Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,123 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 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Blue Jasmine
Lowest review score: 0 Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Score distribution:
2,123 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The result of the intricate interplay is a fairy tale for adults that is violent, sometimes shocking, yet utterly engrossing. And eerily instructive; it deepens our emotional understanding of fascism, and of rigid ideology's dire consequences.
  3. Elegantly crafted, brilliantly acted film.
  4. Movie audiences have never been presented with anything quite like the intertwined beauty and savagery of 12 Years a Slave.
  5. The characters are irresistible -- why would anyone want to resist a hero who so gallantly transcends his rattiness? -- the animation is astonishing and the film, a fantasy version of a foodie rhapsody, sustains a level of joyous invention that hasn't been seen in family entertainment since "The Incredibles."
  6. 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.
  7. This account of Facebook's founder, and of the website's explosive growth, quickly lifts you to a state of exhilaration, and pretty much keeps you there for two hours.
  8. 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.
  9. The members of the cast represent ensemble, naturalistic acting at its finest.
  10. It is plainly, though not simply, a masterpiece from an acknowledged master of contemporary animation, and a wonderfully welcoming work of art that's as funny and entertaining as it is brilliant, beautiful and deep.
  11. The most imaginative movie to come along in ages. [18 Oct 1994, p.A14(W)]
  12. A delicately poetic, essentially plotless vision, unblinking but not unhopeful, of life in Watts, where little but the ghetto's name recognition had changed a decade after the riots.
  13. A first-rate action thriller, a vivid evocation of urban warfare in Iraq, a penetrating study of heroism and a showcase for austere technique, terse writing and a trio of brilliant performances. Most of all, though, it’s an instant classic that demonstrates, in a brutally hot and dusty laboratory setting, how the drug of war hooks its victims and why they can’t kick the habit.
  14. The first half hour of WALL-E is essentially wordless, and left me speechless. This magnificent animated feature from Pixar starts on such a high plane of aspiration, and achievement, that you wonder whether the wonder can be sustained. But yes, it can.
  15. Sideways makes you glad about America, about movies, about life.
  16. The invisible wizard Peter Jackson makes use of every scene to show us the meaning of magnificence. Never has a filmmaker aimed higher, or achieved more.
  17. One of the high points of last month's Telluride Film Festival was, as I wrote at the time, spending 5½ hours in a darkened theater-with one short break around the four-hour mark-to watch Olivier Assayas's shocking and edifying epic.
  18. 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.
  19. A movie that falls outside the ordinary, or even the extraordinary. There is enormous passion and artistic integrity throughout this film. [11 Jan 1994, p.A10(E)]
  20. Crumb pulls us in with rich detail, and with what it says, or suggests, about art, drugs, psychology and the subconscious.... Like last year's "Hoop Dreams," this documentary does justice to a great subject. [08 Jun 1995]
  21. The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance. He's an actor, first and foremost, who is also a musician.
  22. The movie has done what those who've cherished the book might have thought impossible -- intensified its singular beauty by roving as free and fearlessly as Bauby's mind did.
  23. The Class is clearly a microcosm of contemporary France, beset by social and economic tensions. More than that, though, it's a saga of education's struggles in many parts of the modern world. If only the film were pure fiction.
  24. Daniel Day-Lewis's portrayal is not just the performance of the year -- there will be injustice if he doesn't win an Oscar -- but a creation of awesome proportions.
  25. Against all odds in an era of machine-made spectaculars, Mr. Jackson and his collaborators have created a film epic that lives and breathes.
  26. The third film of the trilogy turns out to be gorgeously joyous and deeply felt.
  27. Marvelously smart, funny and entertaining film.
  28. An absolute stunner, a feature-length animated documentary, from Israel, in which the force of moving drawings amplifies eerily powerful accounts of war, shaky remembrance and rock-solid repression.
  29. If watching movie violence is cathartic, then this film amounts to heavy therapy. It's much more than that, however. This is the best film the Coen brothers have done since their glory days of "Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski," maybe the best they've done, period.
  30. 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.

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