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 There Will Be Blood
Lowest review score: 0 Henry Fool
Score distribution:
1,916 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 81 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
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An endearing film, and a fascinating one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An accomplished and enjoyable Spanish-language debut feature by Fabían Bielinsky.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 67 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Fascinating not only for its portrait of an emergent--and endearing--superstar, but for the evolution of three teammates the young LeBron came to love, and the hard-driving coach who evolved with them.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Once Lisbeth has her day in court, though, the buildup pays off and then some.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Where the movie is at its best is in the comically laconic, straight-to-the-camera remarks offered by Carthage's residents. (They're played by a mix of local actors and real townspeople doing partially scripted versions of themselves.)
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a genre film, not great art, though there's a good joke about art - a pricey piece of action painting, appropriately enough - but it's a thoroughly satisfying entertainment, and, in this season of lowered expectations, a nice surprise.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Ken Loach better watch out. From the start of his illustrious career his name has been synonymous with left-wing politics expressed in remarkably fine, consistently serious social-realist dramas, most of them set in England or Scotland. Now he has gone and directed a comedy from a script by his longtime collaborator Paul Laverty, and it's so delightful that his fans will be clamoring for more.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film is thin and mannered, even though many of the mannerisms are intrinsic to its shrewd vision of cult behavior. There's no arguing, though - and who would want to? - Ms. Marling's extraordinary gift for taking the camera and weaving a spell.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Bears no resemblance to the smarmy fraud that Roberto Benigni perpetrated in "Life Is Beautiful."
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Isn't the best romantic comedy one might wish for, but it's more than good enough.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The Man Nobody Knew is packed with knowledge of another sort. It amounts to an absorbing, sometimes appalling course in how U.S. foreign policy evolved and functioned following World War II.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Nothing to write home about, though nothing to stay home about either, especially if you're a dyed-in-the-polyester Powers fan.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Tetro turns out to be not one movie but, at the very least, two--a Fellini-esque (or Coppola-esque) concatenation of drama, dance and opera (with a nod to Alphonse Daudet), and a modest, appealing coming-of-age story that involves Maribel Verdú (from “Y Tu Mamá También”) as Tetro’s girlfriend.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A solid success, primarily though not entirely because of Jeremy Renner. He's a star worthy of the term as Aaron Cross, another haunted operative who, like Jason Bourne, is as much a victim of the government's dirty deeds as a covert super-agent. But the production is impressive too.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie perseveres with affecting, sometimes startling candor, and eventually delivers on its promise by confronting the dark fears and furtive hopes of a couple no longer young.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Before Wanted reaches the end of its wild course, the violence that's been nothing but oppressive becomes genuinely if perversely impressive; the ritual carnage becomes balletic carnage (railroad cars included); the Walter Mitty-esque hero, Wesley, played by James McAvoy becomes a formidable enforcer of summary justice, and Mr. McAvoy, most memorably the young doctor in "The Last King of Scotland," becomes a certified star.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This is a film with a positive message that's delivered eloquently, and who's to say that joyous purpose doesn't have its place?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The cleverness gives considerable pleasure until the story grows absurd and the story within the story turns unpleasant, like the creepily precocious young man who tells it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    That's not to say that this first visit to a live-action Narnia on screen isn't enjoyable, or promising for the future of what will surely be a successful franchise. But there's not a lot of humor along the way, and the epic struggle between good and evil plays out in battles more impressive than thrilling.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Déjà Vu is pretty dazzling, as action adventures go, even when it's wildly, almost defiantly, implausible. Movies can make us semi-believe the damnedest things.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    For the most part, though, the real people - the movers and shakers of Nim's world - are there to speak for themselves in the present as well as the past, and the main ones are, with a conspicuous exception, a sorry, self-serving lot.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's loud, raunchy, semicoherent and stuffed to the bursting point with heavy weaponry and car chases, most of which involve a red, cocaine-covered Prius that's been pressed into service as a police car. But Adam McKay's comedy of chaos, which he wrote with Chris Henchy, can also be very funny.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I found the film borderline bleak, and borderline predictable, at least in its resolution, yet admirable as well. Winter Passing almost always operates on the right side of the border, the full-of-life side where compelling characters live with urgency and intensity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A fine Argentinean film with English subtitles.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A surprise and a not-so-guilty pleasure.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    By the end, though, the production is engulfed by barely controlled frenzy -- all decor and no air, music as lo-cal ear candy, scenes as merchandise to be sold, people as two-dimensional props.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Didn't see through it, though I had a rough sense of what was coming, and didn't have all that much fun. I did enjoy the movie's cheerful preoccupation with style.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a powerful polemic in its own right, despite some maddeningly glib generalizations, a documentary that functions as a 2½-hour provocation in the ongoing debate about corporate conduct and governance.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film makes its case graphically, to say the least, yet muddies its bloody waters with an excess of artifice and a dearth of facts.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Yes, of course this is fairly old-fashioned entertainment, but it's really, really entertaining.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Soon I realized that the real subject of this film, with its philosophical voice-overs by the filmmaker and its haunting shots of decayed American downtowns, is the passage of time and the toll it takes. The effect of the Super 8 is to give present moments historical weight by making them look primitive; it's a kind of instant oldening that seems to pause time if not to stop it. It's About You is an odd and touching little film. I'm glad I stuck it out.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    For all its energy, fine performances and dramatic confrontations, Friday Night Lights substitutes intensity for insight, dodging the book's harsher findings like a dazzling broken-field runner.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Merchants of Doubt, a provocative and improbably entertaining documentary by Robert Kenner, means to make people angry, and to make them think. It will surely do the former. I’d like to think it will do the latter.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Clouds Of Sils Maria. swirls with provocative ideas, but they’re talked about more than dramatized
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I found this film deeply affecting as well. It has a gravity that's independent of technique, and an engaging spirit that's enhanced by flashes of comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film deserves to be seen, and admired, for its own revelations, and for its unlikely, yet deeply affecting, transformation into a story of abiding love that, in its own turn, involves a deception. At the age of 86, Mr. Randi is a small, gnomish figure who walks with a cane. What seems entirely undiminished, though, is the power of his mind, driven more than ever by the dictates of his heart.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    An evil spell nearly does Snow White in, but it's lifted in the nick of time. The strangest spell afflicts Kristen Stewart; she can't seem to imbue Snow White with anything more than a semblance of feeling. That spell never lifts, but it doesn't make much difference in the end because the forces of good manage to work around it.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film celebrates artistic freedom without preaching a sermon, and often flies when Mr. Chi is on screen. When he is on stage, spinning and leaping to the strains of magnificent music, the film soars.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A thoroughly serious film, full of vivid details, but also a relentlessly serious one that requires Mr. Wilson to spend a great deal of time looking disconsolate.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The script — by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul — is erratic, to put it generously. Yet the 3-D animation is so stylish and, from time to time, so downright beautiful, that you hardly notice when the storytelling loses track of itself.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Since Mr. Stone is a prisoner of his penchant for pop-psychologizing on a cosmic scale, his movie has the astounding effect of absolving President Nixon of personal guilt for his crimes and misdeeds without bothering to explain what he did wrong. [21 Dec 1995, p.A12]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Movies often turn on slender notions worked up to look like full-fledged ideas. Once in a while, though, a notion will be fertile to begin with, a self-renewing source of delight. That's the case with Luc Besson's Angel-A.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    At its best, Ava DuVernay’s biographical film honors Dr. King’s legacy by dramatizing the racist brutality that spurred him and his colleagues to action. The director and her screenwriter, Paul Webb, are less successful — sometimes much less so — at breathing life into the private moments that define King as an inspirational figure with human flaws, and a political as well as spiritual force.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The brute force of Terminator 3 is relieved, I'm happy to say, by Claire Danes's winning performance as John Connor's reluctant accomplice (whom the production notes describe, not inaccurately, as an "unsuspecting veterinarian"); by many of the special effects, which don't seem obsolete at all, and, yes, by the sinister trix of the Terminatrix.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    An improbably delicious comedy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I floated in and out of states that included suspense, surprise, delight and shock, all of them adding up to steady-state enjoyment.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    If you're looking for an action thriller, this isn't it. The pace is deliberate, the tone is pensive, albeit punctuated by occasional violence, and the style is exceedingly lean; characters reveal themselves mainly through moral choices.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The vision of office work that's offered up by Haiku Tunnel is as chilling as it is funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The script, adapted by Matt Greenhalgh from a memoir by Lennon's half-sister, Julia Baird, is flagrantly Oedipal; almost every scene between John and his mother is sexually charged. The curse is taken off most of these encounters by Anne-Marie Duff's eloquent work in the mother's role.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Presley Chweneyagae's Tsotsi makes his presence deeply felt. In a world of heedless children wielding guns, his tale is a heartening one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Kristin Scott Thomas is the best though not the only reason to see Leaving.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Munich is a Spielberg film for better and worse, a vivid, sometimes simplistic thriller in which action speaks louder than ideas.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film succeeds on the strength of the boy, and the remarkable young actor who plays him, Kodi Smit-McPhee.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The pace is deliberate, verging on slow — Australian filmmakers aren't keen on short takes or quick cuts — but the content is constantly surprising.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The Counterfeiters is inevitably serious, even austere, and full of chilling, ironic details.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    For all its pictorial splendor and carefully calculated drama, this film misses greatness by a country mile.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    [Luhrmann's] movie is all over the map. But what a gorgeous map it is. The too-muchness, like the too-longness, befits the Northern Territory's vastness. In its heart of hearts Australia is an old-fashioned Western -- a Northern, if you will -- and all the more enjoyable for it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    RED
    The best part of Red is the spectacle of terrific actors being terrific in novel ways.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    An unusual amalgam of formulaic feel-goodism and shocking tough-mindedness, a movie that allows us to decode the inner life of its hero while he's decoding the world around him.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A valuable film, provided one doesn't ask too much of it.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    What the film does best is document the lengths to which people are going to protect themselves -- subcutaneous microchips for identification, ever-heavier armor for fancy cars.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    What's remarkable, though, is how Ms. Bier's film, in Danish and English, finds beauty in its quiet moments, which are many and close between.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Disney’s new live-action version is for the most part beguilingly good, even though it’s no replacement for the studio’s 1950 animated classic.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    May be something of a stunt, but it's a fascinating stunt that holds your attention from the start to shortly before the finish.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The story's literary underpinnings are hilariously represented by the denizens of a seedy writers' retreat situated near Tamara's old house, which she has come back to reclaim after her mother's death.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A seasoned director might have known when to ask Ms. Theron to do less, or nothing at all; as things stand, she acts at every single moment. But what brave and ferocious acting she does.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    You'll miss out on some really great stuff if you don't see this surprising movie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This ambitious, entertaining movie, which showed at film festivals earlier this year, has been hailed in some quarters as a masterpiece worthy of Arthur Miller's Willy Loman or Sinclair Lewis's George Babbitt. Yet its social comments are stained by condescension, and its uplift is sustained by sentimentality that Mr. Nicholson's prickly Everyman can't conceal.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Finally seems like a bit of a con in its own right, but a marvelously smooth one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Jon Shenk's fascinating documentary feature The Island President personalizes the threat of global warming, and nationalizes it too, by focusing on Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    By turns repellent, powerful and ludicrous, Antichrist piles horror on horror with pitiless passion.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Like Kong himself, it's imposing, sometimes endearing, and very rough around the edges.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    George Clooney's film noir sensibility in the title role feels authentic, and admirably solid.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film itself is fairly slight: I'm not sure what it adds up to. Still, I enjoyed every moment of its beguiling saga of a depressed teen named Craig.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A movie you can't readily get out of your head.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Murphy rises to every occasion, not only with the crisp wit that has long been his hallmark, but with restraint and tenderness that serve him well.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I felt much the same way as I sat goggle-eyed through this endless extravaganza of visual abracadabra. It seemed entirely possible that I might die of the fidgets or old age while waiting for Baron Munchausen to kill the Turks. And yet I found myself wanting to see the end of the movie before I expired. [9 Mar 1989, p.1]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Youth in Revolt is basically an absurdist ramble, but a terrifically likable ramble.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A likable lightweight, though it's heavy enough on cosmic combat and dazzling effects.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Washington is splendid, as always. So is Forest Whitaker as James Farmer, Sr.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    What the movie lacks in coherence it makes up for in zest, well-founded self-delight and a sharpshooter's eye for the absurdities of reality TV.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film fulfills its feel-good promise, as long as it's seen as the fairy tale it was meant to be.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Full of life -- which is a very good thing to say about a story that turns on death -- wonderfully odd, and a gallery of perfect performances.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This adroit and understated coming-of-age film reminded me of the New Wave of Czech films in the 1960s, but with a distinctive poignancy that translates to wisdom.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Supremacy certainly works on its own terms, but those terms are limiting. It's an entertainment machine about a killing machine.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This story of 12 manipulable -- or manipulative -- men and women rarely fails to hold your interest, even though much of it doesn't hold water.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This is a modest film, and an affecting one.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Deliver Us From Evil has its flaws. Certain passages are diffuse, others are argumentative, and there's a discomfiting staginess to the climax... Yet the film's concern for the victims, and their families, is one of its strengths.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film succeeds powerfully, even though it's short on practical solutions, makes some questionable statements of fact and, given Gore's current ambiguous position in public life, requires a tighter focus on the message than on the messenger.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    One-third wonderful, The Place Beyond the Pines weakens as it unfolds for lack of what makes the early part so good.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Errol Morris's documentary was made, and scheduled for release, long before the News of the World story broke. The smart part is that the film dissects those excesses deftly with a quasitabloid style of its own.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    There's no doubt, though, that The Rundown will be a crowd-pleaser, despite a forgettable title and lots of roughness around the production's edges. It's a comedy-adventure with a frivolous soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Little by little, though, the cluelessness grew endearing, the cross-purpose conversations intricately funny, the gritty look appealing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Renoir is so beautiful, and so intelligently conceived, that you keep waiting, in vain, for a bit of fire to break out in the narrative.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Yet dramatic energy is in short supply. The actors move about this elaborate movie museum in a modified dream state, as if living in the present while rooted in the past. But the strategy doesn't work. It's an imitation of lifelessness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Makes an eloquent case for John Kerry's courage, both during and immediately after his service in Vietnam.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    An odd but agreeable little comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I won't pretend to understand the movie's deep meaning--if it has one--but I can say three things for sure: Mr. Rockwell gives a brilliant performance, the physical production is impressive and Moon made me think. Four things: It made me smile.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Ejiofor gives a commanding performance, perfectly calibrated in what's withheld just as much as what's revealed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    These talented, dedicated kids aren't making believe about anything - they're making art out of shimmering illusion, intricate manipulation and blithe misdirection. (In magic, as distinct from filmmaking, misdirection is a good thing.)
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Hardly a scene goes by that isn't visually striking or kinetically thrilling, and all of it enhanced by 3-D.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The Sessions is admirable, and often enjoyable, yet self-limiting in concept. It's exactly about what it sets out to be about - no less but no more.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Entertaining and improbably endearing.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It is thoughtful, unfashionable, measured, mostly honest, sometimes clumsy or remote, often exciting, occasionally moving and eventually surprising. It's correct.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a fine film, full of small epiphanies.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Batman Begins summons up moments of great eloquence and power. If only its cast of characters was as fully inhabited as its turbulent city.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    By turns intriguing, boring, frustrating, amazing and stirring, this is a tour de force that, necessarily, lacks dramatic force, but one that creates a dream state of seemingly limitless dimensions.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This flamboyantly operatic anti-war film takes getting used to, though it leaves you with memorable images of madness, both poetic and military.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Of all the funny things in Thank You for Smoking, and there are many, the most striking is Robert Duvall's absolutely mirthless laugh.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A leisurely and quite lovely drama that honors the conventions of gothic ghost stories without the slightest stain of self-irony.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I paid steadfast attention, both to the actress, a performer of unusual versatility, and to the character she plays, a caged -- and cagey -- bird who sings because she's too stubborn to cry.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    For a film filled with jagged shards of glass, and sometimes shot kaleidoscopically, through the windows of houses or cars, Bee Season is carefully, almost relentlessly, intended. That said, the script, by Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, touches on themes that rarely make it to the big screen.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Kunis, a petite brunette, plays Rachel, a hotel receptionist by day and a party girl by night (and day), with a sparkling smile, a seductive voice that can sharpen to a rasp and a quick wit that suggests withheld knowledge. Good for her in a sex farce that lets so much hang out.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film is long and sometimes harrowing, but also enthralling.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film's power also lies in the honesty of its observation. Though Gyuri survives unfathomable horrors, he can't forget them and, in the end, doesn't want to. They're the only history he has.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's no classic, but you don't need to be a cultist to get in on the tawdry fun.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    In the absence of internal logic, external style and emotional intelligence carry the day.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Lots of Sicko stands as boffo political theater, but its major domo lost me by losing his sense of humor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Smart, funny and authentically terrifying. It's a comedy that explains how network television succeeds in being so horribly awful.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    All but one of the actresses in Caramel are nonprofessionals -- not unprofessional, just untrained in the craft -- and they are, to a woman, enchanting. So is this Lebanese comedy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I admired the leisure and intensity of this morality tale.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    By turns chilling, mysterious and inspiring; sometimes it's all of those at once.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This small-scale film has more outsize ideas than it could possibly manage. Yet Mike Cahill's debut feature exerts a gravitational pull out of proportion to its size through powerful performances, a lyrical spirit, a succession of arresting images and a depth of conviction that sweeps logic aside.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This is a road movie unlike any other, the comical and mystical odyssey of old Mamo (an extraordinary performance by Ismail Ghaffari), a venerated musician who heads for Iraq from exile in Kurdish Iran with a busload of his musician sons to give a concert after Saddam's fall.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Still, the essence of the film lies in the athletes' towering charm, and the nature of their journey.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Marvelously detailed and meticulously crafted, an elegant evocation of Depression-era America and its fascination with crime. What the movie lacks is any sense of elation--it’s joyless by choice.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The cast is the main attraction in Francois Ozon's witty, even touching 8 Women.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The roots are shallow, but the sequel is good-natured, high-spirited and perfectly enjoyable if you take it for what it is.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    This is Mr. Fogelman’s directorial debut, and an auspicious one; it feels as if he’s long been accustomed to working with actors — with exceptional actors like those he has brought together here.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's distinction, however, lies in two lovely performances, and in the passion and pain of parallel lives--both girls suffering at the hands of men, both struggling to understand the brutality of the world they must share.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    I did enjoy the movie's mercurial moods -- anxiety, terror, whimsical horror -- and I welcomed its confirmation that the work of the devil includes SUVs.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    As smart as this film is about image-making in the age of all-pervasive media, the theme threatens to wear thin until Katniss comes to a new and moving awareness of her power, not just as a figurehead fashioned and elaborately feathered by political consultants but as a source of authentic inspiration to her shattered nation.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie comes up with a couple of tender moments that could pass for human, and a mano-a-mano climax in which the superhero of yore, the glint in his eye dulled but not extinguished, functions as a weirdly touching tyrannosaurus.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    If you're willing to go along with it, as I was, then being manipulated -- or at least actively misled -- becomes a pleasure.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Taxi to the Dark Side adds something new to our awareness -- interviews with soldiers who served as interrogators in Afghanistan, and in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, and who, in some cases that ended in courts martial, served prison terms themselves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It's not the generic plot that's so memorable, even though its convolutions are clever enough, or the cast of mostly interesting characters, but the surreal swirl of form and color that frequently fills the enormous screen.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film itself operates on shifting sands. Shot documentary-style, by Robert Elswit, and accompanied by a pounding soundtrack, Syriana makes high-octane melodrama look like revealed truth.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The great lesson of the film is that humor, honest feelings and genuine exuberance trump technique.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Rio
    The production eventually succumbs to motion overload-so many characters darting off in so many directions that the ending turns unfocused, even flat. But watching them go by is great fun, and there are worse things than a movie that can't stop moving.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Beyond being entertained, I was delighted by the movie's outpouring of slapstick invention (one crazed sequence in a pet store has all the pawmarks of a classic), and the genial energy of its star, David Arquette.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film benefits from three splendid performances: Toby Jones as Capote, an aggressively gay elf exuding a tosspot charm; Sandra Bullock as Nelle Harper Lee, a novelist who uses spoken words with quiet precision, and Daniel Craig as Perry, a deluded monster who is nonetheless forthright and strong.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The delicately subversive Mr. Panahi makes his subjects perfectly clear -- the stupidity of authority, and the hypocrisy of discrimination. Offside is surprisingly entertaining, and edifying to boot.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film succeeds on its own terms — an exciting entertainment that makes us feel good about the outcome, and about the reach of American power, rather than its limits. Yet the narrative container is far from full. There isn't enough incident or complexity to sustain the entire length of this elaborately produced star vehicle.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A conspicuous comedown from the best of Mr. Macdonald’s films — “The Last King of Scotland” and “Touching the Void.” Still, the craftsmanship is impressive, Ben Mendelsohn’s Fraser provides plenty of psychopathic villainy, and Mr. Law invests his character with more passion than the writing deserves.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Paine's follow-up lacks the conspiratorial drama of its predecessor, which blamed the EV1's death on the oil industry and the auto industry, tied as they were to the future of the internal combustion engine. But his new documentary is fascinating in its own right.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mommy is certainly a showcase for powerful acting: Anne Dorval is the coarse but affecting Diane, Antoine-Olivier Pilon is terrifying as Diane’s teenage son, Steve.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film functions as a high-wire act that can leave you giddy with laughter.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Everyone is touched by sadness or hobbled by self-deception, and everyone is interesting, even moving, to watch until the drama slowly suffocates beneath the weight of its revelations.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Though the film is somber, it certainly commands one's attention, and for a while one's respect.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The film flirts frequently with sentimentality, falling for it heedlessly at a couple of crucial junctures. Still, the overall style is more astringent than moist, and the hero is a little toughie of endearing tenderness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Good and very pleasurable provided you know what you're getting into, which is a comic roundelay of amorous ambitions and delusions-punctuated by wistful old ballads like "If I Had You"-that lead mostly but not entirely to disaster.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    JW is played brilliantly by Joel Kinnaman, who is familiar to American audiences of "The Killing" on AMC.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Major League Baseball has passed new rules for the Dominican system, according to the film's closing credits, rules that will limit signing bonuses. Yet the harvest will continue, and it's not a pretty sight.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Instead of plunging us into a racist past, however, The Help takes us on a pop-cultural tour that savors the picturesque, and strengthens stereotypes it purports to shatter.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Anders Danielsen Lie, gives a performance that's as distinctive as any in recent memory -- casually witty, remarkably graceful and yet terrifying in its explosiveness.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Luchini has a touching way of opening up the repressed heroes he often plays, and Ms. Verbeke's droll manipulations - and genuine sweetness - are more than enough to justify the transformation that María and the other maids work on Jean-Louis's life.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Richard Curtis's comedy is anchored only in exuberance, but that's more than you can say for most movies these days; it keeps you beaming with pleasure.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Walken performs with a marvelously minimalist precision.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Aronofsky blurs the line between reality and fantasy, turning the film into a gothic horror show that is fascinating and disappointing in equal measure. What's resplendently real, though, is the beauty of Ms. Portman's performance. She makes the whole lurid tale worthwhile.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    One would have to be totally tone-deaf not to notice that the director, Andrew Davis, has inflicted a broad cartoon style on adult performers who are distinctly uncomfortable with it.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Nothing is simple in this film, which ramifies into parallel meditations on race, the transformation of racial politics and lessons to be learned from the lives of dogs.

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