Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,900 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 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Restrepo
Lowest review score: 0 Hancock
Score distribution:
2900 movie reviews
  1. It’s an emotional investment with rich returns. Pedro Costa’s hypnotic drama, shot superbly by Leonardo Simões, follows its heroine through a dark night of the soul into the light of a new life in a new land.
  2. The film, newly streaming on Netflix, pulls together disparate strands of an untold saga into something thrillingly new.
  3. The Hunt occupies a special place in the chockablock landscape of movie junk. This gleeful, gross-out gorefest looks as tacky and violent as its trackdown plot would suggest, and lives up to certain parts of its bad reputation. It is also funny, genuinely topical, extremely shrewd and, heaven help us, slyly wise. I liked it quite a lot.
  4. This tough-minded, forthright and exquisitely tender film transcends polemics. It’s the odyssey of a lost child in poorly charted territory.
  5. Onward, the latest feature from Pixar Animation Studios via Disney, is insistently unspecial. It’s enjoyable enough if you don’t mind machine-made entertainment, but so desperate to please that it wears out its welcome long before the closing credits.
  6. Taken on its own terms, the film is beautifully crafted, a sequence of events, many of them stirring, along a road to redemption that intersects with a winning group of high-school kids on a losing basketball team.
  7. First Cow is vividly alive on arrival and grows into pure enchantment, although it starts at a saunter and its physical scale is small.
  8. The film isn’t funny at all. It’s so didactic and dislikable that it took me a while to realize humor wasn’t its main goal.
  9. The tutoring sessions progress from whimsical to intriguing to captivating, even though Cristi and his confederates don’t really do very much with their secret code. Good stories thrive on details. The specifics here are abundant, and so charmingly preposterous — or maybe not, who knows? — that they command your rapt attention.
  10. The scariness quotient remains high to the end, the plot is sufficiently twisty, and it’s stirring to watch Cecilia prevail against monstrosity without becoming a monster herself. As to how it all works out, let’s just say that the right person gets the last slash.
  11. What’s missing is nuance (the idea of Mr. Nighy’s performance, like others in the film, is wittier than what’s actually on screen); connective tissue (the story is semicoherent at best, a jumble of characters rushing to and fro); and depth of feeling.
  12. Buck is so precocious, such a relentlessly clever construction, that he leaves nothing to our imagination. He’s the soul-free star of a movie that’s dead in the icy water.
  13. The film’s strength lies in the performances — two fine actors elevating their roles from the touchingly mundane to the suddenly momentous.
  14. The film is an improbably thrilling work of art by virtue of its physical beauty and its relentless intensity of feeling about people — not only Iya and Masha — who would prefer in their heart of shattered hearts to feel nothing.
  15. No one in her world can explain her lack of self-regard, her increasingly strange behavior, all symptoms that lead to scenes of riveting tension, much of it due to the subtlety Ms. Brie brings to the role of Sarah—notwithstanding a deluge of schlock involving paranormal visitations.
  16. The most horrible thing about The Lodge, a horror flick set mostly in a snowbound vacation house, is that it’s no fun.
  17. Much of this R-rated movie is chaotic, yet it’s a richly hued, madly inventive, gleefully violent and happily slapdash contraption with a formidable female at its center.
  18. Still, human doesn’t leap to mind, even though Ms. Lively works hard to inject blood in the veins of her feminist avenger. The Rhythm Section isn’t a human movie. It’s as cold as the waters of that loch, and nowhere near as lucid.
  19. Ms. Garner transcends the inherent limits of her role to convey ineffable tenderness and wordless ferocity in a movie that’s bigger than it seems.
  20. The film, which was written and directed by Todd Robinson, begins with those dreaded words “Based on a True Story,” meaning in this instance concocted from certain established facts, lots of unconvincing fiction and large dollops of sentiment into a disjointed tale that means to inspire us, yet manages against steep odds to be dull and emotionally remote.
  21. The result is a sequence of events that’s both intriguing and gossamer-thin. You enjoy the challenge of figuring out who’s doing what to whom and for what devious reasons, but it all goes out of your head once the story ends and the lights come up.
  22. Mr. Shinkai has marshaled more themes than he knows how to organize, but his film feels fresh and urgent. Star-crossed lovers are old news. Hodaka and Hina are cloud-and-rain-crossed, the hero and heroine of a tale of love in a time of climate change.
  23. Too much tumult and chaos, not enough dramatic focus; too many animals with clever names spouting glib one-liners, not enough simple human — or for that matter nonhuman — feeling. What a waste!
  24. The production is no masterpiece. Much of the physical action is ludicrous, or gratuitous; some of the heroes’ emotional baggage is excess. But an unexpected something sneaks up on us as the story unfolds. In between the volcanic eruptions of violence and mayhem, the film takes its buddies seriously — with such outsize sincerity that we can take them to our hearts.
  25. For all the devastation, the certain knowledge on the part of the resisters that they couldn’t hold out forever, they display a striking buoyancy, which the film captures in moving detail.
  26. It reminds us how long she had to wait for the recognition she so richly deserved, and what a distinctive, generous, funny, astute, self-doubting, unstoppable and formidable figure she was along the way.
  27. The film becomes an enthralling, edifying, terrifying, sometimes funny and improbably stirring portrait of a multiethnic, polycultural cauldron where fury against injustice and neglect hovers near the boiling point.
  28. Clemency is a meditation on capital punishment from a singular perspective. Call it Dead Warden Walking.
  29. Ms. Gerwig’s reimagining — and provocative restructuring — of the American classic is all ablaze with ferocious purpose, urgent passion, boisterous humor and the nourishing essence of family life in good times and bad.
  30. The pacing is good, the atmosphere authentic, and even the paperwork — which is where the real revolutions in law occur — has a certain kinetic quality to it. And while viewers might think they know where the film is going, and what the payoff is going to be, they’ll still be caught off guard emotionally.

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