Joe Morgenstern
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For 1,867 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 American Splendor
Lowest review score: 0 Redacted
Score distribution:
1,867 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    The Americans are portrayed with varying degrees of loathsomeness, but there's not much variety in the film. It's all an awful aberration.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The big news in Blade II is that there's something worse than vampires, but is there something worse than Blade II?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Nothing stands up to scrutiny -- least of all the lethargic acting and the clumsy script. I was hot to trot for the exit halfway through, but a dogged sense of duty kept me stuck in an endless present.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    How do I count the ways this movie goes wrong?
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Motion is in copious supply -- a frenzied shootout at Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum grows interminable -- but the workings of the abstract plot are unfathomable, the characters are unpleasant and a couple of assassinations leave us as cold as the corpses.
    • 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
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    This ripoff, directed by Jerry Zucker, has a few funny moments, but it's a sad sad sad sad example of what Hollywood is currently serving up -- and what audiences are swallowing -- as summer entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Unforeseeably bad things can happen to good performers.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What a peculiar production this is. Up to a certain point, it really does promise to be romantic.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The Navajos must have sent much more crucial messages at much higher levels during the war, but you'd never know it from this movie. Windtalkers is practically all action and no talk.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    300
    300 presents a dual clash of civilizations. An action adventure that pits thousands of Persians against 300 brave Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, it also pits millions of fans of brainless violence against a gallant band, or so I choose to think of us, who still expect movies to contain detectable traces of humanity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The basic problem is the script, which is credited to three writers plus the director - seldom a good sign. Never mind that it's a retread of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" minus the trains, and minus John Candy.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A generally mirthless comedy of manners.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's impossible to say who's more unhinged: Darwin, caught between faith and reason, or the filmmakers.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    I feel for the marketing person charged with devising a tagline for Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, a fantasy whose turgid pretensions defy the very notion of marketing.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Not only does Ender's Game have many scenes in zero gravity, but this zero-sum fiasco has zero drama, zero suspense, zero humor, zero charm and zero appeal.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Depressed and depressing drama.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    There's a good subject for satire here, the extended adolescence of American kids. But satire presupposes maturity, or at least some perspective. The movie's calculation is that its subjects and audience share the same point of view. The results are truly ghastly.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    In a movie that rings false at every turn, Ms. Redgrave's Elizabeth is truly and infallibly regal.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    My Homo sapiens brain was boggled by the movie's clumsiness, while my heart was chilled by the chance that otherwise mature members of my species might mistake this disjointed botch for summer entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Constantine is yet another studio extravaganza that's all aswirl with atmospherics, though empty at its center. The invasion of the soul snatchers proceeds apace.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Might have qualified as dumb fun if they hadn't left out the fun.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Jack Reacher, which Christopher McQuarrie directed from his adaptation of a Lee Child crime novel, is not just another dumb thriller. It's almost peerlessly self-important, weirdly incoherent and eerily smarmy. It's also mysteriously inept, considering that Tom Cruise plays the title role.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Instead of biting wit, though, the movie settles for sketch humor, standard-brand raunch and toothless slapstick that trivializes everything it touches.

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