Oz the Great and Powerful Reviews

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Wesley Morris
Grantland
January 3, 2014
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.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 10, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
March 8, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 8, 2013
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.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 8, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
March 8, 2013
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.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
March 8, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 8, 2013
Raimi's film is supposed to be about magic, but magic is in scant supply.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 8, 2013
"Oz the Great and Powerful" will likely dazzle family audiences while satisfying movie purists. Somewhere over the rainbow there may be a more magical movie, but this will certainly do.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 8, 2013
By the end of the two-hour 10-minute movie, director Sam Raimi proves he understands spectacle but not the deeper dreams of the people who consume it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 8, 2013
A Blunder-full Blizzard of Blahs.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 8, 2013
It's a journey of self-discovery, rife with movie cliches about believing in yourself, believing in your dreams, yada-yada.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 8, 2013
Where's the gentle sentiment? The quiet moral lessons? The warm comforting message of family, and home, and realizing that the thing you needed most was really inside you, all the time?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
March 7, 2013
Oz the Great and Powerful aims for nostalgia in older viewers who grew up on The Wizard of Oz and still hold the classic dear while simultaneously enchanting a newer, younger audience. It never really accomplishes either successfully.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
March 7, 2013
A visually over-crammed, emotionally empty mega-spectacle on the model of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 7, 2013
A partially effective jumble whose elements clash rather than cohere, this solid but not spectacular effort stubbornly refuses to catch fire until it's almost too late.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 7, 2013
The more you like the Judy Garland film, the more you might appreciate "Oz the Great and Powerful."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
March 7, 2013
Yet, like so many big-budget movies these days, it's hard to care much about what's going on, especially as the film builds to its special-effects-driven conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
March 7, 2013
[Oz] qualifies as a cautionary tale, not about the perils of ambition and selfishness, but about the movie industry's misguided belief that it can distract the audience from a film's narrative weaknesses with little more than flash and spectacle.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
March 7, 2013
Oz the Great and Powerful tells the story of how the Wizard came to Oz, answering a question I suspect no one was asking, but with considerable digital wizardry.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 7, 2013
Relax, my pretties. "Oz the Great and Powerful" is a lollapalooza of funhouse thrills and visually sumptuous filmmaking.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 7, 2013
... as limitless technology teaches the wizard about his own human limitations, Franco hits grace notes that let us see glimmers of how great and powerful this uneven Oz might have been.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 7, 2013
What does it say about "Oz the Great and Powerful" that China Doll, a creature born of digital code, is the movie's most affecting character?
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 7, 2013
You could easily see this playing as part of a double bill with The Wizard of Oz, even if the effects in Raimi's film often look cheesier than the ones in its 74-year-old predecessor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
March 7, 2013
It's not like there's zero fun factor here, by a long shot - but the fun comes yoked to a long-winded and predictable story with lots of dead spots.
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
March 7, 2013
A reasonably smart, imaginative spin on the 1939 MGM classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 7, 2013
Franco is, frankly, too callow, too feckless, too much the dude for this role.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
March 7, 2013
Sam Raimi brings the jokey, adolescent sensibility of his Drag Me to Hell to this lavish Wizard of Oz prequel, and the result is as unshapely as that premise would suggest.
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
March 7, 2013
If it only had a brain. Or a heart. Or nerve.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
March 7, 2013
A dispiriting, infuriating jumble of big money, small ideas and ugly visuals ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
March 7, 2013
An oppressive, bloated bore, the latest argument that CGI kills the imaginations of talented filmmakers.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
March 7, 2013
Though Oz has some of the same narrative issues and effects-heavy bloat as that highly personal fantasy film, every frame is infused with a deep-rooted, impassioned understanding of the cinema's magical power to captivate and inspire.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 7, 2013
"Oz the Great and Powerful" isn't a masterpiece for the ages, but an agreeable family film that pleasantly reminds us of something greater - of a land that we heard of, once in a lullaby.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
March 7, 2013
There's some overlap between Raimi's irreverent sensibility and the large-scale fractured fairytale his Hollywood betters seem to want, but there's tension, too, and the persistent clank of an overly tinkered machine.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 7, 2013
I suspect there's just enough heart in this sleek Tin Man of a project to connect with an audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
March 7, 2013
It might have been more interesting if Raimi had attempted to shoot an "Oz" prequel using only the tools available to Victor Fleming and King Vidor in the late 1930s.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
March 6, 2013
The 3-D effects are plentiful - hats, lions, and baboons jump off the screen and into your lap - but the characters rarely lodge in the moviegoer's heart.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
March 6, 2013
It's not bad. Some bits are enjoyable. But ultimately, other than some genuinely impressive visuals, it never makes a compelling-enough case to justify its existence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 6, 2013
The new spinoff from L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz may not be great, exactly, but it is powerfully entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 6, 2013
People just can't get enough of this stuff. To paraphrase Sam Goldwyn, include me in.
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Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
March 6, 2013
While [Raimi's] Oz is like retinal crack, he never seduces our hearts and minds.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Guy Lodge
Time Out
March 5, 2013
What it lacks, rather like Oscar himself, is any authentic magic: the script's post-'Shrek' wisecracks feel especially out of place, and the over-processed digital landscapes can't match the beauty of handmade Hollywood artifice.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Scott Foundas
Village Voice
March 5, 2013
Throughout, I longed for the Raimi of old-or even of 2009's deliciously gross throwback Drag Me to Hell ...
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
March 5, 2013
Rather than tell us that everything we know about Oz is wrong, the filmmakers take what we already know about the wonderful wizard and thread it into a tale about the magic behind cinema itself.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 5, 2013
Director Sam Raimi's dull, kitschy and overlong patchwork is sadly an epic fail - despite the presence of Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis as a trio of witches.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
March 5, 2013
The raised eyebrows and slightly silly tone are all a little bit of a put on, but neither Franco nor anyone else goes full Depp in this one.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Justin Chang
Variety
March 1, 2013
Oz the Great and Powerful can be enjoyed, up to a point, on its own colorful, diverting but finally rather futile terms.
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
March 1, 2013
Quite the opposite of the great earlier film, the Oz here is a dull place to be. Given the choice, you might even consider going back to Kansas.