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Plot

Oscar Diggs ( James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. At first he thinks he’s hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking. That all changes, however, when he meets three witches, Theodora ( Mila Kunis), Evanora ( Rachel Weisz) and Glinda ( Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting.

Rating

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Film information

Genre: , , ,
 
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Release date: Mar 8, 2013
 
MPAA rating: Rated PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language
 
Official website: http://www.findyourwaytooz.com/
 
Runtime: 130 min
 
Movie Reviews:
  • 75
    ReelViews - by James Berardinelli
    It's familiar enough to be comfortable but not so familiar that it feels worn and repetitive. ...read more

  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle - by Mick LaSalle
    That's why the more you like the Judy Garland film, the more you might appreciate Oz the Great and Powerful. Appreciate. Enjoy. Admire. Be glad to see. Have fun with ... But as for love - well, love will be harder to come by. ...read more

  • 75
    Portland Oregonian - by Marc Mohan
    Most of the time, though, it's a confusing mishmash featuring a fine actor too willfully operating outside his comfort zone. ...read more

  • 75
    New York Observer - by Rex Reed
    Nothing in it comes close to the magic, the originality or the everlasting entertainment value of the original, which only cost $2.777 million and didn’t use a single computer-generated graphic. This says more about how much better movies were in 1939 than they are today. Still, I had enough fun to predict that history (or at least a tiny piece of it) seems destined to repeat itself. People just can’t get enough of this stuff. ...read more

  • 75
    Movie Nation - by Roger Moore
    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. ...read more

  • 75
    Film.com - by Jordan Hoffman
    Raimi manages to keep things engaging, which is a very real act of wizardry in and of itself. ...read more

  • 67
    Tampa Bay Times - by Steve Persall
    It took brains to create such a sumptuous fantasia with pixels and keyboard swipes. Now, if it only had a heart. ...read more

  • 67
    Austin Chronicle - by Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oz the Great and Powerful vacillates between visual wonders and earthbound duds. Is there enough here to make viewers believe? Most probably. Even though the film has no ruby slippers, we all know there’s no place like home. ...read more

  • 63
    Chicago Tribune - by Michael Phillips
    As a series of sights, which movies like these are, Oz the Great and Powerful is more like "Oz the Digital and Relentless." Certainly this is true in its final half-hour, which seemed to me to be all explosions. ...read more

  • 63
    Chicago Sun-Times - by Richard Roeper
    Some of the surprises in Oz the Great and Powerful, the much-anticipated "Wizard of Oz" origins movie, are delightful. Others, however, sink the movie just below the point of recommendation, with the primary drawback falling on the lovely shoulders of Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis, as early versions of Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West, respectively. ...read more

  • 60
    The Guardian - by Peter Bradshaw
    Whether you like this movie may depend very materially on how you respond to Franco himself, but I found his casting very astute. ...read more

  • 60
    Los Angeles Times - by Kenneth Turan
    Sometimes sweet, sometimes scary, sometimes sour, Oz the Great and Powerful is a film that doesn't know its own mind. 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. ...read more

  • 60
    Time Out New York - by Keith Uhlich
    It’s an earnest hope, to be sure, and the greatest strength of Sam Raimi’s imaginative, if highly uneven, take on L. Frank Baum’s series of children’s stories about that magical land over the rainbow is its unabashed sincerity. ...read more

  • 60
    Arizona Republic - by Bill Goodykoontz
    This trip isn’t so notable. 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. ...

  • 60
    Total Film - by Neil Smith
    A lavishly mounted re-telling that, for all its good intentions and visual wonders, can’t help seeming surplus to requirements. ...read more

  • 60
    Variety - by Justin Chang
    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. ...read more

  • 58
    Charlotte Observer - by Lawrence Toppman
    What we get here is Oz the Amiable and Unthreatening. ...read more

  • 58
    Christian Science Monitor - by Peter Rainer
    Raimi’s film is supposed to be about magic, but magic is in scant supply. ...

  • 58
    The A.V. Club - by Scott Tobias
    Much of Oz The Great And Powerful’s fate is tied to James Franco’s performance as Oz, and the center barely holds, with Franco often looking as overwhelmed by the task as he was by his hosting job on Oscar night. ...read more

  • 58
    Entertainment Weekly - by Chris Nashawaty
    The film is stuffed with three endings too many. You can't blame Raimi for wanting to give us our money's worth. But after a while, you just want him to get to the Happily Ever After already. ...read more

  • 50
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch - by Joe Williams
    The more suitably antic Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp were considered for the part before Franco wandered into the picture with his stoner grin. ...read more

  • 50
    Salon.com - by Andrew O'Hehir
    Saying that Raimi’s trip to Oz is adequate eye candy with a good heart isn’t the same thing as saying it’s actually good. I was charmed at some moments, profoundly bored by others and almost never felt genuinely excited or emotionally engaged. ...read more

  • 50
    Boston Globe - by Ty Burr
    Which is precisely what’s missing from Oz the Great and Powerful: that sense of emotional journey. ...read more

  • 50
    Rolling Stone - by Peter Travers
    There's no Judy Garland songs, no Scarecrow, no Tin Man, no Cowardly Lion. There's also no simplicity, no magic, no truth. ...read more

  • 50
    Time - by Richard Corliss
    Raimi, who launched his career with the cheapo horror mini-masterpiece "The Evil Dead" before helming the blockbuster "Spider-Man" trilogy, can’t infuse the story with much verve or joy. ...read more

  • 50
    The Playlist - by Kevin Jagernauth
    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. ...read more

  • 40
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by David Edelstein
    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. ...read more

  • 40
    Slate - by Dana Stevens
    A visually over-crammed, emotionally empty mega-spectacle on the model of Tim Burton’s "Alice in Wonderland." ...read more

  • 40
    The Hollywood Reporter - by Todd McCarthy
    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. ...read more

  • 30
    Village Voice - by Scott Foundas
    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. ...read more

  • 25
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Liam Lacey
    Unfortunately, it has the model of the 1939 film to remind us how lacking in delight this version is. ...read more

  • 25
    Washington Post - by Ann Hornaday
    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. That con might have worked with the rubes once upon a time, but in case Hollywood hasn’t noticed, we’re not in Kansas anymore. ...read more

  • 25
    Miami Herald - by Rene Rodriguez
    Oz the Great and Powerful is an oppressive, bloated bore. ...read more

  • 25
    New York Post - by Lou Lumenick
    Save your money and wait for the new 3-D version of the 1939 classic that Warner Bros. has promised for later this year. ...read more

  • 20
    The New York Times - by Manohla Dargis
    Can the major studios still make magic? From the looks of Oz the Great and Powerful, a dispiriting, infuriating jumble of big money, small ideas and ugly visuals, the answer seems to be no — unless, perhaps, the man behind the curtain is Martin Scorsese or James Cameron. ...

  • 12
    Slant Magazine - by Calum Marsh
    An amorphous melange of ill-fitting reference points and misappropriated aesthetics, a lumbering family blockbuster both tiresome and wholly indistinct. ...

  • 0
    New York Daily News - by Elizabeth Weitzman
    Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors. There is nothing here that is great, or powerful. Worst of all, there’s nothing here that even feels like Oz. ...read more

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