If you don't leave Oz with a smile on your face and bounce in your step, then you're a miserable grouch that surely needs a hug.
Julian Roman - MovieWeb
While [Raimi's] Oz is like retinal crack, he never seduces our hearts and minds.
Chris Nashawaty - Entertainment Weekly
A dispiriting, infuriating jumble of big money, small ideas and ugly visuals ...
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
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.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
[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.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Franco is, frankly, too callow, too feckless, too much the dude for this role.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Throughout, I longed for the Raimi of old-or even of 2009's deliciously gross throwback Drag Me to Hell ...
Scott Foundas - Village Voice
If it only had a brain. Or a heart. Or nerve.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
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?
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
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.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
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.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
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.
Richard Roeper - Chicago Sun-Times
I suspect there's just enough heart in this sleek Tin Man of a project to connect with an audience.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
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.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
It's a journey of self-discovery, rife with movie cliches about believing in yourself, believing in your dreams, yada-yada.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Relax, my pretties. "Oz the Great and Powerful" is a lollapalooza of funhouse thrills and visually sumptuous filmmaking.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"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.
Tom Long - Detroit News
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.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
People just can't get enough of this stuff. To paraphrase Sam Goldwyn, include me in.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Oz the Great and Powerful can be enjoyed, up to a point, on its own colorful, diverting but finally rather futile terms.
Justin Chang - Variety
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.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
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.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
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.
Jordan Hoffman - Film.com
This eye-filling fantasy is an entertaining riff on how the Wizard of that immortal film found his way to Oz.
Leonard Maltin - indieWIRE
A Blunder-full Blizzard of Blahs.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
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.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
A visually over-crammed, emotionally empty mega-spectacle on the model of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
Dana Stevens - Slate
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.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
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.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
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.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
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.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
... 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.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
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.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
While the movie looks great and kicks into satisfying high gear as it heads toward the last act...the tinhorn feeling of the bulk...leaves one yearning for another trip down the yellow brick road-the one first glimpsed by audiences in 1939.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
Antithetical to the horror excursions Sam Raimi built his name on, iOz the Great and Powerful is a heartwarming fantasy drenched in opulence.
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.
Just not the best director Sam Raimi is capable of offering his audience...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - 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.
David Keyes - Cinemaphile.org
A marvelously candy-colored and overall-pretty-fun-nothing-great-but-it's-all-right fantasy adventure.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Director Sam Raimi creates a magical experience for viewers in this beautiful and engaging prequel to "The Wizard of Oz."
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
...Oz the Great and Powerful fares somewhat better than most similarly-themed, geared-at-kids big-budget fare.
David Nusair - 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.
Will Leitch - Deadspin
A poorly written film with a vibrant palette that cannot hide the wickedness in its soul.
Wesley Lovell - 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.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
Thick with director Sam Raimi's gonzo flourishes, but thin on character.
John Serba - 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.
Forrest Hartman - 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.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
It pushes its gospel of modern "magic" - one third science, one third show biz, one third motivational speech - with Disney Channel earnestness.
Margot Harrison - 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.
Al Alexander - The Patriot Ledger
True...the odds were stacked against Raimi in his film that has some moments but hardly seems momentous.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
big and splashy but tin-eared
Chris Barsanti - Film Racket
Looking backwards in more ways than one.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Stunning visuals, some suprising plot twists, dreadfully mediocre dialogue delivered by a woefully miscast James Franco.
Marc Fennell - Triple j
Sam Raimi has managed to recapture the feel and charm of the original 'Wizard of Oz'... and that may be the greatest compliment of all.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
The script is the real problem, lacking in humor and wit (not to mention jaunty musical numbers) and emphasizing the type of sensory overload that seems to pass for family entertainment these days.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Raimi tries to go all in, but the update can't match the character of the original
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
There were things that offered promise... but one after the other, they blended into the blandness of the storytelling.
David Poland - Movie City News
That the female roles are the most memorable is intriguing since Oz the Great and Powerful is arguably at heart a broadside against male chauvinism
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
It took courage to believe anything could and should be added to The Wizard of Oz. It took brains to create such a sumptuous fantasia with pixels and keyboard swipes. Now, if it only had a heart.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
When a movie is as beloved as The Wizard of Oz, making a prequel would seem a foolhardy enterprise. Put one foot on the Yellow Brick Road and you risk stepping on your viewers' memories and dreams. Yet Raimi rises to the challenge with dash and dazzle.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Oz the Great and Powerful should probably have been titled Oz the so-so and Kind of Entertaining or Oz, At Least It's Better than The Wonderful Land of Oz.
Dan Lybarger - KC Active
Oz The Great And Powerful is as good as it could be.
Matt Neal - The Standard
You've got to love any movie that features an army of rollicking Munchkins getting halfway through a Danny Elfman song before, basically, they're told to shut up.
David 'Mad Dog' Bradley - Rip It Up
[Director Sam] Raimi fills every square centimetre of the frame with aggressively attractive images...Simply put, Oz is simply beautiful to behold.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
It's Mila Kunis! And she's dressed like she took the wrong tornado on the way to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
You know, its heart was in the right place.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Just like Dorothy's technicolour journey before, this trip through Oz is once again smeared by this ill deserving charlatan.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
If you liked Hugo you'll be pleased with Oz's coterie of zoopraxiscopes and praxinoscopes and zoetropes (Oh, my!).
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Movies With Butter
The hackneyed message is about the importance of 'belief,' but in what? The idea that even the most talented and impressive women should move aside if a man wants to be in charge?
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Franco hasn't mastered dialogue rhythm and there are times when the movie stalls while he gets off a line BUT, the road ahead in this glorious $235M production is lined with gold, like the invention of the exquisite China Girl.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
There is also a message. This time it is not 'There is no place like home.' It is more like 'If we believe in ourselves and work together, with courage, we can do anything.' Nice message, that.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
(James) Franco's performance is one of the better, more genuine things about Disney's given-to-excess adaptation/prequel. Still, the movie is on the whole engaging and entertaining.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
A perfectly solid family adventure, one that's made all the more fun for cinebuffs by those signature Raimi touches.
Tom Clift - Moviedex
Kunis just doesn't cut it as a witch, and Franco makes for an unintentionally goofy wizard.
Bob Grimm - Tucson Weekly
Did anyone watch the 1939 movie and say, "it was good but I'm not satisfied that I know enough about the Wicked Witch of the West's early years"?
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
This fun-filled, fantastically rendered yellow-brick romp, a back-story companion piece, is festooned with its own characters and once-upon-a-time charms.
Neil Pond - American Profile
While there are quite a few fine things in Oz, I can't say I found the film entirely satisfying.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Sam Raimi made his first feature film, The Evil Dead, for $90,000. Now he has made Oz The Great and Powerful - a prequel to The Wizard of Oz - for 2,222 times that. The result is a thousand times less entertaining.
CJ Johnson - ABC Radio (Australia)
Franco, grinning and smirking his way through his performance, can't compete with the witches.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
The film blends together impressive special effects, a story about teamwork and the redemption of a man who finally strives for greatness into an effective family film.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
Enthralling enough to share a double feature bill with Victor Fleming's 1939 original.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Both Franco and the overall aspects of the movie are better than I hoped for or expected.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Pretty as all heck, in a manner that unquestionably reeks of Disney's attempt to sell you a theme park ride.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
In one picture we have everything that's right and wrong about the contemporary blockbuster experience.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
It has the wow factor that big, Hollywood event movies demand. Raimi was the right person to elevate some pretty standard material, though Franco and Kunis may not have been the right people for the job.
Eric Melin - Lawrence.com
No Toto, no problem.
Christian Toto - Big Hollywood
The film has lots of computer-generated special effects but no magic.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Raimi deploys enough magical moments elsewhere to see it through. Just.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
Visually spectacular, "Oz: The Great and Powerful" is a beautifully created film that really takes advantage of both super-sized screens and 3-D.
Michael A. Smith - MediaMikes
Franco is as uncommitted as he is idiosyncratic. The boyish charm and toothy grin are perfect for the con man with dreams of glory and a weakness for the fairer sex, but he never seems to be more than playacting, rather than taking the role seriously.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
A dazzling, thrilling and wonderfully entertaining brand new classic. This is a Wizard of 'Awe'.
Pete Hammond - Movieline
A portrait of plasticity that could have benefited from more intelligence in its narrative structure, more feeling in its characterizations and more courage to break away from the one-size-fits-all strain of blockbuster that's been draining studio coffers
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
A production this lavish, on the mega-sized Imax screen, should not induce yawns and droopy eyelids.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
How refreshing it is to enjoy something we never knew we wanted.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
... it is every inch a Sam Raimi film... and it is a genuine delight. It is 'Oz' deep down in its bones...
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
... beautifully designed, nicely acted by James Franco as the titular mountebank, and, best of all, it boasts some of the nimblest integration of live action and CG creatures we've encountered.
Glenn Lovell - CinemaDope
Oz the Great and Powerful is perfectly adequate for kids and people who don't believe every trip down cinema's memory lane amounts to sodomy of their childhood.
Pete Vonder Haar - Houston Press
There will be a high nostalgia factor for those who love the original, but Oz the Great and Powerful can stand on its own. This is a rollicking adventure and wondrously entertaining.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
Imagine my surprise at feeling some of the same thrills while watching this 3D prequel as I do every time I see 'The Wizard of Oz,' one of filmdom's masterpieces.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Oz the Great and Powerful" is entertaining enough. I just wish it had not been longer than its much older sibling.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Has a lot to offer if you like your fantasy big, brash and jovial, but with a hint of horror in places.
James White - SFX Magazine
Based on L. Frank Baum's little-known Pussyhound of Oz.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Colorful prequel is less magical, scarier than the original.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
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.
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?
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
There are some underdeveloped ideas, but the central story - the making of a great man - invokes the "spirit" of Victor Fleming's classic for an entertaining return to Oz.
Ben Kendrick - ScreenRant
...a triumph warts and all.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Daily Film Fix
Taken purely on its own terms, Oz the Great and Powerful is a serviceable family blockbuster.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
While it certainly has more potential to scare the Underoos off young kids than its predecessor, I doubt it will mesmerize them as much or have the legendary staying power of the '39 flick. (Complete Content Details for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Sam Raimi does a nice job of positioning Oz the Great and Powerful as a bridge to L. Frank Baum's world for younger audiences, hinting at what came before and teasing future adventures lying just ahead on the yellow-brick road.
Rick Marshall - IFC.com
Oz the Great and Powerful isn't destined to become a classic, but it's a fun time at the movies, one that reminds us that even old stories can be new again.
Kirk Baird - Toledo Blade
A prequel that plays out like fan fiction written for Playboy magazine. It succeeds with a little nostalgia but it's mostly a complete abomination
Cameron Williams - The Popcorn Junkie
Leave your preconceptions at the door and enjoy it for what it is. In this case, the man behind the curtain knows what he's doing.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
The evil witches felt forced and one particularly miscast; though all things considered this is a solid fantasy film.
Kristian Harloff - Schmoes Know
I'm recommending only because of the fabulous effects in 3D. But in reality, it is neither great, nor powerful.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
"We are what we pretend to be" is not only one of my favorite Vonnegut quotes, but a surprising sentiment to be found in a Disney movie for kids.
Vincent Mancini - FilmDrunk
Franco appears to be more of a dude you would find at 7-11 late on a Friday night buying some Doritos than giving off the vibe of a movie star.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Raimi manages to return to this well-worn fantasy world and find new notes to play, while retaining his unmistakable filmmaking interests in dented valiance and spooky developments.
Brian Orndorf - Blu-ray.com
This is a pretty unique film. It's beautiful to watch, and it takes full advantage of the modern filmmaking technology to present a visual spectacle.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
What a world, all right.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
...if you're not smiling during the opening moments of Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful, you've got no soul. If you're still smiling by the time the movie's over, you've got no discernment.
Luke Y. Thompson
I was a bit skeptical about the casting of James Franco in this role, as a small-time carnival magician, but he is thoroughly engaging as a struggling con man and charmer.
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
The movie's success comes from the sheer joy and personality Raimi brings to it. Even working on a gargantuan scale, he's still making the movies he loves, the ones he wants to see. He doesn't pander to viewers, but invites them to join the fun.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - San Francisco Examiner
There is little to love about Oz, especially by those who love the classic.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
...director Sam Raimi...gives Baum's world a 3D/CGI/origin story spin that has more life and imagination than it's seen in over 70 years, even if the modern technology used to achieve it is often less than satisfying.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
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.
Tom Charity - CNN.com
What a stunner it is. Presumptuously speaking, this new take (a prequel) is/will be a modern classic.
Steve Crum - Video-Reviewmaster.com
... Respects its origin while standing apart as its own satisfying adventure.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Exactly what Tim Burton tried to do, and failed, with his last four films. But this time, with Raimi at the helm, it worked.
Stephen Silver - EntertainmentTell
If I see "Oz" on the poster then I expect something "great and powerful", and "acceptable" just won't cut it.
Mark Ellis - Schmoes Know
Oz the Great and Powerful is not some watered down sell out. It's a real Sam Raimi film - and all that encompasses.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Something that stood out (so to speak) was the sheer amount of cleavage being exhibited by the movie's three witches - I thought Disney had a rule about this kind of thing?
Tim Martain - The Mercury
Oz the Great and Powerful gets saved from the junk heap by Franco and especially by director Sam Raimi, who happily treats the enterprise as a sandbox.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Funny, charming, and imaginative, Oz the Great and Powerful is a film that lingers on the cusp of greatness but has to settle for being nothing more than acceptable.
Chris Sawin - Examiner.com
" ... lurches its way into theaters like a dying whale into your living room, all breathless bulk and clammy fat."
James Rocchi - The Playlist
It's a little bit corny and sometimes too in love with its own cleverness - but it's also the most fun I've had at the movies this year.
Alison Gang - San Diego Union-Tribune
"Oz the Great and Powerful" misses a wide-open opportunity for nuanced social commentary that the Depression era "Wizard of Oz" so eloquently seized.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
A mixture of fairy tale, romance, adventure, suspense and magic in an overlong spectacular that will in turn amuse, delight, bore, amaze and occasionally shock young children.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
A grand and magical picture that recalls the sense of wonder that movies could once awaken in us.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
The result, while far from iconic, is still an enjoyable, wondrous, family-friendly adventure.
Mathew DeKinder - Suburban Journals of St. Louis
Has enough genuine spectacle and directorial signature to make it something more entertaining than a run-of-the-mill Hollywood blockbuster.
Miles Fielder - The List
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.
Randy Myers - San Jose Mercury News
The screenplay is not perky enough and Franco is miscast. Added to that, the three witches needed lessons from Macbeth to fully convince.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Like Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, this film shows the overpowering strength of Disney and producer Joe Roth, as they once again bury a gifted filmmaker and cast in an effects extravaganza that's strong on visuals but short on story
Rich Cline - Contactmusic.com
CGI baboons, the wizard's CGI monkey companion and colorful but soulless CGI landscapes of Oz are no substitute for the absence of even one great song and characters who develop the greatest of friendships as they fight the greatest battle of their lives.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
I was really torn about this movie so I decided to like it because Bruce Campbell is in it.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
Oz remains a calculated studio endeavor, filled with awkward shifts between simple-minded humor, gooey sentimentality, lavish effect sequences and move-it-along storytelling.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
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.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A lovely family fantasy that pays fitting homage to the spirit of the original with a well-formed sense of magic, wonder and fun.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
After years of Shrek-like cynicism and fart jokes dominating children's media, a refreshing tornado of sincerity blows into theaters with the new spectacular Oz the Great and Powerful.
Rebecca Cusey - Patheos
Raimi's film is supposed to be about magic, but magic is in scant supply.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
It may needlessly complicate exquisitely crafted source material, yet it's visually stunning, has enthusiastic performances, and is often quite funny.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
It could use more heart, courage and brains.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
If you can't equal a screen classic, prequel it.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
The real star of the story is the enchanting, rapturously imagined setting.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
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.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
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.
Bob Mondello - NPR
If Oz the Great and Powerful only had a brain. And heart. And courage.
Matt Pais - RedEye
This Disney prequel to MGM and Warner Bros.' enduring 1939 masterwork charts its own course, and, for the most part, is the better for it.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
A prequel and homage to the tone and feel of the 1939 original film, it's a spirited, new, family-friendly adventure that's filled with wonder - despite miscast James Franco.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
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.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
A flat screenplay and a miscast Franco render Oz a deep bore - at best a buffoon, at worst a creepy sexual predator.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
The best 3D movie, period. So far, anyway.
William Bibbiani - CraveOnline
[Raimi's] Oz isn't a hard, sophisticated place for wisecracking adults, it's a land of clever, inventive goodness...
Dave White - Movies.com
As pleasurable as many elements of the new movie are, most of this has been done before -- and better.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
This trip to Oz is a pleasant - but non-essential - journey.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
The film directed by Sam Raimi, a man who usually works from a clear roadmap into fantastical realms, is a mess.
Kirk Honeycutt - honeycuttshollywood.com
Oz the Great and Powerful isn't great, nor is it powerful, but it is competent and entertaining.
Jordan Riefe - Boston Phoenix
Sam Raimi's "Oz The Great and Powerful" has its moments, and enough of them to earn a very mild recommendation, but it is tremendously flawed and often frustrating work on the whole.
Jonathan Lack - We Got This Covered
Fortunately for everyone involved, Raimi has enough gas in his creative tank to keep Kapner and Lindsay-Abaire's script afloat in the run-up to Oscar's showstopping performance in the big finale.
Jason Buchanan - TV Guide's Movie Guide
A few adjectives shy of great and powerful.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Perhaps the witches put a spell on the filmmakers -- because for all of the movie's technical wizardry, the story and the characters are as flat as a Kansas plain.
Kimberly Gadette - Doddle
Whether you like this movie may depend very materially on how you respond to Franco himself, but I found his casting very astute.
It may not be wonderful, but it will do for now.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
The movie's strengths are its flamboyantly kitsch design and ingenious, humorous screenplay, calculated to please parents and grandparents at least as much as their progeny.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
It's a movie that, at moments, curiously combines Franco's mainstream, crowd-pleasing instincts with his postmodern, experimental bent.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Fair or not, we have a distinct understanding of what Oz is and what it represents, and Oz the Great and Powerful barely reflects that construct.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Despite the title, Sam Raimi's new Oz movie isn't great; it isn't even good.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
"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.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Between Kunis' miscasting and Raimi's heavy hand, Oz the Great and Powerful is ultimately robbed of its emotional power and its chance at cinematic greatness.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Oz weaves compelling and believable back stories for many familiar characters and satisfyingly explains the origins of the fiery Oz head and the man behind the curtain.
Dale Roe - Austin American-Statesman
Throughout, though, (James) Franco mugs as if in a silent movie and basically acts like a big kid playing dress-up. He is hardly a whiz of a wiz.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
An oppressive, bloated bore, the latest argument that CGI kills the imaginations of talented filmmakers.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
If it's spectacle you're after, you'll want to see Oz The Great and Powerful, a visual delight for which 3D makes perfect sense.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
This new Oz has a shallow draft but a feeling of depth, and some bona fide warmth from its heroes.
Chris Knight - National Post
A reasonably smart, imaginative spin on the 1939 MGM classic.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
An inventive and stirring fantasy. Chances are very good that L. Frank Baum would be immensely pleased.
What we get here is Oz the Amiable and Unthreatening ...
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
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.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
A charming film that raises, rather than replaces, the original Wizard of Oz.
Tom Glasson - Concrete Playground
A long but enjoyable family adventure that is as noisy as it is clever.
Jon Niccum - Kansas City Star
A dazzling, magical effort that proves a worthy companion piece to one of the most beloved films of all time.
Jeffrey Lyles - Lyles' Movie Files
"Oz" suffers from a gluttonous use of CGI and an incredibly weak story, but the biggest problem is James Franco as the titular character.
Justin Craig - FoxNews.com
This film never quite decides if it wants to be parody, comedy or fantasy. The result is a smug, overly ornamented amalgam of all three.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
The more you like the Judy Garland film, the more you might appreciate "Oz the Great and Powerful."
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Oz great, powerful addition to saga.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
Disney's extravagantly flashy "Oz the Great and Powerful" all but snuffs out the horsefeather magic and carnival heart that provides what little enchantment the film conjures.
Greg Evans - Bloomberg News
More like the Bland and the Mediocre... It's impossible to believe this is a Sam Raimi film.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
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.
Cary Darling - Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
An entertaining family movie, a true Sam Raimi film, and a fun return to a merry old land.
Raimi's prequel is a beautiful diversion, a colorful and clever homage to perhaps the most loved film of all time. But for all the technical wizardry that goes into it, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' does not live up to its adjectives.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Better than [Tim] Burton's dull acid trip down the rabbit hole, but that's not saying much.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
The film's CGI'd talking monkey is more alive than Franco. And it totally looks fake.
Erick Weber - NECN
This freewheeling fantasy family adventure might lack the sheer magic of the original, but it will entrance young audiences with its tale of witches, a womanising wizard and the weird and wonderful inhabitants of Oz.
Mark Adams - Daily Mirror [UK]
Visually the film is a feast. This may be the first family friendly acid flashback.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Sci-Fi Movie Page
You won't want to return to this Oz.
Adam Woodward - Little White Lies
Warmth and charm have almost been sucked dry from this incarnation of Oz and performances are muted, especially Franco, who bumbles through his scenes as if he is making up dialogue on the spot.
Damon Smith - Birmingham Post
Great visuals, but Franco is miscast as a silver-tongued huckster. The story is also fairly blah.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Raimi delivers a movie that may not add much of note to Oz mythology, but is still a lot of fun to watch.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Great and powerful? More like merely good and enjoyable.
James Croot - Flicks.co.nz
As awful as the movie is, at least there is one truth that it gets just right. Witches be crazy.
Sam Raimi's colourful Oz prequel is nicely acted, visually spectacular and makes terrific use of 3D ...
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Making a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" takes courage and brains. This one's got a little of both, but most of all it has heart.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Successfully drowns James Franco in imagination.
Matt Patches - Hollywood.com
This Oz doesn't have much heart or wonder, but with appealing characters, terrific actors and colorful action, it's an entertaining fantasy for the moment.
Caryn James - James on screenS
While there remains much to enjoy, here's hoping Raimi is let off the hook for more trademark wildness next time around.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
A better-than-average blockbuster kids film.
Matt Singer - ScreenCrush
The wizard may not be wonderful enough to warrant a film of his own but the sidekicks and special effects make Disney's much-anticipated prequel a solidly entertaining, if not quite magical, family adventure.
Andy Lea - Daily Star
Much in the same manner that Raimi's first two Spider-Man movies successfully channeled the vigor and elan of the original comics even while presenting them for modern tastes to devour, his Oz is replete with the spirit and vision of the original film.
Michael Burgin - Paste Magazine
[Is] Oz the Great and Powerful the tale of a playboy operator being forced to deal with the consequences of his bed-hopping past? An allegorical glimpse into the home life of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening? Perhaps not. It's pretty nonetheless.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Dorothy was right: There's no place like home. And that's exactly where you should see this film: on TV, for free, instead of paying for it in a theater.
Cameron Meier - Orlando Weekly
This in no way will tarnish the memory of the original, and for the most part it's a hugely enjoyable return to Oz!
David Sztypuljak - HeyUGuys
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.
Guy Lodge - Time Out
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.
Raimi turns out to be a much better Tim Burton impersonator than Bryan Singer. But the witches? Bland, blander and blonde bland.
Roger Moore - Movie Nation
It's more 'studio' than 'Sam' for sure. But, children who have not seen the original should take to it.
Staci Layne Wilson - Yahoo! Movies
An amorphous melange of ill-fitting reference points and misappropriated aesthetics, a lumbering family blockbuster both tiresome and wholly indistinct.
Calum Marsh - Slant Magazine
There's no place like home, indeed.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Chances are that a younger audience with little knowledge of the '39 The Wizard Of Oz will find much to captivate them - and if it makes them curious enough to check out the original (or the books), then that can only be for the good.
Neil Smith - Total Film
got heart and nerve (you can spot some clever efforts to avoid infringing the 1939 film's copyright) ...
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
As patchy as a patchwork quilt, but equally pleasing to look at.
Chris Laverty - Clothes on Film
Though not fully satisfying as prequel to the 1939 classic, Raimi's film is vivid, colorful and more enjoyable than Jack Giant Slayer, Mirror Mirror and other recent retooling of fables.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
It may not have much courage in its adherence to the 1939 classic, [but] the film still manages to find both a brain and heart somewhere along the way.
Matt Looker - TheShiznit.co.uk
The land of Oz is as fantastical, magical, colourful and enchantingly beautiful as CGI can make it
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
A magical and entertaining tale complete with good and bad witches, endearing characters, and startling visual effects that entice us into a world of waterfalls, rainbows, ruby flowers and flying baboons
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Sam Raimi's film provides proof that the more we know about the mysteries of our favorite stories, the less interesting they become.
Kevin Jagernauth - The Playlist
Director Sam Raimi tries to mix dark and light tones while bolstering the action and effects, but the resulting film is a glossy jumble that is rarely magical.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Raimi strikes just the right balance of dreamy nostalgia and sharp wit. You simply must go off to see the wizard.
Stella Papamichael - Digital Spy
A visually dazzling, wickedly humoured and richly characterised epic that has Sam Raimi's magic touch all over it.
Michael Simms - FILMINK (Australia)
While Judy Garland sang "Over the Rainbow" this is Sam Raimi taking us to the dark side of the rainbow and parents be warned: your wee ones will get nightmares of the winged-baboon variety.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
All four principals and their director Sam Raimi emerge no worse off for the experience, but nor do they cover themselves in any type of ground-breaking glory.
Simon Foster - Screen-Space