Joe Morgenstern

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For 2,125 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Waltz with Bashir
Lowest review score: 0 The Life of David Gale
Score distribution:
2125 movie reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Nolan’s 168-minute odyssey through the space-time continuum is stuffed with stuff of bewildering wrongness. Eager for grandeur, I went in hoping for the very best from a filmmaker with his own vision of the theatrical medium’s potential. The last thing I expected was a space adventure burdened by turgid discussions of abstruse physics, a wavering tone, visual effects of variable quality and a time-traveling structure that turns on bloodless abstractions.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a movie at war with itself. The first half, more or less, is witty about California culture, or the lack of it, in a "Clueless" kind of way, which is a very good way.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This new feature, though, sets up a dialectic between reason and faith and argues it insistently, with eye-rolling earnestness.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The result is heavy and humorless, despite a smart, skillful performance by Brooke Smith.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This is filmmaking by the numbers meant to succeed by the numbers.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    In contrast to the series, which was quick-witted, fast-paced and self-ironic -- oh, and sexy -- the movie is earnest, often aimless (couldn't anyone cook up a plot?), visually bland (except for the fashion shows) and, at two minutes short of 2½ hours, a decreasingly amiable meander.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    What's not fine is the dead zone occupied by the monster of the piece, Tom Cruise's veteran rocker, Stacee Jaxx.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    For all its seriousness, though, Levity struck me as pretentious and intractably lifeless.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The essence of Youth Without Youth, which was shot -- luminously -- in Romania, lies in its solemn speculations about aging, time and consciousness. Mr. Coppola is one of the cinema's peerless masters, and I would have enjoyed nothing more than a chance to celebrate his new film. I'm truly sorry to say, then, that I found it impenetrable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    If this death-obsessed drama is a classic, then give me potboiling life.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Clooney’s prancing, dancing and clowning for the TV camera feel tame and vaguely self-conscious when measured, as they will be, against the calculated craziness of his role’s model, Mr. Cramer, who usually manages to seem simultaneously shrewd and stridently unhinged.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Berry works hard in her role, generating some excitement in the course of her distress. But the story's convolutions can't cover a deficit of substance, or sense.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Feelings play second fiddle to stylized attitudes in Spartan, and fancy style can't conceal the film's clumsiness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Braff's idea of self-discovery is my idea of narcissism.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This is an odd and ultimately dispiriting film, despite some intriguing ideas about brute force vs. moral authority, the elaborately staged uprising -- and impressive actors in the cast. That is to say, they've been impressive elsewhere.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Little more than a showcase for Owen Wilson's amiable shtick, and a showcase in the merchandising sense of the term.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The situation in The Situation is grimly photogenic, yet persistently opaque.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Like many dreams that enliven filmmakers' nights, this one derives from other, better films, though it does have a few clever twists.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Spontaneity has been banished by rigid stylization, and the net effect is as lifeless as a severed head that turns up in a basement freezer.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This time, though, the happy ending plays out in real life, while the screen version falls afoul of a laggardly pace, an earnest tone and a surfeit of domesticity.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This latest iteration of the Tolstoy classic was clearly the product of audacious thinking, stylishly applied. Still, the thinking was as wrongheaded as it was hollow-hearted. Yet another elaborate production chases its audience away.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie commits the sin of boredom, partly because Ms. Martin is exceedingly inexpressive.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    I've enjoyed Ms. Leoni's comic gifts in the past, and I'll enjoy them again, but Spanglish asks her to play crazed, and she delivers with a performance of unremitting, crazymaking shrillness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The writing and direction, by Robert Budreau, range from pedestrian to lethargic — not a good thing when the subject is passive more often than not.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie is pleasant enough, in its studied way, and Mr. Hopkins does as well as anyone could in the role of a wise man with vaguely supernatural powers. Still, it's awfully amorphous and pokey.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Any movie that gives Helen Mirren a chance to shoot really big guns, wear an ermine astrakhan and channel Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth can't be all bad, and Red 2 isn't, though it comes close.

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