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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 There Will Be Blood
Lowest review score: 0 Killer Joe
Score distribution:
2,252 movie reviews
  1. Density of detail and intensity of experience are the twin distinctions of A Christmas Tale, a long, improbably funny and very beautiful film.
  2. The team's (Merchant-Ivory) best adaptation yet of a Henry James novel.
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. '71
    Yann Demange’s ’71, with an astonishing performance by Jack O’Connell, is big-screen storytelling stripped to its dramatic and visual essentials, and the result is nothing less than shattering.
  4. Through exquisite details, evocative music and bold dramatic strokes -- including a tragedy that transcends the melodrama it might have been -- Rain renders this family's life in its full dimensions.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. Blissfully silly, triumphantly tasteless and improbably hilarious.
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. Frank is a genuine original in a summer sea of sameness, and a darkly comedic manifesto against the cultural status quo.
  7. This beguiling fable, with its darkly distinctive look, does DreamWorks proud.
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. 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.
  9. This screwball comedy about a scrappy Hawaiian kid and the rabidly destructive little alien she mistakes for a dog is powered by ferocious joy. And, remarkably, it manages to incorporate traditional Disney values, such as the sanctity of the family, in a visually bold, subversively witty package that's as far from corporate as mainstream movies get.
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. In another sense, though, everything is exactly what it seems, expertly crafted and cleverly compounded for high-dose entertainment.
  11. Every sport, and every sports film, must have its superman. The role is filled here by Laird Hamilton, who, we are told -- and, more astonishingly, shown -- took "the single most significant ride in surfing history." Seeing is believing.
    • Wall Street Journal
  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. Go underground with magic glasses on your nose and you won't regret it.
  14. Ever since the movie made a brief appearance late last year to qualify for Oscar consideration, Mr. Caine's performance has been hailed as the best of his career, and surely that's true.
    • Wall Street Journal
  15. Director David Mackenzie's gripping, convincing and convincingly violent convict drama owes its authenticity largely to the experiences of ex-prison therapist Jonathan Asser, who wrote its screenplay. But the opening 10 minutes are a virtuosic example of virtually wordless filmmaking.
  16. This new film isn't perfect, and may not be a world-changer, but it's certainly a world-pleaser.
  17. A transgenre thriller that glides effortlessly from crisp social commentary through off-kilter comedy to paranoid terror, it's on my short list of the most enjoyable movies in recent memory.
  18. A documentary of stunning immediacy and marvelous images.
    • Wall Street Journal
  19. The studio, like plucky Harry, passes with flying colors. The new one, directed by Mike Newell from another astute script by Mr. Kloves, is even richer and fuller, as well as dramatically darker. It's downright scary how good this movie is.
    • Wall Street Journal
  20. In one sense, Neil Young: Heart of Gold is just a simple concert film -- no cutaways during the music for interviews, no cameras swooping and soaring on giant booms. But simplicity in this case also means no barrier between us and the people on stage, as they sing some of the most soul-stirring pop songs I've seen performed in a very long time.
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. Should be a delight for everyone. Bird watchers will find affirmation and even explanation for their avocation. People who can't tell a towhee from a titmouse will still wonder at the beauty of it all.
  22. Magic suffuses this film -- performances that approach perfection, or achieve it, moments of exceptional grace as a troubled family plays out a contemporary version of a classic immigration saga, healing itself in the process.
    • Wall Street Journal
  23. The most striking thing about X-Men: Days of Future Past is its generosity. Huge franchise installments are rarely as enjoyable as this one. They aren't as inventive, richly detailed, surprisingly varied, elegantly crafted or improbably stirring.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mr. Herzog's perspective is an invaluable balance to Mr. Treadwell's as the animal advocate approaches what seems like madness.
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. The immensity encompasses such variety, subtlety and intimacy that you may find yourself yearning for more.
  25. A feature-length documentary, by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller, of absolutely breathtaking sweep and joyous energy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  26. The best of Up in the Air--meaning most of it--is right up there with the fresh and sophisticated comedies of Hollywood's golden age.
  27. There are remakes and there are remakes. I don't want to belabor the flaws and sexual excesses of the original; its great strength was its explosive energy. Still, this one investigates the unfulfilled potential of the first one so thoroughly, and develops it so audaciously, that it qualifies as a brilliant reinvention.
    • Wall Street Journal
  28. Ultimately an original film that forces us, time and again, to reconsider what we think we've just seen, and what we're sure we feel - not only about mere appearance, or fateful gender, but about who, under our skin, we truly are.
  29. This hugely entertaining thriller is what's needed to banish a winter-long case of movie blues.
    • Wall Street Journal
  30. Despite its cargo of meaning, 3-Iron feels marvelously weightless, like the lovers as they stand on a scale that the hero has fixed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  31. Both magical and consistently joyous. The director, Robert Altman, and the writer, Garrison Keillor, have, against all odds, transmuted the fatigued public radio institution into a lovely fable about mortality, fleeting fame, fondness for the past and the ineffable beauty of life in the present.
    • Wall Street Journal
  32. The near-miracle worked by Mr. Boyle, whose exuberant style brings several saints to scruffy life, is a movie that's joyously funny and hugely inventive -- occasionally to the point of preciousness -- yet true to the spirit of the saintly little kid at its center.
    • Wall Street Journal
  33. Charlotte Rampling is the best reason, though far from the only one, to see Swimming Pool, a mesmerizing mystery, plus a wonderfully sensuous fantasy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  34. Shrewdly reconceived, powerfully acted and hugely entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
  35. Rousing, provocative film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  36. Catching Fire is exceptional entertainment, a spectacle with a good mind and a pounding heart.
  37. This version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy turns on the presence of Mr. Oldman, and he is an actor of great experience and accomplishment who has finally found a film that fully deserves him.
  38. A romantic comedy of grace notes and mini-epiphanies -- mini, that is, except for Ms. McDormand's Jane, who is memorable to the max.
    • Wall Street Journal
  39. What makes it such a singular experience is the convergence of fine acting, moral urgency and a willingness to linger on moments of great intensity.
  40. Persistently upends expectations without insult, as it pulls you into a netherworld filled with yearning, whimsy, and danger. [15 Dec 1992, p.A16(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  41. A cockeyed comic triumph that flashes between bright and dark like a strobe light of the spirit. And Ms. Theron, as Mavis Gary, a self-styled author rather than a mere writer, succeeds sensationally at something much harder than playing ravaged.
  42. 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.
  43. This beautifully strange and affecting comedy, which Agnès Jaoui directed from a screenplay she wrote with her husband, Mr. Bacri, is about men who are weak and insecure, and one woman, Agathe, played superbly by Ms. Jaoui, coming to terms with the price of being strong.
  44. A wickedly astute and beautiful comedy of manners-cum-murder mystery, it's too dense, and occasionally confusing, to grasp fully the first time around. How lucky, then, that it's also too much fun to see just once.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. While the film itself isn't perfect, who cares about perfection in the face of abundant life, authentic screwiness and lovely surprises by the busload?
  46. A movie of minimalist moments (Molly's tiniest gestures speak volumes) and lovely, almost holy tableaux.
    • Wall Street Journal
  47. In Woody Allen's beguiling and then bedazzling new comedy, nostalgia isn't at all what it used to be - it's smarter, sweeter, fizzier and ever so much funnier.
  48. Breaks through the conventions of its biopic form with a pair of brilliant performances and a whole lot more.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. Since you can't read my lips, read my words: See this movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
  50. Mr. Tykwer's hands the movie changes almost magically from drama to chase to romance. As it does so its moral weight lessens; by the end there is less than what first engaged the mind. What meets the eye, though, is unforgettable.
    • Wall Street Journal
  51. When movie lovers are looking back on the best of 2001, they will still be marveling at the beauty, intelligence and seemingly effortless mastery of Ms. Blanchett's performance.
    • Wall Street Journal
  52. It's astonishing, and moving.
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. Vincent is played masterfully by Aurelien Recoing, who gives him a sort of as-if anomie; this haunted hero is so detached that he may not realize he has no real life to be detached from.
    • Wall Street Journal
  54. Room 237, which goes into national distribution this weekend, may be the surpassingly eccentric — and enormously entertaining — film that Kubrick deserves.
  55. The comedian has had his ups and downs recently, but the film is pure up, a wonderfully genial and inclusive record -- not that the music is devoid of anger or social protest -- of a day-long, freestyle show.
    • Wall Street Journal
  56. The explosively combative young hero, Liam (a brilliant performance by Martin Compston), has only the illusion of a fighting chance. Yet Sweet Sixteen is powerful because of the searing honesty with which it strips Liam of his illusions.
    • Wall Street Journal
  57. It's classic animation wedded to modern technology -- painted pictures that move in magical splendor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  58. Song of the Sea was made primarily, though not exclusively, for young children. Its unhurried pace will serve as an antidote to, or even an inoculation against, the mad rush of most contemporary animation. This is a film made by the other crowd, people who care about helping children to care about the medium of film for the rest of their lives.
  59. See The Magdalene Sisters for its own sake; the performances alone are inspirational. But see it too as an example of how powerful a feature film still can be in the hands of an impassioned filmmaker.
    • Wall Street Journal
  60. Its true subject is melancholia as a spiritual state, a destroyer of happiness that emerges from its hiding place behind the sun, just like the menacing planet, then holds the heroine, Justine, in its unyielding grip and gives Ms. Dunst the unlikely occasion for a dazzling performance.
  61. Finding words for the starring performance is easy. After breaking through as a brilliant comic actor in “The Hangover,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” Mr. Cooper turns out to be just as brilliant at intensely dramatic inwardness. In his extraordinarily austere portrayal, Kyle’s silences are eloquent, his impassivity interesting, his inner conflicts implied without a trace of sentimentality.
  62. An undersea treasure all the same, and a prodigy of visual energy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  63. This comic chronicle of a Peruvian bear’s adventures in London turns out to be a total charmer, made with panache, élan and generous dollops of marmalade.
  64. Mr. Penn has been praised lavishly for his work in "Mystic River," in a role that was no reach for him at all, but this is one of the stand-out performances of his career, layered and exquisitely nuanced. And, remarkably, he's only one-third of a stellar ensemble.
    • Wall Street Journal
  65. Bursting with joy and throbbing with music, Rize has a tragic dimension too. When you see the clown cry, you'll be with him all the way.
    • Wall Street Journal
  66. Truly transporting film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  67. This one is both demanding and extremely rewarding, because it's really a meditation on violence.
  68. A stunning drama about the desperate state of women in Iran.
    • Wall Street Journal
  69. Depends on comic timing so precise that it seems weightless and all but effortless. And it depends on performers, of course, who can do a comic turn just as readily as a deft writer can turn a phrase. In that department, Ocean's Eleven is at least 11 times blessed.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. 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.
  71. Ingeniously scary.
    • Wall Street Journal
  72. The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance. He's an actor, first and foremost, who is also a musician.
  73. This is filmmaking of a high order, even though the production's scale is modest and the climax is not without its facile contrivances.
  74. 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hugely entertaining thriller.
    • Wall Street Journal
  75. As an evocation of English working-class life half a century ago, it feels utterly authentic, and is ennobled -- not too strong a word, I think -- by Imelda Staunton's performance in the title role.
    • Wall Street Journal
  76. Beguiling and endearing.
  77. The most elegantly crafted and confidently directed of all his (Cronenberg's) films, it's a calm, chilling portrait of a blighted soul and, just as calmly but quite stunningly, an evocation of the thought processes behind the blight.
    • Wall Street Journal
  78. 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]
    • Wall Street Journal
  79. A perfect fit in the category of instant classic, and, not incidentally, fits the profile of super-profitability. Bursting the bonds of its genre, Hellboy fills the screen with gorgeous imagery, vertiginous action and a surprising depth of feeling.
    • Wall Street Journal
  80. I loved this movie, and I wish it could be seen by all those kids who turn out every weekend for shoddy studio comedies that show them who they'd like to be. Raising Victor Vargas shows young lovers as they are.
    • Wall Street Journal
  81. A dazzling piece of filmmaking, and much of the dazzle - as well as the anguished darkness - comes from Adam Stone's cinematography, which expresses the swirling state of Curtis's mind with richly varied flavors of light.
  82. Jane Campion has performed her own feat of romantic imagination.
  83. It's a stirring portrait of a singular artist, a gorgeously photographed album of his buildings, and, perhaps most importantly, a film that manages to demystify the way he works without diminishing it.
    • Wall Street Journal
  84. A thrilling -- and harrowing, and beautiful -- celebration of the unpredictability of life.
    • Wall Street Journal
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
    • Wall Street Journal
  87. It's exciting, stirring, often funny, sometimes lyrical and unusually thoughtful. And, with that one egregious exception, genuinely pleasurable.
  88. A lovely surprise. Ripe with feeling and lush with physical beauty, it's a love story that swings confidently between age and youth, and, like the young Tiger Woods of old, avoids every trap along the way.
    • Wall Street Journal
  89. The good news about Claude Lelouch's And Now Ladies and Gentlemen -- there's no bad news -- is that the man who made the sublimely superficial "A Man and a Woman" almost four decades ago has grown in wisdom and artistry, but hasn't lost his love of glossy surfaces.
    • Wall Street Journal
  90. A film that is both touching and generous of spirit - and funny as well. [15 Dec 1988, p.A16(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  91. A remarkable though sometimes frustrating film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  92. Crazy Heart is blessed with so many marvelous moments, lovely lines and vivid characters.
  93. Hugely inventive -- and smashingly beautiful.
  94. Not since "Raging Bull" has Mr. Scorsese so brazenly married brutality to beauty. Not since "Kundun" has one of his films felt so aspirational.
  95. Apart from a singer named You who plays Keiko, the members of the cast are non-professionals. You may find that hard to believe when you see this astonishing film, as I hope you will.
    • Wall Street Journal
  96. A handsome, absorbing debut feature by the fiction and television writer Henry Bromell.
    • Wall Street Journal
  97. (Morton's) character here is emotionally mute -- though Morvern speaks, she can't or won't reveal what's in her heart -- and her performance is brilliant from start to finish.
    • Wall Street Journal
  98. What makes The Flat mesmerizing is its wealth of historical detail. What makes it universal is what it says about families everywhere - that children, being children, don't want to know what their parents are up to, and that grown-ups, being human, don't want to credit troubling facts that conflict with what they need to believe.

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