Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,232 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% 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: 62
Highest review score: 100 Their Finest
Lowest review score: 0 The Limits of Control
Score distribution:
3232 movie reviews
  1. The film is a sort of jigsaw puzzle that demands either paying minute attention or viewing it twice. Seemingly unimportant and easily forgotten details from the opening minutes turn out to cohere and create a conclusive emotional impact of the kind that everyone in the movie is missing.
  2. The editing is like a kaleidoscope fed through a food processor, the camera has less ability to sit still than a 4-year-old stuffed with birthday cake, and both lead actors veer into camp.
  3. All three of these attractively awful figures are to egotism approximately what the sun is to light, which makes for a delightful triangular battle for supremacy not unlike the one in All About Eve. Clever plotting—an early, seemingly throwaway scene in which Félix does some goofy martial-arts training turns out to be critical—and inventive character details enhance the wicked fun.
  4. It’s nice to know that Team Pixar can still recognize the importance of fun. Though Lightyear isn’t as funny as the original “Toy Story,” nor as emotionally potent as “Toy Story 2,” and hence probably won’t be rewatched nearly as many times as those two classics, it’s a plucky and rousing little sci-fi saga.
  5. The clash Mr. Roberts devises between the lunchbucket blues of operating a crane at a shipyard and the dazzle of big-time sports raises pertinent questions about the relationship between vocation and avocation, about where we truly locate meaning in our lives, especially as time grows less disposable.
  6. Mr. Davies’s wit is admirable, but his structure is nonexistent. He devises no problem to be solved, no goal to be met, no riddle to be answered. Occasionally we hear bits of Sassoon’s beautiful war poetry in voiceover, but it is irrelevant to most of the action.
  7. A documentary of remarkable heft. Not to be missed.
  8. All of the roaring and thundering in “Dominion” carries roughly the dramatic impact of a robust sneeze, because Mr. Trevorrow has forgotten that what we human beings care about, despite our addiction to spectacle, are human beings.
  9. It’s a gripping historical document, regardless of where one stands on the central argument.
  10. Lost Illusions is sumptuous yet piercing, an expertly plotted social-relations saga of the kind that once typified prestige Hollywood cinema, and it dives into moral quandaries rather than dispensing easy bromides.
  11. Smartly directed, deftly edited, with a cast of performers who all get a chance to show what they can do.
  12. Top Gun: Maverick is not a dislikable movie, by any means: The cast is charming, the military stuff is convincing, the action sequences are, as intended, pretty astounding: In the proper theater (I saw it in IMAX) it will be a physical experience, literally, one that may lead to armrests being shredded by white-knuckling audiences in cinemas all over the world. But it’s also a little depressing, because of where it says movies are going, what it says about the lack of creativity making its way on screen, and what a precarious balance movie theaters are in.
  13. Alternately inspiring and dismaying—why is the large, affable Mr. Andrés filling this global vacuum of governmental response?—the movie is also informative, engaging and reads like an application for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  14. 18 1/2 — with a title aimed at fans of both Rose Mary Woods and Federico Fellini— then proceeds to go off the comedic rails.
  15. The Found Footage Phenomenon, while long-winded, offers a knowledgeable take on what makes the difference.
  16. Hold Your Fire is a bona-fide thriller, its elements in delicate balance.
  17. There’s so much going on that one loses track of how inane so much of it is, but “A New Era” is also a pleasure, guilty or otherwise: Mr. Fellowes doesn’t go very deeply into any character, his frictionless repartee gliding by.
  18. It’s a deranged story, one that offers all kinds of opportunities for examining changes in the state of artificial insemination, medical ethics, the ways in which the human body has been opened up like an evidence locker, and the catchup that legislation has to play with technology.
  19. An uneven but likable horror film with one of the better plot twists in recent memory.
  20. It’s largely a two-character drama with two capable actors, though neither Mr. Teague nor Ms. Richardson (who is usually quite good) are given much with which to win our sympathy.
  21. The attitude of Mr. Navalny and his colleagues is fearless, in a country governed by fear. Thrillers are rarely so inspiring.
  22. There’s no glory in the pugilism of The Survivor, save for the last, exquisite shot of Haft in his Marciano fight, which is alarmingly beautiful, a catharsis for Haft and a moment of aesthetic delirium for the viewer.
  23. What you see is exactly what you think you’re seeing from the moment of your first guess. What you feel is another story—one of calm, almost inexplicable enchantment.
  24. One of the pleasures—even privileges—of watching a film like this is seeing what superb actors are able to do with material that doesn’t aspire to greatness. The story is charming, the performances are exceptional.
  25. Loving it is not the issue, of course—the level of amputating, eviscerating, decapitating violence transcends good nasty fun. The challenge is taking it in, watching it without averting your eyes—I can’t say mine stayed fixed on the screen—and seeing it for what it is, a tumultuous, graphically gorgeous entertainment for our time as well as an ineffably somber meditation on our species’ seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of savagery.
  26. The film isn’t just about their search for love and the vagaries of modern dating, but the craziness of life as it’s lived by passionate, gifted people with insufficient channels for their passion and shabby containers for their gifts.
  27. Productions can go wrong. Certain elements can fail to ignite or cohere. Bad stuff happens all the time, especially in industrial enterprises of this magnitude, but usually there’s some good stuff to dilute the debacle. Not here, though.
  28. This isn’t a great film, but it’s a work of great subtlety with artfully smudged boundaries — “Rashomon” in modern dress and watercolors.
  29. A romance, bromance and good-natured send-up of teenage obsession.
  30. It’s a return to dramatic accounts of blastoffs, followed by soul-filling footage from beyond our sheltering atmosphere and implacable gravity; a portrait, by reflected light from fiery boosters, of one of Earth’s most curious (in every respect) overachievers; and a testament to failing upward—far, far upward.

Top Trailers