Joe Morgenstern
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For 1,921 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 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Door in the Floor
Lowest review score: 0 Domino
Score distribution:
1,921 movie reviews
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    After covering much of its ground at a stylish canter, The Other Boleyn Girl finishes at a plod.
    • 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
    Cowboys versus aliens is a concept that may make you smile in anticipation, but wipe that smile off your face before buying your ticket.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This new Alfie is earnest -- irony is so last century -- and not angry at all, since working-class anger would mean nothing here, because class means nothing here. Nothing means anything here.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A Hollywood production that appeals to our patriotism while respecting our intelligence.
    • 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
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Steven Soderbergh's new film is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery inside a perversity. The puzzle is Mr. Soderbergh's approach to what might have been an intriguing experiment, rather than the off-putting one it turned out to be.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The crucial evidence has to do with rigor mortis. The movie's a stiff too.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's dispiriting to see how little attention the filmmakers have paid to the dramatic - read human - possibilities of the original, or how much they've been overwhelmed by technology's demands. It's as though rogue programs took over the production.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Despite a synthetic optimism in the script, the movie's pervasive bleakness is relieved only by some bright performances.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The Fifth Estate gives us an obsessive-compulsive messiah with a taste for martyrdom, and full-screen cascades of computer code in place of a coherent plot. Exhausting in a new way, the movie is a data dump devoid of drama.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    I can't find much slack to cut the film, except to say that it's a potboiler cooked in an upscale Teflon pot.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    What's remarkable here is the consistency of the mediocrity.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Going on too long seems to be the disease of the week; it's certainly what brings this movie down, though the going on here stems from a surfeit of implausible plot that suffocates the main characters and the excellent actors who play them.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Any notions of demolishing black stereotypes -- and what else could have possessed Mr. Smith to do this? -- are dashed by the coarseness of it all, and by the narrative incoherence; a surprising plot twist turns a sloppy action-comedy into a totally different movie, and an even worse one.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    By turns repellent, powerful and ludicrous, Antichrist piles horror on horror with pitiless passion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    There's nothing to be said in favor of sitting through garbage, and this movie is awash in the stuff, both figuratively and literally: One of its main locales is a vast garbage dump.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    What's strong and true in Harrison's Flowers -- the hideous chaos of war, the stirring heroism of photographers and journalists -- falls victim to what's familiar, melodramatic and false.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    There's no transcending a prosaic plot and several flat performances.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    In the end, the only question of consequence that the story poses is whether superior acting can prevail over inferior writing. The answer lies not in the stars.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It's interesting to see how a potent premise -- those among us who behave like aliens probably are -- can sustain, more or less, an erratic, disjointed sequel.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    A tatty but good-natured time-passer.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The production certainly looks sumptuous, and certifies Mr. Hartnett as a mainstream movie star. But the script is frequently impenetrable, the pacing is ponderous, and the film noir style can't conceal a crucial piece of misconceived casting.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Five or 10 children might have led to comedy; 533 of them make for farce. All the same, Mr. Huard is endearing in the role of a perpetual adolescent who finally wants to stand up to his responsibilities, which include the one baby he has fathered the traditional way, and in his own name.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The carnival is loud, brash, brassy, sexy and sometimes tacky or silly, but always entertaining.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    If glum were good and bleak were best, Hart's War would be a standout.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Ever so slightly defective in the area of coherence; it plays as if it should have been written by a committee but they didn't bother to convene one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A movie's script is its fate, which means this one is doomed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    When Kevin Spacey takes center stage, our planet really does seem bright.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Statham, the specialist in English tough guys who was so affecting in "The Bank Job," has more to offer than The Mechanic has the grace to receive.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    At many points along the way I wanted to wash my hands of Scotland, PA., but then this sly, silly comedy got me smiling again.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    An odd but agreeable little comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Terrific performers doing what they're often forced to do, overcoming sorely flawed material.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a movie devoted to showing it, shaking it and selling it with huge zest and self-delight, a movie that raises MTV-style dada to the status of superheated mama, even though, toward the end, it wears awfully thin rather than svelte.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Now the two men are back, along with Irene. But she vanishes all too soon in this overproduced, self-enchanted sequel, and so does the spirit of bright invention that made the previous film such a pleasant surprise.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    My First Mister, which was written by Jill Franklyn, watches Jennifer with lively interest, but rarely pierces the mysteries of her soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    In all candor, and with all the amity I can muster, Divergent is as dauntingly dumb as it is dauntingly long.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    I've enjoyed Ms. Leoni's comic gifts in the past, and I'll enjoy them again, but Spanglish asks her to play crazed, and she delivers with a performance of unremitting, crazymaking shrillness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    A minor comedy, though a major delight.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What's missing is an emotional center. This Sinbad, with its flying ship and becalmed script, seems destined to be DreamWorks's version of Disney's "Treasure Planet."
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Adam Sandler's 50 First Dates isn't just slovenly and smarmy but creepy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Relevance can't rescue this would-be epic from the swamps of inertia, absurdity and sentimentality.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    What's missing is dramatic subtext and surprise, as well as any playfulness that might have kept us guessing about the plot.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie is counterfeit too, a coarse imitation of a stylish star vehicle for stars who deserve the real thing.
    • 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
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Built from an alloy of absurdium and stupidium, with the latter, heavier element dominating the mix.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The only parts of the film that ring true -- and they sometimes ring touchingly true -- are the ones that give Mr. Allen simple human themes to work with.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a movie at war with itself. The first half, more or less, is witty about California culture, or the lack of it, in a "Clueless" kind of way, which is a very good way.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    By the end I could have used a Bulleit to the mouth.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Angels & Demons is a serious slog. Still, it's an odd kind of a slog that manages to keep you partially engaged, even at its most esoteric or absurd.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Judd commands the screen with consistent authority, and Mr. Freeman brings expansive humor to the role of a self-styled wildcard who's still dangerous in court.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    What they've done here goes beyond gross -- or clumsy, or dumb -- to genuine ugliness, both cutaneous and sub.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    That's what is missing from The Longest Yard most egregiously. Charm has been kept on the bench.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    In this frustrating fizzle, the friendship does keep struggling to change into a love affair. But year after year, July 15 after July 15, it's the same old same old - two increasingly tedious people talking self-conscious talk.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Penelope was in a trough of trouble before the oink on the script was dry.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie finally comes together into something that is genuinely -- and almost quietly -- stirring.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This frenzied sequel has all of the clank but none of the swank of the previous version.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The story leaves you snoozing with the fishes.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's real star is the cinematographer, Elliot Davis -- his images carry more emotional freight than all the performances put together.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    To the Arctic 3-D is an impassioned plea for action on global warming, and the passion is intensified by the music.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    A film that tries constantly to amuse, but succeeds only fitfully.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    There isn't a milliliter of honest feeling from start to finish, and precious little comedy or romance.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Any movie that gives Helen Mirren a chance to shoot really big guns, wear an ermine astrakhan and channel Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth can't be all bad, and Red 2 isn't, though it comes close.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Thanks largely to Ms. Parker and to the delectable Zooey Deschanel as her anhedonic house-mate, the filmmakers still manage to squeeze some juice out.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    What I do know is that I was gripped for a while by the strength of Mr. Gibson's filmmaking, only to be repelled and eventually excluded by his literalist insistence on excruciation. There is watching in horror, and there is watching in horror.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The possibilities of the dating game are endless and the potential for pain is great, yet the permutations of the movie's plot are predictable and repetitive.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Smith is only a rogue computer program, but this morbidly dispiriting movie makes him sound like a prophet.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    How much do I loathe this film? A lottico is putting it mildico.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    You could make a case for this as a feature-film version of the FCC's fairness doctrine, but it feels more like a blandness doctrine, a pulling and hauling of the tone-deaf script, which is credited to Matthew Michael Carnahan, to the point of perfect vacuousness.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    One of the strongest arguments yet for making sequels illegal.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    There's nothing wrong with the structure of Heartbreakers, but David Mirkin's direction is woefully clumsy -- and the movie's tone is nasty.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    A little humanity can go a long way to make up for a movie's shortcomings, and there's more than a little in Ladder 49, a surprisingly stirring celebration of heroic firefighters.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Basically a theme-park version of a tawdry tradition.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Malevolence is in generous supply throughout the film. Easy enjoyment is not.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Kevin Spacey's pinched portrayal of Quoyle as a scared palooka rarely transcends its own artifice.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A remarkably ill-advised remake.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Seldom has grandeur struggled so mightily, and fruitlessly, with rampant goofiness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Spasms of kung fu wire fighting, Spider-Man acrobatics, huge explosions and a lethal polo game can't replace the first film's beating heart and witty soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Katherine Heigl carries 27 Dresses when all else fails, which it does with great regularity.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's leisurely, elegant setup makes its action payoff seem, by contrast, particularly mechanical, cynical and grotesque.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Sayle's portrait is painfully unfunny, and the movie as a whole is a plodding polemic.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Unfortunately, the movie could use a bit of pachyderm memory, given its habit of flashing back to Tien's childhood with exactly the same footage used in previous flashbacks. Instead of the narrative being deepened, it keeps getting shallowed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    What's not fine is the dead zone occupied by the monster of the piece, Tom Cruise's veteran rocker, Stacee Jaxx.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    This Flubbery fantasy won't win any prizes for elegant craftsmanship or originality, but it's entertaining, good-natured and a slam dunk to be a hit with young kids.
    • 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
    • 47 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Grindingly tedious.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    With all its misfires, though, and with a Strangelovian twist that's a dud, Big Trouble remains a reasonably pleasant way to spend an hour and a half and still get change.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    A misshapen semi-spectacle that seems to be simulating an epic, and getting away with it only occasionally.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Joyless and airless suspense thriller.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    If you're looking for logic or finesse, The A-Team can be numbing. If you're looking for good cheer, hold out for egg nog at Christmas. But if you're a fan of causeless effects, consequence-free causes and digital Dada, let the silly times roll.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Whatever possessed the people who made this film to believe its ponderous style would appeal to contemporary audiences? One answer may lie in a variant of the mostly true proposition that no one sets out to make a bad film. No one chooses ponderousness as a goal; it comes unbidden, with deadly earnestness.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Walken performs with a marvelously minimalist precision.
    • 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
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    One could argue that the target audience - black teenagers, Mr. Lucas has said - might be most receptive to a film that conveys history through contemporary entertainment. But this isn't contemporary entertainment, it's antiquated kitsch reprocessed by the producer's nostalgia for the movies of his boyhood. The story has been stripped of historical context - don't black teenagers and everyone else deserve hard facts? - and internal logic.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The production as a whole is awfully clumsy, and Ms. Moretz, who is only 17, needs more help than she gets from the first-time feature director, R.J. Cutler.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    A remarkably dislikable film, long on atmosphere -- I admired Dion Beebe's brooding cinematography -- and desperately short on vitality.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A deadly earnest and deadly dull psychological thriller.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The production's penchant for contrivance is insufferable - not a single spontaneous moment from start to finish - and the boy is so precocious you want to strangle him. It's surely not the fault of Thomas Horn, the remarkable young man who plays him.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Can't hold a candle to Robert Altman's 1992 comedy "The Player." Both films present themselves as knowing views of the movie business, but Mr. Altman and his writer, Michael Tolkin, really knew.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Little more than a showcase for Owen Wilson's amiable shtick, and a showcase in the merchandising sense of the term.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Hate is too strong an emotion to spend on such a clumsy, bloodless broadside against human foibles in general and American follies in particular.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    No need to belabor the awfulness of this film, a romantic comedy devoid of romance - instead of chemistry there's the flow of reverse magnetism - and lacking in comic timing, let alone comic content.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    I took it as a pretty piece of ephemera, and I must confess that I laughed a lot.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Secret Window has an ending that lets one of our most reliably interesting actors pull out all the stops. But getting there from a good beginning followed by a slow, repetitive middle is a test of resourcefulness for him and a test of patience for us.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s billionaire-glossy, as much an ode to consumerism as a study in sadomasochism; intermittingly titillating, with fugitive flashes of droll; and, bondage apart, a dutifully romantic tale of an old-fashioned girl who takes a particularly roundabout route to true love.
    • 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
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It's thanks to her (Leoni) that we stay tuned to Mr. Allen's comic premise long after it has gone from delightfully outrageous to off-puttingly preposterous.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    As long as this deity remains childish, materialistic and narcissistic, Jim's in his heaven and all's right with the world. It's when the story reaches for maturity, spirituality and altruism that the divine spark of comedy sputters and nearly goes out.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Horns is uncertain in tone — most of its attempts at humor fall flat — and amateurish at best.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The source of this movie's energy is near-perpetual desperation. You can see it in Tom Cruise's fixed grin, and in the mad proliferation of unspecial effects.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Short on dramatic energy, Must Love Dogs settles for a cheerful drone.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    All that's missing is wit and humanity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    By all that's unholy, this third edition of the high-emission franchise should have been at least as awful as the second one was. (The first one was good fun.) Yet it's surprisingly entertaining in its deafening fashion, despite the absence of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, the co-stars of parts one and two.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Enjoyable enough for what it is, a clever idea developed by fits and starts.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Something of a shambles -- a shambles about a shambles -- but bound for big success and deservedly so.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    A not-bad idea lurks inside this insipid story.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    I can't say anything nice about Flipped, a painfully clumsy adaptation of a tween novel by Wendelin Van Draanen.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Michael Bay's absurdist comedy is all pain, no gain and an utter monstrosity. It may be the most unpleasant movie I've ever seen, and I'm not forgetting "Freaks," which Pain & Gain resembles, come to think of it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Talk about tin ears. Black or White comes off as the product of clouded eyes, sour stomachs and addled brains.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Downey is undone by a woefully amateurish production that, sadly and ironically, looks like a cheap TV show.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The performances, under Mike Newell's direction, range from conventional (Ms. Roberts) to dreadful, and the script is as shallow as an old Cosmo cover story.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Extraordinary Measures requires extraordinary tolerance for bathos, bombast and plain old unpleasantness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The last thing we need is entertainment that evokes the horror and then trivializes it with cheesy heroics. Never has a movie taken on a subject of greater immediacy, or handled it more ineptly.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The only rewards, and they are real albeit insufficient, involve watching Jane Fonda in full cry and Catherine Keener in a quieter fullness of feeling.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Good fun -- more fun than in the original -- punctuated by some lines of admirable awfulness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie on the whole is joyless. Whatever Works doesn’t.
    • 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
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Brooks manages to be deeply loathsome -- no small feat for a film that's shallowly amateurish.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    J.Lo should sue her handlers for damages.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mark Andrus's script is built on soggy sandstone, and Irwin Winkler's bulldozer direction keeps unearthing toxic epiphanies. That's not to say the movie isn't occasionally moving, as well as exasperating.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Samuell's stylistic revelries are meant as comments on the conventions and excesses of movie romance, but his approach is glib and self-congratulatory. No feelings dwell beneath the layers upon layers of faux-naïve artifice. I dare you to sit through this movie and not wish you were somewhere else.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie stands as a genuine offense against the venerable and indispensable institution of satire.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The IMAX print I saw was so murky as to make you give thanks for the few scenes shot in simple sunlight, the 3-D wasn't worth the bother, and never before have I wanted to chloroform an entire orchestra.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    An abomination.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Blanchett can do no wrong, and does none here, though the movie around her, a popcorn-worthy sequel to the 1998 "Elizabeth," often lapses into opacity or grandiosity.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The whole dumb movie is a baloney cake, but the enticing icing on it is Reese Witherspoon, who manages to have a few moments of spontaneous fun in this half-baked store-bought comedy.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A saga of static set pieces and strenuously clever notions, this is a fiasco of a film if ever there was one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Its tone is unquenchably pretentious, and its scale is overblown.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The situation in The Situation is grimly photogenic, yet persistently opaque.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Starts out stylishly, and promisingly, but then coarsens into a silly parody of film noir.
    • 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
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Rather than a character rooted in some sort of reality-social, satirical, psychological, take your pick-Hesher is an abstract notion animated by false energy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Calling Joe Carnahan's movie heartless implies that this auteur of affectless anarchy might have meant to invest it with detectable human feelings, and failed. Better to call it heart-free.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Against heavy odds, Mean Machine adds darker flavors to the plot without curdling it. Beneath the comic craziness is real craziness, and desperation. These goal-kicking, bone-crunching cons are both actors in and prisoners of their own horror show.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Country Strong comes to spontaneous life from time to time, despite maudlin devices and manipulative set pieces.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Looks like the deformed spawn of a development process gone awry.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie isn't all bad, and it's sure to succeed with its target audience.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    It's not a good sign when a movie is called The Break-Up and you can't wait for the couple to split so they'll get some relief from one another, and give the audience some relief from them.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Predictably dumber than its predecessors, though that shouldn't get in the way of its profitability.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    For all its seriousness, though, Levity struck me as pretentious and intractably lifeless.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Alan Arkin does the best trick, bringing a dollop of humanity to the role of Rance Holloway, the magician who was young Burt's inspiration. Apart from Rance, the whole production is slovenly nonsense, photographed on the cheap with blaring ghastliness. Yet it poses an intriguing mystery. Did the producers appeal to a denominator even lower than common by making their film as dumb as possible, or did it just turn out that way?
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Reasonably entertaining time-travel romance.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Although mood often substitutes for momentum in Ms. Kalem's film, both of her stars give affecting performances, and there's growth on both sides of the unlikely romance.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Oz the Great and Powerful, like so many products of movie studios that have lost their way, is a Tin Man of epic proportions — bright and shiny, with no heart.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Todd Graff's would-be inspirational film lift their voices in song that makes you smile, and squander their voices on dialogue that makes you cringe (but also smile in oddly pleasurable disbelief).
    • 44 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Choose to pass this one up.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Littered with low points -- lame comedy, dubious history, fumbling drama and a love story so inept as to make a pacifist long for war.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    If claustrophobia's your style, The Jacket is a perfect fit.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a bad idea done disastrously.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Stepping is everything in Stomp the Yard, and, dare I say it, a stepping stone to DJ's redemption. The movie itself is redeemed -- slightly -- by its almost touching devotion to the hoary Hollywood traditions of college movies with battling frats, as well as its earnest endorsement of education.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie itself is neither a catastrophe nor major.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Every scene in this oppressive film has a theme or didactic purpose, but little life.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    In addition to being borderline unendurable, Funny Games is inexplicable, and I don't mean in any philosophical sense.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    This is silliness of such a special grade, performed with such zest, that it makes you forgive and even forget the movie's foolishness and borderline incoherence.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    To give the film its full due, the people who made it — the writer, John Swetnam, and the director, Steven Quale — got wind of a genuine trend and ran with it. Everyone on screen is busy filming everyone else. It's a shakier-camera version of "The Blair Witch Project" in the era of YouTube.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    A wispy, fundamentally sentimental tale about a nice girl who has to support herself by working as a phone-sex siren, Spike Lee's movie takes the better part of an hour to get started. Once it does it still can't dramatize the script's one good idea. [2 Apr 1996, p.A12]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    What was fresh and surprising in Las Vegas turns rancid and predictable in Bangkok.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Since Mary rarely gets to see any of the good stuff, neither do we; Dr. Jekyll hides most of his switcheroos behind closed doors. [23 Feb 1996]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Somewhat sluggish but reasonably scary.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This is one of those overworked and generally airless comedies with a sitcom premise that can't sustain life.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Fitfully amusing.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    It's bad enough to make parable a four-letter word.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    In case you were holding your breath, Renée Zellweger's Bridget Jones is still sweetly earnest, chronically overweight and swinging once again from lovestruck to lovelorn.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    In the not-so-grand scheme of such things, Along Came Polly is certainly harmless, and occasionally very funny. It's just not clever enough to keep you engaged.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The film suffers from a style that settles for pleasant or touching at the cost of spontaneous or impassioned. Too bad, because Ms. Garner is a genuinely pleasing presence.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Can't lift the double curse of too little genuine action, as opposed to quixotic events, and too many fancy words.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    If this adds up to a full-fledged feature film, I'm a monkey's uncle.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The nadir of the movie -- or cheesy zenith -- is Ollie's sodden soliloquy, delivered in the presence of his baby, in which he laments the loss of her mother and his wife. All that's missing are the strains of Ravel's "Pavane For a Dead Princess."
    • 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
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Lacks both taste and flavor.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Too labored to be romantic and too derivative to be funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The remake has no grace notes, or grace, no nuance, no humanity, no character quirks, no surprises in the dialogue and no humor.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    It's as if the filmmakers, having committed themselves to the book, fled from its essence, which is wildness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This is an odd and ultimately dispiriting film, despite some intriguing ideas about brute force vs. moral authority, the elaborately staged uprising -- and impressive actors in the cast. That is to say, they've been impressive elsewhere.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Alice and John are good company — especially Alice, thanks to Ms. Temple's buoyant humor and lovely poignancy. The problem comes when the couple gets greedy, the gods grow angry and the tone turns dark. It doesn't stay dark, but getting back to the brightness is a painful process.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    What happens when a genuinely dear John gets a Dear John? For the answer, just meander--no need for running or walking--to your local multiplex. That's where Dear John, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, will be meandering on its downward path from sweetly tender to terminally turgid.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The essence of Youth Without Youth, which was shot -- luminously -- in Romania, lies in its solemn speculations about aging, time and consciousness. Mr. Coppola is one of the cinema's peerless masters, and I would have enjoyed nothing more than a chance to celebrate his new film. I'm truly sorry to say, then, that I found it impenetrable.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This time, though, the happy ending plays out in real life, while the screen version falls afoul of a laggardly pace, an earnest tone and a surfeit of domesticity.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The production can best be described by several f-words. It is frenetic, frazzled and febrile. It is also feeble -- almost touchingly so, if you think of what bottomless insecurity must have prompted so much bombast.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Dumbfoundingly erratic, for the most part, but smart and funny from time to time.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    A gross-out saga that sentient adults should avoid like the plague.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Adam Green's Frozen explores a tiny idea exhaustively, and I mean exhaustively.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The plot borrows as freely from Hitchcock and Henry James as from the Bard of Avon, and doesn't make scrupulous sense, though I'd have to see the film again, which I won't do, to make sure it doesn't cheat.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The failure lies not with the film's director, Marc Forster, nor with its impressive star, Gerard Butler, but with Jason Keller's dreadfully earnest script, which charts the hero's spiritual journey, and his Rambo-esque exploits, without offering a scintilla of mature perspective on his state of mind.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    It's "The Sixth Sense" as nonsense, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" without the sunshine. Or the mind.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Whatever one may think of the overall style--I think it's ludicrous--Mr. Fuqua clearly wanted his film to be operatic, and so it is, in a tone-deaf way.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A surprise and a not-so-guilty pleasure.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    While the action flashes back and forth in increments of centuries, years or months, we're adrift in the here and now, trying to get a grip on the characters and their relationships, yet finding it loosened with every new dislocation.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    I watched the film in an agitated space between engrossed and aghast.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Go in with lowered expectations, and expect to have them dashed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Joyless and largely witless sci-fi fantasy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 42 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Insurgent opens new horizons of repetitiveness, dramatic shapelessness, self-seriousness and a generalized oppressiveness that flows from all of the above as well as from visual clutter, cheerless color, 3-D dimness and plain old bad acting.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Sanctum is far from a good movie, just as 3-D is far from the movie industry's savior. But it certainly looks good, and watching it through those plastic glasses reopens your eyes to the promise of the third dimension.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Starts well with the stirring spectacle of young men and women, members of a National Guard unit stationed south of Baghdad, struggling to do their duty in an alien land of unfathomable danger. Once they return, however, wounded physically or shattered spiritually, the film turns didactic, contrived and occasionally ludicrous.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    None of it is enough, though, to save this glum drama from its schematic self.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It isn't a great film, or even a greatly original one. Still, it has many grace notes, and interesting oddities.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Ambitious to a fault, this cautionary fantasy about artificial intelligence has so much on its muddled mind, and so little sense of dramatic grounding, that it grows ever more preposterous before lurching to a climax that's utterly unfathomable.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    You need only watch the trailer to know that The Internship is a promo for Google; think Google for Dummies, as well as Summer Comedy for Dummies. It's as if the writers googled "how to write a script" and nothing came up, so they wrote this anyway.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Manages to make its live actors sound -- and even sometimes look -- computer generated. This wan, sluggish comedy wouldn't pass muster as a premium-cable original, but here it is on the big screen.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The essence of this grindingly violent movie can be summed up by what Parker says of his handgun to a terrified clerk at a check-cashing service: "It's small, but it hurts."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    A pitiful shambles of a remake, The Stepford Wives might have qualified as a rethinking of the 1975 original if there were any trace of coherent thought in the finished product.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Freeman, a superb actor, creates the illusion of drama even when there is none.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Beware of idiocy's charms.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    What I don't understand is why this extended piece of idiocy chose to sink its stinky teeth into our 16th president. If an axe-wielding hero was required, George Washington would have been the better choice, with the Redcoats as bloodsuckers.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The Loss of Sexual Innocence is a work of intransigent anger and barely relieved depression. [28 May 1999]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    If the movie gets by, as it surely will during the current entertainment drought, most of the credit should go to a couple of performers (Latifah/Keaton) who come from different traditions, yet share a gift for breathing life into moribund material.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    I won't pretend that I had a great time watching G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Like "Transformers," which it rivals in relentlessness, Battleship comes with its own force field, a furious energy that renders criticism irrelevant.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Young audiences may welcome this movie, but girls, and boys, should want more.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's long on Viagra jokes and whorehouse scenes, and comes up short on plausibility.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Ride Along, set in Atlanta, gives shoddiness a bad name.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It's going to be a hit with libidinous boys, and their parents could do worse (see first review) than to watch the lavish, James Bondish gadgetry and cheerful anarchy of an action-adventure that's been made with all the finesse it needs, though not a jot more.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Does Meet the Fockers make you laugh? Sure it does, from time to time. Just lower your expectations to the altitude of the gag that's showcased in the trailer, the one in which Jinx the cat flushes a little dog named Moses down a toilet.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 41 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Olympus Has Fallen is no fun at all. To the contrary, it soon grows tedious, odious and oppressive.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Jim Jarmusch's Dada meander, shot by Christopher Doyle, is empty and excruciating -- that's really all you need to know.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Rowan Joffe directed from his own adaptation of a novel by S.J. Watson. If you’re thinking of seeing this turgid turkey, forget it.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The technology is seamless, the movements are eloquent and the problem may be my own misprogramming, but the robot still looked to me like a man in a robot suit.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Aspiring to pure action -- several very long passages are wordless -- the movie ends up teetering on the brink of self-parody.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The revelations of The Invisible Circus don't justify the quest.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Beall, a former LAPD cop, has written a script so devoid of feeling that the cartoons blur into thin line drawings, while what's been done with the marvelous Ms. Stone - i.e. next to nothing - is downright criminal.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Why, beating the audience about the ears, eyes and brain with essentially the same sequence of events from eight characters' points of view, none of which adds much more than deafening hysteria and identically dreadful music. The filmmakers seem to have missed the point that each re-enactment in "Rashomon" provides new and conflicting information. It makes you wonder if they studied the wrong movie. Maybe they rented "Rush Hour," or a video on Rosh Hashanah.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The special effects are variable, but even when they're good they don't have much impact because Evolution, with its self-trashing spirit, turns moviegoers into bemused bysitters.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Jennifer Aniston brings a needed liveliness to Derailed, though not enough to go around.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    An experience best likened to being battered by hurricane-force winds generated by an organ with all stops pulled permanently out.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Adds up to one numbingly unfunny comedy.
    • 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
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    After missing the film on the small screen the first time around, I recently watched it on video, and can only conclude that my screen wasn't small enough.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Pretty bad, and pretty funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Heaping derision on such a woeful debut may be tantamount to shooting fossils in a tar pit. Yet this lumbering industrial enterprise, which was written and directed by the Wachowski siblings, Andy and Lana, is bad enough to be granted landmark status.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    What's never explained is why anyone would do such a dumb remake of Robert Wise's 1951 sci-fi classic.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie drills itself into our skulls, which are all too vulnerable to such an assault, though I must say my brain glazed over and my heart turned adamantine while the stupidities of this action thriller played themselves out.
    • 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)?
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    You keep rooting for the child to get a new pair of lungs, but all of the beatings, betrayals and bitter ironies leave a bad taste in your head.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Let's give this ghastly studio comedy a Truthiness in Advertising award, if nothing else.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    What's wrong with this sad fiasco goes far beyond its visual deficits.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The film's only unqualified success is the end title sequence-because it's genuinely stylish, because it looks like it was shot in genuine 3-D and, most of all, because it's the end.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    If you go to see this sloppy sitcom, in which Mr. Martin plays a divorced, repressed lawyer named Peter Sanderson, do expect to be surprised, seduced and entertained by Queen Latifah.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Disney's National Treasure is supposed to be family-friendly, a PG-rated action adventure free of hard violence and bad language. That's admirable, to be sure, but with a friend like this a family doesn't need sleeping pills.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Do not attempt to see this film, derived loosely from the videogame of the same name, unless you're prepared for wobbly writing, lead-footed direction and acting that must have been boosted by nitrous-oxide injectors, plus a starring performance that could have used a boost and didn't get one.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Less than the sum of its parts, which were problematic to begin with.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie will surely find an audience, since it speaks to young people's anxieties about marriage and parenting. But what are two particularly engaging performers doing in a dump of a comedy like this?
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The result is a mess -- sometimes an entertaining mess, but mostly a movie that makes a perfunctory mockery of the mockery currently passing for political discourse.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    His (Eddie Murphy's) performance in Daddy Day Care isn't bad. He's restrained, and even tender in some of the scenes he plays with the kids. But restraint is the last thing we want from a comic of his caliber. It's no fun at all.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    A small story, a monodrama with a hero but no antagonists.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    There's no zest to the general depravity, no coherence to the script or the spectacle -- clarity is missing in some of the camera work -- and, most important, no character to give a Greek fig about.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Depending on how you feel about Zac Efron, he is either a sensitive hunk or an inexpressive hunk, but definitely a hunk. Unable as I am to locate any feelings about him, I see Mr. Efron as a hunk with a problem delivering sustained dialogue in units of more than one or two sentences.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The star of this fantasy adventure for young audiences is a charmer from the moment she is hatched (from a huge blue egg that starts to rock like a Mexican jumping bean). Her name is Saphira, she speaks with the voice of Rachel Weisz, and it doesn't matter that she's too young to breathe fire -- at first -- or that she waddles a bit on the ground, because she lives and breathes the joy of flight, which is exactly what was missing from most of Harry Potter's solos on a broom.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Consider this more a consumer warning than a movie review: The Life Before Her Eyes will draw you in, then intrigue you, then bore you, then bewilder you, then make you crazy with its incessant flashbacks and flash forwards, and finally leave you feeling like the victim of a fraud.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Gooding is out there in almost every scene, and the destruction of his once-promising career proceeds apace.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Hopkins gives the production what he was hired for. Whenever you wonder how much longer he can trade on Hannibal Lecter's special zest, the same answer comes up-a lot.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    This shabby enterprise gets so many things so wrong that it freezes your face into a cringe.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Hudson makes the most of her role, even though that's not saying so very much -- the writing is terribly thin -- while John Corbett gives an unaccountably clumsy performance as a romantic pastor. Joan Cusack gets the funniest lines as Helen's sister, a model of boring mommyhood, but she also stops the movie dead in its tracks every time she plays a scene.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Long after lice from her children's school infested Kate's scalp, I was scratching my head about why a 91-minute movie seemed so long. The answer came from reframing the question. Why was a string of sitcom problems stretched to 91 minutes?
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Chan proves yet again that he has the virtuosic grace -- and goofiness -- of any of the great clowns of the silent era, and a complete refusal to abide by the laws of gravity. Do let us be clear, however, that the movie's plot, minus a few roundhouse kicks, is straight out of the Scooby-Doo playbook.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    This noirish, sourish thriller left me unmoving as well as unmoved.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Certainly trashy, but, stripped of Mr. Diesel's services and directed by John Singleton, it's a no-go Yugo in muscle-car sheet metal.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    This slapdash farce, arriving three decades after Sellers last inhabited the role, sustains a baseline of good will that often spikes into delight at Mr. Martin's beguiling nonsense.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Cold and clever to a fault, like the main character played by Liam Neeson, the movie is based on a fundamental miscalculation—that our desire to penetrate its mysteries will trump our need for people to care about.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Men, Women & Children touches many nerves, but then pinches and twists them with its ham-handed approach to social commentary. I worry about Mr. Reitman, a filmmaker of consequence who is still too young to be so cosmic. Time to lighten up and come back down to Earth.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Wayne Kramer's interlocking saga of immigration in 21st-century America definitely crosses over, from workaday mediocrity to distinctive dreadfulness.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Berry works hard in her role, generating some excitement in the course of her distress. But the story's convolutions can't cover a deficit of substance, or sense.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Amelia Earhart is still missing.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Manages the dubious trick of being both execrable and boring.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    This woefully botched mystery-adventure-thriller-caper-romance-comedy, or whatever it was meant to be, is no fun at all.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A rube's-eye view of Hollywood, but the rube is weary, and those around him seem to be suffering from terminal torpor.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Certainly grows in its own right, into a coarse-grained summer vaudeville that could have been much smarter and sharper without losing its target audience.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Some of the action sequences, and a few of the performances, are enjoyable enough to make up for the dialogue, which has been upgraded to cheerfully absurd, and the plot, which has been simplified to the point of actual coherence.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Johnny Depp's Tonto wears a dead crow on his head in The Lone Ranger. The star himself carries a dead movie on his shoulders.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    This is movie-making by and for dummies, a sappy little bible story, blissed out on its own ineptitude.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    It's unlikely that a dinosaur wrote the script — the Writers Guild of America makes no provision for Cambrian membership — but this animated feature is dimwitted all the same. The title should be "Trudging With Dinosaurs" (in 2.5-D, for all the grandeur the glasses confer), because the only semblance of a plot is provided by a long migration to winter grounds.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Given the importance of that subject, the real mystery of Mr. Lee's movie is why it's so diffuse, dispirited, emotionally distanced and dramatically inert.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Lest my own reaction be misconstrued, let me explain that I didn't like a single one of these insufferable narcissists, the kid included.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    What a botch. All the King's Men, a remake of Robert Rossen's classic 1949 film about the rise and fall of a Southern demagogue, has no center, no coherence, no soul and no shame.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Sorry excuse for political satire.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Crystal underplays his role wisely and well, while Mr. De Niro parodies -- maybe the better word is pillages -- himself and his career with scary gusto.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A gothic thriller called Cold Creek Manor extrudes an 80-minute idea -- I may be overgenerous here -- into 118 minutes that feel like an eternity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Only God Forgives would seem to be a parody of something or other — "Blue Velvet"? "Last Year At Marienbad"? — except that the film takes itself seriously to the point of suffocation in telling its lurid tale of slaughter and revenge.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The script's foolish contrivances crush its content.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    This toxic admixture of computer-generated frenzy and live-action torpor succeeds in being, almost simultaneously, genuinely painful -- the esthetic equivalent of needles in eyeballs -- and weirdly benumbing, like eye candy laced with lidocaine.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Smith's latest film is about nothing less than life and death, sin and atonement, and it takes the soggy cake for multiple layers of sentimentality topped by indigestible grandiosity.

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