Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,975 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 The Kids Are All Right
Lowest review score: 0 Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Score distribution:
2975 movie reviews
  1. What was weirdly but deliciously scary has grown ponderously out of scale, even for witches at their malign worst.
  2. Instead of growing from a sweet young thing into a strong woman who is Maxim’s equal, this bride stays scared and vulnerable until close to the end, when the script turns her implausibly into a sort of Nancy Drew doing detective work for the husband she adores. Who could have guessed that the film with a modern perspective on gender politics was the one made 80 years ago?
  3. Ms. Eaton’s film can be trying for its messiness, challenging in its allusiveness, or precious in several spasms of ritual jubilation, but it’s never less than fascinating, and often beautiful, a communiqué in code from the far side of silence.
  4. Mr. Sorkin’s film is sometimes eloquent, and sustained for the most part by his flair for hyperverbal entertainment. Yet it also diminishes its aura of authenticity with dubious inventions, and muddles its impact by taking on more history than it can handle.
  5. Even when it falters The Forty-Year-Old Version exudes confidence—the director has confidence in her lead actress, and vice versa; both trust the writer, whose more amusing lines are often contained in asides between characters discussing.
  6. A sociologist might call Time a longitudinal study, a document whose value is enhanced by the decades it spans. I’d call it a joyous tribute to love and resilience, and a case study in eclectic technique.
  7. The most shocking scenes speak for themselves, the ones in which Americans deride, upbraid and physically attack one another over the wearing of masks. That’s when Totally Under Control functions not as a polemic but a mirror, and the picture isn’t pretty.
  8. As a piece of entertainment, Ms. Johnson’s documentary is exuberant, to say the least, and instructive in the bargain.
  9. The father-daughter relationship is often witty, a seduction that never ends, and sometimes exquisitely poignant, but both roles are burdened by a script that falls into disquisition on the larger subject of men and women.
  10. An overlong, unfocused and distractingly stylized take on Ms. Steinem’s life.
  11. The more I think back on Kajillionaire, which goes to digital platforms in mid-October, the more I remember lovely things in it — moments of mystery and grace that go against the absurdist grain.
  12. She’s (Brown) the bright, sustaining spirit of a film that surrounds her with a fine cast and lovely trappings in a pleasantly twisty detective story that’s elevated by the exuberance of Enola’s detecting.
  13. Mr. Campos and his superb cast confer such authority on the whole thing that there’s no choice but to follow the film’s three time-hopping, befuddlingly intertwined stories — for 138 minutes, no less.
  14. Stirring, profound, poignantly funny and almost literally transporting.
  15. Ms. Richen has a problematic subject for a documentary, and the problems extend beyond the limitations of footage. She needs to sell the event, thus her lineup of marginally relevant characters gushing about it.
  16. The most urgent question posed by The Social Dilemma is whether democracy can survive the social networks’ blurring of fact and fiction. “Imagine a world where no one believes what’s true,” Mr. Harris says. It’s possible, of course, that the film itself is a conspiracy cooked up by chronic malcontents, but it has the ringtone of truth.
  17. It’s an efficient retelling of a tale about a young Chinese woman discovering her power — affecting at times, occasionally quite lovely, but earnest, often clumsy and notably short on joy.
  18. A special film, and occasionally an exasperating one, but not, in the end, an inaccessible one. It’s a work of emotional impressionism with moments of rueful grace and startling images that evoke yearning.
  19. Truth be told, though, the film, which Mr. Iannucci directed from a screenplay he wrote with Simon Blackwell, is blissed out on its own cleverness and ultimately exhausting.
  20. Lingua Franca is, first and foremost, a story about yearning, vulnerability and sexual awakening in which the complications of identity are revealed slowly, with a dramatist’s awareness that our perceptions will change, or undergo a succession of changes, before we come back to seeing the decreasingly calm Olivia for who she is, a passionate spirit on an uncertain journey.
  21. The film also offers a portrait in unfathomable courage. It’s a horror story shackled to a hero’s journey in which a man with a surpassingly fertile mind feels himself — his deepest, essential self — coming inexorably, inexplicably undone.
  22. Narrated quite drolly by comedian John Hodgman, Class Action Park is very funny in its dark way, the interviewees are all charmingly surprised that they lived through their teenage years and there’s a remarkable amount of action footage from the park, considering that it predates cellphones. (The animation by Richard Langberg is amusing, too.) Where the film has a problem is Mulvihill.
  23. Desert One, a superb documentary by Barbara Kopple, snatches high drama from the jaws of devastating failure.
  24. Whether or not Darbyshire’s admission is the bombshell Mr. Amirani says it is, his account is a chilling commentary on a dark chapter in Middle East history.
  25. A hugely entertaining and scarily edifying documentary.
  26. All the same, strong performances, strikingly spare production design and somber cinematography convey a sense of something important going on. That’s no small achievement in what proves to be a creature feature with flair.
  27. A rehashing of decades-old race relations in New York, or anywhere in America, might seem superfluous given more recent events, but Mr. Muhammad’s point isn’t to stir up anger. It’s to decry damage—the waste of a promising young life and the collateral wreckage visited upon a family and friends.
  28. With a screenplay by Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee from his 1980 novel, Waiting for the Barbarians is a parable of depressingly timeless relevance, which means it’s faithful to its source material.
  29. Lushly visual and much of its cinematic power arises from the seductively dreadful space and starkness of the Norwegian landscape in winter. And in the way Mr. Moland and his cinematographer, Rasmus Videbæk, use their delicately detailed, even painterly depictions of the flora and fauna surrounding the film’s very complicated people to put the latter in their cosmic place.
  30. What’s increasingly bewildering and perversely curious is how unpleasant Spinster is, in almost every regard: The lighting is atrocious, the framing is erratic and Ms. Peretti’s comedy, which is generally about demolishing the banalities that constitute most human interaction, may well have the audience saying, “Well, of course Gaby’s alone. She’s intolerable.”

Top Trailers