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 Please Give
Lowest review score: 0 Legends of the Fall
Score distribution:
2360 movie reviews
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    21
    Very little adds up in 21.
  1. Some of the comedy bits have a delightful freshness and edge while much of the glue (the romance, for example) holding the routines together remains a little sticky. [31 Jan 1989, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  2. The only parts of the film that ring true -- and they sometimes ring touchingly true -- are the ones that give Mr. Allen simple human themes to work with.
    • Wall Street Journal
  3. Built from an alloy of absurdium and stupidium, with the latter, heavier element dominating the mix.
    • Wall Street Journal
  4. It's a movie at war with itself. The first half, more or less, is witty about California culture, or the lack of it, in a "Clueless" kind of way, which is a very good way.
    • Wall Street Journal
  5. By the end I could have used a Bulleit to the mouth.
  6. Ms. Judd commands the screen with consistent authority, and Mr. Freeman brings expansive humor to the role of a self-styled wildcard who's still dangerous in court.
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  7. What they've done here goes beyond gross -- or clumsy, or dumb -- to genuine ugliness, both cutaneous and sub.
    • Wall Street Journal
  8. Angels & Demons is a serious slog. Still, it's an odd kind of a slog that manages to keep you partially engaged, even at its most esoteric or absurd.
  9. That's what is missing from The Longest Yard most egregiously. Charm has been kept on the bench.
    • Wall Street Journal
  10. In this frustrating fizzle, the friendship does keep struggling to change into a love affair. But year after year, July 15 after July 15, it's the same old same old - two increasingly tedious people talking self-conscious talk.
  11. Penelope was in a trough of trouble before the oink on the script was dry.
  12. Nobody doesn't like Tina Fey, and anyone aware of her starring role in Admission will be wishing her well. But wishing won't make this dramedy any less dreary than it is.
  13. The movie finally comes together into something that is genuinely -- and almost quietly -- stirring.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For all its noble intentions, its striving for authenticity, its unblinking look at the savagery of war, The Great Raid is far more dutiful than dramatic.
    • Wall Street Journal
  14. Why is she (Bullock) demeaning herself with such shoddy goods? She’s a talented woman with a faithful following. She has made formula films of varying quality before, and her fans may well swallow this one, but it’s a formula for disappointment laced with dismay.
  15. xXx
    To top it all off, no matter where you sit in the theater, no matter how far you arch back in your seat, there's no escaping the sensation that all the action on the screen is taking place about three feet from your face. I loved it.
    • Wall Street Journal
  16. This frenzied sequel has all of the clank but none of the swank of the previous version.
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  17. The story leaves you snoozing with the fishes.
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  18. The movie's real star is the cinematographer, Elliot Davis -- his images carry more emotional freight than all the performances put together.
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  19. To the Arctic 3-D is an impassioned plea for action on global warming, and the passion is intensified by the music.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The best that can be said of it: inoffensive.
    • 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
  20. A film that tries constantly to amuse, but succeeds only fitfully.
    • Wall Street Journal
  21. There isn't a milliliter of honest feeling from start to finish, and precious little comedy or romance.
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  22. Any movie that gives Helen Mirren a chance to shoot really big guns, wear an ermine astrakhan and channel Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth can't be all bad, and Red 2 isn't, though it comes close.
  23. Thanks largely to Ms. Parker and to the delectable Zooey Deschanel as her anhedonic house-mate, the filmmakers still manage to squeeze some juice out.
    • Wall Street Journal
  24. What I do know is that I was gripped for a while by the strength of Mr. Gibson's filmmaking, only to be repelled and eventually excluded by his literalist insistence on excruciation. There is watching in horror, and there is watching in horror.
  25. The possibilities of the dating game are endless and the potential for pain is great, yet the permutations of the movie's plot are predictable and repetitive.
  26. Smith is only a rogue computer program, but this morbidly dispiriting movie makes him sound like a prophet.
    • Wall Street Journal
  27. The script, by Charles Leavitt, is dead in the water, and the drama is too, despite billowing sails and pods of whales. Instead of “Jaws” it’s a turgid “Tails.”
  28. How much do I loathe this film? A lottico is putting it mildico.
  29. You could make a case for this as a feature-film version of the FCC's fairness doctrine, but it feels more like a blandness doctrine, a pulling and hauling of the tone-deaf script, which is credited to Matthew Michael Carnahan, to the point of perfect vacuousness.
  30. 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
  31. One of the strongest arguments yet for making sequels illegal.
    • Wall Street Journal
  32. A little humanity can go a long way to make up for a movie's shortcomings, and there's more than a little in Ladder 49, a surprisingly stirring celebration of heroic firefighters.
    • Wall Street Journal
  33. Basically a theme-park version of a tawdry tradition.
  34. Malevolence is in generous supply throughout the film. Easy enjoyment is not.
    • Wall Street Journal
  35. Kevin Spacey's pinched portrayal of Quoyle as a scared palooka rarely transcends its own artifice.
    • Wall Street Journal
  36. A remarkably ill-advised remake.
    • Wall Street Journal
  37. Seldom has grandeur struggled so mightily, and fruitlessly, with rampant goofiness.
    • Wall Street Journal
  38. The movie has the cartoonish realism of a Muppet movie. However, Mr. Herman is no Kermit the Frog, although he made me feel like Oscar the Grouch. [13 Aug 1985, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  39. Spasms of kung fu wire fighting, Spider-Man acrobatics, huge explosions and a lethal polo game can't replace the first film's beating heart and witty soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
  40. Max
    This fine and welcome piece of family entertainment, directed by Boaz Yakin from a script he wrote with Sheldon Lettich, gets to a sweet spot by way of a smart premise, patriotic undertones and a coming-of-age story that’s downright stirring.
  41. Katherine Heigl carries 27 Dresses when all else fails, which it does with great regularity.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie moves at such an agonizingly stately pace that by the end, side effects be damned, Henry's time-traveling gene starts to look mighty appealing.
  42. The movie's leisurely, elegant setup makes its action payoff seem, by contrast, particularly mechanical, cynical and grotesque.
    • Wall Street Journal
  43. Mr. Sayle's portrait is painfully unfunny, and the movie as a whole is a plodding polemic.
    • Wall Street Journal
  44. What's so unfunny about peace, love and understanding? Plenty, it turns out. But for much of the movie, viewers will be asking themselves where the conflict is. And, by extension, the drama.
  45. Unfortunately, the movie could use a bit of pachyderm memory, given its habit of flashing back to Tien's childhood with exactly the same footage used in previous flashbacks. Instead of the narrative being deepened, it keeps getting shallowed.
  46. These are very small pleasures, indeed, that can be taken as gasps of air in a movie that unwinds for what seems like forever in a complete vacuum. [23 Jun 1994, p.A12]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A very goofy movie that makes sense only to the screenwriter and his next of kin.
    • Wall Street Journal
  47. What's not fine is the dead zone occupied by the monster of the piece, Tom Cruise's veteran rocker, Stacee Jaxx.
  48. This Flubbery fantasy won't win any prizes for elegant craftsmanship or originality, but it's entertaining, good-natured and a slam dunk to be a hit with young kids.
    • Wall Street Journal
  49. With all its misfires, though, and with a Strangelovian twist that's a dud, Big Trouble remains a reasonably pleasant way to spend an hour and a half and still get change.
    • Wall Street Journal
  50. Combines silly stuff about life in Los Angeles with buoyant energy, a couple of chases worthy of the Keystone Kops and quick-witted actors playing droll characters with obvious affection.
    • Wall Street Journal
  51. Grindingly tedious.
    • Wall Street Journal
  52. A misshapen semi-spectacle that seems to be simulating an epic, and getting away with it only occasionally.
    • Wall Street Journal
  53. Joyless and airless suspense thriller.
  54. If you're looking for logic or finesse, The A-Team can be numbing. If you're looking for good cheer, hold out for egg nog at Christmas. But if you're a fan of causeless effects, consequence-free causes and digital Dada, let the silly times roll.
  55. Whatever possessed the people who made this film to believe its ponderous style would appeal to contemporary audiences? One answer may lie in a variant of the mostly true proposition that no one sets out to make a bad film. No one chooses ponderousness as a goal; it comes unbidden, with deadly earnestness.
  56. Mr. Walken performs with a marvelously minimalist precision.
    • Wall Street Journal
  57. 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
  58. There weren't any surprises and that's what made it all so comforting. The bad guys got blown away, no questions asked, the snoopy journalists got their comeuppance. When Clint spends the night with his latest girl, you know it only because he wears the same suit the next morning. [21 Jul 1988, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  59. One could argue that the target audience - black teenagers, Mr. Lucas has said - might be most receptive to a film that conveys history through contemporary entertainment. But this isn't contemporary entertainment, it's antiquated kitsch reprocessed by the producer's nostalgia for the movies of his boyhood. The story has been stripped of historical context - don't black teenagers and everyone else deserve hard facts? - and internal logic.
  60. The production as a whole is awfully clumsy, and Ms. Moretz, who is only 17, needs more help than she gets from the first-time feature director, R.J. Cutler.
  61. A remarkably dislikable film, long on atmosphere -- I admired Dion Beebe's brooding cinematography -- and desperately short on vitality.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    So tightly constructed of clichés, stereotypes and chick-lit tropes that it's inert; no fresh air can blow in.
  62. A deadly earnest and deadly dull psychological thriller.
  63. The production's penchant for contrivance is insufferable - not a single spontaneous moment from start to finish - and the boy is so precocious you want to strangle him. It's surely not the fault of Thomas Horn, the remarkable young man who plays him.
  64. This fairy tale is a weirdly enchanting mixture of old-fashioned whimsy and up-to-the-minute special effects. It brings back the early excitement of reading as a child, when the act of turning pages took on a magical quality. [19 Jul 1984, pg.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
  65. Can't hold a candle to Robert Altman's 1992 comedy "The Player." Both films present themselves as knowing views of the movie business, but Mr. Altman and his writer, Michael Tolkin, really knew.
    • Wall Street Journal
  66. Little more than a showcase for Owen Wilson's amiable shtick, and a showcase in the merchandising sense of the term.
    • Wall Street Journal
  67. Hate is too strong an emotion to spend on such a clumsy, bloodless broadside against human foibles in general and American follies in particular.
    • Wall Street Journal
  68. No need to belabor the awfulness of this film, a romantic comedy devoid of romance - instead of chemistry there's the flow of reverse magnetism - and lacking in comic timing, let alone comic content.
  69. I took it as a pretty piece of ephemera, and I must confess that I laughed a lot.
    • Wall Street Journal
  70. Secret Window has an ending that lets one of our most reliably interesting actors pull out all the stops. But getting there from a good beginning followed by a slow, repetitive middle is a test of resourcefulness for him and a test of patience for us.
    • Wall Street Journal
  71. It’s billionaire-glossy, as much an ode to consumerism as a study in sadomasochism; intermittingly titillating, with fugitive flashes of droll; and, bondage apart, a dutifully romantic tale of an old-fashioned girl who takes a particularly roundabout route to true love.
  72. Even as a visual aid, though, The Da Vinci Code is a deep-dyed disappointment. Paris by night never looked murkier.
    • Wall Street Journal
  73. As long as this deity remains childish, materialistic and narcissistic, Jim's in his heaven and all's right with the world. It's when the story reaches for maturity, spirituality and altruism that the divine spark of comedy sputters and nearly goes out.
    • Wall Street Journal
  74. It's thanks to her (Leoni) that we stay tuned to Mr. Allen's comic premise long after it has gone from delightfully outrageous to off-puttingly preposterous.
    • Wall Street Journal
  75. Horns is uncertain in tone — most of its attempts at humor fall flat — and amateurish at best.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ok, so maybe you don't absolutely have to have a Y chromosome and be 14 years old (or have the mind of a 14-year-old) to appreciate the freshmanic humor that is Beerfest. But, oh, does it help.
    • Wall Street Journal
  76. The source of this movie's energy is near-perpetual desperation. You can see it in Tom Cruise's fixed grin, and in the mad proliferation of unspecial effects.
  77. Short on dramatic energy, Must Love Dogs settles for a cheerful drone.
    • Wall Street Journal
  78. All that's missing is wit and humanity.
    • Wall Street Journal
  79. By all that's unholy, this third edition of the high-emission franchise should have been at least as awful as the second one was. (The first one was good fun.) Yet it's surprisingly entertaining in its deafening fashion, despite the absence of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, the co-stars of parts one and two.
    • Wall Street Journal
  80. Enjoyable enough for what it is, a clever idea developed by fits and starts.
  81. When director Richard Attenborough isn't mangling dance numbers, he's focusing on a love story expressed almost entirely by means of close-ups of moony faces and teary eyes. [12 Dec 1985]
    • Wall Street Journal
  82. Something of a shambles -- a shambles about a shambles -- but bound for big success and deservedly so.
    • Wall Street Journal
  83. A not-bad idea lurks inside this insipid story.
    • Wall Street Journal
  84. I can't say anything nice about Flipped, a painfully clumsy adaptation of a tween novel by Wendelin Van Draanen.
  85. Michael Bay's absurdist comedy is all pain, no gain and an utter monstrosity. It may be the most unpleasant movie I've ever seen, and I'm not forgetting "Freaks," which Pain & Gain resembles, come to think of it.
  86. Talk about tin ears. Black or White comes off as the product of clouded eyes, sour stomachs and addled brains.
  87. Downey is undone by a woefully amateurish production that, sadly and ironically, looks like a cheap TV show.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    My problem is that the lack of narrative structure deprives the film of any suspense, and without suspense the film eventually collapses from its own heat like a soufflé that has been in the oven just a few minutes too long.
    • Wall Street Journal
  88. 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
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ms. Wood, who made a potent impression two years ago as a naïve adolescent led astray by a sophisticated and psychotic classmate in "Thirteen," has the whip hand this time around -- and she's wonderfully persuasive. She needs a movie to match.
    • Wall Street Journal
  89. Extraordinary Measures requires extraordinary tolerance for bathos, bombast and plain old unpleasantness.
  90. The last thing we need is entertainment that evokes the horror and then trivializes it with cheesy heroics. Never has a movie taken on a subject of greater immediacy, or handled it more ineptly.
    • Wall Street Journal

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