Joe Morgenstern
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For 1,882 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Lowest review score: 0 Jack Reacher
Score distribution:
1,882 movie reviews
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    A gross-out saga that sentient adults should avoid like the plague.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 30 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    It's a terrible life, and a terrible movie.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 20 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Redefines the notion of a feature film another notch downward.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Every now and then a movie's awfulness rises to the level of mystery.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Hitchcock rings false from start to finish.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Where to begin in describing the awfulness of Annie? Why not with Sandy, Annie’s dog, whose name now connects with the superstorm in this hapless contemporary update of a musical that begged to be left in its 1930s period. Have you ever seen a dog suffer from incompetent direction? This one does, but no more or less so than the human members of the cast, none of whom have any emotional connection with one another, let alone with a standoffish pooch.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Jim Jarmusch's Dada meander, shot by Christopher Doyle, is empty and excruciating -- that's really all you need to know.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Domino is a new definition of a snuff movie. It snuffs out every vestige of feeling.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 46 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Hate is too strong an emotion to spend on such a clumsy, bloodless broadside against human foibles in general and American follies in particular.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 26 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    This film bespeaks a truly startling mistrust of the movie audience, and, what's more, a disrespect for the feature film medium. Yes, of course it was conceived as an unpretentious entertainment pitched mainly to girls and young women. Yet that doesn't explain the nightmarish quality of the finished product.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Wild Hogs, which includes a cameo by a live revenant from "Easy Rider," gives a bad name to carpe diem, but could have been worse; the trip might have started from Bangor.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 29 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Pay real money to see this feeble fiasco only if you're in the mood for "Groundhog Day" without the laughs.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 31 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Life is full of choices, and Halle Berry has made another bad one with Perfect Stranger, a perfectly off-putting thriller.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 25 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Certain words should be reserved for special occasions. "Abysmal" is one of them, and Georgia Rule is as special as such occasions get.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    The Americans are portrayed with varying degrees of loathsomeness, but there's not much variety in the film. It's all an awful aberration.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    This joyless thriller runs the gamut from unconscionable through unwatchable to unendurable.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Jumper, based on the novel by Steven Gould, re-defines -- downward -- the notion of dreadful. It does so by dispensing with everything a movie needs for a shot at being merely awful. Dramatic development? None. Entertaining dialogue? Ditto. Internal logic? Puhleez. Intriguing characters? No characters, thus no intrigue. Interesting performances? Essentially none, though with an asterisk.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    This toxic admixture of computer-generated frenzy and live-action torpor succeeds in being, almost simultaneously, genuinely painful -- the esthetic equivalent of needles in eyeballs -- and weirdly benumbing, like eye candy laced with lidocaine.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    The road taken by The Love Guru could hardly be lower, and leads nowhere.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Any notions of demolishing black stereotypes -- and what else could have possessed Mr. Smith to do this? -- are dashed by the coarseness of it all, and by the narrative incoherence; a surprising plot twist turns a sloppy action-comedy into a totally different movie, and an even worse one.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    There's a good subject for satire here, the extended adolescence of American kids. But satire presupposes maturity, or at least some perspective. The movie's calculation is that its subjects and audience share the same point of view. The results are truly ghastly.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    As a PG-rated film opening on Christmas Day under the Disney banner, Bedtime Stories would seem to promise fairly wholesome family entertainment. What it delivers is the glitzy allure of a hotel setting, smarmy double entendres, Ferrari lust, Beverly Hills bling and pneumatic babes -- one of the characters is a surrogate Paris Hilton.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    This dramatically, thematically and artistically bankrupt comic fantasy cost something in the neighborhood of $100 million to make and isn't worth the celluloid it's printed on.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Basically a soulless slasher flick, and one that demeans its gifted performers.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    This comedy is harmless, too, when measured against the vast array of harms that the world has to offer. It's also stupid, strident, witless, pitifully inept and bad for what ails you.
    • 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
    • 47 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    One of the strongest arguments yet for making sequels illegal.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    • 18 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    The worst movie -- all right, the worst allegedly major movie -- of our admittedly young century. More stupefying follies may come, but it's impossible to imagine how they'll beat this one for staggering idiocy, fatuousness or pretension.
    • 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
    • 35 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Nothing's alive in this trash-heap travesty of warm-weather entertainment, despite the frenetic pace.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 28 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Even in the month of January, traditionally a time for movie lovers to expect the worst, this cheapo feature, directed by Shawn Levy, takes the stale cake for witlessness.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 30 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Every so often a movie transcends stupidity and soars into the empyrean of true idiocy. John Q. is such a movie.
    • 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
    • 19 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    An abomination, impure and simple.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 31 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Unlike "Dead Man Walking" and many honorable dramas before it, "David Gale" has nothing coherent to say about capital punishment, or anything else. It's a dead film lurching.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 68 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    I found it insufferably fatuous and damned near interminable. [26 Jun 1998]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 53 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Metroland, which is adapted from a novel by Julian Barnes, is an oddly unpleasant variation on the theme of "The Way We Were." [09 Apr 1999]
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 44 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    In addition to being borderline unendurable, Funny Games is inexplicable, and I don't mean in any philosophical sense.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    I have no idea how such shameless prattle found its way to the screen.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    The filmmaker has delivered yet another iteration of what has become a classic M. Night Shyamalan film, only much bigger than before, and, as a consequence, mind-bendingly turgid.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    I can't say anything nice about Flipped, a painfully clumsy adaptation of a tween novel by Wendelin Van Draanen.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    No need to belabor the awfulness of this film, a romantic comedy devoid of romance - instead of chemistry there's the flow of reverse magnetism - and lacking in comic timing, let alone comic content.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    The 3-D is cheesy (2.2-D at best) the gags are gross (Gulliver urinates on an 18th-century palace to extinguish a fire) and the production abandons all hope of coherence when the hero fights a climactic battle with a giant robot out of "Transformers."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Lest my own reaction be misconstrued, let me explain that I didn't like a single one of these insufferable narcissists, the kid included.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    So you think you've seen silly? And smarmy? And inept? Wait till you see Wanderlust, though that's just a figure of speech; I'm not suggesting that you actually lay eyes on this naked grab for box office bucks.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Not only does Ender's Game have many scenes in zero gravity, but this zero-sum fiasco has zero drama, zero suspense, zero humor, zero charm and zero appeal.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Watch the trailer, if you must, but spare yourself the full experience: Identity Thief steals time.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Jack Reacher, which Christopher McQuarrie directed from his adaptation of a Lee Child crime novel, is not just another dumb thriller. It's almost peerlessly self-important, weirdly incoherent and eerily smarmy. It's also mysteriously inept, considering that Tom Cruise plays the title role.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    This nasty little bottom-feeder of a film is too condescending to be trusted, too manipulative to be believed, too turgid to be enjoyed, too shameless to be endured and, before and after everything else, too inept to make its misanthropic case.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Killer Joe is, at bottom - and I mean bottom - ugly and vile, not to mention dumb and clumsy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Michael Bay's absurdist comedy is all pain, no gain and an utter monstrosity. It may be the most unpleasant movie I've ever seen, and I'm not forgetting "Freaks," which Pain & Gain resembles, come to think of it.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Olympus Has Fallen is no fun at all. To the contrary, it soon grows tedious, odious and oppressive.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Whatever possessed the people who made this film to believe its ponderous style would appeal to contemporary audiences? One answer may lie in a variant of the mostly true proposition that no one sets out to make a bad film. No one chooses ponderousness as a goal; it comes unbidden, with deadly earnestness.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Rowan Joffe directed from his own adaptation of a novel by S.J. Watson. If you’re thinking of seeing this turgid turkey, forget it.

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