Wall Street Journal's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,692 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 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Lowest review score: 0 Repo Men
Score distribution:
2692 movie reviews
  1. Bright, buoyant and hilarious, though far from flawless, this romantic comedy, directed by Jon M. Chu and based on the popular novel by Kevin Kwan, is also a cultural milestone.
  2. Ms. Howard is nothing less than mesmerizing. She seems to be giving a master class in unswerving focus and absolute simplicity. It’s a superb piece of acting about acting, and a harbinger of great things to come in this young actor’s future.
  3. This freewheeling account of an African-American cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1970s is problematic as narrative drama, but stunning as provocation.
  4. Luckily, there are jokes, like little lifeboats, floating all around, rescuing “Like Father” from anything resembling gravity.
  5. It’s the work of a contemporary master who arrives at the philosophical by way of the playful, ironic and lyrical.
  6. The star of Susanna Nicchiarelli’s freely fictionalized biopic, Trine Dyrholm, finds fierce beauty in the woman Nico has become. I’ve never seen a performance quite like it — unsparingly harsh, but also graceful, droll and tender, a portrait of soul-weariness laced with a yearning for salvation.
  7. Mr. Tyrnauer is a serious filmmaker — his “Valentino: The Last Emperor” was a first-rate documentary portrait of the legendary fashion designer Valentino Garavani. His new doc, which was based on Mr. Bowers’s memoir, “Full Service,” combines tell-all appeal with a seriously significant story of prejudice and hypocrisy on a literally mythic scale.
  8. This episode is something special, because the dance is so smashingly gorgeous.
  9. Puzzle is less puzzling than exasperating. What’s good is exceptional — a meeting of minds, and then more, between two jigsaw-puzzle prodigies — while the rest is perfunctory or lifeless.
  10. This new film, though, is mainly appalling, and not instructively so. It’s all over the place, to the point of inducing numbness or suffocation. In the end it comes out in favor of love, which is good, but getting there may leave you glassy-eyed, unless you’re deeply into bling porn.
  11. Among the books that McCall carries with him is a volume of Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”; we see the cover in pointed close-ups. That can serve as one of the hero’s life lessons. Take a pass on the movie and you avoid losing two hours.
  12. The glee is industrial-strength, and the ABBA-fueled production numbers are so far over the top that the film is at once topless and chaste. Yet there’s a wellspring of genuine feeling in this time-hopping sequel, framed as an origin story.
  13. Skyscraper is a tribute to duct tape, and to Dwayne Johnson’s enduring appeal. The movie is great, outlandish fun because the star makes it so; he’s a soft soul in an action-hard body.
  14. Poignantly funny, wrenchingly wise and meltingly beautiful, Eighth Grade is a not-so-small miracle of independent filmmaking.
  15. Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney is a documentary chronicle of Whitney Houston’s life; it’s tough-minded, unsparing and far superior to the biopic and the nonfiction film that preceded it.
  16. The best thing, though, is the movie’s modest scale. It’s a good-natured epic, dedicated to the nontech principle of dispensing plain old pleasure.
  17. Don’t write it off. You know about good things and small packages; this is a dark and startling thing in a brightly wrapped package, and the brightness is all the more misleading because the action takes place during Iceland’s radiant summer.
  18. This documentary feature is fascinating and infuriating in unequal parts, the latter far outweighing the former, since Mr. Jarecki’s instrument is a shoehorn.
  19. The first few minutes of Leave No Trace are as entrapping as the spider webs the camera notices in passing. They catch you up in a suspenseful wilderness tale that opens out to an urgent drama of conflict, beauty and growth.
  20. Three Identical Strangers is clear about the awful fate that befell its innocent subjects. They grew up as lab rats and didn’t know it.
  21. After a quarter-century the franchise may be terminally long in the teeth; much of this fifth iteration is absurd, both intentionally and un. Yet it’s also funny, intriguingly dark and visually sumptuous.
  22. Tag
    Tag ends up being good fun, with an unexpectedly sweet spirit that stays with you. It’s really about the persistence of friendship, a vision of adult life as the playground we would love it to be.
  23. Plenty good enough as exuberant entertainment with elegant graphics, plus a showcase for female superempowerment.
  24. A meta-mystery lurks here — how it is that this horror flick can be so shocking and dismaying, so genuinely upsetting in spasms and spurts, yet at the same time so madly entertaining.
  25. This beautiful film celebrates a deeply good man with a great gift for repairing.
  26. The robbery isn’t sophisticated enough on its own to hold one’s interest.
  27. You can consume only so much gooey romanticism before someone gets seasick, and it’s precisely the soggy love story at the center of Adrift — a survival-at-sea adventure directed by the estimable Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur — that prevents this storm-tossed vehicle from achieving maximum upthrust.
  28. A daring little drama with a heavyweight cast, a gracefully delivered message and a hellish problem — specifically, other people.
  29. Ms. Simón, who has used both of her young performers to powerful effect, also wants us to know how resilient children can be. Some creatures are able to grow new limbs. Frida, given more than half a chance after demanding it, achieves something no less remarkable. She grows new joy and hope.
  30. An impressive and self-impressed documentary by Jennifer Peedom, has some of the best speck shots you could imagine—not spec as in speculation, though the film offers plenty of that on the subject of why human beings choose to climb tall peaks, but speck as in the size of a human seen against a stupendous alpine landscape.

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