Joe Morgenstern

Select another critic »
For 2,198 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 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lowest review score: 0 Just Married
Score distribution:
2198 movie reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Somewhat unshapely, though not shapeless; often repetitive; gleefully reckless with facts; probably too long (I say “probably” because I enjoyed every one of its 126 minutes); at times demandingly dense, with the kind of sizzling crosstalk that hasn’t been heard since Robert Altman, and as madly fragmented as its hero’s mind must have been.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    As Crowhurst's situation grows desperate, the scope of the film expands -- from a good yarn to a haunting, complex tale of self-promotion, media madness, self-delusion and, finally, self-destruction.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Represents a big growth spurt in Mr. Cronenberg's career. Its measured pace, along with a style that is sometimes austere (though sometimes anything but) repays close attention with excellent acting and a wealth of absorbing information.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Difficult too, and certainly problematic, but it's sometimes quite wonderful. Do see it if you're curious about one-of-a-kind films, and if you care about the ever-evolving career of one of our most gifted filmmakers.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Saroo is played dazzlingly by Dev Patel, who gives his richest performance since Mira Nair’s “The Namesake.”
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    As you watch Doc Paskowitz perform for Mr. Pray's camera, it's hard not to judge him harshly. His narcissism seems boundless, even when he cloaks it in self-deprecation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A relatively small, tough-minded drama about pitiless people doing unprincipled things, proves to be one of the most interesting, elegantly crafted and — paradoxically, given the dark subject matter — elating films to come along in recent memory.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Duma is not a masterpiece, but its deficits recede into insignificance once you open yourself to the movie's mystery and visual splendor.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    You can't take your eyes off Ms. Kidman; she has never played a role with more focused energy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Morgan Spurlock has come up with a terrific idea-a movie about product placements that depends completely on product placements for its financing.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    I took it as a pretty piece of ephemera, and I must confess that I laughed a lot.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The daunting logistics of Superman Returns have obviously affected the director's work -- thus the hit-or-miss continuity of the narrative -- but Bryan Singer hasn't been defeated by them. While his movie can be cumbersome, it's consistently alive, and that is saying a lot when many such productions are dead in the water, on land or in the air. Also, how can you resist the charm of a fantasy in which everyone gets his news from newspapers?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's hard to stop quoting from a movie this good.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    As horror upon horror unfolds in Prophet’s Prey, Amy Berg’s shocking documentary about the mad polygamist Warren Jeffs and his followers, one may marvel, in horror, at the elaborate forms that deviancy can take.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Some of Mr. Loach's earlier feature films have been easier to admire than to enjoy. This one, which won the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival, fairly vibrates with dramatic energy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Fresh and flip and enjoyable, it's a sci-fi-tinged romantic comedy that I urge you to seek out.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Noah can be silly or sublime, but it's never less than fascinating. I was on board from start to finish.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The made movie — i.e. Mr. Pavich's documentary — makes for a great seminar on creativity. Its star is Mr. Jodorowsky, outrageously handsome and dynamic at the age of 84.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A sports movie with a quick wit, uncommon grace and a romantic soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    All three performances are excellent, in their different ways.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Lee's film is stronger as a visual experience - especially in 3-D - than an emotional one, but it has a final plot twist that may also change what you thought you knew about the ancient art of storytelling.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a great accomplishment and, at a time when satire is in short supply, a terrific surprise.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a different city today, in a country that sees its racial and social divides with more clarity than it did back then. But the most troubling question the film raises is how clearly we may see even now.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    None of this would work, of course, without stylish performances in the leads and Mr. Clooney and Ms. Zeta-Jones do themselves and their dubious characters proud.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A singularly strange and affecting comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An exciting caper, though sometimes a trying one, with great dollops of self-parodying dialogue that will test your loyalty to Mr. Mamet's way with words.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Here's another film, along with "Mud," that's in the American grain, but a genetically conditioned grain of unforgiving fathers and overweening ambition. It's powerful stuff.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The illusion is seamless and the pleasure is boundless.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The energy in Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's — what a great title! — is genuine, infectious and superabundant.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    In a truly weird way Anomalisa provides an immersive experience that is no less compelling, though lots more authentic, than the one you get in a megahorror show like “The Revenant.” Once you’re in that puppet’s head it’s hard to get out.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Sandra Goldbacher's gorgeous debut feature (shot by Ashley Rowe) stars Minnie Driver in a lovely performance as Rosina da Silva. [31 Jul 1998]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's the set pieces that mark the film as something special: swirling crowds at a casino in the opening sequence, Trudy's ordeal by trailer trash, a climactic firefight that puts lightning in the shade. Very impure, and very impressive.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Appeal lies on the bright, shiny surface of its ostensibly simple plot, and in its rat-a-tat-tat language, which often sounds like Mamet-visits-Spyne.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The heroes are two hit men, and the tone is often absurdist. But the film is also very funny and surprisingly affecting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Anyone who doesn’t have a grand time watching Shaun the Sheep Movie is suffering from a fractured funny bone that needs to be reset.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The film's power is undercut by its narrow geographic focus, which seems to associate bullying with conservative or working-class areas in red states. The filmmakers could easily have found similar cases involving the children of urban sophisticates.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Lost in Paris is nonsensical by design, a comedy of the absurd that’s always entertaining and occasionally pure.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Don’t Think Twice really shines as an improv procedural, a film that celebrates, in illuminating detail, the skills and anxieties of this showbiz subgenre.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The most daring part of this wonderful film, which was written and directed by Jeff Nichols, is its calmness. Momentous events move at a human pace while Richard and Mildred Loving — a matchless pair of performances by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga — try with varying success to comprehend what’s happening to them.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    After countless films in which immigration plays a central role -- one of the earliest was Charlie Chaplin's 1917 silent classic "The Immigrant" while one of the best, Jan Troell's "The Emigrants," has never migrated to DVD -- you'd think the canon was essentially complete. Yet this visionary work adds to it by combining harsh realities with magic-realist fantasies.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Breathes new life into a familiar story: coming of age in high school.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This is more than a respectful remake; Let Me In is quietly stylish and thoroughly chilling in its own right.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    What We Do in the Shadows has nonmedicinal virtues that many large-scale movies lack: unflagging energy, entertaining inventiveness, sustained ridiculousness and even, dare I say it, a spasm of eloquence in Deacon’s twisted tribute to the frailties of the human race.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    His story is instructive, as well as chilling and occasionally hilarious -- a brief, probably foredoomed career during which a would-be Orson Welles, playing shamelessly to the camera, draws from a bottomless cesspool of hubris, bile and rage.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Apollo 11's mission was a singular chapter in the story of mankind; The Dish finds a whimsical, winning way of telling it anew.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Herb and Dorothy, a documentary by Megumi Sasaki, grows on you just as its subjects do.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Has its flaws, but it's better, as well as darker, than the first. It's also longer, by nine minutes, but hold that protest to the Kidney Foundation; the time flies, albeit in fits and starts, like players on a Quidditch field.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This lively little film, a comic take on Shakespeare's tragedy, is really entertaining.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    All the more remarkably, then, this flawed but startling biopic stars another performer, Chadwick Boseman, who fills Brown's shoes with a dynamism that transcends imitation.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The main thing about Cedar Rapids is that it makes you laugh-often and out loud.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    In the end, though, the success of American Gangster doesn't flow from the originality of its ideas, or its bid for epic status, as much as from its craftsmanship and confident professionalism. It's a great big gangster film, and a good one.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's spectacular, to be sure, but also remarkable for its all-encompassing gloom. No movie has ever administered more punishment, to its hero or its audience, in the name of mainstream entertainment.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a film of modest means and great ambition, a darkly comic drama concerned with nothing less than the place of faith, and an embattled Church, in modern life.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    So much movie can be made with so little plot, given sufficient humanity and dramatic tension. That's the case with Andrew Haigh's eloquent chamber piece.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    In many ways the film reflects its hero’s brilliance. It’s a scintillating construction, though one that sometimes feels like a product launch in its own right.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Like earlier Dardenne films, Lorna’s Silence is naturalistic, yet this one, beautifully shot in 35 mm film by Alain Marcoen, achieves a poetry of bereftness.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This immensely pleasurable film is anything but dry. It's a saga of the immigrant experience that captures the snap, crackle and pop of American life, along with the pounding pulse, emotional reticence, volcanic colors and cherished rituals of Indian culture.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Overlord feels like a small but vivid tragedy inside an epic container.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A pitch-black, blood-soaked comedy and phenomenal first feature by Alice Lowe, who also stars as Ruth, the pregnant heroine.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    For the most part, though, Ms. Moncrieff has given us a portrait of a young woman with a luminous soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Almodóvar's love of movies informs every frame of this beautiful film.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Demanding, quietly breathtaking film.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    More to the point of this marvelous film, who knew there were kids as heroic, in their various ways, as these valiant super-spellers?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    For the director, Mr. Leconte, and for the usually volcanic Mr. Auteuil, the quiet, cumulative power of this film is a striking departure from the dazzling energy of their previous collaboration in "Girl on the Bridge."
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Still, the cynosure of all eyes is honest, articulate Elizabeth, her own woman in an era when women belonged to men, and at the same time full of love. Lizzie is the best, and Keira Knightley does right by her.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Part 2 of The Deathly Hallows, is the best possible end for the series that began a decade ago.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    What’s remarkable about Arrival is its contemplative core—and, of course, Ms. Adams’s star performance, which is no less impassioned for being self-effacing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    His film is not for the weak of stomach or heart, but it's a stunner all the same.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The distinction of this lovely, if slightly tentative, debut feature is its willingness to set forth mysteries of the human heart without solving them; everyone's fate stays unsealed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Throbs with an ambition that sends it soaring, then brings it down.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A beautifully strange and stirring sci-fi adventure.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An unusually engaging portrait of a legendary chef who can be insufferable, as his most ardent admirers acknowledge, but who is also a brighter-than-life charmer, raging perfectionist, world-class hedonist, self-styled dandy and all-too-human survivor of the highest-end restaurant wars.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Laurent Cantet's fascinating, troubling drama has many meanings.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A smart, suspenseful drama, starring Hayden Christensen, that honors its own factual roots as no movie about journalists has done since "All the President's Men."
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A stylish thriller with real complexity, people with interesting faces, a sensational actress cast as an ambisexual Goth hacker heroine--the news about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is nothing but good.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Ivan Reitman directed, with great verve and unflagging finesse, from a terrifically funny script by Elizabeth Meriwether.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Marvel’s new “Captain America” is anything but bleak — what’s so audacious about the film, and so pleasing, is its quicksilver mix of hardcore action and bright comedy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Lee's journey of the body and soul is something else. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes it strangely touching, a revelation.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Strong stuff, and all the stronger for having taken itself so comically.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Satoshi Kon, whose previous film was the remarkable "Tokyo Godfathers," uses the complex plot as a pretext for joyous psychedelia.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A bright little screwball comedy that speaks for the vitality of new movies.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The life that swirls around Kym before, during and after her sister's densely populated, wonderfully detailed wedding seems to have been caught on the fly in all its sweetness, sadness and joy. (In its free-form style the film constitutes an elaborate homage to Robert Altman.)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Has its share of contrivances, some more successful than others, but center stage is occupied by truth, and austere beauty.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Miller tells several interlocking stories with such daring and intensity that you sense he could go on indefinitely, spinning one terrific yarn off another.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Surprise, surprise. X-Men: The Last Stand, the third big-screen convocation of mutant shape shifters, weather changers, ice makers, energy suckers, healers and telepaths from Marvel Comics, has shifted the shape of the franchise from pretty good, if uninspired, to terrifically entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A survey of the week wouldn't be complete without a left-handed salute--not to be confused with a backhanded compliment--to the gleeful rubbish of Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A minor comedy, though a major delight.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A wonderfully generous spirit. It's a film about cultural yearning and fearless love.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Awash in terrific performances.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Winningly human, and wonderfully funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The outcome is distinctive and entertaining. There's no way you'd mistake this for James Bond, and no reason you would want to.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Wright and his colleagues have made a movie with a spaciousness of its own, a brave willingness to explore such mysteries of the mind and heart as the torture that madness can inflict, and the rapture that music can confer. Bravo to all concerned.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Manipulative, but confidently so, and improbably but consistently affecting.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's very funny, terrifically lively and, considering how awful it might have been, surprisingly tender in its portrait of a young guy who learns sensitivity the hard way.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    5 Broken Cameras is short on facts and, like the demonstrations themselves, provocative by nature. Still, it casts a baleful light on anguishing, seemingly incessant scenes of tear gas hurled, bullets fired, villagers fleeing for their lives and, on one shocking occasion, a life lost as the camera rolls. This is how the conflict looks from the other side of the barrier.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This prequel draws new energy from supersmart casting, plus the shrewd notion of setting the beginnings of the X-Men saga in the early 1960s.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Taken at face value, these two women are simply despicable. But the screenplay has a bracing tincture of Grand Guignol, and nothing is simple when the two women are played by a couple of superlative actresses who clearly delight in one another.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    What works best is what's readily accessible, the startling power of performers who understand the drama all too well.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    All the backing-and-forthing between olden and modern days intensifies the emotional impact of a compelling story, and underlines the enduring power of narrative itself.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Haunting, troubling documentary.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Watch them march to the very extremes of extremis, though, and it's easy to feel awe.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's as good as anything that Hurt has ever done -- a study in explosive understatement.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Before and after plot mechanics, a drama of family tension and warmth.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Intriguing and affecting documentary.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Gives us the same sort of perverse pleasure that's been a staple of "60 Minutes" over the years -- watching world-class crooks tell world-class lies.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It declines to take itself seriously, yet manages, sometimes simultaneously, to be exciting, instructive, cheerfully absurd and genuinely affecting.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The filmmaker has put two familiar pieces of music to such glorious, full-throated use toward the end that I can’t resist mentioning them: Donovan’s “Deep Peace,” and “Unchained Melody” done in close harmony by the Fleetwoods. For Nathalie in the uncertainty of the here and now, peace and harmony are great ideas too.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This autobiographical meditation is seductively funny, as well as deliciously strange, and hauntingly beautiful, as well as stream-of-consciousness cockeyed.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This wise and funny film, in Japanese with English subtitles, works small miracles in depicting the pivotal moment when kids turn from the wishfulness of childhood into shaping the world for themselves.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Like no one before or since, she had what she valued most in others - good, old-fashioned pizazz.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Immensely likable, and allows Mr. Smith to fulfill his manifest destiny -- as an urbane comedian who is also, shades of Cary Grant, a romantic hero.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    By the end I felt sure it was the most obsessively, graphically violent film I'd ever seen, but equally sure that Apocalypto is a visionary work with its own wild integrity. And absolutely, positively convinced that seeing it once is enough for one lifetime.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The result is a movie more concerned with movie-making than with the stuff of Sterne's great book, but a movie that's good for lots of laughs if you share its fondness for actors and for fatuous actors' banter, which I do.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Finding Dory can be touching, sweet and tender, but it’s compulsively, preposterously and steadfastly funny.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An off-kilter romantic comedy in which everything turns out the way you might have hoped it would if you hadn’t been kept in a state of happy suspense along the way.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The carnival is loud, brash, brassy, sexy and sometimes tacky or silly, but always entertaining.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    What’s most significant, though, is the merciless nature of the cyberbullying, and the terrifying ease with which it’s inflicted. Tickled opens a smudged window on a dark alley of contemporary life.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A work of fiction, Mr. Féret's film is ardent in its inventions, modest in scale, playful in its speculations about Nannerl's influence on her brother's music, and graced by the filmmaker's daughter, Marie Féret, in the title role.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Why, then, should we be eager to see a story of such incomplete inspiration? Because it's thrilling, and stirring. And because it is truth.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The film's special mixture of sadness, comedy and hope sneaks up on you and stays in your memory.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Straightforward in form but surprisingly intricate.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The malignity can be oppressive -- this is a far cry from Fellini finding poignant uplift in the slums -- but the dramatic structure is complex, the details are instructive, and the sense of tragedy is momentous.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This faux-documentary is droll, aerosol-thin and ultrameta.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    More than acting, though, Penn's performance is a marvelous act of empathy in a movie that, for all its surprisingly conventional style, measures up to its stirring subject.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    I have minor misgivings about the use of a few Disney-esque sound effects, as well as some conventionally garish voicings in the score by Danny Elfman, Hollywood's current master of the macabre. But none of that diminishes the educational value of Deep Sea 3-D, which was directed by Howard Hall, or the sometimes ethereal, sometimes fearsome beauty of its cast of trillions.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. (What a terrific title!) This precocious, faux-primitive first feature, in Persian with English subtitles, and a sensationally eclectic score, was shot in wide-screen black-and-white, and frequently mimics the dreamlike rhythms of silent films.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The result feels perfectly American — I wonder if Conrad was named in honor of the troubled brother in “Ordinary People” — yet the film lives and breathes with a lovely intimacy and density of detail that we associate with fine independent features from Europe.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Red Army is about many things — politics and sport, service and servitude, integrity trumped by money. Most memorably, though, it celebrates a good man living a great life by his own lights.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    If you’re looking for something to lift you up and take you away from the tumult and anguish of the moment, seek out Our Little Sister, a lovely new film, in Japanese with English subtitles, that’s going into national distribution this week.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s family entertainment in the freshest sense of the term, a biographical drama, based on a true story, that vibrates with more colors — emotional as well as visual — than I can name.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Beautiful images can be a distraction in a serious documentary, but that's hardly the case here. They draw us in so we can better understand the hurtling changes that endanger the future of Cambodia and, by extension, much of the developing world.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Nicole Kidman places the bereaved heroine of Rabbit Hole in a nether land between life and not-quite-life. Her beautiful performance transcends the specifics of the script, which David Lindsay-Abaire adapted from his play of the same name.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The best car commercial ever, an absolute triumph of product placement, and great fun as a movie in the bargain.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A hoot, or at least a collection of delightful hootlets hung on a short, frayed line.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a paradox worth noting, and savoring, that the most dramatic movie of the week doesn’t have a script.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    What's an eight-letter word for a non-fiction feature that is witty, wise and wonderful? "Wordplay."
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    That Mr. Rohmer is an octogenarian just beginning to play with digital technology makes the venture even more intriguing.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The Square stands as a valuable document of a tormented time, an anatomy of a revolutionary movement doomed by a paucity of viable institutions, and by the movement's failure to advance a coherent agenda. (It's all the more heartbreaking when a speaker at one of the protests cries fervently, "We will fill the world with poetry.")
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Joe
    A beautiful film, shot by Tim Orr, that is elevated by Mr. Cage's stirring portrait of a violence-prone man who can't restrain himself from doing good.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Le Havre stands on its own fragile but considerable merits.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    You don't have to be a fan of Mr. Jarmusch's special brand of indie spookiness to enjoy his new film. All that's required is patience with its languorous pace, plus a willingness to swing between amusement and delight, with periodic pauses at ennui.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Why, in our drum-thumping, ritually trumpeting time, did so little fanfare precede the opening of a movie with so much to recommend it? This is grand entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a comedy of crisp, mordant wit and quietly radiating warmth, as well as a coming-of-age story with a lovely twist -- you can't always spot the best candidates for maturity.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    What's so affecting about him in the film, though, is that he doesn't seem monstrous at all. To the contrary, Iron Mike, having meted out epic suffering in the ring and other venues, seems to be a man who has suffered genuinely, even terribly, in the course of a life that he never believed would last 40 years.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    As such, it's chilling and enjoyable in unequal measure. Entertainment predominates, but entertainment with smarts, and a well-honed edge.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The Sapphires isn't flawless, but who cares? It's a joyous affair that's distinguished by its music, and by the buoyant spirit of its stars.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    From seductive start to shattering finish, the film is as stirring, entertaining and steadfastly thrilling as it is beautiful.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    In a minimalist film of muted emotions, Michelle Williams gives as lovely a performance as a moviegoer could ask for.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    I've made a good case for seeing Rango, and why not; an eye feast is still a feast in this lean multiplex season. Be advised, though, of the film's peculiar deficits. The narrative isn't really dramatic, despite several send-up face-offs. It's more like a succession of picturesque notions that might have flowed from DreamWorks or Pixar while their story departments were out to lunch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a horror flick, and a creepily good one, that also functions as an allegory of the war that still haunts Spain seven decades later.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A droll and affecting debut feature by Tom McCarthy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A remarkably fine and genuinely frightening movie about a teenage vampire.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Some comedies make you laugh out loud. This one makes you smile inwardly, but often.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Tender, funny and smart, Machuca is that rare discovery, an incisive political parable that also succeeds as a drama of sharply drawn individuals.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The film is clearly not for everyone; sometimes it wasn’t for me. But it’s steadfastly nonjudgmental and wonderfully tender toward two searchers for new versions of old-fashioned love.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Who knew this German-born Turkish filmmaker could perpetrate a delirious farce-in German and Greek with good English subtitles-that doesn't flag for a single one of its 99 minutes?
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Even when the masks are dropped, though, it’s all but impossible to tell the good guys from the bad. Both sides are corrupt, both sides do terrible harm. Although the film has its shortcomings and simplifications, it’s a bleakly persuasive view of a decades-long combat that respects no boundaries, and seems to hold no prospect of surcease.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    As a director, working with actors, she may have drawn on her own experience acting in features and TV; whatever her method, she has come up with a matched pair of terrific performances.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The World's End stands on its own as hilarious high-end nonsense.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A daring feature debut by Evan Glodell, Bellflower looks like it was shot with the digital equivalent of a Brownie box camera, and generates an almost palpable aura of anxiety.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This fourth iteration of a series that first burst upon the world in 1988 turns out to be terrific entertainment, and startlingly shrewd in the bargain, a combination of minimalist performances -- interestingly minimalist -- and maximalist stunts that make you laugh, as you gape, at their thunderous extravagance.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    What she thinks of herself, though, seems perfectly, if improbably, reasonable--a queen of comedy who won't and shouldn't abdicate.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Foxcatcher is a radical departure from Mr. Miller’s previous feature, the smart and entertaining “Moneyball.” It isn’t meant as conventional entertainment, but it’s fascinating to watch from start to finish.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Cuarón directs with a hand that's as sure as it is deft. The music is terrific, though I can't say the same for the fusty subtitles, and Adam Kimmel's cinematography bathes the movie's cheerful absurdities in a beautiful glow.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Daniel Craig isn't merely acceptable, but formidable. His Bond is at least the equal of the best ones before him, and beats all of them in sheer intensity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A fascinating procedural with a fitting climax.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    James Marsh’s movie, which co-stars Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking, the celebrated physicist’s wife, is a biographical love story that doesn’t depend on science to shape the plot — it’s rich in emotional intelligence.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Coppola, who is Francis Coppola's granddaughter, has made a coming-of-age film about a culture in which few people — adults included — ever grow up. It's essentially plotless and slowly paced, much like the recent work of her aunt, Sofia Coppola, but astutely observed, full of fine performances and ever so guardedly hopeful about April and the boy who adores her.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's sense of place is hypnotic, but there's more to it than gorgeous images -- Campbell Scott's astute direction; Joan Allen's beautifully laconic performance; a sense of lively, if occasionally pretentious, inquiry into the wellsprings of art.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Yet the heart of the film lies in what it manages to say, without boldface or italics, about how hard it is for Donna, like so many of her anxious cohort, to make genuine connections, to break free of narcissistic constraints and become a stand-up grown-up.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Chiemi Karasawa's unblinking documentary feature watches Elaine Stritch struggle with the toughest role of her life—being old, and in constantly uncertain health.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Eureka demands active attention, but rewards it with emotional resonance, thematic complexity and a succession of images that take up permanent residence in our brains.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The screen, like the stage, can barely contain this marvelous play of intelligence.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Serendipity is "Sliding Doors" with no alternate versions; it's willed enchantment all the way.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    More than a deadpan comedy about oddball losers. This dork has his day, and this story has its touching subtext -- growing pains relieved by unlikely hope.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A convincing, entertaining portrait of the revolutionist as a young man.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Clearly Mr. Altman was enthralled by the company's work process, an alchemy through which sweat and muscularity on the rehearsal-room floor become exquisite abstractions on stage. His pleasure is infectious.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This English film, directed by Nicholas Hytner, is also wonderfully funny, terribly touching and a vehicle — with comically dilapidated vehicles — for the boundless gifts of Maggie Smith.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Koch the film makes the point without belaboring it — a mayor and a metropolis linked by tumultuous events in the worst and best of times.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    When the time comes for suffering, the pain of watching her is mingled with the pleasure of a performance that transcends contrivance. This young actress is the real, heart-piercing thing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Pathos isn't Ms. Dunham's bag. What makes her film fascinating is the delicate mood it sustains.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Boy
    Mr. Waititi, a popular standup comic in New Zealand, is wonderfully droll and entertaining in this acting role, which isn't all that far, geography and culture notwithstanding, from Steve Zahn at his stoner best.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Words of wisdom keep popping up in My Dog Tulip with gratifying regularity. They're more likely to gratify dog lovers than anyone else, but that's a large group to which I belong.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Here's a case of images in the service of important ideas, rather than entertainment, yet they could hardly be more powerful, from roaring torrents released by a dam in China to a lyrical helicopter shot of a glistening river in British Columbia.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    [Sordi] lifts buffoonery to the level of high art.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The entire film is a seduction, one that draws us into a vanished world where Count Leo Tolstoy and his wife of 48 years, Countess Sofya, come to joyous, tempestuous life in a matched pair of magnificent performances by Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A daring and unstable mélange of styles--working-class realism, deadpan fantasy, shameless buffoonery. At times it falls flat, or fails to rise. More often than not, though, it's a heartbreaker.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Stettner has a serious subject here -- how the hurts that women suffer at the hands of men can be internalized more deeply than the victims know -- and his film is graced with a stunning performance by Ms. Channing.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    More persuasively still, Blackfish — an Indian name for orcas — argues against the very concept of quasiamusement parks like SeaWorld that turn giant creatures meant for the wild into hemmed-in, penned-up entertainers.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The substance is enchanting.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An endearing film, and a fascinating one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The first and last things to be said in this limited space about Kubo and the Two Strings are that it’s a showcase for some of the most startlingly beautiful animation in recent — and not so recent — memory.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An accomplished and enjoyable Spanish-language debut feature by Fabían Bielinsky.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Herzog’s film may not be a model of organization, but I loved every meandering minute.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Head, shoulders, funny bone and brain above the competition. It's the best comedy I've seen this year.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    In a literal sense this delightful film, in Norwegian with English subtitles, is about retirement and the prospect of loss. But Mr. Hamer, a poet of the droll and askew, sends the aptly named Odd--it's also a common Norwegian name--on a cockeyed journey from regret through comic confusion to a lovely eagerness for new adventures.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s the film Hesse deserves — lively and concise, though calmly comprehensive; thoughtful and essentially serious, but with a witty appreciation of the oddity, recklessness and absurdity that its subject valued; rich with history, and beautifully made in its own right.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The results are startlingly original, if occasionally overambitious. This is "Tsotsi" without the feel-good glow, a tale of entrepreneurship's perils and boundless pleasures.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    CQ
    Exceptionally likable and affecting as well as entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This is a special film whose delicate tone ranges from tender to astringent, with occasional side trips into sweet.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Readily accessible, slyly subversive and perfectly delightful film.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Fatih Akin is a filmmaker to be reckoned with. His characters grow and change in a stunning film that pulses with life.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Now, thanks to this last film, in 3-D, the pleasure is intense, and mixed with awe. There is majesty here, and not just because we’re in the presence of magnificently regal madness.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A feature film that's often astringent on the surface, yet deeply and memorably stirring.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's main appeal is its special comic flavor -- a zesty fusion of picaresque adventure, absurdist whimsy and Chaplinesque grace.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An expertly developed farce that's very funny and surprisingly affecting in the bargain.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A severe and eerily beautiful German-language drama.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The essence of this inventive though erratic animated feature is joyous music and eye-popping motion.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Along the way Dori Berinstein's cameras catch gallant theater people doing what they've done since Sophocles was a pup: rehearsing, revising, worrying, learning, stretching, struggling to bump things up from good to wonderful and constantly, fervently hoping.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This latest feature by the Spanish master isn’t up there with his sensational best. All the same, give thanks for substantial favors.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Howard, and the screenwriter, Akiva Goldsman, have used the book as nothing more than their jumping-off point for an erratic work of fiction that's part mystery thriller and part Hollywood schmaltz.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    An overlong adventure enlivened by wonders.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This enjoyable shambles of a sci-fi thriller, directed by Marc Forster in impressive 3-D, stands on its own as a powerful vision of planetary chaos.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This wonderful little film, directed by Fernando León de Aranoa and set “somewhere in the Balkans” in 1996, is extremely witty and light on its feet, yet it manages to be thoughtful, even philosophical, in an absurdist way, about the roots of human conflict.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    These young men and women aren't in it for the money, or the glory; they only want to save lives and heal wounds. That's another kind of glory.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Englert's performance isn't as interesting as it might have been if the writing hadn't favored Ginger. But Ms. Fanning, a young actress of seemingly unerring instincts, is a wonder.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Cadillac Records may be a mess dramatically, but it's a wonderful mess, and not just because of the great music. The people who made it must have harbored the notion, almost subversive in a season of so many depressing films, that going out to the movies should be fun.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Seldom has a film presented such a richly ambiguous juxtaposition of modernity (among the toys showered on the boy is a really cool radio-controlled helicopter), ancient mindset and, to be sure, possible miraculousness.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The whole thing comes together surprisingly well, as a celebration of its own milieu, and of a tender teen's transformation into a strong young woman.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This isn't a great film, but it's a surprisingly good and confident one, with a minimum of the showboating that often substitutes, in the feelgood genre, for simple feelings.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A quietly transfixing drama.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A consistently entertaining, frequently violent and generally slapdash action comedy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    None of this is uninteresting, and much of it is fascinating as the film gets up close and personal with the earth’s seething innards.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The most remarkable thing about The Mermaid, though, is its clarity as a cautionary fable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I regretted it most when the temporal hopscotching took me away from Ms. Winslet's portrait of the writer as a young sensualist, madly smitten by words and life.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Considering the star power -- and talent -- of the cast around her, it would have been impressive if Alison Lohman had simply held her own as Astrid, the young heroine of White Oleander. Instead, she owns the movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This new “Alien” prequel is mostly a gore fest, which may be great news for gluttons of the genre.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Reconstruction means to be confusing, and is. It also means to intrigue us, and does.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    What's troubling about the film's technique is its lack of context; we must take Yuris, who speaks serviceable English, pretty much at his word. What's troubling about his story is its ring of truth.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This Danish-language film about a Copenhagen commune in the mid-1970s pulses with screwy energy and antic confusion.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Real-life events have overtaken District B13, and they give this feverish, yet oddly flat French action adventure a whiff of substance to go along with its spectacular stunts.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    In its agreeably eccentric spirit, Tommy’s Honour evokes the Scottish comedies of Bill Forsyth; here it’s oddballs among the handmade, undimpled golf balls.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Who Killed the Electric Car?, a fascinating feature-length documentary by Chris Paine, opens with a mock funeral, then follows the structure of a mock trial in which multiple suspects are found guilty.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Combines silly stuff about life in Los Angeles with buoyant energy, a couple of chases worthy of the Keystone Kops and quick-witted actors playing droll characters with obvious affection.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    To do rough justice to this special treat in not much space, let me first stipulate that it evokes any number of Woody Allen films, thanks to its therapy-centric characters and its Upper West Side milieu.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Crude as its build-up may be, the movie pays off with unexpected delicacy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The plot has an intriguing twist, and the production, in addition to Mr. McKellen’s commanding presence, has fine work by Laura Linney as Holmes’s housekeeper, Mrs. Munro, and by Milo Parker as Roger, Mrs. Munro’s son. The boy is vividly intelligent, ferociously angry and a force to be reckoned with.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    At a time when so many movies look alike, and studio productions sometimes look aggressively ugly, here's a quirky vision at the intersection of sci-fi and romance. Upside Down can be beguiling if you're willing to invert disbelief.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    When a feelgood formula is fleshed out artfully, going along with it can feel very good indeed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Pays off in surprising ways, when love of music, and fame, plays second fiddle to love of family.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I’ll See You In My Dreams, has its shortcomings as drama, but she’s (Danner) the heroine, Carol Petersen, and she takes advantage of every resonant moment the role offers her.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This screen adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s autobiographical best-seller is burdened, out of fidelity to the book, with life lessons and unneeded explanations that it dispenses, like CliffsNotes, at every opportunity.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Beowulf deserves to be taken semiseriously; its eye candy is mixed with narrative fiber and dramatic protein. But it begs to be taken frivolously. Effects have grown so exciting in the realm of the third dimension that you just sit there all agog behind your polarizing glasses.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Pulls us along in a state of pleasant expectation.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie, with some of the trappings of a murder mystery, makes its points with blunt force. Fun seldom figures in this adaptation, which is overlong and mysteriously unaffecting. Still, Mr. Fincher's film has many fascinations.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The language of its narrative, like that of its characters, may be elevated -- a literary Western version of Damon Runyon -- but the words are intriguing, challenging and, occasionally, very funny.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Its terrific cast kept making me laugh out loud.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Bening is the only reason to see the movie, but a compelling reason. Just like Julia, she prevails over lesser mortals with unfailing zest.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Ambitious and uneven.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The children's real world, or what passes for real in a fantasy, could hardly be more inviting, for reasons that are hardly mysterious: the strong performances, under Mark Waters's accomplished direction; the smart, bright language, much of it taken from the books; the stylish cinematography, by Caleb Deschanel.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Once the plotters plunge into action, though, Valkyrie becomes both an exciting thriller and a useful history lesson.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's easy to speculate that the loving Cleo and the frequently absent Johnny are stand-ins for Ms. Coppola and her own famous father, but Somewhere needn't be seen as a film à clef. The movie stands on its own terms as a slow-burning drama of life in a Hollywood purgatory where you can not only check out but leave.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Eye in the Sky is literally all over the map in its depiction of drone warfare, and right on target, if flagrantly contrived, in examining the ethics of killing by remote control.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film has a surprisingly sweet spirit, and its co-stars respect the human core in their garish material; Mr. Kinnear, especially, has never been more likable.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Plain-spoken and unpretentious, he’s a fount of surprising information and informed opinion.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Here, it is saying in effect, are old-fashioned conventions that still have life in them, but to appreciate them we need to approach them playfully. That worked for me, from the understated start to the overwrought finish.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A freewheeling denunciation of the capitalist system that is often mordantly funny and, by lurching turns, scornful, rambling, repetitive, impassioned, mock-lofty, pseudo-lowbrow, faux-naïve, persuasive, tabloid-shameless and agit-prop-powerful.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The essence of the film is slapsticky, chopsocky action, rendered with great verve and accompanied by bromides having to do with the need to believe.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    There's plenty of scary pleasure to be had from this clever, compact thriller.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Several startling depictions of the artist at work make you forget, if only temporarily, the serious shortcomings of the script.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This one is nowhere near as original -- it's a flawed remake of a fine first feature from Norway -- but "Insomnia" still stands on its own as a thriller with brains and scenic beauty.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A series of picaresque adventures in a notably picturesque land. Is it enough to sustain anything resembling dramatic momentum? For a while it isn't, but then, unexpectedly, it is.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    There's the expected, though no less astounding, profusion of life forms on the way down — Mr. Cameron calls them "critters" when he isn't using their scientific names — but the essence of the drama is the explorer's deepening solitude.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Horror and social value contend for equal honors in Must Read After My Death, a frightening -- and eerily edifying -- documentary that Morgan Dews created from a family trove of photos, Dictaphone letters, audiotapes, voluminous transcripts and home movies.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The repetitions are meant as a sort of metajoke, and it works well enough, more often than not, though heightened levels of raunch and chaos seem not so much meta as frantic.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Much of this is fascinating, as far as it goes, but it wouldn't go as far as it does into drama were it not for Ms. Johansson's wonderfully strange performance.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a paradox, then, as well as a pity, that the film loses its way at precisely the point when the new story starts to merge with the old one, and the Little Girl meets a character called Mr. Prince.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Watching the actors and gorgeous trappings is an adventure in cognitive dissonance. I didn't believe a single minute in almost three hours, but enjoyed being there all the same.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mixes whiffs of Woody Allen and Federico Fellini with Mr. Farmanara's distinctive, mordant wit.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A P.T. Anderson film is, by definition, an event, even if this one doesn’t measure up to such absurdist landmarks as Howard Hawks’s “The Big Sleep,” the Coen brothers’ “The Big Lebowski” and Robert Altman’s peerless “The Long Goodbye.”
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Joan Allen, for whom the role was written, combines severity, which she has often played before, with such levity and verve that she lifts the whole film on the wings of Terry's wrath.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Max
    This fine and welcome piece of family entertainment, directed by Boaz Yakin from a script he wrote with Sheldon Lettich, gets to a sweet spot by way of a smart premise, patriotic undertones and a coming-of-age story that’s downright stirring.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Roger Donaldson's film is endearing in its own right as a celebration of a strong-willed eccentric, and memorable as a showcase for a brilliant actor in a benign mode.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Much of the film is banal or pretentious, or both - vacuous vignettes about emptiness. Occasionally, though, those vignettes burst into life and burn with consuming fire.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a privilege to watch peerless actors at the peak of their powers.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Here’s a nice surprise, a zestful, slightly autobiographical debut feature from Israel, written and directed by a woman, Talya Lavie, that takes satirical aim at the passions, frustrations and sexual politics of women in the army.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The music is shamelessly entertaining, and the warmth of Morgan Freeman's narration conveys the possibility that, for all the imminent peril, the lemurs of this enchanted forest still have a fighting chance.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Looks splendid and commands respect, but leaves you wondering what essential something you missed. It's a worthy film at war with itself.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie as a whole is clever, and conspicuously overwrought. But Mr. Downey's performance is elegantly wrought; he's as quick-witted as his legendary character, and blithely funny in the lovers' spats—all right, the mystery-lovers' spats—that Holmes keeps having with Jude Law's witty Dr. Watson.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Bizarre and belabored, yet grimly fascinating.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    There are worlds within the startling world of Murderball.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This modest little fable from Israel, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, has spellbinding resonances, yet never breaks the spell by blowing its own horn.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    My advice to "Hobbit" fans is not only to see this one, but to see it as I did, in 3-D projected at the normal rate of 24 frames per second. The film will also be shown in what's called High Frame Rate 3-D, at 48 frames a second, but that made the last installment look more like video than a regular movie. Smaug is scary enough without a turbo boost.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Halle Berry is something else as Leticia Musgrove, the widow of an inmate who's just been executed by Hank and his crew, and that something else is commandingly passionate.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    If truth be told, the film is less than the sum of its parts; the main problem is the fragmented narrative structure, a legacy of the literary source. Still, it's a joy to see men and women with dense life stories played by powerful actors with long and distinguished careers.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mammoth manages to be as affecting as it is heartfelt.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Van Sant and his star, Michael Pitt, together with the cinematographer Harris Savides, set out to do a somber, rigorously distanced study of a man drained of all resources, and slowly though inexorably approaching his end. That they have done exactly what they meant to do is notable.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The Visitor tells of renewal through love. Its song is tinged with sadness, but stirring all the same.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    When Kevin Spacey takes center stage, our planet really does seem bright.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The buddies’ adventures are dramatized delightfully, but a case could be made for the movie’s real subject being scenery, and, particularly, water.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Sharp-witted, sometimes surreal and largely autobiographical French-language comedy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie isn't deep, or particularly intricate; it doesn't play all that much with the potential for mistaken identities, and the cruelty it depicts becomes repetitive or, worse still, desensitizing. But The Devil's Double does give us indelible images of Uday's decadence - the filmmakers say they're understated - and a double dip of dazzling acting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Modest in scale but formidable in its impact.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Edges have been softened, harshness has been transformed into happiness sprinkled with eccentricity. And the paradox, of course, is that we're glad to be seduced. As Disney films go, this is a good one.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The structure is sheer contrivance — three narratives intricately interlocked — while the plot amounts to a convenience store of variably credible, or borderline incredible, strands. Yet the film is impressive all the same.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film transcends its various borrowings and occasional stumblings with a modern, exuberant spirit that draws heat from Broadway-style musical numbers and, before and after everything else, from marvelous 3-D animation
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Gets lots of mileage from a combination of high spirits, scorn for the laws of physics, readily renewable energy and an emphasis on family values-not those of the nuclear family, but of hell-raising, drag-racing outlaws who genuinely care for one another.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's short, taut, nicely shot, well-acted, astutely directed, specific where it might have been generic, original enough to be engrossing and derivative enough to be amusing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Asked to define his job, Zappa gives a simple answer with convincing sincerity: “I’m an entertainer.” Simplicity gives way to intriguing complexity as the film covers other things Zappa was.

Top Trailers