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Oz: The Great and Powerful

Family . Adventure . Fantasy

Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus illusionist and con-artist, is whisked from Kansas to the Land of Oz where the inhabitants assume he's the great wizard of prophecy, there to save Oz from the clutches of evil.

Actors: James Franco , Mila Kunis , Rachel Weisz , Stephen R. Hart , Tony Cox , Joey King , Bill Cobbs , Zach Braff , Michelle Williams , Abigail Spencer
Directors: Sam Raimi
Country: USA
Release: 2013-03-08
More Info:
  • Kim Newman

    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.

    Empire Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    It's familiar enough to be comfortable but not so familiar that it feels worn and repetitive.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • 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.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    Most of the time, though, it's a confusing mishmash featuring a fine actor too willfully operating outside his comfort zone.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • 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.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • 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.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    Raimi manages to keep things engaging, which is a very real act of wizardry in and of itself. Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    It took brains to create such a sumptuous fantasia with pixels and keyboard swipes. Now, if it only had a heart.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • 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.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • 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.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • 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.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    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.

    NPR Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Is all of that to say that Oz the Great and Powerful comes even close to matching the timeless, iconic stature of 1939's "The Wizard of Oz"? No, of course not. That's not just a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon, but a once-in-many-liftimes one.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • 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.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • 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.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • 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.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • 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.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Neil Smith

    A lavishly mounted re-telling that, for all its good intentions and visual wonders, can’t help seeming surplus to requirements.

    Total Film Full Review
  • 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.

    Variety Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    What we get here is Oz the Amiable and Unthreatening.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Raimi’s film is supposed to be about magic, but magic is in scant supply.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • 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.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • 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.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • 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.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • 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. Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Which is precisely what’s missing from Oz the Great and Powerful: that sense of emotional journey.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • 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.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • 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.

    Time Full Review
  • 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.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • 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.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    A visually over-crammed, emotionally empty mega-spectacle on the model of Tim Burton’s "Alice in Wonderland."

    Slate Full Review
  • 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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Oz the Great and Powerful, like so many products of movie studios that have lost their way, is a Tin Man of epic proportions — bright and shiny, with no heart.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • 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.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Unfortunately, it has the model of the 1939 film to remind us how lacking in delight this version is.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • 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.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Oz the Great and Powerful is an oppressive, bloated bore.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • 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.

    New York Post Full Review
  • 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.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Calum Marsh

    An amorphous melange of ill-fitting reference points and misappropriated aesthetics, a lumbering family blockbuster both tiresome and wholly indistinct.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • 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.

    New York Daily News Full Review
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