A comedy of the ridiculous in which the ridiculous turns unexpectedly sublime.
One of those rare films that communicates the exquisite joy of the moviemaking process. [7 October 1994, Friday, p.B]
Making a movie about the life of Ed Wood certainly qualifies as an impossible dream, but Burton has pulled it off with wit, imagination and something amazingly close to grace.
Los Angeles Times
Turns out to be a thoroughly entertaining if eccentric piece of business, wacky and amusing in a cheerfully preposterous way. [28 September 1994, Calendar, p.F-1]
The strangest biographical film ever made is also one of the most charming, melancholy and quirkily humorous films of the year.
San Francisco Chronicle
Burton has trouble sustaining the briskness of the first half. But the brilliance of many individual scenes, and the extraordinary performance by Landau, are more than enough to justify this goofy, tender ode to eccentricity. [7 October 1994, Daily Notebook, p.C1]
The New York Times
If Ed Wood has a major failing, it's the lack of momentum. Wood's career had nowhere to go, and to some extent the film has the same problem. [23 September 1994, p.C34]
Always engaging to watch and often dazzling in its imagination and technique, picture is also a bit distended, and lacking in weight at its center.
The most interesting personality in Ed Wood is not the title character, but Bela Lugosi. So covered up with makeup that he's barely recognizable, Martin Landau gives a deeply-felt performance -- a eerie and stunning recreation of a man haunted by lost fame.
This Ed Wood is dead wood.