Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,583 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 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Waltz with Bashir
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
2583 movie reviews
  1. Plays like "Norma Rae" on blood thinners. The movie is by no means bloodless; every once in a while a stirring scene comes along, though it's seldom a scene labeled as stirring by William Ivory's formulaic script and Nigel Cole's insistent direction.
  2. In the new film beauty is sought, and seldom found, in glitzy surfaces. Enchantment is chased, and never captured, in extravagant set pieces that owe less to fairy-tale tradition than to Cirque du Soleil grandiosity.
  3. As a piece of summer entertainment, this strenuously upbeat prequel to Pixar's "Monsters, Inc." passes with vibrant colors and will, of course, excel at the box office...But as an offering from Pixar, the studio that set the platinum standard for contemporary animated features, it's an awful disappointment — and one more reason to worry about Pixar's future under Disney ownership.
    • Wall Street Journal
  4. Scurlock's documentary serves up cautionary tales of epic abuse, though the overall tone is faux cheerful and sometimes genuinely entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. The story has the hollow ring of artifice, even though Ms. Hawkins shrinks quite remarkably into the physical aspects of the role and opens up its spiritual dimensions.
  6. Pleasing moments don't add up to a feature film, even though this one strives desperately for substance and coherence by slathering its slender story with treacly family values.
  7. Ali
    Ali nails its subject's anger and courage, but not his lilt; his swaggering boasts but not his sly self-irony; his power but not his grace; and his inner turmoil but not the outward joyousness that has made us come to love him.
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. It's a purely sensory journey until the pictures start making editorial comments, in slaughterhouses and garbage dumps.
  9. The film as a whole has the gravitas of a really thoughtful rock video.
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. Prometheus, in efficient 3-D, places most of its bets on the wonders that today's visual artists and technicians can work with digital tools. This tale of an interstellar search asks cosmic questions about the meaning of life, but comes up with lame answers in a script that screams attention-deficit disorder.
  11. Two dramatic problems beset Roman Polanski's darkly handsome new film of the Dickens novel. The boy is as passive as ever, and bleak in the bargain -- instead of glowing like the Oliver of the musical, he takes light in -- while Ben Kingsley's Fagin and Jamie Foreman's Bill Sikes manage to make villainy a bit of a bore.
    • Wall Street Journal
  12. Merits admiration as an ambitious debut feature, though the impact of its splendid cast is blunted by the awkward structure of its screenplay.
  13. While the movie is dreadfully clumsy or sentimental around the edges, there's no denying the strength of Mr. Gibson's performance or the power of the savage combat, a 90-minute sequence that's even more graphic than the horrific firefight in Somalia in "Black Hawk Down."
    • Wall Street Journal
  14. Why didn't Mr. Jordan spend more time grounding his self-enchanted script in some semblance of reality? Unlike "Splash," this film finally goes plop.
  15. I might have liked About Adam more if its supposedly irresistible hero -- and the movie itself -- hadn''t been so smirky.
    • Wall Street Journal
  16. The best way to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow -- if you see it at all -- is as an interesting experiment that failed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. One difficulty with this film is that Doug is the least vital of the three main characters; he has mastered mildness as a second language. Another is the zone in which the film operates, equidistant between droll and dull. If that's a comfort zone for you, Cold Weather may be worth a look-see.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Both in its content and production values, Interview has the feel of an undergraduate project -- all intensity, no never mind. Pierre is such a weasel, Katya is such a narcissist and the outcome seems so pre-determined, it's hard to care whose belt gets the notch. The adroit performances of Buscemi and Miller almost make it matter.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The characters are so sketchily drawn that it's hard to keep them straight, let alone get worked up about their survival.
  18. What's on screen, though, is a cautious approach to cinema wizardry -- broad, colorful strokes and flash-bang effects that turn J.K. Rowling's words into a long, cheerful spectacle with a Muggle soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. "Could be worse" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Pacific Rim, but my head is still ringing, and hurting, from long stretches of this aliens vs. robots extravaganza that are no better than the worst brain-pounders of the genre.
  20. In spite of the film's surface allure -- no, not the leather, the period evocation -- and a fine performance by Gretchen Mol in the title role, Bettie is in bondage to a shallow, black-and-white script.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It lacks the redeeming warmth of a character the audience can identify with. But longtime fans of Mr. Williams will enjoy it as an example of the creepiness we always knew he was capable of.
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. A visionary film with dramatic myopia.
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. The pursuit is manipulative and repetitive.
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. It's formula stuff, to be sure, but full of feeling for the sweep of the past as well as for the unsettled, yearning present.
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. I disliked it at first — the camera is as jittery as the characters — and kept disliking it until I realized that I’d been drawn in, if not exactly captivated. The film itself is alive with random energy that foreshadows a surprise ending without blowing the surprise.
  25. The writing and direction, by Robert Budreau, range from pedestrian to lethargic — not a good thing when the subject is passive more often than not.
  26. The script is somewhat predictable and the pace is leisurely, but Ms. Judd makes Lucy's choices seem momentous, and Ms. Adams gives us several beautiful scenes.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. I know this sounds like great fun, and some of it is, but there's nowhere near enough good stuff to fill the 114-minute running time.
    • Wall Street Journal

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