Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,126 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 Locke
Lowest review score: 0 A Guy Thing
Score distribution:
2,126 movie reviews
  1. There's no better fun for movie lovers than a small, unheralded film that turns out to be terrific -- unless it's a small, unheralded sequel that trumps the original.
  2. The director Penny Marshall has gone straight to the heart of this complex story and made a powerfully poignant and illuminating film. She doesn't hesitate to push for the grand sentimental moment, but balances the teary stuff with restraint and humor. To be sure, Awakenings seems calculated to induce weeping -- and it does, without making the weeper feel cheap. [20 Dec 1990, p.A14]
  3. Judd Apatow's high-density, high-intensity comedy of bad (and good) manners is a cause for celebration -- the laugh lines are smart, and they come faster than you can process them.
  4. The dialogue in "Broadcast News" is so quick and clever I wanted to see the movie again the minute it ended because I knew I couldn't have possibly caught it all. I caught most of it though, and certainly enough to know that this is one terrific movie. [15 Dec 1987, p.1]
  5. This musical about a plant that craves blood has a smart and snappy score -- and Steve Martin in a hilarious bit as a dentist who gives himself laughing gas as he treats his unanesthetized patients. [23 Dec 1986, p.1]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What's most memorable, most striking about Superbad is the canny evocation of male friendship in all its richness and complexity.
  6. This magnificent documentary, directed by David Sington and presented by Ron Howard, rises to the occasion by interspersing its interviews with NASA footage that evokes the grandeur of the whole Apollo adventure.
  7. Viggo Mortensen's performance is flat-out brilliant, and this relentlessly dramatic thriller represents a mid-life growth spurt for its director, David Cronenberg.
  8. A dazzlingly smart and entertaining animated feature by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, looks like a black-and-white graphic novel come to life.
  9. An elegant horror film, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, that takes pleasure in its own theatricality, gives pleasure with caustic wit, trusts the power of Stephen Sondheim's score and exults in flights of fancy that only a movie can provide.
  10. It's a new and inspired vision of a familiar state of being -- teenage anomie amidst the crumbling wreckage of a middle-class American family. In the space of 78 minutes, Mr. Van Sant and his cinematographer, the peerless Christopher Doyle, manage to suffuse that state with haunting sadness, ubiquitous danger, pulsing power and flickers of hope.
  11. What Mr. Hou has done is borrow power and some gentle intimations of a state of grace from one of the most enchanting images in movie history.
  12. Mr. Akin's film is so full of life that it leaves you breathless.
  13. Hugely inventive -- and smashingly beautiful.
  14. I don't know the Mongolian word for panache, but Mongol's got plenty of it. The battle scenes are as notable for their clarity as their intensity; we can follow the strategies, get a sense of who's losing and who's winning. The physical production is sumptuous.
  15. Thrillers aren't always so thrilling, but Tell No One is -- and absorbing, sometimes perplexing and often stirring as well.
  16. Andrew Garfield's phenomenal performance makes room for the many and various pieces of Jack's personality, whether or not they're securely fastened together.
  17. This is a debut feature, though you'd never know it from the filmmaker's commandingly confident style, or from the heartbreaking beauty -- heartbreaking, then heartmending -- of Melissa Leo's performance as a poor single mother who's living her whole life on thin ice.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A deeply moving story of resilience and redemption.
  18. What Ron Howard gets, to a degree that's astonishing in a two-hour film, is the density and complexity, as well as the generous entertainment quotient, of Peter Morgan's screenplay.
  19. Philippe Claudel gives his heroine unusual depth, which Kristin Scott Thomas reveals with unusual passion.
  20. Density of detail and intensity of experience are the twin distinctions of A Christmas Tale, a long, improbably funny and very beautiful film.
  21. For a filmmaker who has made his reputation with such crime thrillers as "Little Odessa" and "The Yards," James Gray reveals an unexpected gift for the mysteries of romance.
  22. One of the best of the genre. If it doesn't serve oysters, per se, this submarine wonder offers marvels in abundance.
  23. This exquisite film by the Swedish master Jan Troell is about seeing clearly, and fearlessly. It's also about subdued passion, the birth of an artist and a woman's struggle to live her own life.
  24. Beautiful moments abound. In Departures, the contemplation of death prepares the way for an appreciation of life.
  25. The new film, shot in vivid hi-def video, is part documentary and part fiction based on interviews; it uses on-camera interviews with workers, some played by themselves and some played by actors, to evoke a past of unimaginable toil, and suffering, in the service of the Communist state.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If the plot of Ponyo is small as a minnow, its themes--the relationship between parent and child, between the young and the elderly, between friends, between man and nature--are large and fully realized.
  26. Not since "Raging Bull" has Mr. Scorsese so brazenly married brutality to beauty. Not since "Kundun" has one of his films felt so aspirational.
  27. Much of the time, though, you're transfixed by the beauty of a spectacle that seems all of a piece. Special effects have been abolished, in effect, since the whole thing is so special.

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