Joe Morgenstern
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For 1,916 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Pan's Labyrinth
Lowest review score: 0 Flipped
Score distribution:
1,916 movie reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The immensity encompasses such variety, subtlety and intimacy that you may find yourself yearning for more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A feature-length documentary, by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller, of absolutely breathtaking sweep and joyous energy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The best of Up in the Air--meaning most of it--is right up there with the fresh and sophisticated comedies of Hollywood's golden age.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    There are remakes and there are remakes. I don't want to belabor the flaws and sexual excesses of the original; its great strength was its explosive energy. Still, this one investigates the unfulfilled potential of the first one so thoroughly, and develops it so audaciously, that it qualifies as a brilliant reinvention.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Ultimately an original film that forces us, time and again, to reconsider what we think we've just seen, and what we're sure we feel - not only about mere appearance, or fateful gender, but about who, under our skin, we truly are.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This hugely entertaining thriller is what's needed to banish a winter-long case of movie blues.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Despite its cargo of meaning, 3-Iron feels marvelously weightless, like the lovers as they stand on a scale that the hero has fixed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Both magical and consistently joyous. The director, Robert Altman, and the writer, Garrison Keillor, have, against all odds, transmuted the fatigued public radio institution into a lovely fable about mortality, fleeting fame, fondness for the past and the ineffable beauty of life in the present.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The near-miracle worked by Mr. Boyle, whose exuberant style brings several saints to scruffy life, is a movie that's joyously funny and hugely inventive -- occasionally to the point of preciousness -- yet true to the spirit of the saintly little kid at its center.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Charlotte Rampling is the best reason, though far from the only one, to see Swimming Pool, a mesmerizing mystery, plus a wonderfully sensuous fantasy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Shrewdly reconceived, powerfully acted and hugely entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Rousing, provocative film.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Catching Fire is exceptional entertainment, a spectacle with a good mind and a pounding heart.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy turns on the presence of Mr. Oldman, and he is an actor of great experience and accomplishment who has finally found a film that fully deserves him.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A romantic comedy of grace notes and mini-epiphanies -- mini, that is, except for Ms. McDormand's Jane, who is memorable to the max.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    What makes it such a singular experience is the convergence of fine acting, moral urgency and a willingness to linger on moments of great intensity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A cockeyed comic triumph that flashes between bright and dark like a strobe light of the spirit. And Ms. Theron, as Mavis Gary, a self-styled author rather than a mere writer, succeeds sensationally at something much harder than playing ravaged.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a new and inspired vision of a familiar state of being -- teenage anomie amidst the crumbling wreckage of a middle-class American family. In the space of 78 minutes, Mr. Van Sant and his cinematographer, the peerless Christopher Doyle, manage to suffuse that state with haunting sadness, ubiquitous danger, pulsing power and flickers of hope.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This beautifully strange and affecting comedy, which Agnès Jaoui directed from a screenplay she wrote with her husband, Mr. Bacri, is about men who are weak and insecure, and one woman, Agathe, played superbly by Ms. Jaoui, coming to terms with the price of being strong.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A wickedly astute and beautiful comedy of manners-cum-murder mystery, it's too dense, and occasionally confusing, to grasp fully the first time around. How lucky, then, that it's also too much fun to see just once.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    While the film itself isn't perfect, who cares about perfection in the face of abundant life, authentic screwiness and lovely surprises by the busload?
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A movie of minimalist moments (Molly's tiniest gestures speak volumes) and lovely, almost holy tableaux.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    In Woody Allen's beguiling and then bedazzling new comedy, nostalgia isn't at all what it used to be - it's smarter, sweeter, fizzier and ever so much funnier.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Breaks through the conventions of its biopic form with a pair of brilliant performances and a whole lot more.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Since you can't read my lips, read my words: See this movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Tykwer's hands the movie changes almost magically from drama to chase to romance. As it does so its moral weight lessens; by the end there is less than what first engaged the mind. What meets the eye, though, is unforgettable.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    When movie lovers are looking back on the best of 2001, they will still be marveling at the beauty, intelligence and seemingly effortless mastery of Ms. Blanchett's performance.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It's astonishing, and moving.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Vincent is played masterfully by Aurelien Recoing, who gives him a sort of as-if anomie; this haunted hero is so detached that he may not realize he has no real life to be detached from.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Room 237, which goes into national distribution this weekend, may be the surpassingly eccentric — and enormously entertaining — film that Kubrick deserves.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The comedian has had his ups and downs recently, but the film is pure up, a wonderfully genial and inclusive record -- not that the music is devoid of anger or social protest -- of a day-long, freestyle show.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The explosively combative young hero, Liam (a brilliant performance by Martin Compston), has only the illusion of a fighting chance. Yet Sweet Sixteen is powerful because of the searing honesty with which it strips Liam of his illusions.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It's classic animation wedded to modern technology -- painted pictures that move in magical splendor.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Song of the Sea was made primarily, though not exclusively, for young children. Its unhurried pace will serve as an antidote to, or even an inoculation against, the mad rush of most contemporary animation. This is a film made by the other crowd, people who care about helping children to care about the medium of film for the rest of their lives.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    See The Magdalene Sisters for its own sake; the performances alone are inspirational. But see it too as an example of how powerful a feature film still can be in the hands of an impassioned filmmaker.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Its true subject is melancholia as a spiritual state, a destroyer of happiness that emerges from its hiding place behind the sun, just like the menacing planet, then holds the heroine, Justine, in its unyielding grip and gives Ms. Dunst the unlikely occasion for a dazzling performance.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Finding words for the starring performance is easy. After breaking through as a brilliant comic actor in “The Hangover,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” Mr. Cooper turns out to be just as brilliant at intensely dramatic inwardness. In his extraordinarily austere portrayal, Kyle’s silences are eloquent, his impassivity interesting, his inner conflicts implied without a trace of sentimentality.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    An undersea treasure all the same, and a prodigy of visual energy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This comic chronicle of a Peruvian bear’s adventures in London turns out to be a total charmer, made with panache, élan and generous dollops of marmalade.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Penn has been praised lavishly for his work in "Mystic River," in a role that was no reach for him at all, but this is one of the stand-out performances of his career, layered and exquisitely nuanced. And, remarkably, he's only one-third of a stellar ensemble.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Bursting with joy and throbbing with music, Rize has a tragic dimension too. When you see the clown cry, you'll be with him all the way.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Truly transporting film.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This one is both demanding and extremely rewarding, because it's really a meditation on violence.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A stunning drama about the desperate state of women in Iran.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Depends on comic timing so precise that it seems weightless and all but effortless. And it depends on performers, of course, who can do a comic turn just as readily as a deft writer can turn a phrase. In that department, Ocean's Eleven is at least 11 times blessed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    What Ron Howard gets, to a degree that's astonishing in a two-hour film, is the density and complexity, as well as the generous entertainment quotient, of Peter Morgan's screenplay.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Ingeniously scary.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance. He's an actor, first and foremost, who is also a musician.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This is filmmaking of a high order, even though the production's scale is modest and the climax is not without its facile contrivances.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Judd Apatow's high-density, high-intensity comedy of bad (and good) manners is a cause for celebration -- the laugh lines are smart, and they come faster than you can process them.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    As an evocation of English working-class life half a century ago, it feels utterly authentic, and is ennobled -- not too strong a word, I think -- by Imelda Staunton's performance in the title role.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Beguiling and endearing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The most elegantly crafted and confidently directed of all his (Cronenberg's) films, it's a calm, chilling portrait of a blighted soul and, just as calmly but quite stunningly, an evocation of the thought processes behind the blight.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A perfect fit in the category of instant classic, and, not incidentally, fits the profile of super-profitability. Bursting the bonds of its genre, Hellboy fills the screen with gorgeous imagery, vertiginous action and a surprising depth of feeling.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    I loved this movie, and I wish it could be seen by all those kids who turn out every weekend for shoddy studio comedies that show them who they'd like to be. Raising Victor Vargas shows young lovers as they are.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A dazzling piece of filmmaking, and much of the dazzle - as well as the anguished darkness - comes from Adam Stone's cinematography, which expresses the swirling state of Curtis's mind with richly varied flavors of light.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Jane Campion has performed her own feat of romantic imagination.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a stirring portrait of a singular artist, a gorgeously photographed album of his buildings, and, perhaps most importantly, a film that manages to demystify the way he works without diminishing it.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A thrilling -- and harrowing, and beautiful -- celebration of the unpredictability of life.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Andrew Garfield's phenomenal performance makes room for the many and various pieces of Jack's personality, whether or not they're securely fastened together.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    An elegant horror film, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, that takes pleasure in its own theatricality, gives pleasure with caustic wit, trusts the power of Stephen Sondheim's score and exults in flights of fancy that only a movie can provide.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It's exciting, stirring, often funny, sometimes lyrical and unusually thoughtful. And, with that one egregious exception, genuinely pleasurable.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A lovely surprise. Ripe with feeling and lush with physical beauty, it's a love story that swings confidently between age and youth, and, like the young Tiger Woods of old, avoids every trap along the way.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The good news about Claude Lelouch's And Now Ladies and Gentlemen -- there's no bad news -- is that the man who made the sublimely superficial "A Man and a Woman" almost four decades ago has grown in wisdom and artistry, but hasn't lost his love of glossy surfaces.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A remarkable though sometimes frustrating film.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Crazy Heart is blessed with so many marvelous moments, lovely lines and vivid characters.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Hugely inventive -- and smashingly beautiful.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Apart from a singer named You who plays Keiko, the members of the cast are non-professionals. You may find that hard to believe when you see this astonishing film, as I hope you will.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A handsome, absorbing debut feature by the fiction and television writer Henry Bromell.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    (Morton's) character here is emotionally mute -- though Morvern speaks, she can't or won't reveal what's in her heart -- and her performance is brilliant from start to finish.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    What makes The Flat mesmerizing is its wealth of historical detail. What makes it universal is what it says about families everywhere - that children, being children, don't want to know what their parents are up to, and that grown-ups, being human, don't want to credit troubling facts that conflict with what they need to believe.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The silents, as this film suggests, achieved aesthetic marvels before sound came along to set things back for a while.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Berg's film, which she wrote with Billy McMillin, tells the story with unprecedented clarity. She has a dramatist's eye for what was irretrievably lost-the innocent lives of the children, plus 18 years of three other innocent lives.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A film that asks its audience to invest serious thought, and in return, bestows serious pleasure.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This is a woman's work in the best sense -- empathetic, inferentially erotic and delicately intuitive, as well as fiercely intelligent.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It is marvelously funny - a screwball comedy with more layers than a pearl - and visually sumptuous.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Whatever thematic clarity the added footage may confer is prosaic or didactic and intrusive; this stuff hit the cutting-room floor the first time around for good reason.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A dazzlingly smart and entertaining animated feature by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, looks like a black-and-white graphic novel come to life.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Daring in concept, occasionally daffy in execution and ultimately unforgettable, Mr. Malick's film offers a heartfelt answer to the question of where we humans belong - with each other, on this planet, bound by love.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    We need 007, even after half a century of his ups and downs in various incarnations, to remind us how deeply pleasurable an action thriller can be. The latest addition to the Bond canon goes beyond thrilling into chilling and enthralling, plus a kind of stirring that has nothing to do with martinis.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Footnote does function as a character study, an exceptionally rich one.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Star Trek goes back to the legend's roots with a boldness that brings a fatigued franchise back to life.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Who doesn't need what this movie has to give?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This wonderfully strange and exquisite little feature was created, especially for young children, to celebrate the book through another kind of illumination that's been falling into disuse--hand-drawn animation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Philippe Claudel gives his heroine unusual depth, which Kristin Scott Thomas reveals with unusual passion.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A stunning drama that's distinguished by a magnificent performance; the most powerful scenes are those that play, as recollection or confession, on Lena Endre's lovely face.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This film is extraordinary on several counts: its knowledge of an arcane trade (Mr. Cohen ran his family's diamond business after his father died); its fondness for telling good life stories; and, above all, its superb starring performance.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    With its sumptuous settings, urgent romance and intellectual substance, A Royal Affair is a mind-opener crossed with a bodice-ripper.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    No
    Like "Argo" or "Zero Dark Thirty," the film dramatizes a fertile subject — in this instance, the language of advertising in modern politics.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    I’ve long been a fan of IMAX nature documentaries, but Humpback Whales, directed by Greg MacGillivray, is something special.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Proves to be a remarkably lean and incisive film about the fateful power of sexuality.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The greatest fascination is watching these three people when they're planted firmly inside the frame, talking at cross-purposes while trying to perceive one another in the reflected light of their needs and risky assumptions.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Liam Neeson has never had a richer character to play on screen -- including his landmark role in "Schindler's List" -- and has never displayed such formidable energy and virtuosity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Yet it's not just the visuals that make the movie what it is, a thrilling, if also punishing, tale of heroic endurance. The Impossible, based on a true story, derives most of its impressive power from two remarkable performances: Naomi Watts as Maria, and Tom Holland as Lucas.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Movies as strong and provocative as this one are a special pleasure.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A delicately poetic, essentially plotless vision, unblinking but not unhopeful, of life in Watts, where little but the ghetto's name recognition had changed a decade after the riots.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A drama of uncommon moral complexity, unexpected humor, convincing transformations (for good and bad) and, best of all, vibrant, unpredictable energy. In a movie landscape littered with dead souls, here's a live one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A moveable feast of delights.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Pieces of April would deserve your attention and respect even if all these colorful threads didn't come together into a luminous whole. But they do, beautifully and unaffectedly, because what's been on Mr. Hedges's mind is not just a comedy of alienation but a drama of acceptance and reconciliation.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The right word for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is wondersful -- as in full of wonders, great and small.
    • Wall Street Journal

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