Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,244 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Pan's Labyrinth
Lowest review score: 0 Flipped
Score distribution:
2,244 movie reviews
  1. The only rewards, and they are real albeit insufficient, involve watching Jane Fonda in full cry and Catherine Keener in a quieter fullness of feeling.
  2. Good fun -- more fun than in the original -- punctuated by some lines of admirable awfulness.
  3. The movie on the whole is joyless. Whatever Works doesn’t.
  4. Before Firewall crumbles into foolishness, Harrison Ford and Paul Bettany make an oft-recycled plot look like a stylish model that just rolled out of a showroom.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. Mr. Brooks manages to be deeply loathsome -- no small feat for a film that's shallowly amateurish.
  6. J.Lo should sue her handlers for damages.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. Mark Andrus's script is built on soggy sandstone, and Irwin Winkler's bulldozer direction keeps unearthing toxic epiphanies. That's not to say the movie isn't occasionally moving, as well as exasperating.
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. Mr. Samuell's stylistic revelries are meant as comments on the conventions and excesses of movie romance, but his approach is glib and self-congratulatory. No feelings dwell beneath the layers upon layers of faux-naïve artifice. I dare you to sit through this movie and not wish you were somewhere else.
    • Wall Street Journal
  9. The movie stands as a genuine offense against the venerable and indispensable institution of satire.
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. The IMAX print I saw was so murky as to make you give thanks for the few scenes shot in simple sunlight, the 3-D wasn't worth the bother, and never before have I wanted to chloroform an entire orchestra.
  11. An abomination.
    • Wall Street Journal
  12. Ms. Blanchett can do no wrong, and does none here, though the movie around her, a popcorn-worthy sequel to the 1998 "Elizabeth," often lapses into opacity or grandiosity.
  13. The whole dumb movie is a baloney cake, but the enticing icing on it is Reese Witherspoon, who manages to have a few moments of spontaneous fun in this half-baked store-bought comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's beautiful to watch, but it doesn't cover very much ground. Sumptuously appointed, meticulously detailed, the film sallies forth - and sags. [06 Apr 1995]
    • Wall Street Journal
  14. At a time when so many movies look alike, and studio productions sometimes look aggressively ugly, here's a quirky vision at the intersection of sci-fi and romance. Upside Down can be beguiling if you're willing to invert disbelief.
  15. Less magical is the blind adherence to formula evident in most of Taken 2. As they might say in the advertising department, it's an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride. But it could have been much more.
  16. With a refreshing absence of earnestness, the movie mainly spins out many variations on a theme: Easy Street begins and ends on Capitol Hill. [03 Dec 1992]
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. Its tone is unquenchably pretentious, and its scale is overblown.
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  18. A saga of static set pieces and strenuously clever notions, this is a fiasco of a film if ever there was one.
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  19. The situation in The Situation is grimly photogenic, yet persistently opaque.
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  20. The medium really is the message here, and it steals what there is of the show.
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. Starts out stylishly, and promisingly, but then coarsens into a silly parody of film noir.
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. This is little more than a big-budget sitcom, with a guest appearance by Mike Ditka, who plays an unfunny version of himself as Phil's assistant coach.
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. Rather than a character rooted in some sort of reality-social, satirical, psychological, take your pick-Hesher is an abstract notion animated by false energy.
  24. Calling Joe Carnahan's movie heartless implies that this auteur of affectless anarchy might have meant to invest it with detectable human feelings, and failed. Better to call it heart-free.
    • Wall Street Journal
  25. Against heavy odds, Mean Machine adds darker flavors to the plot without curdling it. Beneath the comic craziness is real craziness, and desperation. These goal-kicking, bone-crunching cons are both actors in and prisoners of their own horror show.
    • Wall Street Journal
  26. Country Strong comes to spontaneous life from time to time, despite maudlin devices and manipulative set pieces.
  27. Looks like the deformed spawn of a development process gone awry.
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  28. The movie isn't all bad, and it's sure to succeed with its target audience.
    • Wall Street Journal
  29. It's not a good sign when a movie is called The Break-Up and you can't wait for the couple to split so they'll get some relief from one another, and give the audience some relief from them.
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  30. For all its seriousness, though, Levity struck me as pretentious and intractably lifeless.
    • Wall Street Journal
  31. Predictably dumber than its predecessors, though that shouldn't get in the way of its profitability.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    Nobody fares well in this movie about sibling rivalry, doomed love and fringed suede. [05 Jan 1995]
    • Wall Street Journal
  32. Alan Arkin does the best trick, bringing a dollop of humanity to the role of Rance Holloway, the magician who was young Burt's inspiration. Apart from Rance, the whole production is slovenly nonsense, photographed on the cheap with blaring ghastliness. Yet it poses an intriguing mystery. Did the producers appeal to a denominator even lower than common by making their film as dumb as possible, or did it just turn out that way?
  33. Reasonably entertaining time-travel romance.
    • Wall Street Journal
  34. Although mood often substitutes for momentum in Ms. Kalem's film, both of her stars give affecting performances, and there's growth on both sides of the unlikely romance.
    • Wall Street Journal
  35. Oz the Great and Powerful, like so many products of movie studios that have lost their way, is a Tin Man of epic proportions — bright and shiny, with no heart.
  36. Todd Graff's would-be inspirational film lift their voices in song that makes you smile, and squander their voices on dialogue that makes you cringe (but also smile in oddly pleasurable disbelief).
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker have been through a lot together. To be exact, "Rush Hour" "Rush Hour 2" and now Rush Hour 3. Are they tired? Perhaps not, but their antics and action sequences certainly are.
  37. Some of it sputters, settling for smiles instead of laughs, and much of it flounders while the slapdash script searches, at exhausting length, for ever more common denominators in toilet humor.
  38. Littered with low points -- lame comedy, dubious history, fumbling drama and a love story so inept as to make a pacifist long for war.
    • Wall Street Journal
  39. Choose to pass this one up.
    • Wall Street Journal
  40. If claustrophobia's your style, The Jacket is a perfect fit.
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. It's a bad idea done disastrously.
    • Wall Street Journal
  42. Stepping is everything in Stomp the Yard, and, dare I say it, a stepping stone to DJ's redemption. The movie itself is redeemed -- slightly -- by its almost touching devotion to the hoary Hollywood traditions of college movies with battling frats, as well as its earnest endorsement of education.
    • Wall Street Journal
  43. The movie as a whole is nonsensical. And long. And slow. And head-poundingly loud as it culminates in slavering horror.
    • Wall Street Journal
  44. The movie itself is neither a catastrophe nor major.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. The director Penny Marshall has a gently persuasive touch that keeps the movie's most brazen manipulations from being too offensive. [02 Jun 1994]
    • Wall Street Journal
  46. Every scene in this oppressive film has a theme or didactic purpose, but little life.
    • Wall Street Journal
  47. In addition to being borderline unendurable, Funny Games is inexplicable, and I don't mean in any philosophical sense.
  48. This is silliness of such a special grade, performed with such zest, that it makes you forgive and even forget the movie's foolishness and borderline incoherence.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. To give the film its full due, the people who made it — the writer, John Swetnam, and the director, Steven Quale — got wind of a genuine trend and ran with it. Everyone on screen is busy filming everyone else. It's a shakier-camera version of "The Blair Witch Project" in the era of YouTube.
  50. A wispy, fundamentally sentimental tale about a nice girl who has to support herself by working as a phone-sex siren, Spike Lee's movie takes the better part of an hour to get started. Once it does it still can't dramatize the script's one good idea. [2 Apr 1996, p.A12]
    • Wall Street Journal
  51. What was fresh and surprising in Las Vegas turns rancid and predictable in Bangkok.
  52. Since Mary rarely gets to see any of the good stuff, neither do we; Dr. Jekyll hides most of his switcheroos behind closed doors. [23 Feb 1996]
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. Somewhat sluggish but reasonably scary.
    • Wall Street Journal
  54. This is one of those overworked and generally airless comedies with a sitcom premise that can't sustain life.
  55. It's bad enough to make parable a four-letter word.
    • Wall Street Journal
  56. In case you were holding your breath, Renée Zellweger's Bridget Jones is still sweetly earnest, chronically overweight and swinging once again from lovestruck to lovelorn.
    • Wall Street Journal
  57. Fitfully amusing.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Its crackly sarcasm and smart talk turn out to be simply coating for a soft, icky, center.
  58. In addition to all else, and it's a lot, The Losers wastes the riches of Hollywood technology in hot pursuit of nothing.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Amusing enough, especially with its uniquely credible premise of a media fraud, to recommend.
    • Wall Street Journal
  59. In the not-so-grand scheme of such things, Along Came Polly is certainly harmless, and occasionally very funny. It's just not clever enough to keep you engaged.
    • Wall Street Journal
  60. The film suffers from a style that settles for pleasant or touching at the cost of spontaneous or impassioned. Too bad, because Ms. Garner is a genuinely pleasing presence.
    • Wall Street Journal
  61. If this adds up to a full-fledged feature film, I'm a monkey's uncle.
    • Wall Street Journal
  62. Can't lift the double curse of too little genuine action, as opposed to quixotic events, and too many fancy words.
    • Wall Street Journal
  63. The nadir of the movie -- or cheesy zenith -- is Ollie's sodden soliloquy, delivered in the presence of his baby, in which he laments the loss of her mother and his wife. All that's missing are the strains of Ravel's "Pavane For a Dead Princess."
    • Wall Street Journal
  64. The Shaggy Dog is paint, or more appropriately here, pant by the numbers. It also manages a one-two punch -- it will upset small children and bore their parents. There's just no other way to say this: Disney, that movie of yours is a dog.
    • Wall Street Journal
  65. Lacks both taste and flavor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  66. Too labored to be romantic and too derivative to be funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
  67. The remake has no grace notes, or grace, no nuance, no humanity, no character quirks, no surprises in the dialogue and no humor.
  68. This is an odd and ultimately dispiriting film, despite some intriguing ideas about brute force vs. moral authority, the elaborately staged uprising -- and impressive actors in the cast. That is to say, they've been impressive elsewhere.
    • Wall Street Journal
  69. It's as if the filmmakers, having committed themselves to the book, fled from its essence, which is wildness.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. Alice and John are good company — especially Alice, thanks to Ms. Temple's buoyant humor and lovely poignancy. The problem comes when the couple gets greedy, the gods grow angry and the tone turns dark. It doesn't stay dark, but getting back to the brightness is a painful process.
  71. What happens when a genuinely dear John gets a Dear John? For the answer, just meander--no need for running or walking--to your local multiplex. That's where Dear John, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, will be meandering on its downward path from sweetly tender to terminally turgid.
  72. The essence of Youth Without Youth, which was shot -- luminously -- in Romania, lies in its solemn speculations about aging, time and consciousness. Mr. Coppola is one of the cinema's peerless masters, and I would have enjoyed nothing more than a chance to celebrate his new film. I'm truly sorry to say, then, that I found it impenetrable.
  73. This time, though, the happy ending plays out in real life, while the screen version falls afoul of a laggardly pace, an earnest tone and a surfeit of domesticity.
  74. The production can best be described by several f-words. It is frenetic, frazzled and febrile. It is also feeble -- almost touchingly so, if you think of what bottomless insecurity must have prompted so much bombast.
    • Wall Street Journal
  75. Dumbfoundingly erratic, for the most part, but smart and funny from time to time.
  76. A gross-out saga that sentient adults should avoid like the plague.
    • Wall Street Journal
  77. Adam Green's Frozen explores a tiny idea exhaustively, and I mean exhaustively.
  78. 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.
  79. The failure lies not with the film's director, Marc Forster, nor with its impressive star, Gerard Butler, but with Jason Keller's dreadfully earnest script, which charts the hero's spiritual journey, and his Rambo-esque exploits, without offering a scintilla of mature perspective on his state of mind.
  80. It's "The Sixth Sense" as nonsense, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" without the sunshine. Or the mind.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Does not bring a single fresh, inventive idea to the table.
    • Wall Street Journal
  81. Whatever one may think of the overall style--I think it's ludicrous--Mr. Fuqua clearly wanted his film to be operatic, and so it is, in a tone-deaf way.
  82. A surprise and a not-so-guilty pleasure.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As reassuring and soothing as a nursery story.
    • Wall Street Journal
  83. While the action flashes back and forth in increments of centuries, years or months, we're adrift in the here and now, trying to get a grip on the characters and their relationships, yet finding it loosened with every new dislocation.
  84. I watched the film in an agitated space between engrossed and aghast.
  85. Joyless and largely witless sci-fi fantasy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  86. Go in with lowered expectations, and expect to have them dashed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  87. Insurgent opens new horizons of repetitiveness, dramatic shapelessness, self-seriousness and a generalized oppressiveness that flows from all of the above as well as from visual clutter, cheerless color, 3-D dimness and plain old bad acting.
  88. Sanctum is far from a good movie, just as 3-D is far from the movie industry's savior. But it certainly looks good, and watching it through those plastic glasses reopens your eyes to the promise of the third dimension.
  89. Starts well with the stirring spectacle of young men and women, members of a National Guard unit stationed south of Baghdad, struggling to do their duty in an alien land of unfathomable danger. Once they return, however, wounded physically or shattered spiritually, the film turns didactic, contrived and occasionally ludicrous.
    • Wall Street Journal
  90. None of it is enough, though, to save this glum drama from its schematic self.
    • Wall Street Journal
  91. It isn't a great film, or even a greatly original one. Still, it has many grace notes, and interesting oddities.
  92. Ambitious to a fault, this cautionary fantasy about artificial intelligence has so much on its muddled mind, and so little sense of dramatic grounding, that it grows ever more preposterous before lurching to a climax that's utterly unfathomable.
  93. You need only watch the trailer to know that The Internship is a promo for Google; think Google for Dummies, as well as Summer Comedy for Dummies. It's as if the writers googled "how to write a script" and nothing came up, so they wrote this anyway.
    • Wall Street Journal

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