Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,177 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 Y Tu Mamá También
Lowest review score: 0 Legends of the Fall
Score distribution:
2,177 movie reviews
  1. Horrible Bosses has preposterousness to burn, but no finesse and no interest in having any.
  2. The movie transforms a dim idea - "Elmer Gantry" lite - into comedy that's dead in the water and as dull as it is broad.
  3. Cowboys versus aliens is a concept that may make you smile in anticipation, but wipe that smile off your face before buying your ticket.
  4. Ms. Weisz is always a strong presence, but her talents are wasted here on a naive heroine - the fictional Kathy is exceedingly slow to grasp the extent of the corruption - and a narrative style that turns the horror of the prostitutes' plight into harrowing melodrama.
  5. Long after lice from her children's school infested Kate's scalp, I was scratching my head about why a 91-minute movie seemed so long. The answer came from reframing the question. Why was a string of sitcom problems stretched to 91 minutes?
  6. 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.
  7. In a movie that rings false at every turn, Ms. Redgrave's Elizabeth is truly and infallibly regal.
  8. Despite all the nervous tension, the central drama is flawed - Jonathan isn't trying to find a killer. He is the killer. Something is lacking in the dramatic equation.
  9. 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.
  10. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher is the main reason to see The Iron Lady, which was directed by Phyllida Lloyd - not just the main reason but the raison d'être of an otherwise misconceived movie.
  11. As an experiment in Academy Award psychology, Albert Nobbs is fascinating. As drama? It is, forgive us, a drag.
  12. 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.
  13. The remake has no grace notes, or grace, no nuance, no humanity, no character quirks, no surprises in the dialogue and no humor.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. The only reason to see this dreary parade of deception and venality is Mark Wahlberg's performance as a disgraced ex-cop caught up in the thick of menacing events he can't understand. It's striking how this tightly focused actor can find his own firmly grounded reality in the falsest of surroundings.
  17. 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."
  18. It's long on Viagra jokes and whorehouse scenes, and comes up short on plausibility.
  19. What a peculiar production this is. Up to a certain point, it really does promise to be romantic.
  20. Oz the Great and Powerful, like so many products of movie studios that have lost their way, is a Tin Man of epic proportions — bright and shiny, with no heart.
  21. Nobody doesn't like Tina Fey, and anyone aware of her starring role in Admission will be wishing her well. But wishing won't make this dramedy any less dreary than it is.
  22. I won't pretend that I had a great time watching G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
  23. 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.
  24. The movie's failures are all the more unfortunate because they detract from its central and conspicuous success, the performance of Riz Ahmed in the title role. Mr. Ahmed turns the quicksilver quality of the book's internal monologue into a tour de force of his own creation. He's a bright star in a dim constellation.
  25. What's intractably wrong with the film is that there's no reality to heighten; it's a spectacle in search of a soul.
  26. Mr. Emmerich, who has often conjured with cosmic themes, sometimes wittily, achieves something new this time around — a level of indifference to the genre and its fans that amounts to a cosmic shrug. What does it matter if the absurdity is slovenly, the whimsy leaden, the extravagance squalid?
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. 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.
  28. The larger problem, transcending all realms, is that this action-adventure sequel from Marvel soon turns so dumb and 3-D-murky that it hurts.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. The best thing to be said for this lumbering comedy is that it offers a chance to see Vanessa Paradis, the singularly alluring French singer, actress and model, play Avigal, a melancholy Hasidic widow in Brooklyn, N.Y., and play the role with exceptional delicacy. Otherwise, arrgh!
  33. Some of it sputters, settling for smiles instead of laughs, and much of it flounders while the slapdash script searches, at exhausting length, for ever more common denominators in toilet humor.
  34. Instead of soft core, Sex Tape offers no core. No narrative core, just a not-bad notion executed execrably; no core of conviction, just two stars trudging joylessly through swamps of mediocrity.
  35. The fault is not in the co-stars; they've been brilliant before and will be brilliant again. It's in the laggardly pace, pedestrian writing and murky viewpoint of Ned Benson's feature.
  36. This is one of those overworked and generally airless comedies with a sitcom premise that can't sustain life.
  37. 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.
  38. Never mind the awfulness of the three madwomen being relentlessly mad, or the silliness of their journey’s logistics; not for a moment do you believe that this grievously afflicted trio actually inhabits what amounts to a small, rickety and unadorned paddy wagon. What’s definitively awful is the spectacle of unrestrained vanity.
  39. Most of the prime goofiness is given over to Vassili and Konig sharpshooting at each other while the battle rages. The movie's a red elephant.
    • Wall Street Journal
  40. It may be lulling to know, almost from the outset, where the plot is going, but thrilling -- or even psychological -- it is not.
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. Only Le Carre fans with tin ears and clouded eyes will fail to note the film's sour tone, crude performances and drab look.
    • Wall Street Journal
  42. The last thing we need is entertainment that evokes the horror and then trivializes it with cheesy heroics. Never has a movie taken on a subject of greater immediacy, or handled it more ineptly.
    • Wall Street Journal
  43. The Navajos must have sent much more crucial messages at much higher levels during the war, but you'd never know it from this movie. Windtalkers is practically all action and no talk.
    • Wall Street Journal
  44. Everything that was modest, soundly grounded and therefore horrifying about the 1971 rodentarama that starred Bruce Davison is now insistent, Grand-Guignol-intense and therefore shrug-offable when it isn't downright awful.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. An ugly exercise in big-budget carnage.
    • Wall Street Journal
  46. After missing the film on the small screen the first time around, I recently watched it on video, and can only conclude that my screen wasn't small enough.
    • Wall Street Journal
  47. A generally mirthless comedy of manners.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The distance between tawdry and tedious can be amazingly short. It is traveled with Concorde speed in the arch Party Monster.
  48. The best thing about a movie as silly as this is that it makes such modest demands on your attention. As the story unfolded with all the energy of California in a Stage 3 alert, I staved off brain death by trying to imagine an alternate version.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. J.Lo should sue her handlers for damages.
    • Wall Street Journal
  50. Mr. Rock's opening scene is very funny. After that it's a steep downhill slide.
    • Wall Street Journal
  51. Relevance can't rescue this would-be epic from the swamps of inertia, absurdity and sentimentality.
    • Wall Street Journal
  52. I wish I'd brought a pair of peas to the screening. Then I could have taken in the glorious scenery without the dumb dialogue, which is delivered in a jangle of accents that makes a mockery of ethnicity.
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. The remake stumbles from a ragged start into a child's garden of worses -- worse than the original in more ways than you could imagine.
    • Wall Street Journal
  54. A movie's script is its fate, which means this one is doomed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  55. This ripoff, directed by Jerry Zucker, has a few funny moments, but it's a sad sad sad sad example of what Hollywood is currently serving up -- and what audiences are swallowing -- as summer entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
  56. The script is woefully inept, with plot twists that wouldn't pass muster in a high-school drama class.
    • Wall Street Journal
  57. Manages to make its live actors sound -- and even sometimes look -- computer generated. This wan, sluggish comedy wouldn't pass muster as a premium-cable original, but here it is on the big screen.
    • Wall Street Journal
  58. In a truly terrible action adventure called The Tuxedo, a high-tech monkey suit turns Jackie Chan into an all-powerful cyborg, and will turn you into a boredborg.
    • Wall Street Journal
  59. Rarely has a major motion picture -- and this one is major by virtue of its misplaced ambition as well as its budget -- been afflicted by such flagrant dissonance between subject and style.
    • Wall Street Journal
  60. Remarkably joyless, even though Ms. Jolie is a formidable presence with the potential for becoming a witty one.
    • Wall Street Journal
  61. Young audiences may welcome this movie, but girls, and boys, should want more.
    • Wall Street Journal
  62. A gothic thriller called Cold Creek Manor extrudes an 80-minute idea -- I may be overgenerous here -- into 118 minutes that feel like an eternity.
    • Wall Street Journal
  63. A sudsless soap opera with human misery as a backdrop for romantic banality.
    • Wall Street Journal
  64. Smith is only a rogue computer program, but this morbidly dispiriting movie makes him sound like a prophet.
    • Wall Street Journal
  65. Gets to be dislikable in its glib feelgoodness. The movie's many excellent actors do too much acting with too little conviction in scenes that rush through perfunctory setups to deliver pat payoffs.
    • Wall Street Journal
  66. The only entertaining member of the cast is Terence Stamp.
    • Wall Street Journal
  67. Adam Sandler's 50 First Dates isn't just slovenly and smarmy but creepy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  68. Choose to pass this one up.
    • Wall Street Journal
  69. Eye-blowing and mind-numbing.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. A limited movie that can't animate its subject amid all the tricks and glitz. De-Lovely is devoid of life.
    • Wall Street Journal
  71. It's bad enough to make parable a four-letter word.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Well, incredibly stupid is certainly what is delivered to audiences.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Built on such a goofy premise that your average soap-opera scriptwriter would laugh it out of a story meeting.
    • Wall Street Journal
  72. Mr. Sayle's portrait is painfully unfunny, and the movie as a whole is a plodding polemic.
    • Wall Street Journal
  73. Might have qualified as dumb fun if they hadn't left out the fun.
    • Wall Street Journal
  74. Disney's National Treasure is supposed to be family-friendly, a PG-rated action adventure free of hard violence and bad language. That's admirable, to be sure, but with a friend like this a family doesn't need sleeping pills.
    • Wall Street Journal
  75. Bad can't begin to describe Christmas With the Kranks. It's sub-humbug.
    • Wall Street Journal
  76. These people -- the filmmakers as well as the cast -- have brought a rare sense of camaraderie to their work. Unfortunately, they forgot to bring a script. They even forgot, in the midst of their joyous self-involvement, to take good pictures of the places they visited.
    • Wall Street Journal
  77. Must be seen to be believed, though I'm not suggesting you actually see it.
    • Wall Street Journal
  78. Guess Who is, impurely and simply, a comic premise borrowed, turned around and dumbed down to the level of sketch or sub-sketch humor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  79. The movie itself is grotesque, and may drive you nuts as it makes you laugh, mostly at the stupidity of the thing.
    • Wall Street Journal
  80. Why is the movie such a mess? Will Ferrell plays a washed-up actor who's supposed to be a hopeless mess, but even his character makes little sense. Is it all supposed to be postmodern? No, it's post-postmortem, the dead spirit of a dearly departed show.
    • Wall Street Journal
  81. The movie's smugness is insufferable.
    • Wall Street Journal
  82. If I could find some facet to praise, I'd be glad to do so, but the production's mediocrity is all-pervasive -- story, character, graphic design, even music -- and it all points to a failure of corporate imagination, or maybe just nerve.
    • Wall Street Journal
  83. Breakfast on Pluto, with an impressive cast that includes Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson, deploys its whimsy in many ways, all of them cloying.
    • Wall Street Journal
  84. The Producers is nightmarish, in its febrile way, a head-bangingly primitive version of an overrated Broadway show that grew out of a clumsy 1968 movie with an inflated reputation.
    • Wall Street Journal
  85. Even as a visual aid, though, The Da Vinci Code is a deep-dyed disappointment. Paris by night never looked murkier.
    • Wall Street Journal
  86. A deeply dreadful movie -- no, a shallowly dreadful movie -- that's too unpleasant and repetitive to be entertaining, even as camp.
    • Wall Street Journal
  87. It's not a good sign when a movie is called The Break-Up and you can't wait for the couple to split so they'll get some relief from one another, and give the audience some relief from them.
    • Wall Street Journal
  88. There isn't a milliliter of honest feeling from start to finish, and precious little comedy or romance.
    • Wall Street Journal
  89. Calling Joe Carnahan's movie heartless implies that this auteur of affectless anarchy might have meant to invest it with detectable human feelings, and failed. Better to call it heart-free.
    • Wall Street Journal
  90. The oddest thing about this very odd movie is that it doesn't seem to know what to make of itself.
    • Wall Street Journal
  91. Don't bother to see this film unless you expect to be tested in film class about the Coens' serial dissertation on American cinema. [10 Mar 1994, p.A16]
    • Wall Street Journal
  92. Not to put too fine a point on it, Surviving Picasso is merely the worst movie ever made about a painter; worse movies have been made on other subjects, though none comes immediately to mind. [20 Sep 1996]
    • Wall Street Journal
  93. Mr. Scott's idea of making movies is to bludgeon or deafen his audience with every scene. In another line of work he'd be certifiable. [16 Aug 1996, p.A8]
    • Wall Street Journal
  94. The Loss of Sexual Innocence is a work of intransigent anger and barely relieved depression. [28 May 1999]
    • Wall Street Journal
  95. Maybe the worst part (there's so much to choose from) is the sight of a good actor like Edward Herrmann parading around looking like a demented quarterback, the shoulders of his suit jacket grotesquely padded. Mr. Schumacher has dressed the adorable Corey Haim in even weirder getups, jackets with pastel stripes and little outfits that resemble dresses. The vampires aren't nearly as creepy as those clothes. [6 Aug 1987, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  96. This is movie-making by and for dummies, a sappy little bible story, blissed out on its own ineptitude.
  97. A deadly earnest and deadly dull psychological thriller.

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