Joe Morgenstern
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For 1,829 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 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Ernest & Célestine
Lowest review score: 0 Identity Thief
Score distribution:
1,829 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The only reason to see this dreary parade of deception and venality is Mark Wahlberg's performance as a disgraced ex-cop caught up in the thick of menacing events he can't understand. It's striking how this tightly focused actor can find his own firmly grounded reality in the falsest of surroundings.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What a peculiar production this is. Up to a certain point, it really does promise to be romantic.
    • 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
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    You're tempted to keep watching, even though the running time is a bloated 154 minutes, to see if anyone, or the movie itself, turns remotely likable. The answer to that, alas, is no.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's long on Viagra jokes and whorehouse scenes, and comes up short on plausibility.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Nobody doesn't like Tina Fey, and anyone aware of her starring role in Admission will be wishing her well. But wishing won't make this dramedy any less dreary than it is.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The story is rooted in a political past that never comes to life, and its structure is so cockeyed that we don't even get to see Nick's reaction to a climactic surprise that takes place off-screen. The film was shot by an excellent cinematographer, Adriano Goldman, though you'd never know it from the lighting, which is as flat as the writing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's failures are all the more unfortunate because they detract from its central and conspicuous success, the performance of Riz Ahmed in the title role. Mr. Ahmed turns the quicksilver quality of the book's internal monologue into a tour de force of his own creation. He's a bright star in a dim constellation.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Some of it sputters, settling for smiles instead of laughs, and much of it flounders while the slapdash script searches, at exhausting length, for ever more common denominators in toilet humor.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Labor Day, adapted from a novel by Joyce Maynard, is the kind of movie that turns clarity into stultification; everything is perfectly clear and almost everything — pie-making excepted — is perfectly lifeless.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Goldsman, a first-time director though a veteran screenwriter, has been done in by the source material. Either he climbed aboard a horse that was too much for him, or the universe gave him a bum steer.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    For precursors of Guy's perversity, one would have to go back to W.C. Fields, who made antic art out of his characters' abhorrence of children.
    • 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!
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Extraordinary Measures requires extraordinary tolerance for bathos, bombast and plain old unpleasantness.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The writing is semicoherent at best, and the buddies of this meandering road trip are not only mismatched but dislikable.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Elegance isn't Zack Snyder's bag; a certain sort of impact is. Watchmen establishes him as Hollywood's reigning master of psychic suffocation.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Amelia Earhart is still missing.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Eye-blowing and mind-numbing.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Must be seen to be believed, though I'm not suggesting you actually see it.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Guess Who is, impurely and simply, a comic premise borrowed, turned around and dumbed down to the level of sketch or sub-sketch humor.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Why is the movie such a mess? Will Ferrell plays a washed-up actor who's supposed to be a hopeless mess, but even his character makes little sense. Is it all supposed to be postmodern? No, it's post-postmortem, the dead spirit of a dearly departed show.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's smugness is insufferable.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    If I could find some facet to praise, I'd be glad to do so, but the production's mediocrity is all-pervasive -- story, character, graphic design, even music -- and it all points to a failure of corporate imagination, or maybe just nerve.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 59 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Breakfast on Pluto, with an impressive cast that includes Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson, deploys its whimsy in many ways, all of them cloying.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The Producers is nightmarish, in its febrile way, a head-bangingly primitive version of an overrated Broadway show that grew out of a clumsy 1968 movie with an inflated reputation.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Even as a visual aid, though, The Da Vinci Code is a deep-dyed disappointment. Paris by night never looked murkier.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A deeply dreadful movie -- no, a shallowly dreadful movie -- that's too unpleasant and repetitive to be entertaining, even as camp.
    • Wall Street Journal