Joe Morgenstern
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For 1,846 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 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Lowest review score: 0 Bedtime Stories
Score distribution:
1,846 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Go in with lowered expectations, and expect to have them dashed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    No one comes out of Mooseport unscathed -- not Rip Torn, as the president's campaign manager, not Christine Baranski as his avaricious ex-wife. It's a democracy of mediocrity, or worse.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The crucial evidence has to do with rigor mortis. The movie's a stiff too.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    In Troy, and in overreaching, underachieving productions like it, digital imagery is fast becoming both a Trojan horse and Achilles' heel.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The Terminal is a terminally fraudulent and all-but-interminable comedy.
    • 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
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A remarkably ill-advised remake.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A train wreck of mind-numbing proportions.
    • 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
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Bring Zoloft and a tank of oxygen to Closer, an airless, ultimately joyless drama of sexual politics.
    • 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
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Wynter's performance is only one of many failings in a heavily accented costume drama that Bruce Beresford has directed turgidly from Marilyn Levy's amateurish script.
    • 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
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A few clumps of very funny stuff (including a quick tonsorial reference to "Mary") can't hide all the spots that are bald instead of bold.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Long on cutlery and décor (including, of course, the marvelously decorative Ms. Garner, of the TV series "Alias") and woefully short on narrative.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Constantine is yet another studio extravaganza that's all aswirl with atmospherics, though empty at its center. The invasion of the soul snatchers proceeds apace.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    If claustrophobia's your style, The Jacket is a perfect fit.
    • 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
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The video-game sequences are impressive, but you know that a 'toon is in big trouble when its most powerful theme is planned obsolescence.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Palindromes finds him (Solondz) stuck with his single theme inside a sealed dollhouse of his own construction. He has gifts to give a larger audience, if ever he breaks out.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Comes on like an overproduced coma, and leaves you comatose by the end. In between are 127 minutes of intermittent chaos that feel like a lifetime.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Brought down by repeated bursts of high absurdity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    YEEEEE HAAAAW! They've gone and done it. The feature version of The Dukes Of Hazzard turns a sow's ear into a bigger sow's ear.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A guaranteed downer that's devoid of any upside, and free of dangerously entertaining side effects.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Heart-breakingly awful -- slow, lugubrious, and misconceived to the point of baffling amateurism.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Jarecki undercuts his own case -- not just undercuts but carpet-bombs it -- by using the same propaganda techniques he professes to abhor.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 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
    • 26 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Basic Instinct 2 is pretty awful. Rarely has a meaningless thriller had so many meaningful glances, or such arch acting by good actors who know better.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Nothing stands up to scrutiny -- least of all the lethargic acting and the clumsy script. I was hot to trot for the exit halfway through, but a dogged sense of duty kept me stuck in an endless present.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Depressed and depressing drama.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A snapshot, to be sure, but scattershot as well.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    I feel for the marketing person charged with devising a tagline for Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, a fantasy whose turgid pretensions defy the very notion of marketing.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    N'ever was an apostrophe so misplaced, n'ever was the prospect of good cheer so perversely defeated.
    • 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
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    300
    300 presents a dual clash of civilizations. An action adventure that pits thousands of Persians against 300 brave Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, it also pits millions of fans of brainless violence against a gallant band, or so I choose to think of us, who still expect movies to contain detectable traces of humanity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    For all the preposterous clichés of the plot, which clanks as loudly as Laz's chain, and for all the inertness of Justin Timberlake's performance as Rae's brooding squeeze, Black Snake Moan finds unchained energy in its foolishness, and gives Mr. Jackson a chance to pluck a guitar and sing. He's really good at it, too. The music almost redeems the movie.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    But clever casting, and inspirational dieting, can't make up for this poor little rich girl's shortcomings as a comedienne. Under Mr. Benjamin's vulgar tutelage, she portrays Connie's coarseness coarsely, with an accent that seems to have come from Ida Lupino by way of Madonna. [19 Apr 1996, p.A11]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The failures of White Squall are dismaying as well as perplexing. Director Ridley Scott serves up some ravishing images along the way: the stark geometry of the ship's riggings against an azure sky, crew kids scampering along a verdant ridge toward a volcano's silvery crater lake. But the script is a shambles. [06 Feb 1996]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The drama is repetitive rather than resonant, an over-calculated, under-ventilated studio production -- even paranoid thrillers need to breathe -- whose plot machinery grinds grim and coarse.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Katherine Heigl carries 27 Dresses when all else fails, which it does with great regularity.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    There's no maybe about its standing as romantic comedy -- definitely bad.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Penelope was in a trough of trouble before the oink on the script was dry.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A bizarre, overcooked broth that combines a broad sitcom style (the banter goes rat-tat-tat like a steam drill) with a preposterous succession of plot complications, plus solemn questions of identity, adoption and the nature of happiness.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Rather than the laugh a minute promised by old comedies, Get Smart generates approximately one laugh per hour, and I can't remember either one.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Less than the sum of its parts, which were problematic to begin with.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    J. Michael Straczynski's disjointed script manages to ring false at almost every significant turn (Collins' psychiatric-hospital stay has grown into a latter-day version of "The Snake Pit") and Clint Eastwood's ponderous direction -- a disheartening departure from his sure touch in "Letters From Iwo Jima" and "The Bridges of Madison County" -- magnifies the flaws.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's really dumb, even though it starts promisingly and continues, in a self-infatuated way, to consider itself quite bright.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    You'd have to be made of granite to resist all the charms of a free-spirited, 100-pound Lab. Yet the production manages, against heavy odds, to make its canine star an incorrigible bore.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    No cues are needed to understand the plot, which feels computer-generated and barely serves to sustain an hour and a half running time.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Macdonald works modest wonders within these constraints -- she's a lovely actress, and a skilled one -- but too much is asked of her; Kate's innocence finally wilts beneath the camera's fixed gaze.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The denizens of Judd Apatow’s Funny People have been pulled every which way to fit a misshapen concept, yet they remain painfully unfunny, and consistently off-putting.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This Transformers is a pile of glittering junk.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie on the whole is joyless. Whatever Works doesn’t.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    In the spirit of that world, I cannot tell a lie: The Invention of Lying, which the English comedian both directed and wrote with Matthew Robinson, soon loses altitude and eventually falls flat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What do the Coen brothers want of us? More specifically, what do they want us to think of the repellent people in this pitilessly bleak movie?
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Osunsanmi's chutzpah exceeds his skill.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    You may wonder if this screen version of the book of the same name is as unfunny and strangely mushy as it seems, but trust your instincts.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Edge of Darkness was one of the most enthralling, intricate and genuinely thrilling productions in the history of the small screen. The big-screen version--directed by Martin Campbell, who did the original--offers an example of why the studios' numbers often add up, and why, at the same time, so many of today's Hollywood movies leave us cool if not downright cold.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's impossible to say who's more unhinged: Darwin, caught between faith and reason, or the filmmakers.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Adam Green's Frozen explores a tiny idea exhaustively, and I mean exhaustively.
    • 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
    (It doesn't hurt that Ms. Redgrave gets to play opposite Franco Nero, who was once the love of her life and is the father of her son.) Not even she can transform lines like "Destiny wanted us to meet again."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    A slow and lugubrious film about the impact of adoption on the lives of three women.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Still, Eat Pray Love preaches a sermon it doesn't practice-the need to open one's self to the world. In a pictorial sense this is exactly what Liz does; she vacuums up the transformative essence of three continents. Yet the world gets weirdly short shrift because this transcendently narcissistic movie is, in a narrative sense, almost entirely about Liz and the movie star who plays her.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This children's entertainment-grownups beware!-is preoccupied by squishy stuff that includes mud and poop, as well as by syrup that oozes from cabinet drawers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Secretariat stumbles along beneath the weight of leaden life lessons. They're dispensed at frequent intervals by Diane Lane, who does better than anyone had a right to expect, since she is saddled with dialogue of exceptional dreadfulness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Either you buy their Vaseline-lensed visions of the hereafter, or you watch in stony silence, as I did, wondering why there's no one to care about.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This dreary drama telegraphs every punch, emotion and plot point with a dedication that would have done the old Western Union proud.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What's worse, some mysterious movie curse has turned the three once-lively adventurers into wood.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The result is a queasy combination of speculation and dramatic invention with the ring of half-truth, though the co-stars, Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, add as much color as they can - not much - to a monochromatic script.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The only reason to see it is Riz Ahmed's performance as Omar, the supposed brains of the operation. Mr. Ahmed reminded me a bit of Robert Carlyle. He's dynamic, quick-tongued and intense. And much too classy for this tatty room.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This production is a mess for many reasons, most of them having to do with its frantic efforts to be funny.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The basic problem is the script, which is credited to three writers plus the director - seldom a good sign. Never mind that it's a retread of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" minus the trains, and minus John Candy.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Country Strong comes to spontaneous life from time to time, despite maudlin devices and manipulative set pieces.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    All of the nonsense piled on nonsense does provide some measure of pleasure. Unknown gets better by getting worse.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Horrible Bosses has preposterousness to burn, but no finesse and no interest in having any.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie transforms a dim idea - "Elmer Gantry" lite - into comedy that's dead in the water and as dull as it is broad.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Weisz is always a strong presence, but her talents are wasted here on a naive heroine - the fictional Kathy is exceedingly slow to grasp the extent of the corruption - and a narrative style that turns the horror of the prostitutes' plight into harrowing melodrama.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    In a movie that rings false at every turn, Ms. Redgrave's Elizabeth is truly and infallibly regal.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    When bad movies happen to good people, the first place to look for an explanation is the basic idea. That certainly applies to My Week With Marilyn, a dubious idea done in by Adrian Hodges's shallow script and Simon Curtis's clumsy direction.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher is the main reason to see The Iron Lady, which was directed by Phyllida Lloyd - not just the main reason but the raison d'être of an otherwise misconceived movie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    In The Hunger Games it's both a feast of cheesy spectacle and a famine of genuine feeling, except for the powerful - and touchingly vulnerable - presence of Jennifer Lawrence.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    You're tempted to keep watching, even though the running time is a bloated 154 minutes, to see if anyone, or the movie itself, turns remotely likable. The answer to that, alas, is no.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It's long on Viagra jokes and whorehouse scenes, and comes up short on plausibility.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What a peculiar production this is. Up to a certain point, it really does promise to be romantic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    I won't pretend that I had a great time watching G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The story is rooted in a political past that never comes to life, and its structure is so cockeyed that we don't even get to see Nick's reaction to a climactic surprise that takes place off-screen. The film was shot by an excellent cinematographer, Adriano Goldman, though you'd never know it from the lighting, which is as flat as the writing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's failures are all the more unfortunate because they detract from its central and conspicuous success, the performance of Riz Ahmed in the title role. Mr. Ahmed turns the quicksilver quality of the book's internal monologue into a tour de force of his own creation. He's a bright star in a dim constellation.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What's intractably wrong with the film is that there's no reality to heighten; it's a spectacle in search of a soul.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Emmerich, who has often conjured with cosmic themes, sometimes wittily, achieves something new this time around — a level of indifference to the genre and its fans that amounts to a cosmic shrug. What does it matter if the absurdity is slovenly, the whimsy leaden, the extravagance squalid?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The larger problem, transcending all realms, is that this action-adventure sequel from Marvel soon turns so dumb and 3-D-murky that it hurts.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Labor Day, adapted from a novel by Joyce Maynard, is the kind of movie that turns clarity into stultification; everything is perfectly clear and almost everything — pie-making excepted — is perfectly lifeless.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Goldsman, a first-time director though a veteran screenwriter, has been done in by the source material. Either he climbed aboard a horse that was too much for him, or the universe gave him a bum steer.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    For precursors of Guy's perversity, one would have to go back to W.C. Fields, who made antic art out of his characters' abhorrence of children.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The best thing to be said for this lumbering comedy is that it offers a chance to see Vanessa Paradis, the singularly alluring French singer, actress and model, play Avigal, a melancholy Hasidic widow in Brooklyn, N.Y., and play the role with exceptional delicacy. Otherwise, arrgh!
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    Instead of soft core, Sex Tape offers no core. No narrative core, just a not-bad notion executed execrably; no core of conviction, just two stars trudging joylessly through swamps of mediocrity.
    • 58 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This is one of those overworked and generally airless comedies with a sitcom premise that can't sustain life.
    • 37 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Most of the prime goofiness is given over to Vassili and Konig sharpshooting at each other while the battle rages. The movie's a red elephant.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    It may be lulling to know, almost from the outset, where the plot is going, but thrilling -- or even psychological -- it is not.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 66 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Only Le Carre fans with tin ears and clouded eyes will fail to note the film's sour tone, crude performances and drab look.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The Navajos must have sent much more crucial messages at much higher levels during the war, but you'd never know it from this movie. Windtalkers is practically all action and no talk.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 61 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Everything that was modest, soundly grounded and therefore horrifying about the 1971 rodentarama that starred Bruce Davison is now insistent, Grand-Guignol-intense and therefore shrug-offable when it isn't downright awful.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    An ugly exercise in big-budget carnage.
    • 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
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A generally mirthless comedy of manners.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The best thing about a movie as silly as this is that it makes such modest demands on your attention. As the story unfolded with all the energy of California in a Stage 3 alert, I staved off brain death by trying to imagine an alternate version.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    J.Lo should sue her handlers for damages.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Rock's opening scene is very funny. After that it's a steep downhill slide.
    • 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
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    I wish I'd brought a pair of peas to the screening. Then I could have taken in the glorious scenery without the dumb dialogue, which is delivered in a jangle of accents that makes a mockery of ethnicity.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 24 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The remake stumbles from a ragged start into a child's garden of worses -- worse than the original in more ways than you could imagine.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A movie's script is its fate, which means this one is doomed.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    This ripoff, directed by Jerry Zucker, has a few funny moments, but it's a sad sad sad sad example of what Hollywood is currently serving up -- and what audiences are swallowing -- as summer entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The script is woefully inept, with plot twists that wouldn't pass muster in a high-school drama class.
    • 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
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    In a truly terrible action adventure called The Tuxedo, a high-tech monkey suit turns Jackie Chan into an all-powerful cyborg, and will turn you into a boredborg.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Rarely has a major motion picture -- and this one is major by virtue of its misplaced ambition as well as its budget -- been afflicted by such flagrant dissonance between subject and style.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Remarkably joyless, even though Ms. Jolie is a formidable presence with the potential for becoming a witty one.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Young audiences may welcome this movie, but girls, and boys, should want more.
    • 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
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A sudsless soap opera with human misery as a backdrop for romantic banality.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Gets to be dislikable in its glib feelgoodness. The movie's many excellent actors do too much acting with too little conviction in scenes that rush through perfunctory setups to deliver pat payoffs.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The only entertaining member of the cast is Terence Stamp.
    • 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
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Choose to pass this one up.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Eye-blowing and mind-numbing.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A limited movie that can't animate its subject amid all the tricks and glitz. De-Lovely is devoid of life.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    It's bad enough to make parable a four-letter word.
    • 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
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Might have qualified as dumb fun if they hadn't left out the fun.
    • 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
    • 22 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Bad can't begin to describe Christmas With the Kranks. It's sub-humbug.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 58 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    These people -- the filmmakers as well as the cast -- have brought a rare sense of camaraderie to their work. Unfortunately, they forgot to bring a script. They even forgot, in the midst of their joyous self-involvement, to take good pictures of the places they visited.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Must be seen to be believed, though I'm not suggesting you actually see it.
    • 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
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie itself is grotesque, and may drive you nuts as it makes you laugh, mostly at the stupidity of the thing.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Why is the movie such a mess? Will Ferrell plays a washed-up actor who's supposed to be a hopeless mess, but even his character makes little sense. Is it all supposed to be postmodern? No, it's post-postmortem, the dead spirit of a dearly departed show.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's smugness is insufferable.
    • 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
    • 59 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Breakfast on Pluto, with an impressive cast that includes Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson, deploys its whimsy in many ways, all of them cloying.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The Producers is nightmarish, in its febrile way, a head-bangingly primitive version of an overrated Broadway show that grew out of a clumsy 1968 movie with an inflated reputation.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A deeply dreadful movie -- no, a shallowly dreadful movie -- that's too unpleasant and repetitive to be entertaining, even as camp.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The oddest thing about this very odd movie is that it doesn't seem to know what to make of itself.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Not to put too fine a point on it, Surviving Picasso is merely the worst movie ever made about a painter; worse movies have been made on other subjects, though none comes immediately to mind. [20 Sep 1996]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Scott's idea of making movies is to bludgeon or deafen his audience with every scene. In another line of work he'd be certifiable. [16 Aug 1996, p.A8]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    This is movie-making by and for dummies, a sappy little bible story, blissed out on its own ineptitude.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A deadly earnest and deadly dull psychological thriller.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Bee Movie isn't a B movie, it's a Z movie, as in dizmal.
    • 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.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The kindest context in which to put Over Her Dead Body, which was written and directed by Jeff Lowell, is that of a training film, a public display of people trying to master their craft. The best way to see it is not at all.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Sorry excuse for political satire.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The best news about this clangorous clunker is that it may well have vanquished the Mummy franchise.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Elegance isn't Zack Snyder's bag; a certain sort of impact is. Watchmen establishes him as Hollywood's reigning master of psychic suffocation.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    This time he (Martin) goes through the motions.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Motion is in copious supply -- a frenzied shootout at Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum grows interminable -- but the workings of the abstract plot are unfathomable, the characters are unpleasant and a couple of assassinations leave us as cold as the corpses.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    A bizarre conflation of chick flick and "A Christmas Carol."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Amelia Earhart is still missing.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    This sad excuse for family entertainment tries to enshrine a classic while defacing it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Extraordinary Measures requires extraordinary tolerance for bathos, bombast and plain old unpleasantness.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    The writing is semicoherent at best, and the buddies of this meandering road trip are not only mismatched but dislikable.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    What's wrong with this sad fiasco goes far beyond its visual deficits.
    • 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?
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Basically a theme-park version of a tawdry tradition.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    I wanted to give this movie a fair shake, though I can't pretend to be an admirer of Ayn Rand's writing. But the movie, the first installment of a projected trilogy, doesn't give the book a fair shake.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Like most other members of an excellent cast that includes James McAvoy, Kevin Kline and Tom Wilkinson, she (Robin Wright) has come under the deadening directorial hand of Robert Redford.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    How do I count the ways this movie goes wrong?
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    What was fresh and surprising in Las Vegas turns rancid and predictable in Bangkok.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    J. Edgar, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, is at war with itself, and everyone loses...Mr. Eastwood's ponderous direction, a clumsy script by Dustin Lance Black and ghastly slatherings of old-age makeup all conspire to put the story at an emotional and historical distance. It's a partially animated waxworks.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Sometime around what I guessed to be the one-hour mark in The Five-Year Engagement, I checked my watch and honestly thought the battery had given out. Five years doesn't begin to tell the interminable tale.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    For better or worse, Woody Allen turns out a movie every year. Last year's "Midnight in Paris" was better than better; that is to say, sublime. To Rome With Love is worse than worse, as inert as its predecessor was inspired.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Instead of biting wit, though, the movie settles for sketch humor, standard-brand raunch and toothless slapstick that trivializes everything it touches.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    As juxtapositions go, regressed Goth rock star and Holocaust could hardly be more bizarre, and bizarre can be good when it's done deftly. In this case, however, it's done ponderously and sententiously.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    By the end I could have used a Bulleit to the mouth.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 60 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Grotesque doesn't begin to describe Ms. McCarthy's new character. Scarily insane comes closer; repulsive occasionally applies. Mullins's insanity can be extremely funny from time to time, but her anger grows as punishing for the audience as it does for the victims of her unrestrained police work.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Ride Along, set in Atlanta, gives shoddiness a bad name.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Horns is uncertain in tone — most of its attempts at humor fall flat — and amateurish at best.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Nothing but miscalculation from clumsy start to chaotic finish, an action thriller with a cynical, shriveled soul.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 50 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    My Homo sapiens brain was boggled by the movie's clumsiness, while my heart was chilled by the chance that otherwise mature members of my species might mistake this disjointed botch for summer entertainment.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Adds up to one numbingly unfunny comedy.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The big news in Blade II is that there's something worse than vampires, but is there something worse than Blade II?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Ragging on Town & Country is like shooting a school of fish that's already belly up in a fetid barrel, but the movie's ineptitude is almost incomparable.
    • 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
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Built from an alloy of absurdium and stupidium, with the latter, heavier element dominating the mix.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    This noirish, sourish thriller left me unmoving as well as unmoved.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 20 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Redefines the notion of a feature film another notch downward.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Lacks both taste and flavor.
    • 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
    • 32 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    How could a movie with such likable actors be so deeply dislikable?
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    I must confess that I was outsmarted by the ending, but by that time my brain had been bludgeoned into a state just north of stupor.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 47 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Grindingly tedious.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Looks like the deformed spawn of a development process gone awry.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Sara is supposed to be an adorable screwball with a fatal disease. Ms. Theron certainly gets the adorable right. With a comic style that's close to unerring, she not only deserves better than this junk but the very best.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The worst would-be-big-and-Capraesque-but-actually-bloated-and-bloviating-beyond-belief movie of the year.
    • 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
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    A gross-out saga that sentient adults should avoid like the plague.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Too labored to be romantic and too derivative to be funny.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Timeline has negative energy to burn. There's even less of it by the end than at the beginning.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 30 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a terrible life, and a terrible movie.
    • 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
    • 59 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    A symphony for tin ears, a sniggering assessment of human nature delivered with the faux-lofty tone of a Lexus commercial.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Huckabees is godawful, a mirthless, bilious bore in which the vividly focused fury of "Three Kings" has become free-floating anger at the follies of human existence.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 35 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Robert De Niro collects another stupendous paycheck for starring in another piece of exploitable junk.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Manages the dubious trick of being both execrable and boring.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a bad idea done disastrously.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 33 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Everyone in the film seems to be in solitary, thanks to Mr. Duchovny's stultifying style. If there was a single moment of spontaneity, it escaped me. Ditto for frivolity, though bogus poetry abounds.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    An abomination.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    This cloying piece of claptrap sets a high-water mark for pomposity, condescension, false profundity and true turgidity -- no small accomplishment for the man whose last two features were the deadly duo "Signs" and "The Village."
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Brooks manages to be deeply loathsome -- no small feat for a film that's shallowly amateurish.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    What Happens in Vegas... should have stayed in development -- forever. This ramshackle -- and occasionally repulsive -- farce doesn't even deliver on the minimal promise of its title; most of it takes place in Manhattan.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The Happening makes you wonder whether Mr. Shyamalan's own switch may have been flipped. How else to explain his film's befuddling infelicities, insistent banalities, shambling pace and pervasive ineptitude?
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Joyless and airless suspense thriller.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    It's unfunny at best and borderline-amateur at worst, notwithstanding the desperate efforts of Renée Zellweger.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Here’s the bad news: Brüno is no "Borat." Here’s the worse news: Brüno crosses the line, like a besotted sprinter, from hilariously to genuinely awful.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    The dialogue is clumsy, the tone swings between somber and silly and the whole bizarre venture eventually succumbs to rigor mortis.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Real feelings lurk just below the surface--Samantha's terror of growing old, Carrie's fear of eventual tedium in a childless marriage. Yet the surface is where the movie stays, like an old submarine with dead batteries.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Cage's knight ends up playing second banana to a digital devil. Welcome to the January dead zone.
    • 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.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    This tedious retelling of the venerable fairy tale-"Twilight" with Oedipal kinks-takes place in a medieval village that is plagued by a werewolf, and that looks like a shtetl settled by California actors.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Like Thor's hammer, this ersatz epic bludgeons its victims into submission. What's more, it requires them to stare at the source of their punishment through 3-D glasses.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Every now and then a movie's awfulness rises to the level of mystery.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    How much do I loathe this film? A lottico is putting it mildico.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Let's give this ghastly studio comedy a Truthiness in Advertising award, if nothing else.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    It's shrill in tone, awash in unexamined narcissism - kids are just pretexts for laughs, rather than objects of love - and afflicted by explosive verbal diarrhea. There's simply no base line of normal human activity, let alone intimacy, until the anticouple finally re-examines their anticommitment credo. By then everyone has been so selfish and dislikable that our commitment to the film is lost.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Hitchcock rings false from start to finish.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    For anyone who remembers the "Die Hard" adventures at their vital and exciting best, this film feels like a near-death experience.
    • 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?
    • 22 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Daisy was written without irony, wit or any grounding in reality. She's a barefooted flower child in a flatfooted fiasco.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Every now and then, though, a movie comes up with a scene of surpassing stupidity, and then builds from that defining moment to a climax of perfect ineptitude. Life or Something Like It is such an achievement.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    All the same, it's a feat to find the lowest common denominator at 40,000 feet; View From the Top would be perfect as the first in-flight offering of the new Hooters airline.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 23 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    An appallingly tedious Hanukkah comedy that must have bubbled up from the Porta Potti of his subconscious.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 34 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    If Detroit had produced an equivalent lemon, we might have been seeing the world's first one-wheeled, square-tired car with no cooling system, steering wheel or brakes.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Designed as a disposable commodity, it's a film I'd dispose of with no further ado, except for what it says about minimum standards in a certain tacky niche of the movie business, as well as for what it suggests, in its lunkheaded way, about the perils that marriage may pose.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 14 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    How could a major studio -- in this case 20th Century Fox -- put its name on a production with a dim-bulb, tone-deaf script that piles howler on howler? Why couldn't someone save poor Ms. Carey from herself?
    • Wall Street Journal