Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,252 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 The Ghost Writer
Lowest review score: 0 Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Score distribution:
2,252 movie reviews
  1. What's intractably wrong with the film is that there's no reality to heighten; it's a spectacle in search of a soul.
  2. The result is a queasy combination of speculation and dramatic invention with the ring of half-truth, though the co-stars, Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, add as much color as they can - not much - to a monochromatic script.
  3. Far from rising to the level of truthiness, let alone truth, True Story rings false from start to finish.
  4. 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Shakespeare has been quoted many, many times over the past 400 or so years, but never to such empty purpose as in the inchoate, self-indulgent musical drama Idlewild, a star vehicle for the wildly popular hip-hop duo OutKast.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. Never mind the awfulness of the three madwomen being relentlessly mad, or the silliness of their journey’s logistics; not for a moment do you believe that this grievously afflicted trio actually inhabits what amounts to a small, rickety and unadorned paddy wagon. What’s definitively awful is the spectacle of unrestrained vanity.
  6. Long on cutlery and décor (including, of course, the marvelously decorative Ms. Garner, of the TV series "Alias") and woefully short on narrative.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. The result is a movie groping for a comic tone while its FX machinery spews vast clouds of visual gibberish.
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. 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
  9. Bleak, remarkably turgid, tediously violent, devoid of drama, deprived of magic, stripped of romance and, except for one of the oddest boy-meets-girl scenes in movie history, a befuddled and befuddling excuse for entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. The lesson here is simple: In the digital realm, the bigger the worse. What looks distinctive and believable in short takes and small doses can turn blatantly phony and deadly familiar when the scale is pumped up. Prince of Persia pumps itself up to the bursting point, and bursts.
  11. Green Lantern was meant to be a sci-fi adventure, but it proves to be a genuine mystery. How could its megamoola budget have yielded a production that looks almost as tacky as "Flash Gordon" (which had the good grace to deprecate itself at every turn)?
  12. 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
  13. The best thing to be said for this lumbering comedy is that it offers a chance to see Vanessa Paradis, the singularly alluring French singer, actress and model, play Avigal, a melancholy Hasidic widow in Brooklyn, N.Y., and play the role with exceptional delicacy. Otherwise, arrgh!
  14. Brought down by repeated bursts of high absurdity.
    • Wall Street Journal
  15. The fault is not in the co-stars; they've been brilliant before and will be brilliant again. It's in the laggardly pace, pedestrian writing and murky viewpoint of Ned Benson's feature.
  16. The movie as a whole is nonsensical. And long. And slow. And head-poundingly loud as it culminates in slavering horror.
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. I didn't mind the preposterousness of the premise nearly so much as the general ineptness with which it's presented. After all, good trash has its place. [8 Dec 1994, p.A16]
    • Wall Street Journal
  18. But clever casting, and inspirational dieting, can't make up for this poor little rich girl's shortcomings as a comedienne. Under Mr. Benjamin's vulgar tutelage, she portrays Connie's coarseness coarsely, with an accent that seems to have come from Ida Lupino by way of Madonna. [19 Apr 1996, p.A11]
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. A bizarre, overcooked broth that combines a broad sitcom style (the banter goes rat-tat-tat like a steam drill) with a preposterous succession of plot complications, plus solemn questions of identity, adoption and the nature of happiness.
  20. If claustrophobia's your style, The Jacket is a perfect fit.
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. Has many more downs than ups, but this ragged action comedy, with Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn as mismatched buddies, rings some outrageously funny changes on a deadly serious genre of amateur video that began with Rodney King.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The movie is juvenile on many levels, and it's downright creepy to watch an hour and a half of dramatized neoteny -- a state defined by American Heritage as "the attainment of sexual maturity by an organism still in its larval stage."
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. The movie itself is grotesque, and may drive you nuts as it makes you laugh, mostly at the stupidity of the thing.
    • Wall Street Journal
  25. A bizarre conflation of chick flick and "A Christmas Carol."
  26. These people -- the filmmakers as well as the cast -- have brought a rare sense of camaraderie to their work. Unfortunately, they forgot to bring a script. They even forgot, in the midst of their joyous self-involvement, to take good pictures of the places they visited.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. Why is the movie such a mess? Will Ferrell plays a washed-up actor who's supposed to be a hopeless mess, but even his character makes little sense. Is it all supposed to be postmodern? No, it's post-postmortem, the dead spirit of a dearly departed show.
    • Wall Street Journal
  28. What's wrong with this sad fiasco goes far beyond its visual deficits.

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