Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,625 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 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Beguiled
Lowest review score: 0 Bedtime Stories
Score distribution:
2625 movie reviews
  1. Rowan Joffe directed from his own adaptation of a novel by S.J. Watson. If you’re thinking of seeing this turgid turkey, forget it.
  2. Mr. Gyllenhaal’s startling portrayal is far from the only distinction in this impeccably crafted feature film. Mr. Gilroy’s directorial debut connects its hero’s tacit madness to the larger craziness of a broadcast medium that teaches vast numbers of viewers to live with a false sense of insecurity.
  3. A very entertaining black comedy for very mysterious reasons.
  4. 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.
  5. White Bird in a Blizzard is an alibi for Mr. Araki to flex his considerable muscle as a visual artist, using a palette that ranges from the blissful to the grotesque, and an atmospheric score by those eminences of the ambient, Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie.
  6. There are not a lot of moments in documentary cinema that equal Citizenfour. Ms. Poitras was already at work on a film about government surveillance when Mr. Snowden presented himself, and she’s something of a lightning rod, too, one with little evident sympathy for Obama administration data mining.
  7. Camp X-Ray isn’t anti-American, despite much of Ali’s rhetoric. It is about the evils of ignorance, wherever it rears its ugly head.
  8. This pitch-dark comedy, which was directed, con brio, by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, sizzles as the camera circles, stalks and swoops. Emmanuel Lubezki’s friction-free cinematography constitutes a virtuoso turn in its own right in a production that’s strewn with superb performances, some of them loud and bold, others subtle and restrained.
  9. World War II is often called the “last good war,” which has also meant that it was the last global conflict out of which the studios could make an unabashedly heroic movie. Fury is not that movie. And because it is not, it provides a few psychic disturbances beyond its shocking gore, burning soldiers blowing their brains out, children hanged from trees by the SS and imminent rape.
  10. Naturally, Mr. Murray is a joy to watch. And he has brought so much joy to so many grumpy people he deserves whatever accolades he can accrue, even for a career-assessment comedy like St. Vincent.
  11. It also happens to feature a pair of performances that eclipse all else around them.
  12. If the screenplay to Kill the Messenger were a news story, any capable copydesk would have kicked it back to the reporter — not for a shortage of facts, but a lack of dramatic soul.
  13. Pride may not be a model of impeccable craftsmanship, but it's a fine example of turning a terrific subject into a gleeful event. It's also an example of the power of entertainment — of entertainment within entertainment.
  14. Clark Terry the teacher sometimes talks like a trumpet, even though he's dealing with a pianist—"daddle-leedle-daddle-loodle" is how he wants Justin to play one phrase. Clark Terry the man personifies generosity, and it's lovely to behold.
  15. Men, Women & Children touches many nerves, but then pinches and twists them with its ham-handed approach to social commentary. I worry about Mr. Reitman, a filmmaker of consequence who is still too young to be so cosmic. Time to lighten up and come back down to Earth.
  16. Reese Witherspoon is funny and touching as the scrappy Kansan who befriends the bewildered arrivals, and the movie's three Lost Boys, no longer lost or boys, are intensely appealing.
  17. The movie, with some of the trappings of a murder mystery, makes its points with blunt force. Fun seldom figures in this adaptation, which is overlong and mysteriously unaffecting. Still, Mr. Fincher's film has many fascinations.
  18. All the pieces would seem to be in place for an effective film, but the direction is zestless, the pace is more often laggardly than leisurely, and the lead performances are surprisingly lifeless, although Mr. Isaac manages to make a virtue of his scammer's deliberate vagueness.
  19. Mr. Fuqua, who did such a fine job directing Mr. Washington and Ethan Hawke in "Training Day," loses control of an increasingly slapdash script, and the whole movie turns into a slaughterhouse. The question isn't who wants it — box office action is assured — but who needs it?
  20. None of the film's tropes — fancy camera angles, dark streets, persistent rain, psycho killers in doomy settings, Scudder trudging around the city on their trail — can hide the essential hollowness of a not-very-interesting revenge tale that takes a not-at-all-welcome turn into grisly, ugly horror.
  21. This is one of those overworked and generally airless comedies with a sitcom premise that can't sustain life.
  22. The best part of Tracks — aside from the spectacular images, the succinct dialogue, the elegant filmmaking and the mysterious beauty of Mia Wasikowska's performance — is what's left unsaid.
  23. The fault is not in the co-stars; they've been brilliant before and will be brilliant again. It's in the laggardly pace, pedestrian writing and murky viewpoint of Ned Benson's feature.
  24. Mr. Hardy's Brooklyn accent is not only flawless — a Londoner by birth, he's a vocal chameleon who played a Welshman in "Locke" — but tinged, I do believe, with a blithe, spot-on tribute to a blue-collar guy from another borough, Ernest Borgnine's immortal Marty. Here's a far-from-minor performance by a major star in the making.
  25. This is only the second feature for the director: the first was "True Adolescents." But Mr. Johnson's work with his actors is impeccable, and his style is freewheeling.
  26. The taste with which one is left is not savory, exactly, but it certainly lingers.
  27. Director David Mackenzie's gripping, convincing and convincingly violent convict drama owes its authenticity largely to the experiences of ex-prison therapist Jonathan Asser, who wrote its screenplay. But the opening 10 minutes are a virtuosic example of virtually wordless filmmaking.
  28. One of the brighter aspects of Life of Crime, which otherwise ambles along good naturedly, is the casting.
  29. In their engaging, fast-paced and ultimately ludicrous combo of espionage and mayhem, the makers of The November Man give us a very Putin-like villain in Arkady Federov (veteran Serbian actor Lazar Ristovski).
  30. Any movie with these two comics is a trip and a half. How about France for the next one? A perfect way to revisit Michael Caine.

Top Trailers