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Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

tomatometer

59

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 242
Fresh: 143 | Rotten: 99

It suffers from some tonal inconsistency and a deflated sense of wonder, but Oz the Great and Powerful still packs enough visual dazzle and clever wit to be entertaining in its own right.

33

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 30

It suffers from some tonal inconsistency and a deflated sense of wonder, but Oz the Great and Powerful still packs enough visual dazzle and clever wit to be entertaining in its own right.

audience

57

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 290,962

My Rating

Movie Info

Disney's fantastical adventure "Oz The Great and Powerful," directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking-that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced

Jun 11, 2013

$234.9M

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All Critics (242) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (143) | Rotten (99) | DVD (4)

An imaginative mix of live-action and CGI that pays homage to the iconic images and timeless sense of wonder in the classic The Wizard of Oz without being too deferential.

March 10, 2013 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Oz the Great and Powerful is entirely serviceable family entertainment. Problem is, serviceable doesn't quite cut it when you're talking about the magical land of Oz.

March 8, 2013 Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aside from a trio of witches that can hold its own with Eastwick's in the dishiness department, Oz the Great and Powerful is a peculiarly joyless occasion.

March 8, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Let us take a moment to praise two great and surprisingly powerful characters: a winged monkey and a wee girl made out of china. Because so much human wonder resides in these two creations of make-up, puppetry, digital effects and lovely performances.

March 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The new Oz falls short of the 1939 Oz in charm and innocence, and certainly in songs. But as family entertainment, it's hard to fault such a rapturous spectacle and astute, suspenseful piece of storytelling.

March 8, 2013 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Oz the Great and Powerful somehow manages to be both slavish to its hallowed template (when convenient) and completely tone-deaf to the magic that made it a one-of-a-kind cultural milestone.

March 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Antithetical to the horror excursions Sam Raimi built his name on, iOz the Great and Powerful is a heartwarming fantasy drenched in opulence.

February 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

The twister that comes to whirl Oscar into Oz is so preordained you could find its departure information and flight time from an airport travel board.

January 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Grantland

Just not the best director Sam Raimi is capable of offering his audience...

October 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

This is the kind of movie that doesn't so much rush off the screen as it prances off with its nose turned up in the air.

July 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

A marvelously candy-colored and overall-pretty-fun-nothing-great-but-it's-all-right fantasy adventure.

July 13, 2013 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Director Sam Raimi creates a magical experience for viewers in this beautiful and engaging prequel to "The Wizard of Oz."

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

...Oz the Great and Powerful fares somewhat better than most similarly-themed, geared-at-kids big-budget fare.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It strays so far from the whimsy and joy of the original that you forget the two films are even part of the same universe.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

A poorly written film with a vibrant palette that cannot hide the wickedness in its soul.

June 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

I may sound like I'm tripping in a field of poppies, but the secret to this film's success seems to be James Franco.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

This eye-filling fantasy is an entertaining riff on how the Wizard of that immortal film found his way to Oz.

June 13, 2013 Full Review Source: indieWIRE
indieWIRE

Thick with director Sam Raimi's gonzo flourishes, but thin on character.

June 11, 2013 Full Review Source: MLive.com
MLive.com

For a movie that looks gorgeous, evokes memories of a cinematic classic and boasts a bundle of star power, Oz the Great and Powerful is oddly flat.

June 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

The funny, warm-hearted "Wizard of Oz" prequel "Oz the Great and Powerful" veers far enough from the Yellow Brick Road paved by the original film to avoid dangerous direct comparisons.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

It pushes its gospel of modern "magic" - one third science, one third show biz, one third motivational speech - with Disney Channel earnestness.

May 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Seven Days
Seven Days

Raimi's 'Oz' is nothing more than a grand theft of a 74-year-old vision, thinly veiled in over-saturated colors and populated with action-figure friendly characters sure to set the Mouse's cash registers ringing.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

True...the odds were stacked against Raimi in his film that has some moments but hardly seems momentous.

April 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

big and splashy but tin-eared

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Racket
Film Racket

Looking backwards in more ways than one.

April 11, 2013 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Stunning visuals, some suprising plot twists, dreadfully mediocre dialogue delivered by a woefully miscast James Franco.

April 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Triple J
Triple J

Audience Reviews for Oz the Great and Powerful

So much effort was spent on making the surroundings look lovely, so why did the costuming and the special effects look so cheap? Especially Theodora and Glinda's outfits were horrible. The acting left a lot to be desired as well, Rachel Weisz and Bill Cobbs probably being the only ones who didn't make me cringe.
March 23, 2014
vierasesine

Super Reviewer

My review echos that of many others: the main Wizard character was an unlikeable womanizer and acted with no real passion or conviction by James Franco. There was no sense of innocence and discovery, except for maybe the little china doll and the cute monkey companion. Also missing were the catchy songs which the Wizard of Oz had.
January 4, 2014
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

Sam Raimi returned from a 4 year absence to helm this visually striking return to the magical, wonderful Land of Oz.

Set 20 years prior to the events of L. Frank Baum's original novel (and the 1939 film), we follow Oscar "Oz" Diggs- a small time stage magician and womanizer with dubious ethics who, while attempting to escape a tornado in 1905 Kansas, finds himself transported by said twister to the magical land of Oz where he is believed to be the great wizard who, according to a prophecy, is supposed to restore order to the kingdom which has been ruined by the Wicked Witch.

Reluctantly thrust into this strange fantasy land with all kinds of imaginative creatures and people, Oscar is forced to confront his questionable nature and become the hero Oz needs, as well as perhaps a better man in general.

For a contemporary return to the Land of Oz, this is a mostly decent trip. It is absolutely gorgeous to look at, with all kinds of sumptuous visuals, wonderful set design/art direction, and a wonderful sense of creativity. There's all kinds of nods to the classic 1939 film, primarily the use of black and white, monaural sound and a 4:3 Academy aspect ratio for the Kansas scenes which then transition to color, surround sound, and 2.35:1 widescreen once Oscar arrives in Oz.

These were really nice touches that I found tasteful, charming, and highly appropriate. As I mentioned, I really enjoyed the visuals and sets and all that, but unfortunately, more than a fair amount of it is done digitally (which I should have expected) and it just doesn't quite do it for me like the non-digital work of the '39 film.

We get a decent, star studded cast though, including James Franco as Oscar, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz as the three witches, and Zach Braff as Oscar's Oz companion Finley the flying monkey. There's also Joey King as a living china doll girl. The performances are passable, though I kinda felt like Franco was a tad miscast, or at least gave a performance that seemed a bit out of place. The witchly trio are all good, though some of the makeup effects for the one playing THE wicked Witch is a bit funky looking and kinda took me out of things a bit.

I did find this to be an enjoyable film, and a lot of it is well made, but in the end, I gotta be honest and say that it doesn't quite hit the mark. Easily the main reason for this is the by-the-numbers storyline, and a sense of business as usual, though not in that comforting way of familiarity.

I still kinda recommend this, and don't think it ruins the Oz legacy, but just wish a little more care and effort was put into the parts that matter most: a sense of genuine wonder and excitement, and memorability.
October 12, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Disney harp on about how this is their movie and how bringing Oz to film was Walt's big idea and only thing he never achieved but this is very much something better. This is a Sam Raimi film, it is a brilliant adaptation of L. Frank Baum's visions of Oz and it works as a companion/homage to the classic Judy Garland 1939 film. I think Raimi got it spot on! He even manages to get the recent popular Theatre version, 'Wicked' in there. This is a project in which it would be hard to please everyone but I can only see minor fault with it. Why the hate I do not understand? Ok, so the CGI is sketchy in places, particularly towards the beginning of the film and the Bruce Campbell cameo wasn't good enough, where the hell was the 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 etc but seriously, I really enjoyed it. James Franco was good (in full Bruce Campbell mode), Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz good also, Michelle Williams I fell in love with all over again and for me, China Girl is my favourite character of the year so far, I loved her. I'm the only one it seems but I loved it!
September 13, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

    1. Oz: I know I'm not the wizard you expected, but I might be the wizard that you need.
    – Submitted by Frances H (6 months ago)
    1. Oz: Fear me not good people of Oz, fear me not. For it is I the great and powerful Wizard of Oz!
    – Submitted by Hemanth C (10 months ago)
    1. Girl in Wheelchair/China Girl: Make me walk!
    – Submitted by Hemanth C (10 months ago)
    1. Oz: You can have a nice pile of bananas!
    2. Frank/Finley: Oh, I see, because I'm a monkey I must love bananas!
    3. Oz: You don't love bananas?
    4. Frank/Finley: Of course I love bananas, I'm a monkey! Don't be ridiculous!
    – Submitted by Adam O (13 months ago)
    1. Evanora: I'm not the one who's underestimating her cleverness. Or maybe it's you I'm underestimating. Have you finally joined her side, sister?
    2. Theodora/Wicked Witch of the West: am on no one's side. You know that. I simply want peace. That's all I ever wanted and the wizard can do that. He's a good man.
    3. Evanora: What do you know about goodness? Deep down you are wicked!
    4. Theodora/Wicked Witch of the West: I am not wicked!
    5. Evanora: I am not wicked!
    – Submitted by Adam O (13 months ago)
    1. Girl in Wheelchair/China Girl: Why don't you just use this?
    2. Frank/Finley: It's got a knife
    – Submitted by Adam O (13 months ago)
View all quotes (29)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die fantastische Welt von Oz (DE)
  • Oz The Great and Powerful (UK)
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