again, but Spanglish asks her to play crazed, and she delivers with a performance of unremitting, crazymaking shrillness.
    • Wall Street Journal
  15. The movie is pleasant enough, in its studied way, and Mr. Hopkins does as well as anyone could in the role of a wise man with vaguely supernatural powers. Still, it's awfully amorphous and pokey.
    • Wall Street Journal
  16. Any movie that gives Helen Mirren a chance to shoot really big guns, wear an ermine astrakhan and channel Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth can't be all bad, and Red 2 isn't, though it comes close.
  17. A remarkably ill-advised remake.
    • Wall Street Journal
  18. The only reason to see it is Riz Ahmed's performance as Omar, the supposed brains of the operation. Mr. Ahmed reminded me a bit of Robert Carlyle. He's dynamic, quick-tongued and intense. And much too classy for this tatty room.
  19. Depressed and depressing drama.
    • Wall Street Journal
  20. Men, Women & Children touches many nerves, but then pinches and twists them with its ham-handed approach to social commentary. I worry about Mr. Reitman, a filmmaker of consequence who is still too young to be so cosmic. Time to lighten up and come back down to Earth.
  21. The denizens of Judd Apatow’s Funny People have been pulled every which way to fit a misshapen concept, yet they remain painfully unfunny, and consistently off-putting.
  22. The basic problem is the script, which is credited to three writers plus the director - seldom a good sign. Never mind that it's a retread of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" minus the trains, and minus John Candy.
  23. Not a pretty sight, any of it.
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. If you go to see this sloppy sitcom, in which Mr. Martin plays a divorced, repressed lawyer named Peter Sanderson, do expect to be surprised, seduced and entertained by Queen Latifah.
    • Wall Street Journal
  25. What do the Coen brothers want of us? More specifically, what do they want us to think of the repellent people in this pitilessly bleak movie?
  26. Mr. Statham, the specialist in English tough guys who was so affecting in "The Bank Job," has more to offer than The Mechanic has the grace to receive.
  27. Ms. Wynter's performance is only one of many failings in a heavily accented costume drama that Bruce Beresford has directed turgidly from Marilyn Levy's amateurish script.
    • Wall Street Journal
  28. The video-game sequences are impressive, but you know that a 'toon is in big trouble when its most powerful theme is planned obsolescence.
    • Wall Street Journal
  29. You're tempted to keep watching, even though the running time is a bloated 154 minutes, to see if anyone, or the movie itself, turns remotely likable. The answer to that, alas, is no.
  30. The movie on the whole is joyless. Whatever Works doesn’t.
  31. In a movie that rings false at every turn, Ms. Redgrave's Elizabeth is truly and infallibly regal.
  32. I feel for the marketing person charged with devising a tagline for Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, a fantasy whose turgid pretensions defy the very notion of marketing.
    • Wall Street Journal
  33. Nothing stands up to scrutiny -- least of all the lethargic acting and the clumsy script. I was hot to trot for the exit halfway through, but a dogged sense of duty kept me stuck in an endless present.
    • Wall Street Journal
  34. Basic Instinct 2 is pretty awful. Rarely has a meaningless thriller had so many meaningful glances, or such arch acting by good actors who know better.
    • Wall Street Journal
  35. Operates in a dead zone roughly equidistant between parody and idiocy. You do get the connection between tongue and cheek, but much of the humor still goes thud.
  36. Joyless and largely witless sci-fi fantasy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  37. A guaranteed downer that's devoid of any upside, and free of dangerously entertaining side effects.
    • Wall Street Journal
  38. A slow and lugubrious film about the impact of adoption on the lives of three women.
  39. Country Strong comes to spontaneous life from time to time, despite maudlin devices and manipulative set pieces.
  40. The script is dead in the water, and most of the misanthropic repartee rings resoundingly false.
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. Mr. Goldsman, a first-time director though a veteran screenwriter, has been done in by the source material. Either he climbed aboard a horse that was too much for him, or the universe gave him a bum steer.
  42. By most standards of conventional film narrative, this movie is a mess. [25 June, 1987, p.22(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  43. It's long on Viagra jokes and whorehouse scenes, and comes up short on plausibility.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    An excruciatingly embarrassing display of ego and ineptitude.
    • Wall Street Journal
  44. Ever so slightly defective in the area of coherence; it plays as if it should have been written by a committee but they didn't bother to convene one.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. Mr. Beall, a former LAPD cop, has written a script so devoid of feeling that the cartoons blur into thin line drawings, while what's been done with the marvelous Ms. Stone - i.e. next to nothing - is downright criminal.
  46. All of the nonsense piled on nonsense does provide some measure of pleasure. Unknown gets better by getting worse.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Go right ahead and skip this one at the Cineplex. You've got my word: It won't be on the final.
    • Wall Street Journal
  47. In The Hunger Games it's both a feast of cheesy spectacle and a famine of genuine feeling, except for the powerful - and touchingly vulnerable - presence of Jennifer Lawrence.
  48. An experience best likened to being battered by hurricane-force winds generated by an organ with all stops pulled permanently out.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, Ms. Faris has neither an adroit script -- House Bunny is a stale collection of dumb bunny jokes -- nor Ms. Witherspoon's wily charm. And the filmmakers do Ms. Faris no favors by inviting comparisons to Marilyn Monroe.
  49. Ms. Hudson makes the most of her role, even though that's not saying so very much -- the writing is terribly thin -- while John Corbett gives an unaccountably clumsy performance as a romantic pastor. Joan Cusack gets the funniest lines as Helen's sister, a model of boring mommyhood, but she also stops the movie dead in its tracks every time she plays a scene.
    • Wall Street Journal
  50. It's impossible to say who's more unhinged: Darwin, caught between faith and reason, or the filmmakers.
  51. Ms. Macdonald works modest wonders within these constraints -- she's a lovely actress, and a skilled one -- but too much is asked of her; Kate's innocence finally wilts beneath the camera's fixed gaze.
  52. In Troy, and in overreaching, underachieving productions like it, digital imagery is fast becoming both a Trojan horse and Achilles' heel.
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. I've been a Vanessa Redgrave fan for such a long time that I would have been happy to watch her beautifully weathered face without much happening around her.
    • Wall Street Journal
  54. If only Brotherhood of the Wolf had the wit and grace to match its exceptional physical beauty.
    • Wall Street Journal
  55. Cowboys versus aliens is a concept that may make you smile in anticipation, but wipe that smile off your face before buying your ticket.
  56. This production is a mess for many reasons, most of them having to do with its frantic efforts to be funny.
  57. All that's missing is wit and humanity.
    • Wall Street Journal
  58. What's new here is a severe deficit of style, or even craftsmanship, both in the action sequences and what passes for human interludes.
    • Wall Street Journal
  59. This dreary drama telegraphs every punch, emotion and plot point with a dedication that would have done the old Western Union proud.
  60. Labor Day, adapted from a novel by Joyce Maynard, is the kind of movie that turns clarity into stultification; everything is perfectly clear and almost everything — pie-making excepted — is perfectly lifeless.
  61. A turgid recycling of Mr. Carpenter's remake of "The Thing."
    • Wall Street Journal
  62. What's worse, some mysterious movie curse has turned the three once-lively adventurers into wood.
  63. Still, Eat Pray Love preaches a sermon it doesn't practice-the need to open one's self to the world. In a pictorial sense this is exactly what Liz does; she vacuums up the transformative essence of three continents. Yet the world gets weirdly short shrift because this transcendently narcissistic movie is, in a narrative sense, almost entirely about Liz and the movie star who plays her.
  64. The essence of this grindingly violent movie can be summed up by what Parker says of his handgun to a terrified clerk at a check-cashing service: "It's small, but it hurts."
  65. This horror-free horror flick sent me wandering through my own memory warehouse, where, at every turn, I bumped into images from similar -- and mostly superior -- entertainments.
    • Wall Street Journal
  66. The failure lies not with the film's director, Marc Forster, nor with its impressive star, Gerard Butler, but with Jason Keller's dreadfully earnest script, which charts the hero's spiritual journey, and his Rambo-esque exploits, without offering a scintilla of mature perspective on his state of mind.
  67. A good subject has been ill-served by Ms. Greenwald's cliched script and clumsy direction.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Tiresome, pretentious.
  68. This Transformers is a pile of glittering junk.
  69. As the hilariously foul-mouthed, sweet-souled Dr. S, he (Wayans) slaps Marci X to life every time he's on screen.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. Horrible Bosses has preposterousness to burn, but no finesse and no interest in having any.
  71. Bring Zoloft and a tank of oxygen to Closer, an airless, ultimately joyless drama of sexual politics.
    • Wall Street Journal
  72. It's really dumb, even though it starts promisingly and continues, in a self-infatuated way, to consider itself quite bright.
  73. Still, the action is ponderous too. Mr. Morel is no Kubrick, or Tarantino, just as Mr. Travolta's caricature of John Travolta is no Travolta.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Mr. Snipes and Mr. Rhames get credit at least for doing their own stunts. By the middle of the film, viewers will take a certain satisfaction in each punch that lands on either of them.
    • Wall Street Journal
  74. Won't kill you, but it could bore you half to death.
    • Wall Street Journal
  75. For precursors of Guy's perversity, one would have to go back to W.C. Fields, who made antic art out of his characters' abhorrence of children.
  76. There's nothing wrong with the structure of Heartbreakers, but David Mirkin's direction is woefully clumsy -- and the movie's tone is nasty.
    • Wall Street Journal
  77. You may wonder if this screen version of the book of the same name is as unfunny and strangely mushy as it seems, but trust your instincts.
  78. A saga of static set pieces and strenuously clever notions, this is a fiasco of a film if ever there was one.
    • Wall Street Journal
  79. Heart-breakingly awful -- slow, lugubrious, and misconceived to the point of baffling amateurism.
    • Wall Street Journal
  80. Stepping is everything in Stomp the Yard, and, dare I say it, a stepping stone to DJ's redemption. The movie itself is redeemed -- slightly -- by its almost touching devotion to the hoary Hollywood traditions of college movies with battling frats, as well as its earnest endorsement of education.
    • Wall Street Journal
  81. Penelope was in a trough of trouble before the oink on the script was dry.
  82. The IMAX print I saw was so murky as to make you give thanks for the few scenes shot in simple sunlight, the 3-D wasn't worth the bother, and never before have I wanted to chloroform an entire orchestra.
  83. Less than the sum of its parts, which were problematic to begin with.
  84. No one comes out of Mooseport unscathed -- not Rip Torn, as the president's campaign manager, not Christine Baranski as his avaricious ex-wife. It's a democracy of mediocrity, or worse.
    • Wall Street Journal
  85. Five months after Sept. 11, the movie inevitably echoes those events, but in a loud and extremely cheesy way.
    • Wall Street Journal
  86. This children's entertainment-grownups beware!-is preoccupied by squishy stuff that includes mud and poop, as well as by syrup that oozes from cabinet drawers.
  87. When bad movies happen to good people, the first place to look for an explanation is the basic idea. That certainly applies to My Week With Marilyn, a dubious idea done in by Adrian Hodges's shallow script and Simon Curtis's clumsy direction.
  88. Johnny Depp's Tonto wears a dead crow on his head in The Lone Ranger. The star himself carries a dead movie on his shoulders.
  89. Mr. Jarecki undercuts his own case -- not just undercuts but carpet-bombs it -- by using the same propaganda techniques he professes to abhor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  90. Edge of Darkness was one of the most enthralling, intricate and genuinely thrilling productions in the history of the small screen. The big-screen version--directed by Martin Campbell, who did the original--offers an example of why the studios' numbers often add up, and why, at the same time, so many of today's Hollywood movies leave us cool if not downright cold.
  91. Another dim adaptation of a bright comic novel.
    • Wall Street Journal
  92. Adam Green's Frozen explores a tiny idea exhaustively, and I mean exhaustively.
  93. The drama is repetitive rather than resonant, an over-calculated, under-ventilated studio production -- even paranoid thrillers need to breathe -- whose plot machinery grinds grim and coarse.
  94. In addition to all else, and it's a lot, The Losers wastes the riches of Hollywood technology in hot pursuit of nothing.
  95. The story is rooted in a political past that never comes to life, and its structure is so cockeyed that we don't even get to see Nick's reaction to a climactic surprise that takes place off-screen. The film was shot by an excellent cinematographer, Adriano Goldman, though you'd never know it from the lighting, which is as flat as the writing.

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