Joe Morgenstern

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For 2,019 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 0.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Please Give
Lowest review score: 0 Pain & Gain
Score distribution:
2019 movie reviews
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Its tone is unquenchably pretentious, and its scale is overblown.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A few clumps of very funny stuff (including a quick tonsorial reference to "Mary") can't hide all the spots that are bald instead of bold.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This is little more than a big-budget sitcom, with a guest appearance by Mike Ditka, who plays an unfunny version of himself as Phil's assistant coach.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    There's no maybe about its standing as romantic comedy -- definitely bad.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Weisz is always a strong presence, but her talents are wasted here on a naive heroine - the fictional Kathy is exceedingly slow to grasp the extent of the corruption - and a narrative style that turns the horror of the prostitutes' plight into harrowing melodrama.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    For all the preposterous clichés of the plot, which clanks as loudly as Laz's chain, and for all the inertness of Justin Timberlake's performance as Rae's brooding squeeze, Black Snake Moan finds unchained energy in its foolishness, and gives Mr. Jackson a chance to pluck a guitar and sing. He's really good at it, too. The music almost redeems the movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What's intractably wrong with the film is that there's no reality to heighten; it's a spectacle in search of a soul.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The result is a queasy combination of speculation and dramatic invention with the ring of half-truth, though the co-stars, Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, add as much color as they can - not much - to a monochromatic script.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Far from rising to the level of truthiness, let alone truth, True Story rings false from start to finish.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Instead of soft core, Sex Tape offers no core. No narrative core, just a not-bad notion executed execrably; no core of conviction, just two stars trudging joylessly through swamps of mediocrity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Never mind the awfulness of the three madwomen being relentlessly mad, or the silliness of their journey’s logistics; not for a moment do you believe that this grievously afflicted trio actually inhabits what amounts to a small, rickety and unadorned paddy wagon. What’s definitively awful is the spectacle of unrestrained vanity.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Long on cutlery and décor (including, of course, the marvelously decorative Ms. Garner, of the TV series "Alias") and woefully short on narrative.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The result is a movie groping for a comic tone while its FX machinery spews vast clouds of visual gibberish.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Emmerich, who has often conjured with cosmic themes, sometimes wittily, achieves something new this time around — a level of indifference to the genre and its fans that amounts to a cosmic shrug. What does it matter if the absurdity is slovenly, the whimsy leaden, the extravagance squalid?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Bleak, remarkably turgid, tediously violent, devoid of drama, deprived of magic, stripped of romance and, except for one of the oddest boy-meets-girl scenes in movie history, a befuddled and befuddling excuse for entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Green Lantern was meant to be a sci-fi adventure, but it proves to be a genuine mystery. How could its megamoola budget have yielded a production that looks almost as tacky as "Flash Gordon" (which had the good grace to deprecate itself at every turn)?
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Before Firewall crumbles into foolishness, Harrison Ford and Paul Bettany make an oft-recycled plot look like a stylish model that just rolled out of a showroom.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The best thing to be said for this lumbering comedy is that it offers a chance to see Vanessa Paradis, the singularly alluring French singer, actress and model, play Avigal, a melancholy Hasidic widow in Brooklyn, N.Y., and play the role with exceptional delicacy. Otherwise, arrgh!
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Brought down by repeated bursts of high absurdity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The fault is not in the co-stars; they've been brilliant before and will be brilliant again. It's in the laggardly pace, pedestrian writing and murky viewpoint of Ned Benson's feature.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie as a whole is nonsensical. And long. And slow. And head-poundingly loud as it culminates in slavering horror.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    But clever casting, and inspirational dieting, can't make up for this poor little rich girl's shortcomings as a comedienne. Under Mr. Benjamin's vulgar tutelage, she portrays Connie's coarseness coarsely, with an accent that seems to have come from Ida Lupino by way of Madonna. [19 Apr 1996, p.A11]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    If claustrophobia's your style, The Jacket is a perfect fit.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Has many more downs than ups, but this ragged action comedy, with Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn as mismatched buddies, rings some outrageously funny changes on a deadly serious genre of amateur video that began with Rodney King.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The Shaggy Dog is paint, or more appropriately here, pant by the numbers. It also manages a one-two punch -- it will upset small children and bore their parents. There's just no other way to say this: Disney, that movie of yours is a dog.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The psychodynamics may well be sound, but the problem is that Léa and François, whether in or out of bed, are much more appealing than Roland and Vanessa. The camera is in the wrong room.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie itself is grotesque, and may drive you nuts as it makes you laugh, mostly at the stupidity of the thing.
    • Wall Street Journal

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