Joe Morgenstern

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For 2,274 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Their Finest
Lowest review score: 0 Van Helsing
Score distribution:
2274 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Foxcatcher is a radical departure from Mr. Miller’s previous feature, the smart and entertaining “Moneyball.” It isn’t meant as conventional entertainment, but it’s fascinating to watch from start to finish.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    James Marsh’s movie, which co-stars Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking, the celebrated physicist’s wife, is a biographical love story that doesn’t depend on science to shape the plot — it’s rich in emotional intelligence.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Nolan’s 168-minute odyssey through the space-time continuum is stuffed with stuff of bewildering wrongness. Eager for grandeur, I went in hoping for the very best from a filmmaker with his own vision of the theatrical medium’s potential. The last thing I expected was a space adventure burdened by turgid discussions of abstruse physics, a wavering tone, visual effects of variable quality and a time-traveling structure that turns on bloodless abstractions.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Horns is uncertain in tone — most of its attempts at humor fall flat — and amateurish at best.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Gyllenhaal’s startling portrayal is far from the only distinction in this impeccably crafted feature film. Mr. Gilroy’s directorial debut connects its hero’s tacit madness to the larger craziness of a broadcast medium that teaches vast numbers of viewers to live with a false sense of insecurity.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    This pitch-dark comedy, which was directed, con brio, by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, sizzles as the camera circles, stalks and swoops. Emmanuel Lubezki’s friction-free cinematography constitutes a virtuoso turn in its own right in a production that’s strewn with superb performances, some of them loud and bold, others subtle and restrained.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Pride may not be a model of impeccable craftsmanship, but it's a fine example of turning a terrific subject into a gleeful event. It's also an example of the power of entertainment — of entertainment within entertainment.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Clark Terry the teacher sometimes talks like a trumpet, even though he's dealing with a pianist—"daddle-leedle-daddle-loodle" is how he wants Justin to play one phrase. Clark Terry the man personifies generosity, and it's lovely to behold.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Reese Witherspoon is funny and touching as the scrappy Kansan who befriends the bewildered arrivals, and the movie's three Lost Boys, no longer lost or boys, are intensely appealing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie, with some of the trappings of a murder mystery, makes its points with blunt force. Fun seldom figures in this adaptation, which is overlong and mysteriously unaffecting. Still, Mr. Fincher's film has many fascinations.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    All the pieces would seem to be in place for an effective film, but the direction is zestless, the pace is more often laggardly than leisurely, and the lead performances are surprisingly lifeless, although Mr. Isaac manages to make a virtue of his scammer's deliberate vagueness.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Fuqua, who did such a fine job directing Mr. Washington and Ethan Hawke in "Training Day," loses control of an increasingly slapdash script, and the whole movie turns into a slaughterhouse. The question isn't who wants it — box office action is assured — but who needs it?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    None of the film's tropes — fancy camera angles, dark streets, persistent rain, psycho killers in doomy settings, Scudder trudging around the city on their trail — can hide the essential hollowness of a not-very-interesting revenge tale that takes a not-at-all-welcome turn into grisly, ugly horror.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This is one of those overworked and generally airless comedies with a sitcom premise that can't sustain life.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    The best part of Tracks — aside from the spectacular images, the succinct dialogue, the elegant filmmaking and the mysterious beauty of Mia Wasikowska's performance — is what's left unsaid.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Hardy's Brooklyn accent is not only flawless — a Londoner by birth, he's a vocal chameleon who played a Welshman in "Locke" — but tinged, I do believe, with a blithe, spot-on tribute to a blue-collar guy from another borough, Ernest Borgnine's immortal Marty. Here's a far-from-minor performance by a major star in the making.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This is only the second feature for the director: the first was "True Adolescents." But Mr. Johnson's work with his actors is impeccable, and his style is freewheeling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Any movie with these two comics is a trip and a half. How about France for the next one? A perfect way to revisit Michael Caine.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    What's on screen, though, is a peculiar clutter of gentle sentiment, awkward dialogue, shaky contrivance — especially the resolution of Joey's feelings — and monotonous performances from a supporting cast that includes Marisa Tomei and Darren Burrows.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    No one ever stops talking. Twenty-somethings talk incessant small talk, or cute talk, or fatuous talk that's supposed to be clever.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    There's the expected, though no less astounding, profusion of life forms on the way down — Mr. Cameron calls them "critters" when he isn't using their scientific names — but the essence of the drama is the explorer's deepening solitude.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The folk-wisdom level is tolerable, just as the clichés and manipulations are palatable, because the story is full of life, and free of ironic additives.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a film of modest means and great ambition, a darkly comic drama concerned with nothing less than the place of faith, and an embattled Church, in modern life.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A likable lightweight, though it's heavy enough on cosmic combat and dazzling effects.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    All the more remarkably, then, this flawed but startling biopic stars another performer, Chadwick Boseman, who fills Brown's shoes with a dynamism that transcends imitation.

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