Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,643 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
Lowest review score: 0 An American Affair
Score distribution:
2643 movie reviews
  1. The technology is seamless, the movements are eloquent and the problem may be my own misprogramming, but the robot still looked to me like a man in a robot suit.
  2. '71
    Yann Demange’s ’71, with an astonishing performance by Jack O’Connell, is big-screen storytelling stripped to its dramatic and visual essentials, and the result is nothing less than shattering.
  3. In an industry afflicted by sequelitis, it has taken John Boorman almost three decades to make the sequel to his much-cherished “Hope and Glory,” but Queen and Country turns out to be well worth the wait.
  4. Ms. Robbie, on the other hand, aces her role from the start; she’s got an unerring gift for romantic comedy. Still, the film itself comes to feel like a con, thanks to a script that’s too clever by two-thirds, and butterfingered in the ways of portraying love.
  5. You never lose interest for a moment, and the images are often striking: Javier Julia did the stylish cinematography. Yet there’s little lift from the carryings-on, not much buoyancy in the misanthropy.
  6. The script is dreadful and everything else suffers from its impoverishment. Yet Kevin Costner, wily veteran that he is, makes the tale affecting, if not inspiring.
  7. What We Do in the Shadows has nonmedicinal virtues that many large-scale movies lack: unflagging energy, entertaining inventiveness, sustained ridiculousness and even, dare I say it, a spasm of eloquence in Deacon’s twisted tribute to the frailties of the human race.
  8. I’ve long been a fan of IMAX nature documentaries, but Humpback Whales, directed by Greg MacGillivray, is something special.
  9. Mr. Firth gives his all, and then some. He’s very funny, even touching, when the material allows him to be. Yet the production, directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass,” “X-Men: First Class”) from a screenplay he wrote with Jane Goldman, can’t contain its centrifugal force.
  10. It’s billionaire-glossy, as much an ode to consumerism as a study in sadomasochism; intermittingly titillating, with fugitive flashes of droll; and, bondage apart, a dutifully romantic tale of an old-fashioned girl who takes a particularly roundabout route to true love.
  11. Heaping derision on such a woeful debut may be tantamount to shooting fossils in a tar pit. Yet this lumbering industrial enterprise, which was written and directed by the Wachowski siblings, Andy and Lana, is bad enough to be granted landmark status.
  12. In what I think may be the filmmaker’s plan, all that stuff — that maddeningly cacophonous Stuff — is what we’re meant to cut through and get past in order to become as alert and alive as the star of Mr. Godard’s movie. In this interpretation, it’s the pooch who points the way toward perceiving beauty by learning to live in the vibrant, fragrant present.
  13. Talk about tin ears. Black or White comes off as the product of clouded eyes, sour stomachs and addled brains.
  14. If Timbuktu — a nominee for this year’s foreign-film Oscar — were politically astute and nothing more, it would still serve a valuable purpose. But the film throbs with humanity, and abounds in extraordinary images.
  15. Mommy is certainly a showcase for powerful acting: Anne Dorval is the coarse but affecting Diane, Antoine-Olivier Pilon is terrifying as Diane’s teenage son, Steve.
  16. A conspicuous comedown from the best of Mr. Macdonald’s films — “The Last King of Scotland” and “Touching the Void.” Still, the craftsmanship is impressive, Ben Mendelsohn’s Fraser provides plenty of psychopathic villainy, and Mr. Law invests his character with more passion than the writing deserves.
  17. 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.
  18. The narrative core suffers a conspicuous meltdown, though not before Mr. Mann gets to stage a few impressive action sequences, the best and loudest of which concerns a shootout in a curvilinear tunnel. As for the climax, set against a massive torchlight parade through the streets of Jakarta, it’s very elaborate, and terribly dumb.
  19. Ms. Moore, for her part, doesn’t need fine writing to create marvelous moments; some of her most powerful scenes are wordless ones in which Alice is looking anxious, confused or utterly haunted. When the script provides exceptional material, however, this extraordinary actress takes it to a memorably high level.
  20. This comic chronicle of a Peruvian bear’s adventures in London turns out to be a total charmer, made with panache, élan and generous dollops of marmalade.
  21. The story demanded — and deserves — the services of a singular actress. Ms. Cotillard’s international stardom doesn’t hurt, of course, but the invaluable gift she brings to the production is her ability to play a working woman in naturalistic style while giving a transcendent performance.
  22. Song of the Sea was made primarily, though not exclusively, for young children. Its unhurried pace will serve as an antidote to, or even an inoculation against, the mad rush of most contemporary animation. This is a film made by the other crowd, people who care about helping children to care about the medium of film for the rest of their lives.
  23. Finding words for the starring performance is easy. After breaking through as a brilliant comic actor in “The Hangover,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” Mr. Cooper turns out to be just as brilliant at intensely dramatic inwardness. In his extraordinarily austere portrayal, Kyle’s silences are eloquent, his impassivity interesting, his inner conflicts implied without a trace of sentimentality.
  24. It’s easy to see why Mr. Burton, an influential imagist in his own right and a collector of Keane paintings, was attracted to this saga of contending Keanes, and the result, photographed by Bruno Delbonnel, is a study in yummy colors and period design. But I watched wide-eyed with dismay while the film turned as lifeless as the paintings.
  25. At its best, Ava DuVernay’s biographical film honors Dr. King’s legacy by dramatizing the racist brutality that spurred him and his colleagues to action. The director and her screenwriter, Paul Webb, are less successful — sometimes much less so — at breathing life into the private moments that define King as an inspirational figure with human flaws, and a political as well as spiritual force.
  26. The title isn’t “Broken,” so there’s not much doubt of the outcome. But it’s certainly regrettable, because this long and increasingly sluggish film version of the Laura Hillenbrand book celebrates an American life of singular heroism.
  27. Now, thanks to this last film, in 3-D, the pleasure is intense, and mixed with awe. There is majesty here, and not just because we’re in the presence of magnificently regal madness.
  28. When we peruse this movie, we see a superb evocation of Turner’s latter years, during the first half of the 19th century, and a performance that’s symphonic in the sweep of its eccentricities, vivid in the spectrum of its passions.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.

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