Joe Morgenstern

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For 2,165 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 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Look of Silence
Lowest review score: 0 Untraceable
Score distribution:
2165 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    A curious combination of strident preachment and smartly farcical thriller; it's heavy-handed and light-footed at the same time.
    • 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
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie finally comes together into something that is genuinely -- and almost quietly -- stirring.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Any shortfalls in Home on the Range a conventional but perfectly pleasant entertainment, have more to do with the ABC's of storytelling than with the D's of animation.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Ritchie is back with more of the same in his second feature, a comedy called "Snatch" that's a sort of lethal pinball machine in which even more picturesque characters bounce from pillage to post.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    An attractive, intelligent film that's intractably at odds with itself.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    At its best, Fahrenheit 9/11 is an impressionist burlesque of contemporary American politics that culminates in a somber lament for lives lost in Iraq. But the good stuff -- and there's some extremely good stuff -- keeps getting tainted by Mr. Moore's poison-camera penchant for drawing dark inferences from dubious evidence.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Entertaining when it's really lurid, and Gerard Depardieu is something to behold as the proprietor of a broken-down hotel. He's a spectacular ruin in his own right.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    If Ice Age lacks the fit and finish of top-of-the-line films from Pixar, DreamWorks or Disney, it's still an impressive piece of work for a new feature animation group, and a harbinger of cool cartoons to come.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Thus does a book of literary distinction become not-so-grand-Guignol.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The cast is superb: especially Kate Winslet, who transcends, by far, the limits of her character's narrow soul. Yet The Reader remains schematic, and ultimately reductive.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a reasonably clever contrivance built around a pair of droll, skin-deep performances that are smart and entertaining, yet oddly lacking in intensity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Endearing, though sometimes belabored.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    So many movies these days are overworked or overblown: The Hammer feels genuinely tossed-off. It isn't a great movie, or even a consistently good one. Yet it gets to elusive feelings about failure and success, hope and mortality (and reveals a quietly subversive attitude toward the boxing-movie genre).
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Maquiling's gotta learn more about dramatic arcs, but he has an infectious interest in how the world looks and works, and he can make you laugh unexpectedly. I look forward to his next film.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The film contends admiringly, and convincingly, that Ralph Nader's authentic sense of outrage is the reason he persists when he can't prevail.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Watching this surrealist silliness, I would have welcomed the sight of a geezer on a riding mower.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Surprising as it may be, given an unpromising trailer, the 3D update of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth turns out to be perfectly charming as well as predictably eye-popping.
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Grungily stylish and often funny, at least for a while, though all of the caveats and contradictions that apply to Tarantino films apply here: One man's--or boy's--stylization is another's profane, unrelenting and tedious brutality.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Silly is endangered these days, and normal has come under withering fire from stupendous, yet tedious, visual effects. Busting ghosts used to be a lot more fun.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The butler, Cecil Gaines, is a fictional creation, an African-American Forrest Gump who bears special witness to the civil-rights movement while serving on the White House staff under seven presidents. The contrivance is stretched to its breaking point over a running time of 132 minutes; some of the episodes cross a different line from almost plausible to downright silly. That's not the whole story, though.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    This is less a film in the lustrous Pixar tradition than a Disney fairy tale told with Pixar's virtuosity. As such, it's enjoyable, consistently beautiful, fairly conventional, occasionally surprising and ultimately disappointing.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    With all its flaws, though, The Grey Zone deserves to be respected, and to be seen.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Affecting but formulaic.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Mama itself is above average as a piece of filmmaking, even if its scare quotient is middling or below. That's OK with me. I was content to be impressed by the skill of the first-time director, Andrés Muschietti; absorbed by the performances and smitten by some startling images.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Kawase’s sweet, slow film — very slow, I’m obliged to say — becomes a meditation on solitary lives lived at the margins of society; on old age, and on the urgency of telling our stories, which may sometimes include recipes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Mike Leigh's latest film preserves the mystery of why another marriage has flourished over decades. That's not the stated subject of Another Year, but it's at the center of this enjoyable though insistently schematic comedy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Eventually, though, Ghost Town buckles beneath the weight of contrivance -- so many ghosts to dispel, so many lessons to learn.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The tone is earnest, with dialogue that sometimes plods when you want it to fly — a running time of 127 minutes doesn’t help the pacing — and a couple of pieces of casting are infelicitous: Jim Parsons gives a flat performance as the fictional Paul Stafford, NASA’s lead engineer, and Glen Powell is years too young to play John Glenn, who looks like a gung-ho frat boy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    A smart entertainment that trades on Mr. Jackson's forceful presence, a cast of extremely likable young actors and lots of basketball action.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The new version is out of scale with the basic premise -- too much rain, too much water, too much doom, gloom and intricate eccentricity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    This English heart-warmer isn't all that kinky. It's actually quite sweet-spirited, as well as unswervingly formulaic.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a diverting mess, sometimes even a delightful mess.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Its ironic complexities tease the brain without pleasing the heart.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Will the extremely extravagant special effects prove sufficient to sustain the picture? Surely they will, this time. Still, there's a sense of fatigue in the scenes that don't involve high-tensile webs and high-tension suspense.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a marvelous story about science and humanity, plus a great performance by Benedict Cumberbatch, plus first-rate filmmaking and cinematography, minus a script that muddles its source material to the point of betraying it. Those strengths make the movie worth seeing, but the writing keeps eating away at the narrative’s clarity — and integrity — until it’s impossible to separate the glib fictions from the remarkable facts.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    At the center of this swirl of events, poignant recollections and utter pandemonium, Ms. Portman’s Jackie is a mesmerizing presence.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The problem isn't a lack of substance, and certainly not a dearth of talent, but a shortage of fun.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Though Hannibal the movie is unresolved in ways the book is not, that isn't Mr. Hopkins's fault. He's still a star for all seasons, and seasonings.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    I know this sounds like great fun, and some of it is, but there's nowhere near enough good stuff to fill the 114-minute running time.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    A movie you want to like, and a movie you can enjoy if you cut its slackness some slack.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie is a pleaser, for the most part, even though the attitude it takes toward its subject is often problematic.
    • 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
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Del Toro is a fearless actor, and his Jerry, a heroin addict lurching toward redemption, is the heart and soul, as well as the haunted, rubbery visage, of a story of grief and loss that would be fairly lifeless without him.
    • 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
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a deafening, sometimes boring, occasionally startling and ultimately impressive war movie with a concern for what it is that makes us human.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Anger is the rocket fuel of drama. Of the four women in Nicole Holofcener's Friends With Money, only Frances McDormand's Jane is flamingly angry, and she's the most vivid character in the group.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Trumbo doesn't pretend to be tough-minded about its subject, and its failure to date the letters is an annoyance. But the substance of those letters, along with documentary footage and a touching appearance by Kirk Douglas, throws a baleful light on a bleak chapter of American history.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    In the wake of Walker’s death, it constitutes a farewell of fitting elegance.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Ayoade's new film, adapted from Dostoyevsky's novella "The Double," is at least as startling as "Submarine" in its visual design, eerie environments and unusual premise. But it's lifeless, for the most part, a drama suffocated by its schematic style.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Much of the action is interesting, and surprisingly well grounded in science...Yet the script works few variations on its basic idea until the climax, which is crazily out of scale -- the urban-traffic equivalent of a nuclear holocaust.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The scenery, effects and balletic, iconic combats are perfectly wonderful, but there's an emotional black hole where the hero should be.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The film as a whole has the gravitas of a really thoughtful rock video.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    This cheerfully chaotic, gleefully vulgar action-comedy retread of the old television series has box-office success written all over it, and where's the harm? It's irresistibly funny until it isn't.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Surprisingly, though, most of the material avoids the treacle zone, while Jason Segel, as the man-child in residence, gives a performance that I can only describe as gravely affecting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    My heart was warmed by gratuitous moments when Mr. Carrey clowns for clowning's sake - in the best of them, he makes a slo-mo entrance to a press conference, even though the camera is running at normal speed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    What's on screen, though, is a cautious approach to cinema wizardry -- broad, colorful strokes and flash-bang effects that turn J.K. Rowling's words into a long, cheerful spectacle with a Muggle soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    This, too, is a mood piece, sometimes surreal and dominated by Chow's lovelorn sadness. But it's hard to find an emotional or narrative handle to hang on to, since the filmmaker keeps reaching for dramatic energy that keeps eluding him.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a win for Mr. Gyllenhaal, while the movie loses out to its clichés.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    For all its rich trappings, A Little Princess is impoverished at the core. [18 May 1995, p.A14]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    For its delicate tone, provocative themes, impeccable craftsmanship and superb performances-by Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley-Never Let Me Go earned my great admiration. I wish I'd been affected in equal measure, but I wasn't, and it's not the sort of film you can will yourself to enjoy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Ting's exploits grow ever more violent and repetitive, but a lot of Ong-Bak is very enjoyable.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It doesn't make Cars a bad picture -- the visual inventions are worth the price of admission -- but it constitutes conduct unbecoming to a maker of magic.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This is Coupland's first screenplay, and it shows -- in a cheerfully discursive quality, but also in a reliance on gestures, contrivance and dialectic speeches rather than dramatic development and conflict.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie is a relentlessly intense, grotesquely overblown and numbingly long account of extraordinary heroism on the part of six American security operators in the midst of horrific chaos.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Monster House benefits from strong graphic design and lovely lighting, but the script is nothing to write home about.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    A textbook case of a film that's befuddled by its subject.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s ultimately a genre film with all that implies, meaning omissions, simplifications, conventional heroics, dramatic banalities and, given the narrative’s limited scope, little sense of the event’s complex causes or its environmental cost.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    In spite of the film's surface allure -- no, not the leather, the period evocation -- and a fine performance by Gretchen Mol in the title role, Bettie is in bondage to a shallow, black-and-white script.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The more elaborate the plot becomes, the sillier it gets.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The sweet spirit that made last year's "Elf" such a success has curdled considerably.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie wears thin as its style turns from light parody into affectation, and the plot, which certainly generates lots of anxiety, eventually settles for facile irony.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    James Caviezel makes us care more about that innocent romantic, Edmond Dantes, than we may care to care about the rest of the picture, which entertains in fits and starts, with startling ruptures in tone.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This would-be epic is beautifully photographed, elegantly crafted and adventurously cast. Unfortunately, though, it plays like a gargantuan trailer for a movie still to be made.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    What’s unusual, and admirable, about the film is its close concern with colonialist machinations that make Seretse and Ruth the pawns of implacable power. What’s unfortunate is that Ms. Asante’s direction and Mr. Hibbert’s script aren’t up to the dramatic task; the pace grows slower as the couple’s plight deepens.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Stone is a consistent delight, whether thanks to or in spite of the script’s flirtations with self-parody. But Irrational Man isn’t funny either. It’s a Woody Allen film that the next one will make us forget.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Field is a filmmaker with an exceptional gift for directing actors -- he's an actor himself -- and an eye for telling detail. (His cinematographer here, as in the previous film, is Antonio Calvache, and again the images are quietly sumptuous.) Yet I was put off by Little Children's satiric tone.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Andrew Niccol's In Time looks great, sounds stilted and plays like a clever videogame with too many rules.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie comes on like a put-on--next to nothing happens for an excruciatingly long time--and ends as a fascinating dialectic between following one's conscience or following the law.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    You could also say it's like they're likable tourists on a quest to plunder an endearing movie that didn't need this mediocre remake.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Ask the Dust is beautifully shot -- sepia becomes the ravishing, affecting Ms. Hayek. Unfortunately the images of the heaving waves of the Pacific in the moonlight, of mountains rising over scrub and cactus in the sunlight here, serve only to emphasize the emptiness of the drama unfolding in the foreground.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Looks magical, seethes with elusive profundities and makes remarkably little sense, though the murkiness makes perfect sense on a shallower level.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    From time to time the movie grabs you (though the music keeps repelling you). Taking stock and letting go-of superfluous things, of worn-out love-is a strong theme. But the progression of the script is like Nick's self-help program. We're familiar with the steps.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It's sometimes exciting but rarely thrilling, a victory of formula over finesse.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Whatever the cause, the movie turns sour when the singers aren't singing. And the first-person accounts don't work at all, even though much of their substance comes from the show.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Weaves a sensual spell of extraordinary delicacy, then sustains it -- up to a point.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Doesn't measure up to the depth of detail, let alone the drama, of "Unzipped," the 1995 documentary about Isaac Mizrahi. Still, this new documentary conveys an ample sense of the process.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Much of the fun is awfully silly. The story strains logic, as well as credulity. It's been cobbled together, often crudely, from pieces of classic predecessors. (Here snippets of Hitchcock, there stretches of "Speed," with wings on the bus.) Yet the silliness parades itself in a spirit of cheerful self-awareness, while Liam Neeson fills the thrill quotient impressively as an air marshal.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Terrific actors give glum performances.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Takes liberties with its hero, which is hardly a crime (the real-life Barrie was extremely childlike), but the movie chases after magic with overproduced fantasy sequences, and a feel-good, literalist climax that betrays the very notion of imagination as a force superior to reality.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Two dramatic problems beset Roman Polanski's darkly handsome new film of the Dickens novel. The boy is as passive as ever, and bleak in the bargain -- instead of glowing like the Oliver of the musical, he takes light in -- while Ben Kingsley's Fagin and Jamie Foreman's Bill Sikes manage to make villainy a bit of a bore.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Remaking a cherished movie is not, to borrow a fancy phrase from the dialogue, malum in se - wrong in itself - but there are always losses along with the changes and gains.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    A small story, a monodrama with a hero but no antagonists.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Once again, Queen Latifah survives some remarkably clumsy filmmaking. More than survives; she manages to prevail.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    All of it amounts to a been-there-done-that-better recapitulation of Mr. Spielberg's career.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Though the first-time director, Gabor Csupo, has achieved distinction as an animation artist, he lacks experience directing actors. The best adult performance in the film is that of Zooey Deschanel; she comes off -- again, agreeably -- as self-directed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a cheerful trifle tossed off by the Coen brothers in their self-enchanted mode, an approach to comedy that shrugs off comedy's cardinal rule -- Don't Act Funny.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The action looks impressive, even when nothing much is happening beyond local explosions or shattering glass, and the drama turns, affectingly, on a mysterious female sniper with a partitioned soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    What's good in the film, which was shot superbly by Matthew Libatique, is so good - so exuberant and touching and sweet - that you want the whole thing to be perfect, but Ruby Sparks is a closed system that gradually turns in on itself. There isn't enough of someone else.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Skips from episode to episode without illuminating the essence of the woman or her art.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Doremus is an exceptional director of actors; almost every scene in Breathe In comes alive, with or without the help of music. But the film needs more help than it gets from the script, which turns on facile coincidence and dwindles in originality as it moves toward its climax. Next time around, let's hope this gifted filmmaker hangs his characters' lives on stronger dramatic bones.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    What we see, though, is the same old same old - beautiful faces turning gaunt and haunted, strung-out hero and heroine, stupid parents, de-tox worse than tox, descent to and return from the depths. Candy could be seen, I suppose, as a cautionary tale; take this as a cautionary review.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Both Mr. Dano and Mr. Cusack, by contrast, find as many notes as they can in portraying their troubled character, though they’re clearly limited by the schematic writing and insistent direction.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    So the awful truth about The Truth About Charlie is that it needed two movie stars and got one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Oversweetened or not, "Mary Poppins" remains a deservedly beloved work of art. Nanny McPhee is an overproduced industrial enterprise.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Igby has his own prickly charisma and bleak humor; he's a character you'd like very much to embrace. But he's surrounded by insufferable fools in the airless Manhattan universe of a film that's as offputtingly precocious as its preppy hero.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    A sentimental -- and modestly enjoyable -- fantasy of mutual need.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Deeply felt convictions and first-rate craftsmanship-craftswomanship, in the case of the Spanish director, Icíar Bollaín-win out over contrivance in this parallel drama of exploitation in the New World discovered by Columbus, and in the Bolivia of 2000.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The plot really is basic, so the bafflement of the movie lies in its combination of visual riches and dramatic -- as well as thematic -- impoverishment.
    • 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
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Everyone's work is heartfelt, heaven knows, but the script, by Mr. Hoffman's brother, Gordy Hoffman, gives the movie's star little but lugubriousness to play...eventually the whole thing seems to be running on fumes.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Jindabyne started with a bad idea and the finished film doesn't do well by it.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Takes a sharp turn for the better when Ronnie and a poor big rich boy played by Liam Hemsworth fall in love.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie has its own deficits - a lack of variety, originality, subtlety, clarity and plain old charm.
    • 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
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Once Nacho gets the wrestling bug, though, it's all about Jack Black the irrepressible clown, and the comedy dies a slow death for lack of fresh ideas.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    I can't pretend that the third episode instilled a fever in my blood, but it didn't leave me cold. For the first time in the series I felt I'd seen a real movie.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Through it all, though, Kurt Russell gives Dark Blue a bleak integrity -- funny word, given the circumstances -- that almost serves as its redemption.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Why are certain films less than the sum of their appealing parts?
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    In fairness, the movie is good for more than a few laughs, but little substance lurks beneath the antic poses and frantic shenanigans in this remake of the classic 1955 English comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    I can't say I was scared, but I wasn't bored. By way of full disclosure, Warner Bros. provided free popcorn at the screening. I gobbled up every greasy morsel.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    More unfortunately still, the elements of the story fit poorly, like a Tucker decked out as a sexmobile.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Stylish, highly accomplished and, thanks to its severely restrained palette, mostly off-putting.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Up
    I'm still left, though, with an unshakable sense of Up being rushed and sketchy, a collection of lovely storyboards that coalesced incompletely or not at all.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This is not a simple picture. It's serious, disarmingly funny at times and certainly ambitious, yet diminished by some of the traits that have made the standard Sandler characters so popular.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 22 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It's basically a cheerful slob job, one of those slapped-together features so often embraced by teenagers with more disposable income than discernible taste.
    • 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
    • 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).
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Another is how the film manages, in the absence of a coherent plot, to be so funny and engaging until, somewhere around the midpoint, it goes as flat as a stepped-on creepy-crawly.
    • 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
    • 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
    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.
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    World Trade Center shows us many things we already know, though with impressive flair, then plunges underground for an unconvincing drama based on a multitude of facts. It's upbeat, all right, but badly off kilter.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Very funny and surprisingly likable until it goes Hollywood.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The violence wears you down. Like one of its nutso characters, Seven Psychopaths has a death wish.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Firth gives his all, and then some. He’s very funny, even touching, when the material allows him to be. Yet the production, directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass,” “X-Men: First Class”) from a screenplay he wrote with Jane Goldman, can’t contain its centrifugal force.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Pleasing moments don't add up to a feature film, even though this one strives desperately for substance and coherence by slathering its slender story with treacly family values.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Coogan, lavishly talented as a comic, and a comic actor, is fairly monotonous in the mostly serious role he wrote for himself. That leaves Ms. Dench to carry the picture, which she does, up to a point, with her usual delicacy and grace.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The main — and for my money only — attraction in Le Week-End, which was directed by Roger Michell, is the marvelous Scottish actress Lindsay Duncan. She is witty, fiercely intelligent and intensely sexy in the role of Meg, a woman stuck in a failing marriage.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The film is enjoyable enough, at least for young children.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Declarative sentences are as scarce as detectable feelings in this stylish, emptyish thriller -- it's Tarantino with the vital juices left out.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Fur starts stylishly, and confidently, but the film dwindles down to a chamber piece in a claustrophobic chamber. Enter at your own risk.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    After two flat-out triumphs in a row, "All About My Mother" in 1999 and last year's breathtaking "Talk To Her," Pedro Almodóvar hasn't done it again. Yet lesser Almodóvar -- in this instance "Bad Education" -- is better than most of the movies we see.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    If only the showmanship were equal to the scholarship. As beautiful as the film is (despite notable variations in the quality of the cinematography), it is also sluggish, underdramatized after that initial suspense, and for the most part emotionally remote.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a lovely pretext for dazzling visuals, yet the production is diminished by the clumsiness of an 8-bit script.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Pretty bad, and pretty funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The narrative engine leaves the rails when Irving, like Hughes, plunges into paranoia (though Irving actually is the object of a high-level plot) and the style turns to the sort of intensely manipulated surrealism that Charlie Kaufman practiced, not successfully, in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind."
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Impressive landscapes, plus Kristen Wiig's appealing Cheryl, the fellow worker who inflames Walter's passion, make the movie enjoyable enough. Yet its style is a constant bafflement.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    One unwelcome surprise is how shopworn the story's components prove to be. Still, they're enhanced if not redeemed by Mr. Washington's stirring portrait of a skillful, prideful pilot hitting bottom.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Any meaningful perspective on the greedfest of the period is obscured by the gleefulness of the depiction.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It's formula stuff, to be sure, but full of feeling for the sweep of the past as well as for the unsettled, yearning present.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Visually Hugo is a marvel, but dramatically it's a clockwork lemon.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The drama is almost stillborn, thanks to a slow, deadly dull romantic preface, and it’s subverted by incessant switching between spectacular struggles on the Atlantic and generic anxieties on shore.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Eloquent acting -- in fits and starts -- can't make up for the movie's glib, off-putting calculations.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    In Hollywood’s franchise game, sequels are seldom the best they can be. This one isn’t, but it’s pretty, perfectly pleasant and good enough.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The kind of inspirational movie that Hollywood made about the Army, Navy and Marines during World War II. Now, with inspiration in short supply, it's the Coast Guard's turn.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The show is redeemed by its co-stars, up to a point. They struggle womanfully, and sometimes successfully, to find truth in the script's silly symphony of false notes.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The title isn’t “Broken,” so there’s not much doubt of the outcome. But it’s certainly regrettable, because this long and increasingly sluggish film version of the Laura Hillenbrand book celebrates an American life of singular heroism.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The Clearing has been directed by a successful producer. In this case it's Pieter Jan Brugge, who brings seriousness and intelligence to his newly chosen craft, but little verve.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The deeper problem with Rock Star is its insistence on turning a heavy-metal fairy tale into a morality tale that's as heavy as lead.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Ali
    Ali nails its subject's anger and courage, but not his lilt; his swaggering boasts but not his sly self-irony; his power but not his grace; and his inner turmoil but not the outward joyousness that has made us come to love him.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Before long, though, things take a turn from simplicity to sententiousness, then to surreal silliness, and finally to a mano-à-mano contest, on a parched desert floor, over which man gets the best close-ups.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Affecting, even touching, provided you can put up with its sclerotic pace.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The film, for all its visual felicities, comes to life only sporadically.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    A 3-D fantasy that's lovely to look at but less than delightful to know.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Storytelling problems surface toward the overwrought climax, but the worst problem is the unrelenting grimness. It's hard to like a movie that leaves you with no hope.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Under the Same Moon comes most vividly to life when Adrian Alonso is on the screen.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie lacks a resonant center. The script seems to have been written by committee, with members lobbying for each major character, and the action, set in vast environments all over the map, spreads itself so thin that a surfeit of motion vitiates emotion.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. McCanlies's style lurches between the lyrical, the fantastical (flashbacks to the uncles' youth) and the clumsily antic, and Mr. Osment's performance is woefully stiff and inexpressive.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The third iteration of a franchise that began so well becomes a hollow hymn to martial gadgetry. The suits and story clank in unison.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    As for Ms. Fey, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot doesn’t serve her fully, but this is her best work yet on the feature screen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Plays like "Norma Rae" on blood thinners. The movie is by no means bloodless; every once in a while a stirring scene comes along, though it's seldom a scene labeled as stirring by William Ivory's formulaic script and Nigel Cole's insistent direction.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Scurlock's documentary serves up cautionary tales of epic abuse, though the overall tone is faux cheerful and sometimes genuinely entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Devolves from an electrifying character study into a disappointing tale of trackdown and revenge.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    "Could be worse" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Pacific Rim, but my head is still ringing, and hurting, from long stretches of this aliens vs. robots extravaganza that are no better than the worst brain-pounders of the genre.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The story is a shallow-draft bark with flat characters on board: Josh, in particular, is de-energized to the point of entropy. Night Moves suffers from a lack of mystery and a deficit of motion.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This latest iteration of DreamWorks's money machine has its ups and downs, its longueurs along with its felicities, plus an abiding preoccupation with poop.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    To those who, like me, are ever so slightly beyond the young-adult cohort, it may seem silly and derivative but sometimes affecting as well, a high-school pageant version of “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Qualifies as a pleasant time-killer, but it's 20,000 leagues beneath what it might have been.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    We can all use more magic in our lives, and that promise is fulfilled quite delightfully at first. But extravagant creatures of digital descent can’t sustain a story that does little more than set the scene for a long string of sequels.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Little by little, though, unfunniness takes hold. Stephen’s training grows interminable. The mysticism turns deadly serious. The effects turn repetitious: Worst of all, the plot loses its way just as Stephen is coming into his own as a worthy antagonist of Kaecilius, a villain — or is he? — played with hollow-eyed intensity by Mads Mikkelsen.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The film feels self-obsessed, an intriguing drama that slowly devolves into a bleak meditation on the absence of dramatics.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The script is dreadful and everything else suffers from its impoverishment. Yet Kevin Costner, wily veteran that he is, makes the tale affecting, if not inspiring.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This pretty slip of a film, in French and occasionally English, draws boldface parallels to Emma Bovary and the Flaubert novel to no particular purpose, though it sometimes gives the impression of being profound.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    You never lose interest for a moment, and the images are often striking: Javier Julia did the stylish cinematography. Yet there’s little lift from the carryings-on, not much buoyancy in the misanthropy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    One difficulty with this film is that Doug is the least vital of the three main characters; he has mastered mildness as a second language. Another is the zone in which the film operates, equidistant between droll and dull. If that's a comfort zone for you, Cold Weather may be worth a look-see.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    So absurdly overproduced that there's even a surfeit of cherry blossoms. By the end they look like litter.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The younger man's personality is all the more startling for the skill and generosity with which Mr. Brolin creates a persuasively vital K while foreshadowing the grump to come. The script explains the change in elaborate detail, but the performance defies explanation; it's mysteriously marvelous.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Bloated adaptation of P.D. James's thoughtful, compact novel.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    After listening to Jane and Jake talk it out in the interminable process of working it out—they explore their relationship as exhaustively, and exhaustingly, as any kids on Facebook—I found myself wishing for more shallows and fewer depths.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This is filmmaking as an act of devotion, and exploration — not just of the nature of faith but of faith’s obverse, abject doubt. The production is physically beautiful, and evokes the beauties of classic Japanese films, but the substance makes few concessions to conventional notions of entertainment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Once again, though, the film is defined by the strengths and weaknesses of the source material. While Bruce is working on anger management, you may find yourself working on boredom management, and matching his rate of success.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The best way to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow -- if you see it at all -- is as an interesting experiment that failed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This teenage interracial romance runs hot and cold, sweet and silly, with many more fits than starts.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This drama, directed by Pablo Trapero, is violent, and unconcerned with easy redemption. That makes it hard to watch, though fascinating for its performances, and the bottomless corruption it portrays.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The film’s energy can be relentless, but the feelings are real, and they’re wrapped in a dysfunctional-family package that’s so venerable and endearing as to seem a little bit new.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The film succeeds to the degree that it does -- partially, but honorably and sometimes affectingly -- because it was made as well as it was.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's emotional content was manifest as an absence. What stayed with me most memorably was the father's insufferable bombast and the son's sad passivity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Most of those hardships are familiar to movie lovers; that's a reductionist view of a serious and ambitious production, but it is, after all, a movie on a screen. (And a movie with a dreadfully clumsy ending.)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    There's also reason to worry when a simplistic movie like this one takes on an issue of overarching importance to the nation's future. The challenges presented by fracking are immense, and Capra-esque nostalgia isn't helpful.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The story requires a greater leap of faith than I was willing or able to muster, since Eli is also a saintly pilgrim on a God-given mission to save a ruined world.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    An odd little thriller that celebrates, in order of importance, Mr. Duvall, tango and his real-life significant other, Luciana Pedraza, who makes her attractive debut as a screen actress and, yes, tango dancer.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    For all its sporadic philosophizing and belated stabs at romance, Live by Night is cold and inert at its core. That’s really the long and short of it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    There's a lot to appreciate here, especially Mr. Murray's variations on the sad but hopeful soul he played in "Rushmore" (and in "Lost In Translation"). Yet meanings get lost in a clutter of cleverness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This coming-of-age movie, is a clumsy contraption, but it's nice to see Rupert Grint coming out from under that colorful thatch, and coming, not a moment too soon, into an appealing pre-maturity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    An exercise in inertia about an exercise in futility.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The star, as solo practitioner, does a terrific job of holding our attention when we're not taking in surreal vistas of a deserted Manhattan that are fascinating in their own right. Still, zombies are zombies, and this nasty lot, mostly digital creations of variable quality, keep draining the distinction that the movie seeks and occasionally finds.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Beware of idiocy's charms.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Good fun -- more fun than in the original -- punctuated by some lines of admirable awfulness.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mistrustful of its audience, it's full of actors -- apart from Streep -- playing broad attitudes rather than characters. Crafted like a high end TV show, it's a sort of video Vogue -- lite, brite and trite.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    A machine for killing time, and it does so fairly painlessly.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This feelbad movie makes you glad when it's over.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Short on dramatic energy, Must Love Dogs settles for a cheerful drone.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Snow Dogs isn't subtle, to say the least, but it's a serviceable city-slicker-in-the-frozen-sticks comedy for kids and undemanding adults.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Most of the scenes depicting the couple's domestic life are borderline-banal, and they miniaturize the political drama that plays out partly in public, partly in the shadows but almost always in a middle distance just beyond emotional reach.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    An absurdist fantasy on a solemn theme, Where Do We Go Now? suffers from a serious clash of styles, but it's also brave and startlingly funny - at one point verging on "Mamma Mia!" - when it isn't bleak or shocking.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The strengths of the first "3:10 To Yuma" were enhanced by its proportionality -- an intimate story told in 92 minutes. The story is no bigger in the new version, which goes on for 117 minutes. And it's certainly not better.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The Armstrong Lie wears thin before it's over; the wafer-thin nature of the cyclist's personality can't sustain a two-hour running time.
    • 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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    With a running time of 147 minutes, the film not only runs low on energy toward the end — internecine battles can’t compete with the early excitement of gifted young kids making it big on a national stage — but turns ploddingly sentimental in its sudden focus on Eazy-E’s painful decline, and death, from AIDS.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It's admirable and even memorable, in its moody fashion, thanks to Roman Vasyanov's richly textured cinematography — he's a shooter to keep our eyes on — and three affecting performances.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Intimacy has vanished from the relationship between Tony and Pepper, and grace has been stricken from the movie as a whole.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    For the most part Mr. Maher is an equal-opportunity denigrator, but it's worth noting that humor fails him when the subject is Muslim fundamentalism. It's hard to make light of what frightens us.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    I wish I could be more enthusiastic about Prince Caspian, an honorable and attractive adventure for children and families. But scenic beauty and spirited action can't conceal its dramatic defects.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The whole film is an argument about nothing less than the future — can we fix our troubled world or not? But for all of its vaulting ambition, its sumptuous eye-feasts and its leapings back and forth in space and time, Tomorrowland never comes together as coherent drama in the here and now.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Prometheus, in efficient 3-D, places most of its bets on the wonders that today's visual artists and technicians can work with digital tools. This tale of an interstellar search asks cosmic questions about the meaning of life, but comes up with lame answers in a script that screams attention-deficit disorder.
    • 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
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Madagascar 3 is all about exuberant motion, cute characters and gorgeous colors. It aims for the eyes, not the heart.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Talented as they are, the wheelchair-bound stars of Rory O'Shea Was Here can't transcend a manipulative script.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The safe course is to recommend the film, which seems pitilessly long at 147 minutes, only for the transcendent quality of Javier Bardem's performance.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The film, like its subject and everyone who talks about him, is frustratingly short on analysis or insight. It’s as if BASE jumping had been invented and psychology had not.
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Quid Pro Quo, a bizarre but audacious debut feature by Carlos Brooks.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    A model of mediocrity.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The experience is interesting, in a flattened way.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The intentional and unintentional absurdities of the plot do pay off, with a happy ending that's outlandish enough to be entertaining.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The only reliable source of energy is Homayoun Ershadi, a powerful actor who plays Baba, Amir's Westernized father.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Inside the mysterious factory, a psychedelic realm where Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka holds sway, pleasure gradually gives way to a peculiar state that I can only describe as engagement without enjoyment.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Oh, what awful voices -- clumsy words as well as cheesy accents -- come out of the actors' mouths! Though I wanted to appreciate the human story, and the lavish spectacle, I couldn't get past the clangorous echoes of Charlie Chan.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This attractive, superficial stab at biography, with Renée Zellweger in the title role, is more concerned with a lonely woman's quest for acceptance and love than with an author's worldly achievements.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie looks lovely, but it's luminous prose.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Terrific performers doing what they're often forced to do, overcoming sorely flawed material.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    It grows repetitious, both in its account of Crane's ritual behavior and in clumsily written -- and stolidly directed -- scenes between Crane and Carpenter, two men acting out their own unacknowledged sexual drama.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Yet most of the film's energy is generated by flamboyant cinematography and music-video cutting, and much of that energy is false.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    A good chance to see two superb actors having their way with wafer-thin material.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    I might have liked About Adam more if its supposedly irresistible hero -- and the movie itself -- hadn''t been so smirky.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    "Another Earth" and "Moon" transcended their financial and physical limitations with mystery and ambiguity. Europa Report goes ploddingly where bolder films have gone before.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The perverse fascination of Jet Lag is watching two superb actors struggle with material that doesn't suit them.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    What Minions does have is abundant if relentless cuteness, which audiences are sure to accept in lieu of content; people love these little guys.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The great strength of Concussion is its star’s performance.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The tone is that of a telenovela -- soap-operatic at heart -- even though the film was adapted from a 19th-century novel.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Strangely, though, there isn't enough for one movie, and the first clue to why lurks in the title's ampersand, a sort of linguistic duct tape holding together two stories that never really function as one.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Douglas's performance in the sequel measures up to Gekko's rep, but the rest of the movie is pumped up to the bursting point with gasbag caricatures, overblown sermons and a semicoherent swirl of events surrounding the economy's recent meltdown.
    • 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
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Two movies for the price of one, though only one of them-a fragmented romance within a ponderous parable-qualifies as a bargain.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    That's one of the puzzles of this piece. You'd think a film with talent to burn - would provide some electrifying encounters at the very least. No such luck. Words fly, some of them medium-witty, but lightning doesn't strike.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Fitfully amusing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Michael Winterbottom's films aren't always successful, but they're almost always interesting. And, in the case of this odd transplantation from Thomas Hardy's grim Wessex to the glare and blare of contemporary India, spectacular visually, though awfully somber dramatically.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The Kingdom comes down to a police procedural, and one whose procedures prove none too interesting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Lavishly produced -- overproduced, actually -- and persistently unexciting.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Earnest, mostly predictable and candidly didactic. That said, I'm glad it got made -- what's wrong with films that teach? -- and especially glad that a remarkably gifted newcomer named Nicole Beharie got to play the central role.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Rourke's performance is quite phenomenal, a case of unquenchable talent bursting the bonds of dehumanized artifice.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    For all his years doing "E.R." and other top-line TV series, Mr. Wells hasn't yet tailored his techniques to the big screen.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    When the film finally gets around to monsters on a rampage, you'll get both more and less than you bargained for.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie is grimly efficient on its own terms, a string of ever more naked calculations. But it looks like a business school opened up and all the marketing grads were allowed to start their own studio.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    This peculiarly predictable picture has been calculated, or miscalculated, to set up certain expectations, fulfill them, and then do the same thing again, thereby giving us a chance to see what's coming and, at least in theory, be shocked when it actually comes.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The second film, in particular, grows tediously episodic, and the exploits become a blur. What never blurs is Mr. Cassel's presence. We're told that he bulked up for the part-though Mesrine was many things, lithe wasn't one of them-but it's his phenomenal zest for his checkered character that fills the screen.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The motion-capture animation is spectacular..Yet the action grows wearisome as it grinds on, and the film becomes a succession of dazzling set pieces devoid of simple feelings.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The material is hardly original, but the moment is affecting all the same.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Impressive for Patrick Tatopoulos's production design but depressive for the juiceless story.
    • 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
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie has a couple of problems. The lesser one arises from its opaqueness about the involvement of Mr. Stewart and “The Daily Show” in these events. The larger one lies in its narrative — enlivened from time to time by instructive absurdity, yet awfully familiar, overall, and padded with a notably clumsy dramatic contrivance.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie itself is neither a catastrophe nor major.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    For all of Ferris's desperate struggles, and for all the director's efforts to emulate the remarkable verisimilitude he achieved in "Black Hawk Down," his new film remains abstract and unaffecting. It's a study in semisimilitude, more Google-Earthly than grounded in feelings.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    If only there'd been a chance to contemplate the legend in blessed silence.
    • Wall Street Journal

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