For 1,819 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 0.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Where the Wild Things Are
Lowest review score: 0 How Do You Know
Score distribution:
1,819 movie reviews
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Penelope was in a trough of trouble before the oink on the script was dry.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A bizarre, overcooked broth that combines a broad sitcom style (the banter goes rat-tat-tat like a steam drill) with a preposterous succession of plot complications, plus solemn questions of identity, adoption and the nature of happiness.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Rather than the laugh a minute promised by old comedies, Get Smart generates approximately one laugh per hour, and I can't remember either one.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Less than the sum of its parts, which were problematic to begin with.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    J. Michael Straczynski's disjointed script manages to ring false at almost every significant turn (Collins' psychiatric-hospital stay has grown into a latter-day version of "The Snake Pit") and Clint Eastwood's ponderous direction -- a disheartening departure from his sure touch in "Letters From Iwo Jima" and "The Bridges of Madison County" -- magnifies the flaws.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's really dumb, even though it starts promisingly and continues, in a self-infatuated way, to consider itself quite bright.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    You'd have to be made of granite to resist all the charms of a free-spirited, 100-pound Lab. Yet the production manages, against heavy odds, to make its canine star an incorrigible bore.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    No cues are needed to understand the plot, which feels computer-generated and barely serves to sustain an hour and a half running time.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The production renders totally irrelevant all hopes for a well-made movie. It's one of those ragged, pandemonious studio comedies that hammers at plot points in every contrived scene.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Operates in a dead zone roughly equidistant between parody and idiocy. You do get the connection between tongue and cheek, but much of the humor still goes thud.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Macdonald works modest wonders within these constraints -- she's a lovely actress, and a skilled one -- but too much is asked of her; Kate's innocence finally wilts beneath the camera's fixed gaze.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The denizens of Judd Apatow’s Funny People have been pulled every which way to fit a misshapen concept, yet they remain painfully unfunny, and consistently off-putting.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This Transformers is a pile of glittering junk.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Why is she (Bullock) demeaning herself with such shoddy goods? She’s a talented woman with a faithful following. She has made formula films of varying quality before, and her fans may well swallow this one, but it’s a formula for disappointment laced with dismay.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie on the whole is joyless. Whatever Works doesn’t.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    In the spirit of that world, I cannot tell a lie: The Invention of Lying, which the English comedian both directed and wrote with Matthew Robinson, soon loses altitude and eventually falls flat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What do the Coen brothers want of us? More specifically, what do they want us to think of the repellent people in this pitilessly bleak movie?
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Osunsanmi's chutzpah exceeds his skill.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    You may wonder if this screen version of the book of the same name is as unfunny and strangely mushy as it seems, but trust your instincts.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Edge of Darkness was one of the most enthralling, intricate and genuinely thrilling productions in the history of the small screen. The big-screen version--directed by Martin Campbell, who did the original--offers an example of why the studios' numbers often add up, and why, at the same time, so many of today's Hollywood movies leave us cool if not downright cold.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's impossible to say who's more unhinged: Darwin, caught between faith and reason, or the filmmakers.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Still, the action is ponderous too. Mr. Morel is no Kubrick, or Tarantino, just as Mr. Travolta's caricature of John Travolta is no Travolta.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Adam Green's Frozen explores a tiny idea exhaustively, and I mean exhaustively.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The lesson here is simple: In the digital realm, the bigger the worse. What looks distinctive and believable in short takes and small doses can turn blatantly phony and deadly familiar when the scale is pumped up. Prince of Persia pumps itself up to the bursting point, and bursts.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    (It doesn't hurt that Ms. Redgrave gets to play opposite Franco Nero, who was once the love of her life and is the father of her son.) Not even she can transform lines like "Destiny wanted us to meet again."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A slow and lugubrious film about the impact of adoption on the lives of three women.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Still, Eat Pray Love preaches a sermon it doesn't practice-the need to open one's self to the world. In a pictorial sense this is exactly what Liz does; she vacuums up the transformative essence of three continents. Yet the world gets weirdly short shrift because this transcendently narcissistic movie is, in a narrative sense, almost entirely about Liz and the movie star who plays her.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This children's entertainment-grownups beware!-is preoccupied by squishy stuff that includes mud and poop, as well as by syrup that oozes from cabinet drawers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Secretariat stumbles along beneath the weight of leaden life lessons. They're dispensed at frequent intervals by Diane Lane, who does better than anyone had a right to expect, since she is saddled with dialogue of exceptional dreadfulness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Either you buy their Vaseline-lensed visions of the hereafter, or you watch in stony silence, as I did, wondering why there's no one to care about.