Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,610 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 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Carlos
Lowest review score: 0 Wild Hogs
Score distribution:
2610 movie reviews
  1. He's (Crowe) thwarted by the production's almost total, and truly absurd, absence of fun.
  2. Despite the numerous predictable jokes about geriatric sex, the movie is very appealing for numerous surprising reasons. Many of them have to do with ice fishing in Minnesota. [9 Dec 1993, p.A14]
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. Everyone is touched by sadness or hobbled by self-deception, and everyone is interesting, even moving, to watch until the drama slowly suffocates beneath the weight of its revelations.
    • Wall Street Journal
  4. A limited movie that can't animate its subject amid all the tricks and glitz. De-Lovely is devoid of life.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Despite the curry flavoring Ms. Nair has seen fit to add, this is a Vanity Fair without spice.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. This franchise needs more than a reset. It's ripe for retirement.
  6. The film is far from perfect, but it’s certainly ambitious, often entertaining and, compared to the feeble competition from new American films of the moment, a singing, dancing, stomping and chomping “Citizen Kane.”
  7. Palindromes finds him (Solondz) stuck with his single theme inside a sealed dollhouse of his own construction. He has gifts to give a larger audience, if ever he breaks out.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Amateur is curiously monotone: a pulp fiction with all the pulp strained out. [13 Apr 1995]
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. The story line, a sequence of very loosely connected events, sustains a state of almost pure brainlessness with its indifference to dramatic development and the dictates of logic, even the fantasy logic of cartoons. It’s as if most of the script had been generated by algorithms.
  9. Don't bother to see this film unless you expect to be tested in film class about the Coens' serial dissertation on American cinema. [10 Mar 1994, p.A16]
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. Most of the prime goofiness is given over to Vassili and Konig sharpshooting at each other while the battle rages. The movie's a red elephant.
    • Wall Street Journal
  11. Heart-breakingly awful -- slow, lugubrious, and misconceived to the point of baffling amateurism.
    • Wall Street Journal
  12. Strong acting often lends authenticity to writing that lacks it, and Mr. McConaughey is, to be sure, an exceptionally strong actor. Yet this screenplay is so arid in its didacticism, so pallid in its would-be passion, that it defeats his efforts and our involvement.
  13. My heart was warmed by gratuitous moments when Mr. Carrey clowns for clowning's sake - in the best of them, he makes a slo-mo entrance to a press conference, even though the camera is running at normal speed.
  14. Matching Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger is an amusing conceit played out in an entirely predictable fashion. It certainly isn't harmful, and Mr. Schwarzenegger is kind of cute when he smiles. [8 Dec 1988, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Rocker has the requisite vomit, the view of some very unfortunate hind quarters and the suds. It's also got a vein of sweetness and charm.
  15. This lively little film, a comic take on Shakespeare's tragedy, is really entertaining.
  16. So you think you've seen silly? And smarmy? And inept? Wait till you see Wanderlust, though that's just a figure of speech; I'm not suggesting that you actually lay eyes on this naked grab for box office bucks.
  17. The story requires a greater leap of faith than I was willing or able to muster, since Eli is also a saintly pilgrim on a God-given mission to save a ruined world.
  18. [Luhrmann's] movie is all over the map. But what a gorgeous map it is. The too-muchness, like the too-longness, befits the Northern Territory's vastness. In its heart of hearts Australia is an old-fashioned Western -- a Northern, if you will -- and all the more enjoyable for it.
  19. It's very funny, terrifically lively and, considering how awful it might have been, surprisingly tender in its portrait of a young guy who learns sensitivity the hard way.
    • Wall Street Journal
  20. But Samba’s personality, intriguingly volatile for a while, turns unpredictable, with no coherent center, as suspicion grows that the film’s stylistic shifts — including a genial parody of a well-known Coke commercial — are little more than pretexts for showing what its multitalented star can do.
  21. The failures of White Squall are dismaying as well as perplexing. Director Ridley Scott serves up some ravishing images along the way: the stark geometry of the ship's riggings against an azure sky, crew kids scampering along a verdant ridge toward a volcano's silvery crater lake. But the script is a shambles. [06 Feb 1996]
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. The cast is entertaining, though with an asterisk, and the special effects are often spectacular, though sometimes not.
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. Metroland, which is adapted from a novel by Julian Barnes, is an oddly unpleasant variation on the theme of "The Way We Were." [09 Apr 1999]
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. I can't say I was scared, but I wasn't bored. By way of full disclosure, Warner Bros. provided free popcorn at the screening. I gobbled up every greasy morsel.
    • Wall Street Journal
  25. Another is how the film manages, in the absence of a coherent plot, to be so funny and engaging until, somewhere around the midpoint, it goes as flat as a stepped-on creepy-crawly.
  26. The film benefits enormously from having the luminous Rebecca Hall as its lead. It also gains an ominous gravity from the haunted, wounded and wobbly England in which it's set.
  27. You'd have to be made of granite to resist all the charms of a free-spirited, 100-pound Lab. Yet the production manages, against heavy odds, to make its canine star an incorrigible bore.
  28. The kind of inspirational movie that Hollywood made about the Army, Navy and Marines during World War II. Now, with inspiration in short supply, it's the Coast Guard's turn.
    • Wall Street Journal
  29. Andrew Niccol's In Time looks great, sounds stilted and plays like a clever videogame with too many rules.
  30. This satire, directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay by Peter Straughan, suffers from deficits of wit, wisdom, focus, filmmaking expertise and appropriate tone. It’s a case study, if nothing else, of starting with a dubious idea and making it downright awful.
  31. The Americans are portrayed with varying degrees of loathsomeness, but there's not much variety in the film. It's all an awful aberration.
  32. To fill the downtime between commercials, there's a fitfully entertaining adventure.
  33. Mr. Emmerich, who has often conjured with cosmic themes, sometimes wittily, achieves something new this time around — a level of indifference to the genre and its fans that amounts to a cosmic shrug. What does it matter if the absurdity is slovenly, the whimsy leaden, the extravagance squalid?
    • Wall Street Journal
  34. Despite the righteous indignation that is so clearly fueling the film--much of its $8 million budget was raised from off-island Taiwanese--the movie is a sturdy entry in the paranoid-thriller genre, and raises some interesting issues about our relationship with the country we used to call China.
  35. Jeff Cronenweth did the lovely cinematography. It's the only element that improves on the original material.
    • Wall Street Journal
  36. The movie isn't terrible -- a few clever notions snap to life and pay off, at least modestly -- but it's dispirited and eventually dispiriting, a force-fed farce that falls far short of fascination.
    • Wall Street Journal
  37. In what was clearly designed to be a chick flick, the on-screen chicks work hard at being endearing, while Jude Law, as Amanda's more than conversational partner, charms everyone effortlessly and gets the best lines.
  38. For all the preposterous clichés of the plot, which clanks as loudly as Laz's chain, and for all the inertness of Justin Timberlake's performance as Rae's brooding squeeze, Black Snake Moan finds unchained energy in its foolishness, and gives Mr. Jackson a chance to pluck a guitar and sing. He's really good at it, too. The music almost redeems the movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
  39. Fabrice Luchini is thwarted by an unwieldy plot.
  40. The big news in Blade II is that there's something worse than vampires, but is there something worse than Blade II?
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. Movies like this have been around forever too. They're a normal condition of winter's doldrums, which, in the fullness of time, will pass.
    • Wall Street Journal
  42. Nothing stands up to scrutiny -- least of all the lethargic acting and the clumsy script. I was hot to trot for the exit halfway through, but a dogged sense of duty kept me stuck in an endless present.
    • Wall Street Journal
  43. It's classic animation wedded to modern technology -- painted pictures that move in magical splendor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  44. How you feel about Paul Haggis's new film may depend on your contrivance threshold.
  45. Mr. Luchini has a touching way of opening up the repressed heroes he often plays, and Ms. Verbeke's droll manipulations - and genuine sweetness - are more than enough to justify the transformation that María and the other maids work on Jean-Louis's life.
  46. The current cast is cursed with the director’s lust for gravitas. Searching for emotional truth in Agatha Christie, Mr. Branagh succeeds only in killing her playfulness.
  47. This children's entertainment-grownups beware!-is preoccupied by squishy stuff that includes mud and poop, as well as by syrup that oozes from cabinet drawers.
  48. A romance, a detective story, a comedy and a fable. Such a mishmash prevents it from being a standout in any of those categories. -- It's lovely to look at, though, and it's ultimately carried to success on the back of a strong story.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. This flamboyantly operatic anti-war film takes getting used to, though it leaves you with memorable images of madness, both poetic and military.
    • Wall Street Journal
  50. Serendipity is "Sliding Doors" with no alternate versions; it's willed enchantment all the way.
    • Wall Street Journal
  51. The new version is out of scale with the basic premise -- too much rain, too much water, too much doom, gloom and intricate eccentricity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ms. Bening takes her part and acts it all over the place, while Ms. Paltrow and Ms. Wood do their best theater of the absurd. It is left to Ms. Clayburgh, in a performance free of vanity and artifice, to find the movie's heart.
    • Wall Street Journal
  52. Once again, Queen Latifah survives some remarkably clumsy filmmaking. More than survives; she manages to prevail.
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. The split screen has a downside: It punctuates the lopsidedness of the script by Anneke Campbell and Will Lamborn, Miguel’s story being far less convincingly written than Mark’s.
  54. Hoffman and Beatty are so tone-deaf they don't even know how to play the songs for deadpan humor. They seem old, white, and without shtick. [14 May 1987, p.26(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  55. The movie isn't deep, or particularly intricate; it doesn't play all that much with the potential for mistaken identities, and the cruelty it depicts becomes repetitive or, worse still, desensitizing. But The Devil's Double does give us indelible images of Uday's decadence - the filmmakers say they're understated - and a double dip of dazzling acting.
  56. For all of the care and imagination that have been lavished on the production, which was designed by Arthur Max and photographed by Dariusz Wolski, the film’s impact is best expressed by frequent aerial shots that are visually impressive and emotionally remote.
  57. It's slapdash, crudely crafted and resolutely adolescent. And occasionally, though only occasionally, very funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
  58. Qualifies as a pleasant time-killer, but it's 20,000 leagues beneath what it might have been.
    • Wall Street Journal
  59. Mr. McCanlies's style lurches between the lyrical, the fantastical (flashbacks to the uncles' youth) and the clumsily antic, and Mr. Osment's performance is woefully stiff and inexpressive.
    • Wall Street Journal
  60. Dopamine could do with a bit more of whatever hormone governs pacing, but Mr. Decena is a director with a future. He knows how to connect with his actors.
    • Wall Street Journal
  61. 300
    300 presents a dual clash of civilizations. An action adventure that pits thousands of Persians against 300 brave Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, it also pits millions of fans of brainless violence against a gallant band, or so I choose to think of us, who still expect movies to contain detectable traces of humanity.
  62. This is filmmaking by the numbers meant to succeed by the numbers.
  63. One of the many stylistic distinctions of this outwardly modest production is the complex voice that the filmmaker has found for his young hero.
    • Wall Street Journal
  64. A deeper problem in The King Is Alive is an almost total absence of spontaneity.
    • Wall Street Journal
  65. How do I count the ways this movie goes wrong?
  66. The previous episode, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” was as fresh and enjoyable as this one is semicoherent and dispiriting.
  67. The movie's tone is at war with its subject, and sometimes with its wavering self.
  68. Motion is in copious supply -- a frenzied shootout at Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum grows interminable -- but the workings of the abstract plot are unfathomable, the characters are unpleasant and a couple of assassinations leave us as cold as the corpses.
  69. The Producers is nightmarish, in its febrile way, a head-bangingly primitive version of an overrated Broadway show that grew out of a clumsy 1968 movie with an inflated reputation.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. Once Nacho gets the wrestling bug, though, it's all about Jack Black the irrepressible clown, and the comedy dies a slow death for lack of fresh ideas.
    • Wall Street Journal
  71. The brightest touch in the whole tale is a transvestite hooker’s little papillon, decked out in a DayGlo pink vest, but even the pooch seems glum, pricked-up ears notwithstanding.
  72. A textbook case of a film that's befuddled by its subject.
    • Wall Street Journal
  73. This ripoff, directed by Jerry Zucker, has a few funny moments, but it's a sad sad sad sad example of what Hollywood is currently serving up -- and what audiences are swallowing -- as summer entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
  74. Unforeseeably bad things can happen to good performers.
  75. The great lesson of the film is that humor, honest feelings and genuine exuberance trump technique.
    • Wall Street Journal
  76. Safe House is a sturdy enough thriller, but one that consistently defaults to the less interesting of its two lead characters.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Alternately precious and vapid, the movie attempts to wrest metaphors from a jar of house keys, and eternal verities from pastry. Slice the pie how you will, it's still half-baked.
  77. Labor Day, adapted from a novel by Joyce Maynard, is the kind of movie that turns clarity into stultification; everything is perfectly clear and almost everything — pie-making excepted — is perfectly lifeless.
  78. In the real world, a debate has been raging over what does and doesn’t constitute torture. In the movie world, there’s no debate; watching The Interview is torture from almost start to finish.
  79. 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.
  80. What a peculiar production this is. Up to a certain point, it really does promise to be romantic.
  81. The vision of office work that's offered up by Haiku Tunnel is as chilling as it is funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
  82. This clumsy comedy, written and directed by Nancy Meyers, turns an implausible but intriguing premise into a tale of generational collision that reflects dimly on old and young alike.
  83. The problem for Mr. Krieger is that his film has been trying to dazzle us with all manner of sleight of hand and hokum and now undertakes the construction of a conventional romance. The movie starts spinning its wheels.
  84. Looks magical, seethes with elusive profundities and makes remarkably little sense, though the murkiness makes perfect sense on a shallower level.
  85. I paid steadfast attention, both to the actress, a performer of unusual versatility, and to the character she plays, a caged -- and cagey -- bird who sings because she's too stubborn to cry.
    • Wall Street Journal
  86. The Navajos must have sent much more crucial messages at much higher levels during the war, but you'd never know it from this movie. Windtalkers is practically all action and no talk.
    • Wall Street Journal
  87. Mammoth manages to be as affecting as it is heartfelt.
  88. It's a genre film, not great art, though there's a good joke about art - a pricey piece of action painting, appropriately enough - but it's a thoroughly satisfying entertainment, and, in this season of lowered expectations, a nice surprise.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A wildly wondrous reinvention of the story of the chroniclers of dark, occasionally horrific, child-pleasing fairy tales.
    • Wall Street Journal
  89. Even the Bollywood ending, a pleasant echo of “Slumdog Millionaire,” is intercut with darker reminders of dwindling days. Much of this sequel is clumsy, and awfully silly, but consistently shallow it is not.
  90. What passes for the movie's reality is interlocking episodes of ersatz ecstasy and angst -- a Cupid-governed "Crash" -- plus snippets of wisdom dispensed by Mr. Freeman's character.
  91. Good and very pleasurable provided you know what you're getting into, which is a comic roundelay of amorous ambitions and delusions-punctuated by wistful old ballads like "If I Had You"-that lead mostly but not entirely to disaster.
  92. The basic problem is the script, which is credited to three writers plus the director - seldom a good sign. Never mind that it's a retread of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" minus the trains, and minus John Candy.
  93. This new Disney film, marked by myriad lapses and marketing follies, bears the woefully familiar earmarks of a big studio production that was pulled and hauled every which way until it lost all shape and flavor.
  94. Jack's problem is that he's a commoner, but the movie's problem is that its script is commoner still, an enchantment-free pretext for animated action, straight-ahead storytelling and ersatz romance.

Top Trailers