Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,143 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 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Winter's Bone
Lowest review score: 0 Ender's Game
Score distribution:
2,143 movie reviews
  1. If glum were good and bleak were best, Hart's War would be a standout.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Mr. Snipes and Mr. Rhames get credit at least for doing their own stunts. By the middle of the film, viewers will take a certain satisfaction in each punch that lands on either of them.
    • Wall Street Journal
  2. Five months after Sept. 11, the movie inevitably echoes those events, but in a loud and extremely cheesy way.
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. I've been a Vanessa Redgrave fan for such a long time that I would have been happy to watch her beautifully weathered face without much happening around her.
    • Wall Street Journal
  4. The worst part of Ms. Zellweger's plight is that she, along with others in the cast, has fallen victim to a first-time feature director whose vocabulary doesn't seem to include the word "simplicity."
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. There's no transcending a prosaic plot and several flat performances.
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. A rube's-eye view of Hollywood, but the rube is weary, and those around him seem to be suffering from terminal torpor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. Joyless and largely witless sci-fi fantasy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. Mr. Li is a master not only of martial arts, but of composure; no one does nothing better. The film itself is no great shakes.
    • Wall Street Journal
  9. Despite all of its failures of wit, sense, and pace, the film does most effectively flaunt the millions spent on it. The inane action takes place in splendiferous settings. [23 May 1991]
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. A good subject has been ill-served by Ms. Greenwald's cliched script and clumsy direction.
    • Wall Street Journal
  11. Goes down fighting, but it goes down just the same.
    • Wall Street Journal
  12. As the hilariously foul-mouthed, sweet-souled Dr. S, he (Wayans) slaps Marci X to life every time he's on screen.
    • Wall Street Journal
  13. Comes briefly to life, after many longeurs -- many large longeurs in IMAX -- with the discombobulated entrance of B.E.N., a dysfunctional, hyperverbal robot voiced by Martin Short.
    • Wall Street Journal
  14. A turgid recycling of Mr. Carpenter's remake of "The Thing."
    • Wall Street Journal
  15. Ordinary moviegoers, on the other hand, may wonder what they're supposed to feel, apart from bored.
    • Wall Street Journal
  16. The blithely dishonest script would have us believe that the real Napoleon can't prove his identity when the fake Napoleon refuses to come clean. Not only is that patent nonsense, it's cockeyed dramaturgy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  17. Not a pretty sight, any of it.
    • Wall Street Journal
  18. This horror-free horror flick sent me wandering through my own memory warehouse, where, at every turn, I bumped into images from similar -- and mostly superior -- entertainments.
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. 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
  20. All that's missing is wit and humanity.
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. There's nothing wrong with the structure of Heartbreakers, but David Mirkin's direction is woefully clumsy -- and the movie's tone is nasty.
    • Wall Street Journal
  22. What's new here is a severe deficit of style, or even craftsmanship, both in the action sequences and what passes for human interludes.
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. Won't kill you, but it could bore you half to death.
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. What's missing is an emotional center. This Sinbad, with its flying ship and becalmed script, seems destined to be DreamWorks's version of Disney's "Treasure Planet."
    • Wall Street Journal
  25. Stinker doesn't begin to describe this movie's character -- both frenzied and dispiriting.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Although packaged as a movie, is in reality a clever 106-minute promo for Sony's PlayStation II games.
    • Wall Street Journal
  26. The script is dead in the water, and most of the misanthropic repartee rings resoundingly false.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. Another dim adaptation of a bright comic novel.
    • Wall Street Journal
  28. Knows that it's junk and tries feebly to rejoice in its junkiness.
    • Wall Street Journal
  29. For all its video-game bedazzlements, Attack of the Clones suffers from severe digital glut, periodically relieved, if you can call it that, by amateur theatrics.
    • Wall Street Journal
  30. A grim disappointment for grown-ups, and far too violent for young kids. I found it to be clumsy, misanthropic and intractably lifeless.
    • 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
  31. If only Brotherhood of the Wolf had the wit and grace to match its exceptional physical beauty.
    • Wall Street Journal
  32. By most standards of conventional film narrative, this movie is a mess. [25 June, 1987, p.22(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  33. Costner has never been further from the lively, engaging actor he can be, or at least once was.
    • Wall Street Journal
  34. If you go to see this sloppy sitcom, in which Mr. Martin plays a divorced, repressed lawyer named Peter Sanderson, do expect to be surprised, seduced and entertained by Queen Latifah.
    • Wall Street Journal
  35. Its tone is unquenchably pretentious, and its scale is overblown.
    • Wall Street Journal
  36. Unforeseeably bad things can happen to good performers.
  37. Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill inflicts intolerable cruelty on its characters, and on its audience -- though I'd like to believe that there is no mainstream audience for what has already been described, quite correctly, as the most violent movie ever released by an American studio.
    • Wall Street Journal
  38. Mr. Gooding is out there in almost every scene, and the destruction of his once-promising career proceeds apace.
    • Wall Street Journal
  39. The performances, under Mike Newell's direction, range from conventional (Ms. Roberts) to dreadful, and the script is as shallow as an old Cosmo cover story.
    • Wall Street Journal
  40. Go in with lowered expectations, and expect to have them dashed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. No one comes out of Mooseport unscathed -- not Rip Torn, as the president's campaign manager, not Christine Baranski as his avaricious ex-wife. It's a democracy of mediocrity, or worse.
    • Wall Street Journal
  42. The crucial evidence has to do with rigor mortis. The movie's a stiff too.
    • Wall Street Journal
  43. The movie's leisurely, elegant setup makes its action payoff seem, by contrast, particularly mechanical, cynical and grotesque.
    • Wall Street Journal
  44. In Troy, and in overreaching, underachieving productions like it, digital imagery is fast becoming both a Trojan horse and Achilles' heel.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. Ms. Hudson makes the most of her role, even though that's not saying so very much -- the writing is terribly thin -- while John Corbett gives an unaccountably clumsy performance as a romantic pastor. Joan Cusack gets the funniest lines as Helen's sister, a model of boring mommyhood, but she also stops the movie dead in its tracks every time she plays a scene.
    • Wall Street Journal
  46. 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
  47. The Terminal is a terminally fraudulent and all-but-interminable comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  48. 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
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    "Working Girl," is also heard in Little Black Book; it serves only to remind audiences of that far more winning story of triumph in the office. But there are many reminders of what a tiresome effort this is.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    An excruciatingly embarrassing display of ego and ineptitude.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. A remarkably ill-advised remake.
    • Wall Street Journal
  50. This new Alfie is earnest -- irony is so last century -- and not angry at all, since working-class anger would mean nothing here, because class means nothing here. Nothing means anything here.
    • Wall Street Journal
  51. A train wreck of mind-numbing proportions.
    • Wall Street Journal
  52. There's no zest to the general depravity, no coherence to the script or the spectacle -- clarity is missing in some of the camera work -- and, most important, no character to give a Greek fig about.
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. Bring Zoloft and a tank of oxygen to Closer, an airless, ultimately joyless drama of sexual politics.
    • Wall Street Journal
  54. An experience best likened to being battered by hurricane-force winds generated by an organ with all stops pulled permanently out.
    • Wall Street Journal
  55. Ms. Wynter's performance is only one of many failings in a heavily accented costume drama that Bruce Beresford has directed turgidly from Marilyn Levy's amateurish script.
    • Wall Street Journal
  56. Ever so slightly defective in the area of coherence; it plays as if it should have been written by a committee but they didn't bother to convene one.
    • Wall Street Journal
  57. A few clumps of very funny stuff (including a quick tonsorial reference to "Mary") can't hide all the spots that are bald instead of bold.
    • Wall Street Journal
  58. 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
  59. Constantine is yet another studio extravaganza that's all aswirl with atmospherics, though empty at its center. The invasion of the soul snatchers proceeds apace.
    • Wall Street Journal
  60. If claustrophobia's your style, The Jacket is a perfect fit.
    • Wall Street Journal
  61. The movie as a whole is nonsensical. And long. And slow. And head-poundingly loud as it culminates in slavering horror.
    • Wall Street Journal
  62. The video-game sequences are impressive, but you know that a 'toon is in big trouble when its most powerful theme is planned obsolescence.
    • Wall Street Journal
  63. 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
  64. 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
  65. The result is a movie groping for a comic tone while its FX machinery spews vast clouds of visual gibberish.
    • Wall Street Journal
  66. Comes on like an overproduced coma, and leaves you comatose by the end. In between are 127 minutes of intermittent chaos that feel like a lifetime.
    • Wall Street Journal
  67. Brought down by repeated bursts of high absurdity.
    • Wall Street Journal
  68. YEEEEE HAAAAW! They've gone and done it. The feature version of The Dukes Of Hazzard turns a sow's ear into a bigger sow's ear.
    • Wall Street Journal
  69. A saga of static set pieces and strenuously clever notions, this is a fiasco of a film if ever there was one.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. A guaranteed downer that's devoid of any upside, and free of dangerously entertaining side effects.
    • Wall Street Journal
  71. Heart-breakingly awful -- slow, lugubrious, and misconceived to the point of baffling amateurism.
    • Wall Street Journal
  72. Mr. Jarecki undercuts his own case -- not just undercuts but carpet-bombs it -- by using the same propaganda techniques he professes to abhor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  73. 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
  74. 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
  75. Basic Instinct 2 is pretty awful. Rarely has a meaningless thriller had so many meaningful glances, or such arch acting by good actors who know better.
    • Wall Street Journal
  76. The movie stands as a genuine offense against the venerable and indispensable institution of satire.
    • Wall Street Journal
  77. I can't find much slack to cut the film, except to say that it's a potboiler cooked in an upscale Teflon pot.
    • Wall Street Journal
  78. 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
  79. Depressed and depressing drama.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Go right ahead and skip this one at the Cineplex. You've got my word: It won't be on the final.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
  80. A snapshot, to be sure, but scattershot as well.
    • Wall Street Journal
  81. I feel for the marketing person charged with devising a tagline for Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, a fantasy whose turgid pretensions defy the very notion of marketing.
    • Wall Street Journal
  82. 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
  83. N'ever was an apostrophe so misplaced, n'ever was the prospect of good cheer so perversely defeated.
    • Wall Street Journal
  84. 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
  85. 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.
    • Wall Street Journal
  86. 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
  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. 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
  90. 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
  91. The makers of Return to Oz say that their rather bleak, nonmusical fantasy is more faithful to Mr. Baum's vision than "The Wizard of Oz" was. What's appropriate, however, isn't always what's right. All Ms. Balk can do is look earnest and young; Ms. Garland opened her mouth and out came Dorothy's soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The inert License to Wed shambles along one lame scene after another.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Tiresome, pretentious.

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