Joe Morgenstern
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For 1,902 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 White Material
Lowest review score: 0 The Cat in the Hat
Score distribution:
1,902 movie reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a tone poem, really, less concerned with conventional action than with exploring themes of love and commitment through understated performances, sumptuous images (Bradford Young did the cinematography), lovely music (Daniel Hart composed the score) and very few words, intoned elegiacally.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Here's one vote for the most affecting, anguishing, revealing and prophetic scene of the movie year-and yes, it's all of those things at once in a powerful film that alternates between moments of earlier happiness and later pain.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Quaid has long been a reliably likable actor, but this time he pitches a perfect performance -- no frills, no tricks, not a single false note -- in a film that's true to its stirring subject, and to the sweetest traditions of the game.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Viggo Mortensen's performance is flat-out brilliant, and this relentlessly dramatic thriller represents a mid-life growth spurt for its director, David Cronenberg.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Seduces us with its leisurely pace and felicitous details into believing that something miraculous is afoot in a mundane rural community.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A smart, funny and strangely touching film.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This exquisite film by the Swedish master Jan Troell is about seeing clearly, and fearlessly. It's also about subdued passion, the birth of an artist and a woman's struggle to live her own life.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Terrifically funny and remarkably wise, a comedy that speaks volumes, without a polemical word, about the tension between rigid politics of any stripe and the imperatives of life and love.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Shrewdly conceived, confidently executed and outrageously entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Calmly, almost serenely, Mr. Van Sant and his superb cinematographer, Harris Savides, reveal a vision of contemporary American youth quite unlike any other.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Thrillers aren't always so thrilling, but Tell No One is -- and absorbing, sometimes perplexing and often stirring as well.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Smart, surpassingly odd, extremely funny and mysteriously endearing at the same time.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This classic tale of a little guy taking on giants benefits from being essentially true, and from accomplished filmmaking, but most of all from the beautiful vitality of Mr. McConaughey's performance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A glorious feature-length documentary -- This film will leave an indentment, and a deep one, on anyone who loves great, joyous music and cares about the people who make it.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This portrait of a failing marriage is one of the summer's great discoveries, and a marvel of mercurial intimacy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A movie of uns — unforced, unhurried, unpretentious. Though it's sometimes underdramatized, this story of adolescents on the brink of adulthood is refreshingly, and endearingly, unlike the overheated features that have come to define the genre.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Beautiful moments abound. In Departures, the contemplation of death prepares the way for an appreciation of life.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Almost everything about Cary Fukunaga's version of the Charlotte Brontë romance is understated yet transfixing, mainly-although far from exclusively-because of Mia Wasikowska's presence in the title role.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    What's most rewarding, though, is that Mr. Senna speaks extensively and eloquently for himself, and reveals himself to be an eminently human hero. He's thoughtful, even philosophical, about decisions that deprive him of seemingly well-earned victories.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    I can't pretend to understand the intricacies of the Buddhist belief system that informs the surreal story, or the fantasy system in which Boonmee, embodying Thailand, recalls his nation's history and shimmering myths. Yet no effort of understanding is needed to be moved by Boonmee's descent into a limestone cave shaped like a womb.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This "Les Mis" does make you feel, intensely and sometimes thrillingly, by honoring the emotional core of its source material.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The Grandmaster, may well be the definitive illustration of kung fu in all its arcane schools and intricate styles. There's never been anything like it — a seemingly endless flow of spectacular images in a story about Ip Man (Tony Leung), the legendary kung-fu master who trained Bruce Lee.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    What Mr. Hou has done is borrow power and some gentle intimations of a state of grace from one of the most enchanting images in movie history.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This is a debut feature, though you'd never know it from the filmmaker's commandingly confident style, or from the heartbreaking beauty -- heartbreaking, then heartmending -- of Melissa Leo's performance as a poor single mother who's living her whole life on thin ice.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The links and resonances remain largely abstract -- to understand them isn't necessarily to be moved by them -- while the individual dramas of those three lives are often stirring, and the three starring performances are unforgettable.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    A magnificent documentary that flies us along with migratory birds on their intercontinental travels, it's the polar opposite -- North Pole, South Pole and all latitudes in between -- of modern feature films that rely on special effects.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Short Term 12, a low-budget feature only 96 minutes long, is a big deal on a small scale: for what it reveals of Mr. Cretton as a filmmaker — especially as a storyteller, and a director of actors within tautly constructed scenes — and of Ms. Larson's abundant talent.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Everything and everyone is observed sharply, succinctly and indelibly.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Where the film shines is in its vivid and affecting portrait of Tillman himself. Instead of the square-jawed hero memorialized by the army and lionized by the news media, we get to know a man of many gifts for many seasons.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    For a filmmaker who has made his reputation with such crime thrillers as "Little Odessa" and "The Yards," James Gray reveals an unexpected gift for the mysteries of romance.

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