Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,623 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 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Big Sick
Lowest review score: 0 Untraceable
Score distribution:
2623 movie reviews
  1. What's so unfunny about peace, love and understanding? Plenty, it turns out. But for much of the movie, viewers will be asking themselves where the conflict is. And, by extension, the drama.
  2. Guaranteed to fan antigovernment sentiments among its audiences, Dinosaur 13 is less about paleontology than it is about prosecutorial overreach, political gamesmanship, dinosaur swindlers and true crime — if in fact crimes were even committed, and/or committed by the people accused.
  3. Frank is a genuine original in a summer sea of sameness, and a darkly comedic manifesto against the cultural status quo.
  4. No one ever stops talking. Twenty-somethings talk incessant small talk, or cute talk, or fatuous talk that's supposed to be clever.
  5. 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.
  6. There's the expected, though no less astounding, profusion of life forms on the way down — Mr. Cameron calls them "critters" when he isn't using their scientific names — but the essence of the drama is the explorer's deepening solitude.
  7. The folk-wisdom level is tolerable, just as the clichés and manipulations are palatable, because the story is full of life, and free of ironic additives.
  8. It's a film of modest means and great ambition, a darkly comic drama concerned with nothing less than the place of faith, and an embattled Church, in modern life.
  9. A likable lightweight, though it's heavy enough on cosmic combat and dazzling effects.
  10. All the more remarkably, then, this flawed but startling biopic stars another performer, Chadwick Boseman, who fills Brown's shoes with a dynamism that transcends imitation.
  11. I wish I could say that the film gives a great actor a worthy role, but the truth is otherwise. The character is banal — Günther lavishes attention on remarkably uninteresting spycraft — and Mr. Hoffman, like everyone else, is stuck with the glum tone set by the director, Anton Corbijn ("Control," "The American").
  12. It's gleefully bold, visually adventurous, often funny, strikingly concise — the whole heart-pounding tale is over in 90 minutes — and 100% entertaining.
  13. Ms. Stone is entrancing, whether Sophie is in or out of her trance state, and so is the movie as a whole.
  14. There's so much of so many flavors of cleverness — a surfeit of surfeits — that sensory overload causes aesthetic suffocation.
  15. This new feature, though, sets up a dialectic between reason and faith and argues it insistently, with eye-rolling earnestness.
  16. Instead of soft core, Sex Tape offers no core. No narrative core, just a not-bad notion executed execrably; no core of conviction, just two stars trudging joylessly through swamps of mediocrity.
  17. A series of picaresque adventures in a notably picturesque land. Is it enough to sustain anything resembling dramatic momentum? For a while it isn't, but then, unexpectedly, it is.
  18. 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.
  19. The film forges ahead, in vivid 3-D, with such energy, expertise and thunderous conviction that you readily accept its basic premise — the pell-mell emergence of great intelligence, plus moral awareness, in primitive bodies — and find yourself exactly where the filmmakers want you to be, swinging giddily between sympathy for the apes and the humans in what threatens to become all-out war.
  20. Whatever the cause, the movie turns sour when the singers aren't singing. And the first-person accounts don't work at all, even though much of their substance comes from the show.
  21. I can't recommend it without reservation, but it's a must-see for those who have followed Mr. Troell's career, and a should-see for those who can look past its oddities to its cumulative power.
  22. Cold and clever to a fault, like the main character played by Liam Neeson, the movie is based on a fundamental miscalculation—that our desire to penetrate its mysteries will trump our need for people to care about.
  23. The Rover, is anything but lively, though it's long on menace, often violent and consistently fascinating.
  24. As I watched the minimal plot unfold at a glacial pace in claustrophobic settings, I found myself wondering where the rest of the movie was.
  25. Gleeful and smart, funny and serious, this sequel surpasses the endearing original with gorgeous animation — a dragon Eden, a dragon scourge, an infinitude of dragons — and one stirring human encounter after another.
  26. The repetitions are meant as a sort of metajoke, and it works well enough, more often than not, though heightened levels of raunch and chaos seem not so much meta as frantic.
  27. When the time comes for suffering, the pain of watching her is mingled with the pleasure of a performance that transcends contrivance. This young actress is the real, heart-piercing thing.
  28. They might also have called it "Groundhog Day 2," but that wouldn't have conveyed the film's martial frenzy, its fascinating intricacies or the special delights of its borderline-comic tone.
  29. Yet the heart of the film lies in what it manages to say, without boldface or italics, about how hard it is for Donna, like so many of her anxious cohort, to make genuine connections, to break free of narcissistic constraints and become a stand-up grown-up.
  30. Mr. Moodysson's film is little only in physical and financial scale. When measured by the pleasure it confers, We Are the Best! is a big deal that will be winning hearts — and even grownup minds — for a long time to come.

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