Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,360 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Moneyball
Lowest review score: 0 Before I Go to Sleep
Score distribution:
2360 movie reviews
  1. The silliness of Jump Tomorrow takes your breath away, and I mean that as high praise.
  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]
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. Joseph Levy's sneakily stirring documentary opens up feelings you would never have expected from the premise — a portrait of three American restaurants.
  4. With this genuinely big entertainment, powered by a beating heart, Steven Spielberg has put the summer back in summer movies.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. It is, simply and stirringly, a kind of beau ideal of education, a vision of how the process can work at its best.
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. A remarkable -- and harrowing -- debut feature that makes you think there's hope after all for the future of independent films.
    • Wall Street Journal
  7. Crumb pulls us in with rich detail, and with what it says, or suggests, about art, drugs, psychology and the subconscious.... Like last year's "Hoop Dreams," this documentary does justice to a great subject. [08 Jun 1995]
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. Now the movie can be seen for what it was all along, remarkable by any standards.
    • Wall Street Journal
  9. The new film may not qualify for masterpiece status, but it's an enthralling portrait of a man — an exceptionally brilliant and articulate man — who personified the courage, complexity and moral ambiguity of his tortured time.
  10. Directed with such a confident, delicate touch. Nothing is insisted on, yet whole lives are discovered and revealed in vignettes that seem as spontaneous as a laugh or a gasp.
    • Wall Street Journal
  11. The film feels freshly minted because the man who made it has such a lively mind and fearless style. At a time when all too many movies are selling bleakness and dysfunction, it also feels like a revenant from Hollywood’s golden age, when an entertainment’s highest function was to entertain.
  12. As odd as it may sound, it's a remarkably beautiful movie.
  13. This beautiful -- and beautifully controlled -- film is also an object lesson in how to hypnotize an audience.
    • Wall Street Journal
  14. A thriller with a quietly sensational performance by Tilda Swinton.
    • Wall Street Journal
  15. Density of detail and intensity of experience are the twin distinctions of A Christmas Tale, a long, improbably funny and very beautiful film.
  16. Thanks to this new film, though, any questions about her potential have been dispelled. Alicia Vikander has fully and memorably arrived, a luminous presence with a gift for tenderness, an instinct for understatement and formidable reserves of passion—she not only rises to the challenge of Vera’s climactic speech, but elevates the pacifist rhetoric into furious poetry.
  17. The team's (Merchant-Ivory) best adaptation yet of a Henry James novel.
    • Wall Street Journal
  18. Many of the boxing genre’s conventions are observed in the screenplay by Mr. Coogler and Aaron Covington, and the fight sequences are brutally effective.... But the film is full of life and loose humor...and Creed often transcends the genre by playing with movie mythology.
  19. '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.
  20. The Tribe is one of the most disturbing films I’ve ever seen. It may also be among the most memorable — not only for its pitch-black view of human nature, but for the devilishly instructive way in which it turns the tables on us. As we watch in anxious confusion, it’s as if we are profoundly deaf, trying to understand what’s going on and striving to break out of isolation.
  21. 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
  22. The filmmaking is fluid and electric; the acting, precise; the archetypal storytelling, seamless and brutal. What happens in “La Jaula de Oro” might enrage audiences, and probably for a variety of reasons. But there’s no getting away without it leaving a mark.
  23. Blissfully silly, triumphantly tasteless and improbably hilarious.
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. Frank is a genuine original in a summer sea of sameness, and a darkly comedic manifesto against the cultural status quo.
  25. This beguiling fable, with its darkly distinctive look, does DreamWorks proud.
    • Wall Street Journal
  26. 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.
  27. Less is not only more in 45 Years, Andrew Haigh’s study of marriage and memory, it is eloquently and anguishingly more, and what’s unspoken is almost deafening.
  28. 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
  29. In another sense, though, everything is exactly what it seems, expertly crafted and cleverly compounded for high-dose entertainment.
  30. 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
  31. It's gleefully bold, visually adventurous, often funny, strikingly concise — the whole heart-pounding tale is over in 90 minutes — and 100% entertaining.
  32. Go underground with magic glasses on your nose and you won't regret it.
  33. 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
  34. 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.
  35. This new film isn't perfect, and may not be a world-changer, but it's certainly a world-pleaser.
  36. 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.
  37. A documentary of stunning immediacy and marvelous images.
    • Wall Street Journal
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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.
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. The immensity encompasses such variety, subtlety and intimacy that you may find yourself yearning for more.
  44. A feature-length documentary, by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller, of absolutely breathtaking sweep and joyous energy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. 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.
  46. 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
  47. 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.
  48. This hugely entertaining thriller is what's needed to banish a winter-long case of movie blues.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. 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
  50. 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
  51. 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
  52. 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
  53. Loneliness and longing are at the center of these two women’s lives, at least for a while, and they’re expressed by nuance and implication in a pair of superb performances, and by a lovely evocation of the period.
  54. Shrewdly reconceived, powerfully acted and hugely entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
  55. Rousing, provocative film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  56. Catching Fire is exceptional entertainment, a spectacle with a good mind and a pounding heart.
  57. 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.
  58. 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
  59. 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.
  60. 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
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. 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
  65. 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?
  66. A movie of minimalist moments (Molly's tiniest gestures speak volumes) and lovely, almost holy tableaux.
    • Wall Street Journal
  67. Although movies about celebrities are often fatuous and superfluous, that’s anything but the case with Stevan Riley’s Listen to Me Marlon. This feature documentary about Marlon Brando needed to be made, and Mr. Riley made it extremely well.
  68. 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.
  69. Breaks through the conventions of its biopic form with a pair of brilliant performances and a whole lot more.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. Since you can't read my lips, read my words: See this movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
  71. 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
  72. 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
  73. It's astonishing, and moving.
    • Wall Street Journal
  74. 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
  75. Room 237, which goes into national distribution this weekend, may be the surpassingly eccentric — and enormously entertaining — film that Kubrick deserves.
  76. 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
  77. 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
  78. It's classic animation wedded to modern technology -- painted pictures that move in magical splendor.
    • Wall Street Journal
  79. 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.
  80. 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
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. An undersea treasure all the same, and a prodigy of visual energy.
    • Wall Street Journal
  84. 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.
  85. 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
  86. 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
  87. Truly transporting film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  88. This one is both demanding and extremely rewarding, because it's really a meditation on violence.
  89. A stunning drama about the desperate state of women in Iran.
    • Wall Street Journal
  90. 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
  91. 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.
  92. It’s film as a fugue state, a Buddhist flow, a collection of memory fragments that drift together into a haunting evocation of Lola’s and Laurie’s intertwined lives.
  93. Ingeniously scary.
    • Wall Street Journal
  94. The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance. He's an actor, first and foremost, who is also a musician.
  95. This is filmmaking of a high order, even though the production's scale is modest and the climax is not without its facile contrivances.
  96. 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
  97. You may know Mr. Edgerton as the actor who played the cocksure SEAL squadron commander in “Zero Dark Thirty,” and Tom Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby.” Who knew, though, that his debut feature would be so stylishly crafted, intricately psychological and genuinely thrilling?
  98. 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

Top Trailers