Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Oz the Great and Powerful Looks Good But Lacks Magic

Plus, Dead Man Down's great cast struggles to rise above the film's absurd plot.

by | March 8, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a wonderful wizard (Oz the Great and Powerful, starring James Franco and Mila Kunis) and a pair of avengers (Dead Man Down, starring Noomi Rapace and Colin Farrell). What do the critics have to say?



Oz the Great and Powerful

59%

Few films could hope to match the influence and popularity of The Wizard of Oz, so it was probably a wise move for director Sam Raimi to forge a different path down the Yellow Brick Road with Oz the Great and Powerful, a prequel to the 1939 classic. Whether he was successful is a different matter; some critics find this Oz to be a witty visual phantasmagoria, while others say it suffers from so-so storytelling and inconsistent performances. James Franco stars as a roguish carnival magician who finds himself transported to a magical world. There, he meets a trio of witches and is treated like a king. Can our hero summon the courage and smarts to bring peace to the land of Oz? The pundits say that while Oz the Great and Powerful is often entertaining and always fun to look at, its plot is relatively bland and surprisingly short on magic. (Check out our interviews with Raimi and the stars of Oz, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down star Michelle Williams’s best-reviewed movies.)



Dead Man Down

38%

Buoyed by the success of the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, director Niels Arden Oplev and star Noomi Rapace re-team for the neo-noirish crime thriller Dead Man Down. Unfortunately, critics say it’s a cut blow their previous collaboration; while the fine cast keeps the movie watchable throughout, it’s is weighted down by absurd plot twists and a slack pace. Seeking revenge for the murder of his wife and child, Victor (Colin Farrell) infiltrates a criminal organization with the intention of killing the boss. However, Victor’s also being blackmailed by a mysterious woman (Rapace), who needs his help to settle a score of her own. The pundits say Rapace and Farrell are compelling, but Dead Man Down is too ponderous and clichéd to work as a whole.(Check out Rapace’s Five Favorite Films here.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Silence, a thriller about a pair of eerily similar crimes that haunt the residents of a small German town, is at 100 percent.
  • Electrick Children, a coming-of-age drama about a sheltered teenager who flees her family for the big city, is at 83 percent.
  • The Romanian drama Beyond The Hills, about a young woman who attempts to convince a childhood friend to leave her orthodox religious community, is at 81 percent.
  • Michel Gondry‘s The We and the I, a comedy about a diverse group of high school students on a bus home from the last day of school, is at 80 percent.
  • Greedy Lying Bastards, a documentary about corporate and political resistance to climate change legislation, is at 80 percent.
  • Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, a concert doc about the venerable hard rock group and its new singer, is at 68 percent.
  • The Monk, starring Vincent Cassel in a gothic fantasy about a friar who gives in to temptation after meeting a newcomer to the monastery, is at 67 percent.
  • The ABCs of Death, a horror anthology featuring a scary short for each letter of the alphabet, is at 48 percent.
  • Emperor, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox in a period drama about the United States’ post-World War II Occupation of Japan, is at 41 percent.
  • Gut Renovation, a documentary about the gentrification of Brooklyn, is at 29 percent.

Finally, props to Matthew Reimer for coming the closest to guessing The Last Exorcism Part II‘s 14 percent Tomatometer.

Tag Cloud

Syfy Mary Tyler Moore Action RT21 crime thriller Toys Podcast Animation DGA Adult Swim Masterpiece 2018 theme song Mary Poppins Returns blaxploitation Pop Song of Ice and Fire Trailer Crackle Freeform richard e. Grant Netflix spider-man Warner Bros. Showtime Mary poppins Shudder Esquire TCA 2017 Superheroe Disney Channel E! Spectrum Originals Apple spy thriller 2019 biography Horror Thanksgiving Kids & Family The Witch MCU anthology what to watch Heroines Cannes singing competition Spring TV El Rey Valentine's Day Comics on TV TNT zero dark thirty TIFF SDCC Rocky President Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Fantasy YA serial killer politics 45 TCM Creative Arts Emmys Opinion Star Trek Set visit Calendar Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Spike Sony Pictures Amazon Prime FOX Emmys Teen Trivia transformers docudrama vampires Brie Larson Stephen King jamie lee curtis Schedule Reality Competition E3 GoT aliens political drama Sci-Fi zombies Musical Acorn TV IFC Logo Ghostbusters First Look television See It Skip It true crime Disney GIFs facebook Watching Series Lifetime miniseries Rocketman cats cooking Winter TV 2015 police drama New York Comic Con Premiere Dates DirecTV Nickelodeon Comic Book BBC A&E doctor who Walt Disney Pictures RT History WGN LGBTQ hist CBS All Access romance Pet Sematary supernatural zombie 2017 Cosplay strong female leads FX adaptation Music YouTube Premium harry potter Women's History Month 007 APB SundanceTV Comedy DC Universe Tumblr Grammys Universal The CW ESPN Trophy Talk mockumentary Certified Fresh Interview Britbox DC streaming service HBO Cartoon Network space VICE YouTube Red boxoffice comic crime CMT psycho social media Lionsgate diversity festivals sports nature FXX 20th Century Fox witnail Sundance Now Sneak Peek The Arrangement Columbia Pictures based on movie CBS Dark Horse Comics Red Carpet TV Film Festival Christmas green book History Musicals Mystery casting Summer BET Awards Awards Tour natural history Rom-Com Nominations historical drama Video Games dceu Paramount Network Photos technology cinemax ABC Family Shondaland Winners comiccon 21st Century Fox X-Men sequel IFC Films finale Elton John Superheroes Reality DC Comics Country Marvel teaser adventure Tomatazos Ellie Kemper Election TLC Captain marvel Marathons CW Seed Mindy Kaling disaster Rock dc ITV elevated horror PBS MTV Writers Guild of America war talk show Fall TV Best and Worst AMC National Geographic anime USA Network ratings VH1 2016 Tarantino Drama Infographic BBC America Biopics unscripted dragons medical drama Comedy Central Ovation MSNBC Sundance Epix NYCC crime drama TV Land Quiz robots Martial Arts Anna Paquin TruTV Super Bowl Pixar Oscars sitcom Vudu OWN discovery Star Wars Countdown binge ABC golden globes award winner Amazon San Diego Comic-Con Lucasfilm Extras psychological thriller SXSW Hulu NBC Black Mirror crossover cults composers period drama American Society of Cinematographers justice league travel Nat Geo Bravo streaming USA Character Guide TCA TBS Holidays Mudbound Starz dramedy CNN Food Network Fox News 24 frames Western mutant Paramount thriller GLAAD PaleyFest Polls and Games Box Office Pirates cops science fiction Year in Review