Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,533 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 A Hijacking
Lowest review score: 0 Bedtime Stories
Score distribution:
2533 movie reviews
  1. The film's real shocker is its unpleasantness.
  2. He's (Crowe) thwarted by the production's almost total, and truly absurd, absence of fun.
  3. The absence of any nuance in the father's character bespeaks the filmmaker's unwillingness to trust his audience. Making the movie may have been therapeutic for him, but I can't say the same about watching it.
    • Wall Street Journal
  4. Ms. O'Hara, like almost everyone else, falls victim to a prevailing tone that's short on wit and long on self-congratulation.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. None of it is enough, though, to save this glum drama from its schematic self.
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. The good news is that Mia Wasikowska is back in the title role, bright-spirited and skillful as ever, but she’s burdened by the manic direction of James Bobin, working from a dramatically inert script by Ms. Woolverton.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Mr. Judge has done better...Here, by contrast, we're dealing with one-note characters, among them a sexy grifter (Mila Kunis) and a dim-witted gigolo (Dustin Milligan); situations that stretch all credibility; and jokes that are never more than sort of funny.
  7. It's so easy to be seduced by technique... What a disappointment, then, to find the technique pressed into the service of little substance and lots of fashionable cynicism.
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. Jeff Cronenweth did the lovely cinematography. It's the only element that improves on the original material.
    • Wall Street Journal
  9. This icon of witchcraft can't save a production that's suffocatingly elaborate yet insufficiently bewitching.
  10. It's just that the picture doesn't have a strong idea behind it, just a fog of many half-expressed ideas. [26 Feb 1987, p.20(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  11. Starts busily, and soon becomes a bafflement -- such an interesting cast, such technical excellence, so many intricate details and parallel plot threads, yet so little clarity or urgency.
    • Wall Street Journal
  12. The pursuit is manipulative and repetitive.
    • Wall Street Journal
  13. Seeking spontaneity and release for her character, Ms. Streep gets stuck in a laboriousness that I don’t want to belabor, since her efforts are gallant — she does her own singing and playing — and there are fleeting moments of real fun. Still, it’s hard not to wonder why so much in the movie went so wrong.
  14. Some of the action sequences, and a few of the performances, are enjoyable enough to make up for the dialogue, which has been upgraded to cheerfully absurd, and the plot, which has been simplified to the point of actual coherence.
  15. All three sides of the love triangle are appealing, and the movie as a whole might have been winning if it weren’t for the absurdist style that was clearly dear to the filmmaker’s heart. Sometimes Aloha reminded me of John Huston’s cheerfully unfathomable “Beat the Devil.” More often than not, though, it left me yearning for simplicity and sweet clarity.
  16. It's slapdash, crudely crafted and resolutely adolescent. And occasionally, though only occasionally, very funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. The plot borrows as freely from Hitchcock and Henry James as from the Bard of Avon, and doesn't make scrupulous sense, though I'd have to see the film again, which I won't do, to make sure it doesn't cheat.
  18. Predictably dumber than its predecessors, though that shouldn't get in the way of its profitability.
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. All the same, X2 and recent action adventures like it constitute a mutation in their own right: fast-paced, slow-witted movies in which the impact is the message; impersonal movies that deny any need for characterization; disjointed movies that make no apologies -- and pay no penalties -- for making no sense. Their special gift is giving little and getting a lot.
    • Wall Street Journal
  20. Mr. Kinnear is fine; he's an actor we always like, and he gives a skillful, heartfelt performance. The problem is the material -- dramatic in the describing but painfully predictable in the telling.
  21. Functions mainly as an action extravaganza, and a numbingly depersonalized one at that.
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. Malevolence is in generous supply throughout the film. Easy enjoyment is not.
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. For all its flashy trappings, weighty ruminations and zero-gravity floatings aboard the International Space Station, Life turns out to be another variant of “Alien,” though without the grungy horror and grim fun. In space no one can hear you snore.
  24. The movie's tone is at war with its subject, and sometimes with its wavering self.
  25. This frenzied sequel has all of the clank but none of the swank of the previous version.
    • Wall Street Journal
  26. The film is beset by incoherence and implausibilities that are perplexing, given the close relationship between the Wachowskis and the director, Mr. McTeigue.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Does not bring a single fresh, inventive idea to the table.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. There’s also a sense of ineptness in a script that constantly reaches, with only modest success, for amusing things that the mammoths and their friends can do.
  28. It neglects, for one thing, to make any sense.

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