Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,091 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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Buck
Lowest review score: 0 The Love Guru
Score distribution:
2,091 movie reviews
  1. What makes the film enthralling is the wisdom and grace with which it addresses the twin subjects of grief and healing, and the quiet beauty of Mohamed Fellag's performance in the title role.
  2. A transgenre thriller that glides effortlessly from crisp social commentary through off-kilter comedy to paranoid terror, it's on my short list of the most enjoyable movies in recent memory.
  3. What makes it such a singular experience is the convergence of fine acting, moral urgency and a willingness to linger on moments of great intensity.
  4. Beguiling and endearing.
  5. Years after its initial release, Ornette: Made in America, part of Milestone's continuing "Project Shirley," still feels fresh - its moves always surprising, yet always somehow perfect.
  6. Paul Thomas Anderson's remarkable sixth feature addresses, by extension, the all-too-human process of eager seekers falling under the spell of charismatic authority figures, be they gurus, dictators or cult leaders. Or, in the case of this masterly production, a couple of spellbinding actors.
  7. What's so remarkable about their decadeslong campaign, though, is how desperation led to inspiration - to the inspired notion that they, as nonscientists, could still take their fate in their own hands.
  8. What makes The Flat mesmerizing is its wealth of historical detail. What makes it universal is what it says about families everywhere - that children, being children, don't want to know what their parents are up to, and that grown-ups, being human, don't want to credit troubling facts that conflict with what they need to believe.
  9. We need 007, even after half a century of his ups and downs in various incarnations, to remind us how deeply pleasurable an action thriller can be. The latest addition to the Bond canon goes beyond thrilling into chilling and enthralling, plus a kind of stirring that has nothing to do with martinis.
  10. With its sumptuous settings, urgent romance and intellectual substance, A Royal Affair is a mind-opener crossed with a bodice-ripper.
  11. Yet it's not just the visuals that make the movie what it is, a thrilling, if also punishing, tale of heroic endurance. The Impossible, based on a true story, derives most of its impressive power from two remarkable performances: Naomi Watts as Maria, and Tom Holland as Lucas.
  12. This "Les Mis" does make you feel, intensely and sometimes thrillingly, by honoring the emotional core of its source material.
  13. Ms. Berg's film, which she wrote with Billy McMillin, tells the story with unprecedented clarity. She has a dramatist's eye for what was irretrievably lost-the innocent lives of the children, plus 18 years of three other innocent lives.
  14. Should be a delight for everyone. Bird watchers will find affirmation and even explanation for their avocation. People who can't tell a towhee from a titmouse will still wonder at the beauty of it all.
  15. In another sense, though, everything is exactly what it seems, expertly crafted and cleverly compounded for high-dose entertainment.
  16. No
    Like "Argo" or "Zero Dark Thirty," the film dramatizes a fertile subject — in this instance, the language of advertising in modern politics.
  17. The greatest fascination is watching these three people when they're planted firmly inside the frame, talking at cross-purposes while trying to perceive one another in the reflected light of their needs and risky assumptions.
  18. The silents, as this film suggests, achieved aesthetic marvels before sound came along to set things back for a while.
  19. Room 237, which goes into national distribution this weekend, may be the surpassingly eccentric — and enormously entertaining — film that Kubrick deserves.
  20. Frances Ha also marks the rare instance in which an actress has the perfect role at the perfect time. Ms. Gerwig's work here is fragile, delicate, subject to bruising; something that could wither under too much attention. Perhaps Ms. Gerwig is the greatest actress alive. And maybe Frances Ha is just the ghost orchid of independent cinema.
  21. Remarkably accomplished and self-confident. In dramatic terms The Attack borrows a page from Alfred Hitchcock's playbook — an innocent in a strange land, delving into dangerous matters he doesn't understand. In political terms, though, the script is unsparing and ultimately bleak. It doesn't justify terrorism, but it does dramatize the rage and despair that dominate life in the occupied territories.
  22. This is filmmaking of a high order, even though the production's scale is modest and the climax is not without its facile contrivances.
  23. A movie of uns — unforced, unhurried, unpretentious. Though it's sometimes underdramatized, this story of adolescents on the brink of adulthood is refreshingly, and endearingly, unlike the overheated features that have come to define the genre.
  24. It's a tone poem, really, less concerned with conventional action than with exploring themes of love and commitment through understated performances, sumptuous images (Bradford Young did the cinematography), lovely music (Daniel Hart composed the score) and very few words, intoned elegiacally.
  25. The Grandmaster, may well be the definitive illustration of kung fu in all its arcane schools and intricate styles. There's never been anything like it — a seemingly endless flow of spectacular images in a story about Ip Man (Tony Leung), the legendary kung-fu master who trained Bruce Lee.
  26. Short Term 12, a low-budget feature only 96 minutes long, is a big deal on a small scale: for what it reveals of Mr. Cretton as a filmmaker — especially as a storyteller, and a director of actors within tautly constructed scenes — and of Ms. Larson's abundant talent.
  27. I can't say enough about the way Enough Said keeps its scintillating sense of humor as it grows deeper and more affecting.
  28. Joseph Levy's sneakily stirring documentary opens up feelings you would never have expected from the premise — a portrait of three American restaurants.
  29. This classic tale of a little guy taking on giants benefits from being essentially true, and from accomplished filmmaking, but most of all from the beautiful vitality of Mr. McConaughey's performance.
  30. Catching Fire is exceptional entertainment, a spectacle with a good mind and a pounding heart.

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