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The Wizard of Oz Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Not only is it wonderfully entertaining, but the issues it addresses, and the way it presents them, are both universal and deeply personal. And therein lies The Wizard of Oz's true magic.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The Wizard of Oz remains the weirdest, scariest, kookiest, most haunting and indelible kid-flick-that's-really-for-adults ever made in Hollywood.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    This is one vintage film that fully lives up to its classic status and should play with outstanding success to contemporary audiences of all ages.

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  • See all The Wizard of Oz reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Even decades later, one of the best family films ever made.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the 1939 fantasy contains several scenes that may be scary for very young children, almost all of which involve the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West and her band of creepy flying monkeys. Most parents who've seen the movie before know that the plot includes a disastrous tornado, and an enchanted forest full of red-eyed creatures and talking trees. By today's rating standards, this Hollywood classic is downright tame, but between the twister, the mild peril, and the general menacing, murderous intentions of the witch, some pre-schoolers could be frightened.

  • Families can talk about elements of the classic movie that 70 years later can be found in contemporary films. What other popular movies follow a main hero and his supportive friends on an important journey?
  • Discuss the way that the movie combines several genres. How does the change from black-and-white to color affect the movie's tone?
  • How does the Scarecrow demonstrate his intelligence, the Tin Man his heart, and the Lion his courage? How does each one find what they need within themselves?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: A simple reminder that we can always find our way home, and that with a little help, we can overcome our fears.

  • message true1

    Messages: Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow work together to overcome many challenges and face their fears to reach the Wizard of Oz. Their friendship allows them to act selflessly and courageously.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Dorothy is a fine example of courage under fire, as she embarks on a potentially dangerous quest to find the Wizard of Oz, aided by new friends. She agrees not to surrender the ruby slippers once Glinda convinces her their magical powers would be dangerous in the hands of the Wicked Witch, and she ultimately defeats the Wicked Witch.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: The Wicked Witch of the West is quite creepy and menacing, as are her scary henchmonkeys. Very young children may be frightened during the twister scene.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false0

    Language: Nothing objectionable, although Dorothy does call Ms. Gulch "a wicked witch."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable