Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,780 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Amour
Lowest review score: 0 Eight Crazy Nights
Score distribution:
2780 movie reviews
  1. It’s a fascinating documentary about ragtag political activists making fundamentally serious mockery at a high level of media savvy. It’s about jujitsu as performance art — turning an opponent’s outrage to one’s advantage; about deadpan as dramatic technique, and about the damnedest strategy you could imagine, summoning up Satan as a champion of religious freedom.
  2. This startlingly accomplished debut feature by Nia DaCosta has the eyes and ears of a documentary — the opioid crisis is everywhere, the nearest hospital is far away — but the heart of a drama, and a stirring one.
  3. Both performances are strong; Ms. Ben-Shlush is especially appealing in what might have been a clichéd role. If anything, Working Woman goes out of its way to play fair by making Orna insufficiently self-protective. All the same, she’s an innocent on the way to becoming a victim in an understated polemic that becomes an affecting drama.
  4. How bad can a movie be? Hellboy expands the possibilities. It’s brain-numbing and head-splitting.
  5. There’s a link between this Marcello and the Marcello played by Jean-Louis Trintignant in Bernardo Bertolucci’s seminal “The Conformist,” a functionary ripe for corruption in Mussolini’s Italy. Both men are mesmerized by power, and both movies pose, in different ways, the same question — what happens when no one stands up to tyranny? In the Dogman’s case, another question presents itself. What happens if someone finally does? The answer is surprising, and, like the whole of Mr. Garrone’s film, eerily memorable.
  6. You could call it, more accurately, a middling notion that flies off the rails.
  7. Peterloo starts slowly, takes its time and sometimes tries one’s patience. Don’t expect heartwarming domestic stories. The people are vivid and the acting is superb; as always, the director and his cast have collaborated on the screenplay through improvisations that coalesce into a working script. But the search for understanding — of the massacre and the events leading up to it — is more structural than individual.
  8. It’s terrific fun, and none of the things that were threatening to turn DC Entertainment into the cinematic equivalent of a black hole. Just when the world needs a superhero with a gift for silliness, here he is in a movie whose best superpower turns out to be a good heart.
  9. Diane navigates some challenging narrative disjunctures en route to a spiritual dimension, but it also has quiet moments that speak volumes. They’re all about Diane achieving a state of grace by awarding it to herself.
  10. What The Brink does best is show the missionary zeal that sustains this eccentric warrior — “this gross-looking Jabba the Hutt drunk” is how he says he was perceived during the 2016 campaign. The film lets him speak for himself, which he does with wry charm, combative zest, scary certainty, unquenchable energy that can’t be explained by all the Red Bulls he gulps, and an ego undiminished by adversity.
  11. Disney’s new Dumbo is one ponderous pachyderm, a live-action remake of the 1941 animated classic with a grim tone and a dead soul. It’s astounding that Tim Burton and his colleagues could have created such a downer from a long-beloved source of delight.
  12. As a thriller it’s efficient, if formulaic, and technically proficient, if undistinguished.
  13. Us
    Us is great entertainment, a fearless mixing of serious and silly by a filmmaker who started out as a funnyman and continues to sharpen his comic chops.
  14. No one makes movies like Mr. Jia does. He’s a dramatist with the eye of a documentarian and the instincts of a historian, even a geographer. But he’s also a romantic poet, and his heroine, a strong woman with a pure heart, is driven by love as far as it can take her.
  15. Ms. De Clermont-Tonnerre’s direction is a revelation — not just a good first try, but a first-rate achievement by any measure. She clearly watched such relevant classics as “The Black Stallion” and “The Misfits,” yet found a laconic style that is all her own.
  16. The result is provocative, even startling, and more edifying than you might expect.
  17. The film doesn’t give Ms. Larson enough good stuff to fulfill her role’s potential. Her Captain Marvel is an appealing character who becomes an impressive one, wrapped in a shimmering aura of blue and white energy. What’s missing, though, is what helped make “Wonder Woman” an exemplary figure of female empowerment two years ago: unforced warmth, along with strength, and flashes of delight.
  18. This evocation of the mission half a century ago is as good as it’s likely to get — meaning not just good but magnificent.
  19. A marvelously loopy and deeply serious film from Iceland.
  20. Greta is petit Guignol trying to pass for Grand, a horror flick made by people who forgot to have fun. One of them, the director, Neil Jordan, made a memorable film called “The Crying Game” almost three decades ago. This is the groaning game, an inept tale of danger, entrapment and dismemberment.
  21. A surfeit of spectacular images from top-of-the-line computer animation. And the love story branches out beyond a boy and his dragon into gladdening fulfillment on both sides of the species divide. That will certainly be sufficient for kids and families who’ve been waiting for the final chapter of the big-screen trilogy. Over much of the territory it covers, though, the film feels like it’s flying on empty.
  22. The film can be harrowing in its repetitive violence, but never less than fascinating as a piece of ethnology, with magic-realist dimensions, that amounts to an origin story of the Latin American drug trade.
  23. I loved watching this sci-fi spectacle’s moving parts. I just couldn’t get past its brain.
  24. The stupidity lacks smarts in the script department, and the joke, such as it is, wears thin, then turns sour.
  25. A hugely ambitious sequel, joyous and genuinely complex, that’s charged with dramatic and musical energy to the very last frame.
  26. Never Look Away makes an eloquent case for art as an expression of hope, a way of searching for meaning in chaos.
  27. Daughter of Mine is a triptych of vivid characters and superb performances (including that of young Sara Casu), a study in contrasting and competing passions.
  28. Arctic is a lesson in lessness, coolly observed and warmly felt.
  29. As entertainment, however, the film is calculation impure and simple. It’s a box-ticking exercise in female jeopardy, survival and empowerment, oppressively efficient in its relentless way but unrelieved by emotional resonance.
  30. Of the 7,000 Jews who resisted, about 1,700 survived. The stories of these four don’t constitute high drama; there’s none of the dramatic clarity of “Schindler’s List.” But they testify to that part of the human spirit concerned with ironic humor, improbable daring and unlikely generosity.

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