Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,523 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: 60
Highest review score: 100 Mr. Turner
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
2523 movie reviews
  1. Breaks through the conventions of its biopic form with a pair of brilliant performances and a whole lot more.
    • Wall Street Journal
  2. Since you can't read my lips, read my words: See this movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. It's astonishing, and moving.
    • Wall Street Journal
  6. 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.
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  7. Room 237, which goes into national distribution this weekend, may be the surpassingly eccentric — and enormously entertaining — film that Kubrick deserves.
  8. 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.
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  9. 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.
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  10. It's classic animation wedded to modern technology -- painted pictures that move in magical splendor.
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  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. An undersea treasure all the same, and a prodigy of visual energy.
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  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
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  19. The whole film is unlikely, a joyous story of youth, innocence, sweet earnestness, charming ineptitude and a shaky but productive belief on the hero’s part that he can do anything he pleases.
  20. Truly transporting film.
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  21. This one is both demanding and extremely rewarding, because it's really a meditation on violence.
  22. A stunning drama about the desperate state of women in Iran.
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  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Ingeniously scary.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. The Wave, Scandinavia’s first-ever disaster film, is the polar opposite of a disaster. It’s a triumph of modest means, a tribute to the power of storytelling on a human scale.
  28. The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance. He's an actor, first and foremost, who is also a musician.
  29. This is filmmaking of a high order, even though the production's scale is modest and the climax is not without its facile contrivances.
  30. 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.
  31. Do watch it on a big screen to take in all the beauty. A couple of flawless live-action performances share the screen with lovely animation, and with whatever digital magic spawned the monster — who looks like a tree, has molten sap, biteless bark, Liam Neeson’s voice and a face that reminded me of Boris Karloff.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hugely entertaining thriller.
    • Wall Street Journal
  32. 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?
  33. 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
  34. Beguiling and endearing.
  35. 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.
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  36. 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
  37. Remarkably, Hacksaw Ridge coalesces into a memorable whole.
  38. 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.
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  39. 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
  40. 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.
  41. Jane Campion has performed her own feat of romantic imagination.
  42. 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
  43. The other remarkable aspect of Mr. Schipper’s film centers on the title character, who is played by an extraordinary Spanish actress named Laia Costa. She’s full of energy, and effortless grace.
  44. A thrilling -- and harrowing, and beautiful -- celebration of the unpredictability of life.
    • Wall Street Journal
  45. 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.
  46. Mr. Von Einsiedel is convinced that his subjects are “true heroes.” Viewers will be convinced of the same.
  47. 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
  48. It's exciting, stirring, often funny, sometimes lyrical and unusually thoughtful. And, with that one egregious exception, genuinely pleasurable.
  49. 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
  50. 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.
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  51. A film that is both touching and generous of spirit - and funny as well. [15 Dec 1988, p.A16(E)]
    • Wall Street Journal
  52. A remarkable though sometimes frustrating film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. Crazy Heart is blessed with so many marvelous moments, lovely lines and vivid characters.
  54. Hugely inventive -- and smashingly beautiful.
  55. Not since "Raging Bull" has Mr. Scorsese so brazenly married brutality to beauty. Not since "Kundun" has one of his films felt so aspirational.
  56. 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
  57. A handsome, absorbing debut feature by the fiction and television writer Henry Bromell.
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  58. (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
  59. 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.
  60. The silents, as this film suggests, achieved aesthetic marvels before sound came along to set things back for a while.
    • 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.
  61. Ms. Berg's film, which she wrote with Billy McMillin, tells the story with unprecedented clarity. She has a dramatist's eye for what was irretrievably lost-the innocent lives of the children, plus 18 years of three other innocent lives.
  62. A film that asks its audience to invest serious thought, and in return, bestows serious pleasure.
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  63. This is a woman's work in the best sense -- empathetic, inferentially erotic and delicately intuitive, as well as fiercely intelligent.
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  64. It is marvelously funny - a screwball comedy with more layers than a pearl - and visually sumptuous.
  65. Whatever thematic clarity the added footage may confer is prosaic or didactic and intrusive; this stuff hit the cutting-room floor the first time around for good reason.
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  66. A dazzlingly smart and entertaining animated feature by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, looks like a black-and-white graphic novel come to life.
  67. Daring in concept, occasionally daffy in execution and ultimately unforgettable, Mr. Malick's film offers a heartfelt answer to the question of where we humans belong - with each other, on this planet, bound by love.
  68. We need 007, even after half a century of his ups and downs in various incarnations, to remind us how deeply pleasurable an action thriller can be. The latest addition to the Bond canon goes beyond thrilling into chilling and enthralling, plus a kind of stirring that has nothing to do with martinis.
  69. Footnote does function as a character study, an exceptionally rich one.
  70. Star Trek goes back to the legend's roots with a boldness that brings a fatigued franchise back to life.
  71. Who doesn't need what this movie has to give?
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  72. This wonderfully strange and exquisite little feature was created, especially for young children, to celebrate the book through another kind of illumination that's been falling into disuse--hand-drawn animation.
  73. Philippe Claudel gives his heroine unusual depth, which Kristin Scott Thomas reveals with unusual passion.
  74. A stunning drama that's distinguished by a magnificent performance; the most powerful scenes are those that play, as recollection or confession, on Lena Endre's lovely face.
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  75. This film is extraordinary on several counts: its knowledge of an arcane trade (Mr. Cohen ran his family's diamond business after his father died); its fondness for telling good life stories; and, above all, its superb starring performance.
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  76. 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]
    • Wall Street Journal
  77. With its sumptuous settings, urgent romance and intellectual substance, A Royal Affair is a mind-opener crossed with a bodice-ripper.
  78. No
    Like "Argo" or "Zero Dark Thirty," the film dramatizes a fertile subject — in this instance, the language of advertising in modern politics.
  79. I’ve long been a fan of IMAX nature documentaries, but Humpback Whales, directed by Greg MacGillivray, is something special.
  80. Proves to be a remarkably lean and incisive film about the fateful power of sexuality.
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  81. The greatest fascination is watching these three people when they're planted firmly inside the frame, talking at cross-purposes while trying to perceive one another in the reflected light of their needs and risky assumptions.
  82. This brilliantly funny, casually profound and deeply affecting coming-of-age chronicle, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon from a screenplay by Jesse Andrews, even manages to be life-enlightening—it’s a fresh take on contemporary adolescence as a journey from ironic detachment to openhearted feeling.
  83. Liam Neeson has never had a richer character to play on screen -- including his landmark role in "Schindler's List" -- and has never displayed such formidable energy and virtuosity.
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  84. Brooklyn grabs us, holds us and moves us on its own. Emotionally it’s a killer.
  85. Yet it's not just the visuals that make the movie what it is, a thrilling, if also punishing, tale of heroic endurance. The Impossible, based on a true story, derives most of its impressive power from two remarkable performances: Naomi Watts as Maria, and Tom Holland as Lucas.
  86. Movies as strong and provocative as this one are a special pleasure.
    • Wall Street Journal
  87. A delicately poetic, essentially plotless vision, unblinking but not unhopeful, of life in Watts, where little but the ghetto's name recognition had changed a decade after the riots.
    • Wall Street Journal
  88. A drama of uncommon moral complexity, unexpected humor, convincing transformations (for good and bad) and, best of all, vibrant, unpredictable energy. In a movie landscape littered with dead souls, here's a live one.
    • Wall Street Journal
  89. A moveable feast of delights.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A deeply moving story of resilience and redemption.
  90. Pieces of April would deserve your attention and respect even if all these colorful threads didn't come together into a luminous whole. But they do, beautifully and unaffectedly, because what's been on Mr. Hedges's mind is not just a comedy of alienation but a drama of acceptance and reconciliation.
    • Wall Street Journal
  91. The right word for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is wondersful -- as in full of wonders, great and small.
    • Wall Street Journal
  92. Ms. Gerwig’s performance is a comic diamond, and not in the rough. Her timing is flawless, her delivery is droll. The character she has created — from a remarkably smart and supple script, plus her own unerring instincts — may have spiritual connections with Cate Blanchett’s delusional Jasmine or Diane Keaton’s blissed-out Annie Hall (Brooke solemnly and absurdly consults a spirit medium).
  93. Marvelously smart, funny and entertaining film.
    • Wall Street Journal
  94. The film takes itself frivolously when that's appropriate--some of it is charmingly silly--and seriously when, as is often the case, all sorts of good surprises are unleashed.
  95. It's a tone poem, really, less concerned with conventional action than with exploring themes of love and commitment through understated performances, sumptuous images (Bradford Young did the cinematography), lovely music (Daniel Hart composed the score) and very few words, intoned elegiacally.
  96. Untold billions are laundered in The Infiltrator, while Pablo Escobar’s Medellín cartel moves mountains of cocaine into U.S. markets. But the drug of choice here is acting, and the highs in this hurtling, often violent thriller are doubly intense, since two of its stars play flamboyant double roles.
  97. Here's one vote for the most affecting, anguishing, revealing and prophetic scene of the movie year-and yes, it's all of those things at once in a powerful film that alternates between moments of earlier happiness and later pain.

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