Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,205 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
2,205 movie reviews
  1. The narrative lacks a strong heartbeat; you keep wondering why the spectacle isn't as affecting as it is picturesque.
  2. The pretext of the movie, which was directed in broadbrush-cartoon style by Anne Fletcher from a coarse-textured script by Dan Fogelman, is a road trip taken by mother, Joyce, and son, Andrew.
  3. She's All That isn't mindless, just techniqueless...What's on the screen says they aren't yet up to speed on making feature films. Most of the actors mumble while the script lurches from one sketchy notion to the next. All the same, She's All That offers insights into life as it is lived, or at least filmed, in Southern California. [29 Jan 1999, p. W1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  4. Spontaneity has been banished by rigid stylization, and the net effect is as lifeless as a severed head that turns up in a basement freezer.
  5. 42
    What's been carefully filtered out of the film as a whole is the tumult and passion of Robinson's life.
  6. Having been deeply moved — though often exasperated — by Terrence Malick's previous film, "The Tree of Life," I don't have the heart to belabor the failings of his new one, which is depressed and deeply depressing. The only thing that's wonderful in To the Wonder is the imagery.
  7. The mystery posed by Oblivion as a whole is why its mysteries are posed so clumsily, and worked out so murkily.
  8. Here's one more studio extravaganza brought down by numbing action and an addiction to generic digital effects.
  9. The point of the film is vacuous materialism, but the way these larcenous children return the camera's impassive gaze suggests that no one is home behind their beautiful faces and dead eyes.
  10. Any movie that gives Helen Mirren a chance to shoot really big guns, wear an ermine astrakhan and channel Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth can't be all bad, and Red 2 isn't, though it comes close.
  11. When does banter turn to blather? In the case of this action adventure, which was directed by Baltasar Kormákur, it's when you realize that keeping track of the barely fathomable plot isn't worth the bother.
  12. The Fifth Estate gives us an obsessive-compulsive messiah with a taste for martyrdom, and full-screen cascades of computer code in place of a coherent plot. Exhausting in a new way, the movie is a data dump devoid of drama.
  13. The production feels tentative and underpopulated: I thought not only of Katniss Everdeen but of the marvelous pandemonium in Danny Boyle's zombie epic "28 Days Later."
  14. This is moviemaking in a modular mode, an inspiration-free action adventure — with cheesy cinematography — that fills its modest running time by fitting together familiar elements into something reliably, even insistently, not new.
  15. The movie's tone is at war with its subject, and sometimes with its wavering self.
  16. The result is fitfully interesting, and Mr. Kinnaman, best known for "The Killing" on television, compels our empathy with a kind of macho melancholia. Still, the whole thing comes down to an action adventure that's graphics-rich, logic-poor, coherence-challenged and pleasure-impaired.
  17. The movie commits the sin of boredom, partly because Ms. Martin is exceedingly inexpressive.
  18. Nothing if not ambitious, yet at war with itself stylistically.
  19. This franchise needs more than a reset. It's ripe for retirement.
  20. I'm sorry to report that Biyi Bandele's would-be saga, based on the celebrated novel by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, is disappointing, a romance pastiche that muddles the politics of the period beyond comprehension.
  21. In the end, the only question of consequence that the story poses is whether superior acting can prevail over inferior writing. The answer lies not in the stars.
  22. This icon of witchcraft can't save a production that's suffocatingly elaborate yet insufficiently bewitching.
  23. As I watched the minimal plot unfold at a glacial pace in claustrophobic settings, I found myself wondering where the rest of the movie was.
  24. Cold and clever to a fault, like the main character played by Liam Neeson, the movie is based on a fundamental miscalculation—that our desire to penetrate its mysteries will trump our need for people to care about.
  25. This new feature, though, sets up a dialectic between reason and faith and argues it insistently, with eye-rolling earnestness.
  26. I wish I could say that the film gives a great actor a worthy role, but the truth is otherwise. The character is banal — Günther lavishes attention on remarkably uninteresting spycraft — and Mr. Hoffman, like everyone else, is stuck with the glum tone set by the director, Anton Corbijn ("Control," "The American").
  27. No one ever stops talking. Twenty-somethings talk incessant small talk, or cute talk, or fatuous talk that's supposed to be clever.
  28. The production as a whole is awfully clumsy, and Ms. Moretz, who is only 17, needs more help than she gets from the first-time feature director, R.J. Cutler.
  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. 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.

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