Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,533 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 Son of Saul
Lowest review score: 0 Storks
Score distribution:
2533 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Calls to mind Lubitsch's "Trouble in Paradise" and beguiles all the way from the parade of umbrellas decorating the opening titles to the closing credits.
  1. It's spectacular, to be sure, but also remarkable for its all-encompassing gloom. No movie has ever administered more punishment, to its hero or its audience, in the name of mainstream entertainment.
  2. It's a film of modest means and great ambition, a darkly comic drama concerned with nothing less than the place of faith, and an embattled Church, in modern life.
  3. So much movie can be made with so little plot, given sufficient humanity and dramatic tension. That's the case with Andrew Haigh's eloquent chamber piece.
  4. In many ways the film reflects its hero’s brilliance. It’s a scintillating construction, though one that sometimes feels like a product launch in its own right.
  5. Like earlier Dardenne films, Lorna’s Silence is naturalistic, yet this one, beautifully shot in 35 mm film by Alain Marcoen, achieves a poetry of bereftness.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The thriller aspect of this work, happily, doesn't overshadow its real beauty -- its stark portrayal of the nightmare despair of aliens, hunted, on edge, prepared to risk all for a new start.
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. This immensely pleasurable film is anything but dry. It's a saga of the immigrant experience that captures the snap, crackle and pop of American life, along with the pounding pulse, emotional reticence, volcanic colors and cherished rituals of Indian culture.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. Overlord feels like a small but vivid tragedy inside an epic container.
  8. The scope of the subject is such that when Mr. Jarecki's voiceover cuts into the narrative, imposing a personal angle on the national story, it reduces the sense of significance its creator aimed for. But that's a fairly backhanded endorsement of a very potent movie.
  9. A pitch-black, blood-soaked comedy and phenomenal first feature by Alice Lowe, who also stars as Ruth, the pregnant heroine.
  10. Mr. Shyamalan is a new national treasure, as attuned to our sensibilities and everyday life as Steven Spielberg.
    • Wall Street Journal
  11. For the most part, though, Ms. Moncrieff has given us a portrait of a young woman with a luminous soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
  12. It also happens to feature a pair of performances that eclipse all else around them.
  13. The common problem of Solondz's characters is an inability to see the world in shades of grey, which is fitting in a film where color-garish, boring or just plain ugly-is so important, and the actors are working off palettes of such extreme emotions. A few of them-notably Ms. Rampling, Mr. Hinds and Ms. Sheedy-are as good here as they've ever been.
  14. Mr. Almodóvar's love of movies informs every frame of this beautiful film.
  15. Demanding, quietly breathtaking film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  16. More to the point of this marvelous film, who knew there were kids as heroic, in their various ways, as these valiant super-spellers?
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. For the director, Mr. Leconte, and for the usually volcanic Mr. Auteuil, the quiet, cumulative power of this film is a striking departure from the dazzling energy of their previous collaboration in "Girl on the Bridge."
    • Wall Street Journal
  18. Still, the cynosure of all eyes is honest, articulate Elizabeth, her own woman in an era when women belonged to men, and at the same time full of love. Lizzie is the best, and Keira Knightley does right by her.
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. Part 2 of The Deathly Hallows, is the best possible end for the series that began a decade ago.
  20. What’s remarkable about Arrival is its contemplative core—and, of course, Ms. Adams’s star performance, which is no less impassioned for being self-effacing.
  21. Mr. Ostlund positions his troubled characters in an environment of polished ash and Scandinavian spotlessness, under which there are dark mutterings — the constant creak of tow cables and un-oiled metal.
  22. A very entertaining black comedy for very mysterious reasons.
  23. His film is not for the weak of stomach or heart, but it's a stunner all the same.
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. “Montage” is about expression. As such, it’s a more honest tribute to Mr. Cobain than any conventional documentary could pretend to be.
  25. The distinction of this lovely, if slightly tentative, debut feature is its willingness to set forth mysteries of the human heart without solving them; everyone's fate stays unsealed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  26. Throbs with an ambition that sends it soaring, then brings it down.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. A beautifully strange and stirring sci-fi adventure.
  28. The deliriously talented Lake Bell wrote, produced, directed and stars in this peculiar bit of comedy magic, set amid the cutthroat world of Hollywood voiceover artists.
  29. An unusually engaging portrait of a legendary chef who can be insufferable, as his most ardent admirers acknowledge, but who is also a brighter-than-life charmer, raging perfectionist, world-class hedonist, self-styled dandy and all-too-human survivor of the highest-end restaurant wars.
  30. Laurent Cantet's fascinating, troubling drama has many meanings.
    • Wall Street Journal
  31. A smart, suspenseful drama, starring Hayden Christensen, that honors its own factual roots as no movie about journalists has done since "All the President's Men."
    • Wall Street Journal
  32. A stylish thriller with real complexity, people with interesting faces, a sensational actress cast as an ambisexual Goth hacker heroine--the news about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is nothing but good.
  33. Ivan Reitman directed, with great verve and unflagging finesse, from a terrifically funny script by Elizabeth Meriwether.
  34. Marvel’s new “Captain America” is anything but bleak — what’s so audacious about the film, and so pleasing, is its quicksilver mix of hardcore action and bright comedy.
  35. Lee's journey of the body and soul is something else. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes it strangely touching, a revelation.
    • Wall Street Journal
  36. Strong stuff, and all the stronger for having taken itself so comically.
    • Wall Street Journal
  37. Satoshi Kon, whose previous film was the remarkable "Tokyo Godfathers," uses the complex plot as a pretext for joyous psychedelia.
  38. A bright little screwball comedy that speaks for the vitality of new movies.
  39. The life that swirls around Kym before, during and after her sister's densely populated, wonderfully detailed wedding seems to have been caught on the fly in all its sweetness, sadness and joy. (In its free-form style the film constitutes an elaborate homage to Robert Altman.)
  40. Has its share of contrivances, some more successful than others, but center stage is occupied by truth, and austere beauty.
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. Mr. Miller tells several interlocking stories with such daring and intensity that you sense he could go on indefinitely, spinning one terrific yarn off another.
    • Wall Street Journal
  42. Surprise, surprise. X-Men: The Last Stand, the third big-screen convocation of mutant shape shifters, weather changers, ice makers, energy suckers, healers and telepaths from Marvel Comics, has shifted the shape of the franchise from pretty good, if uninspired, to terrifically entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
  43. A delicious thriller that gets under the skin à la "All About Eve," albeit with a twist: The craft here is still theater, but of the workplace rather than the stage.
  44. A survey of the week wouldn't be complete without a left-handed salute--not to be confused with a backhanded compliment--to the gleeful rubbish of Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This award-winning picture from Belgium is the kind Hollywood seems no longer interested in making: a sophisticated drama that presumes a level of insight and maturity in an audience that doesn't need winks and arrows to understand what's going on.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. A minor comedy, though a major delight.
    • Wall Street Journal
  46. A wonderfully generous spirit. It's a film about cultural yearning and fearless love.
    • Wall Street Journal
  47. Awash in terrific performances.
    • Wall Street Journal
  48. Winningly human, and wonderfully funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. The outcome is distinctive and entertaining. There's no way you'd mistake this for James Bond, and no reason you would want to.
    • Wall Street Journal
  50. Mr. Wright and his colleagues have made a movie with a spaciousness of its own, a brave willingness to explore such mysteries of the mind and heart as the torture that madness can inflict, and the rapture that music can confer. Bravo to all concerned.
  51. Manipulative, but confidently so, and improbably but consistently affecting.
    • Wall Street Journal
  52. By the end there isn't anyone to cheer for, except the makers of this thoughtful and absorbing piece of work. [02 Aug 1984]
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. It's very funny, terrifically lively and, considering how awful it might have been, surprisingly tender in its portrait of a young guy who learns sensitivity the hard way.
    • Wall Street Journal
  54. 5 Broken Cameras is short on facts and, like the demonstrations themselves, provocative by nature. Still, it casts a baleful light on anguishing, seemingly incessant scenes of tear gas hurled, bullets fired, villagers fleeing for their lives and, on one shocking occasion, a life lost as the camera rolls. This is how the conflict looks from the other side of the barrier.
  55. This prequel draws new energy from supersmart casting, plus the shrewd notion of setting the beginnings of the X-Men saga in the early 1960s.
  56. Taken at face value, these two women are simply despicable. But the screenplay has a bracing tincture of Grand Guignol, and nothing is simple when the two women are played by a couple of superlative actresses who clearly delight in one another.
    • Wall Street Journal
  57. What works best is what's readily accessible, the startling power of performers who understand the drama all too well.
  58. All the backing-and-forthing between olden and modern days intensifies the emotional impact of a compelling story, and underlines the enduring power of narrative itself.
    • Wall Street Journal
  59. Haunting, troubling documentary.
    • Wall Street Journal
  60. Watch them march to the very extremes of extremis, though, and it's easy to feel awe.
    • Wall Street Journal
  61. It's as good as anything that Hurt has ever done -- a study in explosive understatement.
    • Wall Street Journal
  62. Before and after plot mechanics, a drama of family tension and warmth.
  63. Intriguing and affecting documentary.
    • Wall Street Journal
  64. Gives us the same sort of perverse pleasure that's been a staple of "60 Minutes" over the years -- watching world-class crooks tell world-class lies.
    • Wall Street Journal
  65. With his co-writer, Randy Sue Coburn, and composer Mark Isham, director Alan Rudolph has created a sense of time and place that authentically conveys what it might have been like when writers were celebrities and special effects came from words. [10 Jan 1995, p.A18]
    • Wall Street Journal
  66. It declines to take itself seriously, yet manages, sometimes simultaneously, to be exciting, instructive, cheerfully absurd and genuinely affecting.
    • Wall Street Journal
  67. The filmmaker has put two familiar pieces of music to such glorious, full-throated use toward the end that I can’t resist mentioning them: Donovan’s “Deep Peace,” and “Unchained Melody” done in close harmony by the Fleetwoods. For Nathalie in the uncertainty of the here and now, peace and harmony are great ideas too.
  68. This autobiographical meditation is seductively funny, as well as deliciously strange, and hauntingly beautiful, as well as stream-of-consciousness cockeyed.
  69. This wise and funny film, in Japanese with English subtitles, works small miracles in depicting the pivotal moment when kids turn from the wishfulness of childhood into shaping the world for themselves.
  70. What's fun about this movie is the sight of Mr. Irons's Claus stalking the mansion like a tall, skinny ghost smiling at the perverseness of it all. [18 Oct 1990, p.A14(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  71. Like no one before or since, she had what she valued most in others - good, old-fashioned pizazz.
  72. Immensely likable, and allows Mr. Smith to fulfill his manifest destiny -- as an urbane comedian who is also, shades of Cary Grant, a romantic hero.
    • Wall Street Journal
  73. By the end I felt sure it was the most obsessively, graphically violent film I'd ever seen, but equally sure that Apocalypto is a visionary work with its own wild integrity. And absolutely, positively convinced that seeing it once is enough for one lifetime.
    • Wall Street Journal
  74. I never saw the original, but the sprightly remake couldn't be more delightful. As the ultra-suave Lawrence Jamison, Mr. Caine wears his hair and mustache Niven-like -- slicked down but never greasy. He manages to draw more laughs by merely reacting than most comics can pull out of a punchline. With his calculated coarseness, Mr. Martin is a perfect foil. Behind the scenes is former Muppet Man Frank Oz. He pulls the strings so deftly he never disturbs the froth. [15 Dec 1988, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  75. The result is a movie more concerned with movie-making than with the stuff of Sterne's great book, but a movie that's good for lots of laughs if you share its fondness for actors and for fatuous actors' banter, which I do.
    • Wall Street Journal
  76. Finding Dory can be touching, sweet and tender, but it’s compulsively, preposterously and steadfastly funny.
  77. An off-kilter romantic comedy in which everything turns out the way you might have hoped it would if you hadn’t been kept in a state of happy suspense along the way.
  78. The carnival is loud, brash, brassy, sexy and sometimes tacky or silly, but always entertaining.
  79. What’s most significant, though, is the merciless nature of the cyberbullying, and the terrifying ease with which it’s inflicted. Tickled opens a smudged window on a dark alley of contemporary life.
  80. A work of fiction, Mr. Féret's film is ardent in its inventions, modest in scale, playful in its speculations about Nannerl's influence on her brother's music, and graced by the filmmaker's daughter, Marie Féret, in the title role.
  81. Why, then, should we be eager to see a story of such incomplete inspiration? Because it's thrilling, and stirring. And because it is truth.
    • Wall Street Journal
  82. The film's special mixture of sadness, comedy and hope sneaks up on you and stays in your memory.
  83. Straightforward in form but surprisingly intricate.
    • Wall Street Journal
  84. The malignity can be oppressive -- this is a far cry from Fellini finding poignant uplift in the slums -- but the dramatic structure is complex, the details are instructive, and the sense of tragedy is momentous.
  85. This faux-documentary is droll, aerosol-thin and ultrameta.
  86. The truth is, Mr. Farina would be considered Oscar material if "Joe May" were a bigger film. As it is, he'll have to settle for being great.
  87. More than acting, though, Penn's performance is a marvelous act of empathy in a movie that, for all its surprisingly conventional style, measures up to its stirring subject.
  88. I have minor misgivings about the use of a few Disney-esque sound effects, as well as some conventionally garish voicings in the score by Danny Elfman, Hollywood's current master of the macabre. But none of that diminishes the educational value of Deep Sea 3-D, which was directed by Howard Hall, or the sometimes ethereal, sometimes fearsome beauty of its cast of trillions.
    • Wall Street Journal
  89. Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. (What a terrific title!) This precocious, faux-primitive first feature, in Persian with English subtitles, and a sensationally eclectic score, was shot in wide-screen black-and-white, and frequently mimics the dreamlike rhythms of silent films.
  90. The result feels perfectly American — I wonder if Conrad was named in honor of the troubled brother in “Ordinary People” — yet the film lives and breathes with a lovely intimacy and density of detail that we associate with fine independent features from Europe.
  91. Big
    I am glad to be able to say that all these clever and talented people have actually come up with the goods. The biggest goodie is Tom Hanks as the little boy after his wish has been granted. Much of the comedy in this movie is physical. Without forcing the matter Mr. Hanks has a startling ability to take on the mannerisms and facial expressions of an adolescent. [2 Jun 1988, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  92. With his co-writer, Randy Sue Coburn, and composer Mark Isham, director Alan Rudolph has created a sense of time and place that authentically conveys what it might have been like when writers were celebrities and special effects came from words. [10 Jan 1995, p.A18]
    • Wall Street Journal
  93. Red Army is about many things — politics and sport, service and servitude, integrity trumped by money. Most memorably, though, it celebrates a good man living a great life by his own lights.
  94. If you’re looking for something to lift you up and take you away from the tumult and anguish of the moment, seek out Our Little Sister, a lovely new film, in Japanese with English subtitles, that’s going into national distribution this week.
  95. It’s family entertainment in the freshest sense of the term, a biographical drama, based on a true story, that vibrates with more colors — emotional as well as visual — than I can name.
  96. Beautiful images can be a distraction in a serious documentary, but that's hardly the case here. They draw us in so we can better understand the hurtling changes that endanger the future of Cambodia and, by extension, much of the developing world.
  97. Nicole Kidman places the bereaved heroine of Rabbit Hole in a nether land between life and not-quite-life. Her beautiful performance transcends the specifics of the script, which David Lindsay-Abaire adapted from his play of the same name.

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