Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,583 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 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Lives of Others
Lowest review score: 0 Cocktail
Score distribution:
2583 movie reviews
  1. Terrific actors give glum performances.
    • Wall Street Journal
  2. Takes liberties with its hero, which is hardly a crime (the real-life Barrie was extremely childlike), but the movie chases after magic with overproduced fantasy sequences, and a feel-good, literalist climax that betrays the very notion of imagination as a force superior to reality.
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. Two dramatic problems beset Roman Polanski's darkly handsome new film of the Dickens novel. The boy is as passive as ever, and bleak in the bargain -- instead of glowing like the Oliver of the musical, he takes light in -- while Ben Kingsley's Fagin and Jamie Foreman's Bill Sikes manage to make villainy a bit of a bore.
    • Wall Street Journal
  4. Remaking a cherished movie is not, to borrow a fancy phrase from the dialogue, malum in se - wrong in itself - but there are always losses along with the changes and gains.
  5. A small story, a monodrama with a hero but no antagonists.
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. Once again, Queen Latifah survives some remarkably clumsy filmmaking. More than survives; she manages to prevail.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. All of it amounts to a been-there-done-that-better recapitulation of Mr. Spielberg's career.
  8. The whole dumb movie is a baloney cake, but the enticing icing on it is Reese Witherspoon, who manages to have a few moments of spontaneous fun in this half-baked store-bought comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  9. A mixed bag of a thriller that exploits two primal fears—of artificial intelligence, and precocious children.
  10. The folk-wisdom level is tolerable, just as the clichés and manipulations are palatable, because the story is full of life, and free of ironic additives.
  11. Though the first-time director, Gabor Csupo, has achieved distinction as an animation artist, he lacks experience directing actors. The best adult performance in the film is that of Zooey Deschanel; she comes off -- again, agreeably -- as self-directed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Alternately precious and vapid, the movie attempts to wrest metaphors from a jar of house keys, and eternal verities from pastry. Slice the pie how you will, it's still half-baked.
  12. It's a cheerful trifle tossed off by the Coen brothers in their self-enchanted mode, an approach to comedy that shrugs off comedy's cardinal rule -- Don't Act Funny.
  13. The action looks impressive, even when nothing much is happening beyond local explosions or shattering glass, and the drama turns, affectingly, on a mysterious female sniper with a partitioned soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
  14. What's good in the film, which was shot superbly by Matthew Libatique, is so good - so exuberant and touching and sweet - that you want the whole thing to be perfect, but Ruby Sparks is a closed system that gradually turns in on itself. There isn't enough of someone else.
  15. The medium really is the message here, and it steals what there is of the show.
    • Wall Street Journal
  16. Skips from episode to episode without illuminating the essence of the woman or her art.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Squanders endless opportunities for sharp satire, keeping to a steady course of tame, toothless comedy, and wrapping things up with the kind of vapid ending "The Brady Bunch" would be proud to call its own.
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. Mr. Doremus is an exceptional director of actors; almost every scene in Breathe In comes alive, with or without the help of music. But the film needs more help than it gets from the script, which turns on facile coincidence and dwindles in originality as it moves toward its climax. Next time around, let's hope this gifted filmmaker hangs his characters' lives on stronger dramatic bones.
  18. What we see, though, is the same old same old - beautiful faces turning gaunt and haunted, strung-out hero and heroine, stupid parents, de-tox worse than tox, descent to and return from the depths. Candy could be seen, I suppose, as a cautionary tale; take this as a cautionary review.
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. Both Mr. Dano and Mr. Cusack, by contrast, find as many notes as they can in portraying their troubled character, though they’re clearly limited by the schematic writing and insistent direction.
  20. So the awful truth about The Truth About Charlie is that it needed two movie stars and got one.
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. Oversweetened or not, "Mary Poppins" remains a deservedly beloved work of art. Nanny McPhee is an overproduced industrial enterprise.
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. Igby has his own prickly charisma and bleak humor; he's a character you'd like very much to embrace. But he's surrounded by insufferable fools in the airless Manhattan universe of a film that's as offputtingly precocious as its preppy hero.
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. A sentimental -- and modestly enjoyable -- fantasy of mutual need.
  24. Deeply felt convictions and first-rate craftsmanship-craftswomanship, in the case of the Spanish director, Icíar Bollaín-win out over contrivance in this parallel drama of exploitation in the New World discovered by Columbus, and in the Bolivia of 2000.
  25. The plot really is basic, so the bafflement of the movie lies in its combination of visual riches and dramatic -- as well as thematic -- impoverishment.
    • Wall Street Journal
  26. The production certainly looks sumptuous, and certifies Mr. Hartnett as a mainstream movie star. But the script is frequently impenetrable, the pacing is ponderous, and the film noir style can't conceal a crucial piece of misconceived casting.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Viewed through a contemporary lens and set mostly to a score of '80s pop tunes, this highly stylized, self-conscious enterprise -- really, a music video -- posits the misunderstood and vilified Marie, née Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, as a figure in the mold of Diana, Princess of Wales.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. Everyone's work is heartfelt, heaven knows, but the script, by Mr. Hoffman's brother, Gordy Hoffman, gives the movie's star little but lugubriousness to play...eventually the whole thing seems to be running on fumes.
    • Wall Street Journal

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