Critic Reviews

44

Metascore

Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
If there are post-Harry Potter children who don’t know or care about The Wizard of Oz, they might be at sea with this story about a not-very-nice grownup in a magic land, but long-term Oz watchers will be enchanted and enthralled. There’s even a musical number, albeit an abbreviated one. Mila Kunis gets a gold star for excellence in bewitchery and Sam Raimi can settle securely behind the curtain as a mature master of illusion.
75
Raimi manages to keep things engaging, which is a very real act of wizardry in and of itself.
75
The cast, plainly packed with second or third choices, lets it down. Is there anything in James Franco’s past that suggests larger-than-life, a fast-talking, womanizing con-man? And the three witches – Theodora, Evanora and Glinda – are Bland, Blander and Blond Bland.
60
This elaborate exercise in visual Baum-bast nonetheless gets some mileage out of its game performances, luscious production design and the unfettered enthusiasm director Sam Raimi brings to a thin, simplistic origin story.
60
A lavishly mounted re-telling that, for all its good intentions and visual wonders, can’t help seeming surplus to requirements.
50
A valiant attempt to build on the magic of “The Wizard Of Oz,” and while it certainly doesn’t diminish the standing of that movie, Sam Raimi’s film provides proof that the more we know about the mysteries of our favorite stories, the less interesting they become.
40
A miscast James Franco and a lack of charm and humor doom Sam Raimi's prequel to the 1939 Hollywood classic. Oz the Wimpy and Weak would be more like it.
30
Oz tilts towards the mawkish, as the sham wizard learns the value of selflessness and an incessant Danny Elfman score tugs so shamelessly at your tear ducts that it would make the Tin Man surrender his heart on the spot.
25
Save your money and wait for the new 3-D version of the 1939 classic that Warner Bros. has promised for later this year.
12
Slant Magazine
An amorphous melange of ill-fitting reference points and misappropriated aesthetics, a lumbering family blockbuster both tiresome and wholly indistinct.

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