Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,162 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 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Capote
Lowest review score: 0 A Guy Thing
Score distribution:
2,162 movie reviews
  1. Mr. Day-Lewis works famously, and phenomenally, from the inside out. The mystery at the core of his gorgeous performance, which is enhanced by Mr. Kushner's script, has to do with his masterly grasp of Lincoln's quicksilver spirit.
  2. Everything comes together brilliantly in Silver Linings Playbook - for the film's crazed but uncrazy lovers; for the filmmaker, David O. Russell, and best of all for lucky us.
  3. Judged solely as a film, a partially fictionalized account of the decade-long search for bin Laden, it's superbly crafted and relentlessly dramatic. More than that, though, Zero Dark Thirty is a shock to the system, one that's bound to incite discussion of profoundly troubling issues.
  4. Michael Haneke's French-language Amour, a perfect film about intertwined lives, proceeds at its own pace, and breathes so deeply that it takes your own breath away.
  5. The film doesn't play it safe, so neither will I. Instead, I'll say that it finds Mr. Tarantino perched improbably but securely on the top of a production that's wildly extravagant, ferociously violent, ludicrously lurid and outrageously entertaining, yet also, remarkably, very much about the pernicious lunacy of racism and, yes, slavery's singular horrors.
  6. The Israeli journalist Dror Moreh has hit a documentarian's trifecta with The Gatekeepers. It's an exemplary piece of enterprise journalism, a vivid history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a polemic that's all the more remarkable for the shared experience of the polemicists.
  7. Mud
    Jeff Nichols's third feature traffics unerringly in truth, delicious surprise, unadorned beauty and unforced wisdom.
  8. Elegantly crafted and filled with flawless performances, this mysteriously charged drama comes alive in its very first frames.
  9. Here's an iffy proposition. If A Hijacking was in English, or if U.S. audiences weren't finicky about reading subtitles, or if life was fair, this brilliant thriller, by the Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm, would be playing on multiplex screens throughout the country.
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. It's a joyous movie, the best one I've seen in a very long time.
  11. At the age of 27 Mr. Coogler seems to have it all, and have it firmly in place a clearsighted take on his subject (no airbrushing of flaws or foibles here, just confident brush strokes by a mature artist); a spare, spontaneous style that can go beyond naturalism into a state of poetic grace, and a gift for getting, or allowing, superb actors to give flawless performances.
  12. Cate Blanchett tops anything she's done in the past with her portrait of a fallen woman who's a hoot, a horror, a heartbreaker and a wonder. The mystery of the movie as a whole is that it depicts a bleak world of pervasive rapacity, deceit and self-delusion, yet keeps us rapt with delight.
  13. This feature-length documentary, currently entering national release, may be one of the most horrifying films you'll ever see, and one of the most edifying.
  14. Zachary Heinzerling's feature-length documentary gathers force slowly, but with such wisdom and calm mastery that I found myself stunned, toward the end, by the beautiful vastness of it all.
  15. In one form or another, motion pictures have been with us since the middle of the 19th century, but there's never been one like Gravity. What's new in Alfonso Cuarón's 3-D space adventure is the nature of the motion. It's as if the movie medium had been set free to dance in a bedazzling zero-gravity dream sequence.
  16. Movie audiences have never been presented with anything quite like the intertwined beauty and savagery of 12 Years a Slave.
  17. It's a meditation on mortality, with remarkable resemblances to "Gravity," not to mention echoes of "The Old Man and the Sea." It's admirably crafted, with a wealth of detail that illustrates the sailor's resourcefulness.
  18. What's extraordinary is what happens at the intersection of Mr. Payne's impeccable direction and Mr. Nelson's brilliant script. The odyssey combines, quite effortlessly, prickly combat between father and son.
  19. High-energy comedy comes naturally to the filmmaker. He exults in free association, emotional riffs, in the craziness that underlies ostensibly rational behavior. The crosscurrents have crosscurrents in his films, but the current that carries everything along here is announced by the first strains of music from the screen: Duke Ellington's "Jeep's Blues," with one of the most exuberant passages in all of jazz. David O. Russell does buoyancy better than anyone.
  20. Her
    Mr. Jonze approaches perfection in the department of deadpan humor. In other hands, his premise could have been a clever gimmick and little more. But he draws us into Theodore's world, then develops it brilliantly, by playing everything scrupulously straight.
  21. This tale of forbidden friendship between a bear and a mouse is so winning that audiences will cherish it as the classic it's sure to become.
  22. Tom Hardy, the actor who plays him, is by turns spellbinding, seductive, heartbreaking, explosive and flat-out thrilling. At a time when the studios are spending vast sums of money on a bigger-is-better aesthetic, here's a chamber piece with the impact of high drama.
  23. Ida
    Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida, a compact masterpiece set in Poland in the early 1960s, gets to the heart of its matter with startling swiftness.
  24. Mr. Moodysson's film is little only in physical and financial scale. When measured by the pleasure it confers, We Are the Best! is a big deal that will be winning hearts — and even grownup minds — for a long time to come.
  25. Gleeful and smart, funny and serious, this sequel surpasses the endearing original with gorgeous animation — a dragon Eden, a dragon scourge, an infinitude of dragons — and one stirring human encounter after another.
  26. The film forges ahead, in vivid 3-D, with such energy, expertise and thunderous conviction that you readily accept its basic premise — the pell-mell emergence of great intelligence, plus moral awareness, in primitive bodies — and find yourself exactly where the filmmakers want you to be, swinging giddily between sympathy for the apes and the humans in what threatens to become all-out war.
  27. On rare occasions a movie seems to channel the flow of real life. Boyhood is one of those occasions. In its ambition, which is matched by its execution, Richard Linklater's endearing epic is not only rare but unique.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. [Crowe] knows how to shape a scene and he's never cheap with characterization; adults are permitted to be as complex as their children; a rare event in pictures. [18 May 1989, p.A14(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal

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