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 Lincoln
Lowest review score: 0 Life or Something Like It
Score distribution:
2,252 movie reviews
  1. Mr. Sayle's portrait is painfully unfunny, and the movie as a whole is a plodding polemic.
    • Wall Street Journal
  2. This is movie-making by and for dummies, a sappy little bible story, blissed out on its own ineptitude.
  3. 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
  4. Ambitious to a fault, this cautionary fantasy about artificial intelligence has so much on its muddled mind, and so little sense of dramatic grounding, that it grows ever more preposterous before lurching to a climax that's utterly unfathomable.
    • 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
  5. 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
  6. The script is woefully inept, with plot twists that wouldn't pass muster in a high-school drama class.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. 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
  8. In the real world, a debate has been raging over what does and doesn’t constitute torture. In the movie world, there’s no debate; watching The Interview is torture from almost start to finish.
  9. Only God Forgives would seem to be a parody of something or other — "Blue Velvet"? "Last Year At Marienbad"? — except that the film takes itself seriously to the point of suffocation in telling its lurid tale of slaughter and revenge.
  10. Remarkably joyless, even though Ms. Jolie is a formidable presence with the potential for becoming a witty one.
    • Wall Street Journal
  11. Grotesque doesn't begin to describe Ms. McCarthy's new character. Scarily insane comes closer; repulsive occasionally applies. Mullins's insanity can be extremely funny from time to time, but her anger grows as punishing for the audience as it does for the victims of her unrestrained police work.
  12. In all candor, and with all the amity I can muster, Divergent is as dauntingly dumb as it is dauntingly long.
  13. 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
    • 17 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    A head-banging excuse for a comedy.
  14. Alan Arkin does the best trick, bringing a dollop of humanity to the role of Rance Holloway, the magician who was young Burt's inspiration. Apart from Rance, the whole production is slovenly nonsense, photographed on the cheap with blaring ghastliness. Yet it poses an intriguing mystery. Did the producers appeal to a denominator even lower than common by making their film as dumb as possible, or did it just turn out that way?
  15. Looks like the deformed spawn of a development process gone awry.
    • Wall Street Journal
  16. It's a terrible life, and a terrible movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. Any kind of acting requires courage. Great acting requires formidable courage. Then there’s the dogged courage, spawned by devotion to duty, of wonderful actors like these, doing what they’re asked to do even though they must know that it’s no damned good.
  18. Too labored to be romantic and too derivative to be funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. Real feelings lurk just below the surface--Samantha's terror of growing old, Carrie's fear of eventual tedium in a childless marriage. Yet the surface is where the movie stays, like an old submarine with dead batteries.
  20. How could a movie with such likable actors be so deeply dislikable?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    In under two hours, the synthetic, insufferable I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry manages to insult gays, straights, men, women, children, African-Americans, Asians, pastors, mailmen, insurance adjusters, firemen, doctors -- and fans of show music. That's championship stuff.
  21. What a botch. All the King's Men, a remake of Robert Rossen's classic 1949 film about the rise and fall of a Southern demagogue, has no center, no coherence, no soul and no shame.
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. This time Rambo pulls off his superhuman Soviet-blasting stunts in Afghanistan, not quite as late on the scene as he was in Vietnam. Not very exciting; very noisy. [2 Jun 1988, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. Mr. Cage's knight ends up playing second banana to a digital devil. Welcome to the January dead zone.
  24. Nothing but miscalculation from clumsy start to chaotic finish, an action thriller with a cynical, shriveled soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
  25. Like Thor's hammer, this ersatz epic bludgeons its victims into submission. What's more, it requires them to stare at the source of their punishment through 3-D glasses.
  26. Every now and then a movie's awfulness rises to the level of mystery.
  27. Huckabees is godawful, a mirthless, bilious bore in which the vividly focused fury of "Three Kings" has become free-floating anger at the follies of human existence.
    • Wall Street Journal
  28. My Homo sapiens brain was boggled by the movie's clumsiness, while my heart was chilled by the chance that otherwise mature members of my species might mistake this disjointed botch for summer entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
  29. How much do I loathe this film? A lottico is putting it mildico.
  30. Certainly trashy, but, stripped of Mr. Diesel's services and directed by John Singleton, it's a no-go Yugo in muscle-car sheet metal.
    • Wall Street Journal
  31. A gross-out saga that sentient adults should avoid like the plague.
    • Wall Street Journal
  32. This shabby enterprise gets so many things so wrong that it freezes your face into a cringe.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    Ms. Stone. She alternates between two expressions here: sullen, and aghast. Then again, if you were listed on the credits as the co-producer of this violently dull piece of shlock, you'd look that way, too. [16 Feb 1995, p.A12]
    • Wall Street Journal
  33. The big news in Blade II is that there's something worse than vampires, but is there something worse than Blade II?
    • Wall Street Journal
  34. The worst would-be-big-and-Capraesque-but-actually-bloated-and-bloviating-beyond-belief movie of the year.
    • Wall Street Journal
  35. Adds up to one numbingly unfunny comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  36. Robert De Niro collects another stupendous paycheck for starring in another piece of exploitable junk.
    • Wall Street Journal
  37. In the 1980 movie “Urban Cowboy,” John Travolta rode a mechanical bull. In The Longest Ride, Scott Eastwood rides real bulls, but everything else is mechanical.
  38. The Happening makes you wonder whether Mr. Shyamalan's own switch may have been flipped. How else to explain his film's befuddling infelicities, insistent banalities, shambling pace and pervasive ineptitude?
  39. Mr. Smith's latest film is about nothing less than life and death, sin and atonement, and it takes the soggy cake for multiple layers of sentimentality topped by indigestible grandiosity.
  40. It's a bad idea done disastrously.
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. Doc says: "I can't believe this is happening." …That sentence may be the only one uttered in the entire film that contains an ounce of true feeling. Certainly that was the thought on my mind as I watched this depressing rehash of material that seemed original just five years ago, when it was. And "I can't believe this is happening" seemed to be what most of the actors were thinking as they gamely trudged through their paces yet again. [31 May 1990, p.A12]
    • Wall Street Journal
  42. Hitchcock rings false from start to finish.
  43. A symphony for tin ears, a sniggering assessment of human nature delivered with the faux-lofty tone of a Lexus commercial.
    • Wall Street Journal
  44. Given the importance of that subject, the real mystery of Mr. Lee's movie is why it's so diffuse, dispirited, emotionally distanced and dramatically inert.
  45. What's never explained is why anyone would do such a dumb remake of Robert Wise's 1951 sci-fi classic.
  46. Whatever one may think of the overall style--I think it's ludicrous--Mr. Fuqua clearly wanted his film to be operatic, and so it is, in a tone-deaf way.
  47. The movie has the cartoonish realism of a Muppet movie. However, Mr. Herman is no Kermit the Frog, although he made me feel like Oscar the Grouch. [13 Aug 1985, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  48. What they've done here goes beyond gross -- or clumsy, or dumb -- to genuine ugliness, both cutaneous and sub.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. Mr. Brooks manages to be deeply loathsome -- no small feat for a film that's shallowly amateurish.
  50. Shockingly, the kind of cringe-inducing material upon which Mr. Mazer has built a career as a writer for Sacha Baron Cohen ("Bruno," "Borat," "Da Ali G Show") doesn't work when rendered by types who could have been cast in "Notting Hill" (someone even makes a Hugh Grant joke). It's rather close to excruciating.
  51. What Happens in Vegas... should have stayed in development -- forever. This ramshackle -- and occasionally repulsive -- farce doesn't even deliver on the minimal promise of its title; most of it takes place in Manhattan.
  52. It's shrill in tone, awash in unexamined narcissism - kids are just pretexts for laughs, rather than objects of love - and afflicted by explosive verbal diarrhea. There's simply no base line of normal human activity, let alone intimacy, until the anticouple finally re-examines their anticommitment credo. By then everyone has been so selfish and dislikable that our commitment to the film is lost.
  53. Littered with low points -- lame comedy, dubious history, fumbling drama and a love story so inept as to make a pacifist long for war.
    • Wall Street Journal
  54. I must confess that I was outsmarted by the ending, but by that time my brain had been bludgeoned into a state just north of stupor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  55. Built from an alloy of absurdium and stupidium, with the latter, heavier element dominating the mix.
    • Wall Street Journal
  56. For anyone who remembers the "Die Hard" adventures at their vital and exciting best, this film feels like a near-death experience.
  57. Why, beating the audience about the ears, eyes and brain with essentially the same sequence of events from eight characters' points of view, none of which adds much more than deafening hysteria and identically dreadful music. The filmmakers seem to have missed the point that each re-enactment in "Rashomon" provides new and conflicting information. It makes you wonder if they studied the wrong movie. Maybe they rented "Rush Hour," or a video on Rosh Hashanah.
  58. Ragging on Town & Country is like shooting a school of fish that's already belly up in a fetid barrel, but the movie's ineptitude is almost incomparable.
    • Wall Street Journal
  59. My Blue Heaven is interesting as an example of how talented or at least experienced people can spend a great deal of time, money and effort on a movie that fails consistently, in almost every single scene. [30 Aug 1990]
    • Wall Street Journal
  60. The production can best be described by several f-words. It is frenetic, frazzled and febrile. It is also feeble -- almost touchingly so, if you think of what bottomless insecurity must have prompted so much bombast.
    • Wall Street Journal
  61. Insurgent opens new horizons of repetitiveness, dramatic shapelessness, self-seriousness and a generalized oppressiveness that flows from all of the above as well as from visual clutter, cheerless color, 3-D dimness and plain old bad acting.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    The oddballs of Mixed Nuts are oddly lackluster -- starting with Mr. Martin, who ambles through the movie with a stunned look on his face. [22 Dec 1994, p.A12]
    • Wall Street Journal
  62. Joyless and airless suspense thriller.
  63. When director Richard Attenborough isn't mangling dance numbers, he's focusing on a love story expressed almost entirely by means of close-ups of moony faces and teary eyes. [12 Dec 1985]
    • Wall Street Journal
  64. It's unfunny at best and borderline-amateur at worst, notwithstanding the desperate efforts of Renée Zellweger.
  65. Sara is supposed to be an adorable screwball with a fatal disease. Ms. Theron certainly gets the adorable right. With a comic style that's close to unerring, she not only deserves better than this junk but the very best.
    • Wall Street Journal
  66. Manages the dubious trick of being both execrable and boring.
    • Wall Street Journal
  67. It's "The Sixth Sense" as nonsense, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" without the sunshine. Or the mind.
    • Wall Street Journal
  68. The source of this movie's energy is near-perpetual desperation. You can see it in Tom Cruise's fixed grin, and in the mad proliferation of unspecial effects.
  69. Lacks both taste and flavor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. This noirish, sourish thriller left me unmoving as well as unmoved.
    • Wall Street Journal
  71. This tedious retelling of the venerable fairy tale-"Twilight" with Oedipal kinks-takes place in a medieval village that is plagued by a werewolf, and that looks like a shtetl settled by California actors.
  72. Timeline has negative energy to burn. There's even less of it by the end than at the beginning.
    • Wall Street Journal
  73. Wayne Kramer's interlocking saga of immigration in 21st-century America definitely crosses over, from workaday mediocrity to distinctive dreadfulness.
  74. The production's penchant for contrivance is insufferable - not a single spontaneous moment from start to finish - and the boy is so precocious you want to strangle him. It's surely not the fault of Thomas Horn, the remarkable young man who plays him.
  75. The film's only unqualified success is the end title sequence-because it's genuinely stylish, because it looks like it was shot in genuine 3-D and, most of all, because it's the end.
  76. This woefully botched mystery-adventure-thriller-caper-romance-comedy, or whatever it was meant to be, is no fun at all.
  77. Everyone in the film seems to be in solitary, thanks to Mr. Duchovny's stultifying style. If there was a single moment of spontaneity, it escaped me. Ditto for frivolity, though bogus poetry abounds.
    • Wall Street Journal
  78. An abomination.
    • Wall Street Journal
  79. Let's give this ghastly studio comedy a Truthiness in Advertising award, if nothing else.
  80. Here’s the bad news: Brüno is no "Borat." Here’s the worse news: Brüno crosses the line, like a besotted sprinter, from hilariously to genuinely awful.
  81. Redefines the notion of a feature film another notch downward.
    • Wall Street Journal
  82. A pitiful shambles of a remake, The Stepford Wives might have qualified as a rethinking of the 1975 original if there were any trace of coherent thought in the finished product.
    • Wall Street Journal
  83. This cloying piece of claptrap sets a high-water mark for pomposity, condescension, false profundity and true turgidity -- no small accomplishment for the man whose last two features were the deadly duo "Signs" and "The Village."
    • Wall Street Journal
  84. Grindingly tedious.
    • Wall Street Journal
  85. Downey is undone by a woefully amateurish production that, sadly and ironically, looks like a cheap TV show.
    • Wall Street Journal
  86. Where to begin in describing the awfulness of Annie? Why not with Sandy, Annie’s dog, whose name now connects with the superstorm in this hapless contemporary update of a musical that begged to be left in its 1930s period. Have you ever seen a dog suffer from incompetent direction? This one does, but no more or less so than the human members of the cast, none of whom have any emotional connection with one another, let alone with a standoffish pooch.
  87. Daisy was written without irony, wit or any grounding in reality. She's a barefooted flower child in a flatfooted fiasco.
  88. The dialogue is clumsy, the tone swings between somber and silly and the whole bizarre venture eventually succumbs to rigor mortis.
  89. The nadir of the movie -- or cheesy zenith -- is Ollie's sodden soliloquy, delivered in the presence of his baby, in which he laments the loss of her mother and his wife. All that's missing are the strains of Ravel's "Pavane For a Dead Princess."
    • Wall Street Journal
  90. Even in the month of January, traditionally a time for movie lovers to expect the worst, this cheapo feature, directed by Shawn Levy, takes the stale cake for witlessness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    Nobody fares well in this movie about sibling rivalry, doomed love and fringed suede. [05 Jan 1995]
    • Wall Street Journal
  91. How could a major studio -- in this case 20th Century Fox -- put its name on a production with a dim-bulb, tone-deaf script that piles howler on howler? Why couldn't someone save poor Ms. Carey from herself?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 16 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    For the most part, the movie serves up an incomprehensible collage of high-tech voyeurism sprinkled with every hackneyed creep-out trick in the book -- from eerie little ghost girls to melting walls and scurrying cockroaches.
    • Wall Street Journal
  92. So you think you've seen silly? And smarmy? And inept? Wait till you see Wanderlust, though that's just a figure of speech; I'm not suggesting that you actually lay eyes on this naked grab for box office bucks.
  93. This nasty little bottom-feeder of a film is too condescending to be trusted, too manipulative to be believed, too turgid to be enjoyed, too shameless to be endured and, before and after everything else, too inept to make its misanthropic case.

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