For 674 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Williams' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Winter's Bone
Lowest review score: 25 Endless Love
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 674
674 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    Because Short Term 12 is a small movie about a challenging subject, you may have to accept my word that actress Brie Larson and director Destin Cretton are bright discoveries, but it shouldn’t be long before the wider world can see these talents with the naked eye.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    This documentary reconstructing the life of the ultimate cult author is like a three-act thriller, and the character at the center of the story is a mute man of mystery. Salinger would have recognized the irony, even as he hated the film for invading his privacy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    Here’s a toast to the cast and crew: Drinking Buddies is a three-dimensional movie that doesn’t require beer goggles.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    Afghanistan-born Atiq Rahimi has powerfully adapted his own acclaimed novel, but the film is unlikely to play in the Middle Eastern countries to which this plea for sexual equality seems directed.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    It’s a measure of the movie’s success that we never stop to question how or when the trickery is employed.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    This thriller about the game-changing website Wikileaks is as smart about cyberspace as “The Social Network,” but there’s a glitch when it shifts the focus from felonious leaders to the misdemeanors of the man who exposed them.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    After we hear the hit parade that poured from rural Alabama and meet the men who led it to the top of the charts, we realize that Muscle Shoals could call itself Hitsville, USA.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    This very male and methodical movie is like the anti-“Gravity,” as the un-moored hero is quietly in control of his options and at peace with his possible failure.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    On a moral-justice level, we’d like to see this worm squirm a little more over his treatment of ex-colleagues before we let him off the hook to say that everyone else was cheating too.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    With Labor Day, director Jason Reitman turns a Nicholas Sparks scenario into an Alfred Hitchcock creep-show.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    Jenison, who had never painted a thing in his life, does indeed produce a beautiful work, but we should never forget that Penn and Teller are professional bamboozlers, and their attempt to re-frame the definition of genius might be nothing but smoke and mirrors.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    Periodically deviating from its fly-on-the-wall aesthetic, the film does a noticeably better job than the Joan Rivers movie of incorporating old footage and photos to underscore its subject’s importance.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    Bad Words is often very funny, thanks to Bateman’s brick-wall malevolence and screenwriter Andrew Dodge’s inventively rude dialogue.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    If we want a bigger picture, we’ll have to wait for God to green-light “Noah: The Next Generation.”
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    The debut creation of director Ritesh Batra, it’s a lovely little film from a place where the little things linger.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    Draft Day isn’t quite a comedy, but it’s got a similar kind of flow that makes it as easily consumable as lite beer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    This hand-drawn French import is fresh evidence that you don’t need computers and singing princesses to make a charming animated movie.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    For better or worse, the whole exercise in lurid leg-pulling goes out with a bang.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Joe Williams
    The movie is best enjoyed as a minor-key operatic, not a coherent story. While Law bellows blasphemous poetry, his director orchestrates a noirish light show with a cockeyed rhythm.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This long, ludicrous soap opera is also a mighty spectacle, a new standard in disengaged destruction.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    To their credit, the creative team has retained the handmade look and unruly spirit of Maurice Sendak's bedtime fable; to their discredit, they haven't added enough narrative or emotional dimension to make it an effective movie.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This broadside against sharia law lacks the finesse of an import, but it's effectively melodramatic.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    We're left with an impression of a vivacious pioneer; but warm shouldn't have to mean fuzzy.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The actress and the aviatrix are a match made in heaven, but surrounding the soaring performance is a movie that's mostly earthbound.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The Road has the signposts of an important film, but it lacks the diversions of an inviting trip.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This quasi-horror film has the great director's usual craftsmanship and a stellar cast, but ultimately it's an infuriating trick that makes its most provocative ideas disappear.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The result is only half as hip as hoped. Yes, this Holmes is leaner and meaner, and Watson (Jude Law) is nearly his equal. But there’s still something fussy about the result, as if bobbies had broken up the party at 11:59.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This movie may be sickly sweet, but it's harmless; and as a handcrafted antidote to a toxic toy story like "G.I.Joe," Paper Heart has healing properties.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    While it may not be a smorgasbord of red herrings and red meat, Flame and Citron is often chilling.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Two incompatible movies duke it out in Bandslam. Although it's the wimpy teen musical that prevails, it's the misfit coming-of-age story that leaves an impression.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    There's little that's new in the retelling, except mellowed musings on Environmentalism 2.0.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Moore's voice is weak and fuzzy, directed at a choir that should already know the words by heart.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The thread connecting the ambitious girl to the acclaimed woman is enough to make us wish for a sequel titled "Chanel No. 2."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This topsy-turvy flick is fitfully funny, but more often it's just odd, like the first draft of a "Twilight Zone" episode that's missing its moral.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Extract has some flavor, but the comedic kick is diluted by flat characters and a thin story.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Michael as a character is defined almost solely by his helplessness and gratitude. He's as lovable as a lost puppy, but a more perceptive movie than The Blind Side would have let us see him from another angle.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Reilly is very funny as the sarcastic mentor, and director Paul Weitz strikes a loopy tone in the scenes at the freak encampment.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's funny but (sorry, ladies) unrealistic that Jake continuously sneaks away from his young wife to canoodle with Jane. Baldwin is a blast, but the role requires him to indulge in indignities such as a naked webcam conversation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    What's most conspicuously missing from this ensemble is some input from the advertisers who subsidize Wintour's tyranny, and the readers who are seduced into buying her beautiful four-pound paperweights.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Unfortunately, producers (including James) went for the easy layup, showing so much on-court action instead of trying to hustle for insights about sports and society.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Weaving between freshness and formula, The Boys Are Back earns a gentle pat on the head.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Raises more questions than it can answer in its travelogue format. It's because the premise is so intriguing and the drama is so compelling that the result is so confounding.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Even as Bard, filmmaker Milos Forman and Ferrara himself bemoan the changes, the lobby is filled with fine art -- and guests who aren't likely to harm you.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Neither a comprehensive guide nor consistently good, but because the theme is romance, most of these small bites of the Big Apple are easy to digest.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's a calculated crowd-pleaser that skims over the surface of the era like a cruise-ship production of "American Graffiti."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell do yeoman work on behalf of their late friend and, as usual, Gilliam's film is a feast for the eyes. But all the king's men can't corral the horses running roughshod over basics like plot and character.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's a pleasure to watch Ryan resurrect her trademark persona, a mix of perkiness and pique, as she flounces around the room. But it's shaded with a middle-age desperation that's half real and half chick-flick shtick.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The difference between McKay and Efron is like the difference between a Broadway spectacular and a high school musical.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    What's finest about Everybody's Fine is to watch a good fella groping hopefully toward old age.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    As much Fosse as Fellini. It’s a shadow of a shadow, refracted through a fun-house mirror. For all the noise and color, it feels like an exercise and not a natural expression.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Although this stylish and ominously paced vehicle starts with a full itinerary, it never makes a vital connection.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Director Philipp Stolzl worked in the same dangerous conditions as the original climbers, and we can feel the chill and peril in our bones. It's a shame, then, that the screenwriter, unlike the camera crew and the characters, was afflicted with such timidity.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Like other so-called "mumblecore" movies, including Bronstein's own "Frownland," this is an unnervingly intimate glimpse of dysfunction, with a shaky-cam aesthetic and seemingly improvised dialogue.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The CGI effects are a familiar sort and so is the heroic-quest motif. The principal virtue in this modest entertainment is that the young characters act like real teenagers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    While the rich people who violated a dead antagonist's wishes seem sleazy (especially when they refuse to be interviewed), transporting world-class artwork five miles to a bigger facility where more people can enjoy it hardly seems like the end of civilization as we know it.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's deliberately difficult to untangle the crossed allegiances of the people that Kelly interviews, and it's melodramatic that he tries to smuggle Ming and a surrendered assassin onto a plane bound for the United States. But dramatizing such a complex situation is a necessary evil.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    For better or worse, this is a straightforward performance film.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    With its seductive images and smart dialogue, The City of Your Final Destination has the setting and circumstances for a ripe family drama or a literary love story, yet it never awakens from its siesta.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The spoof of consumerism scores some predictable points, but the tidy ending is a sell-out to the ultimate marketing machine: Hollywood.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Prince of Persia is woven of recycled fibers, but by the slipping standards of summertime entertainment, it's a magic carpet ride.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's no classic, but Shrek Forever After is a pleasant reminder that every time a cash register rings, this ogre turns angelic.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    A lot of care went into crafting the handsome production but not enough into making the handsome hero come alive.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    As a diversion, Babies is like a wind-up toy that will tickle anyone with a pulse. As a documentary, it's like a cache of home videos that will frustrate anyone with an inquiring mind.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Maybe in his native language, Dujardin is no funnier than Steve Martin's "Pink Panther." But with subtitles, his deadpan delivery is hard to resist.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    As a testament to traditions that are usually kept hidden from Hollywood, Holy Rollers is a mitzvah. But as a thriller, it's bubkes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's not quite infectious, but some of the high notes manage to drown out some of the guttural lows.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The film confirms it's hard to do brain surgery on a battlefield. But it doesn't take a brain surgeon to think it could go deeper.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The most provocative thing in Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is the moment during the opening credits when we glimpse the comedy legend without makeup.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Christopher Nolan's "Memento" was a movie-lover's dream come true, a puzzle that was engaging both intellectually and emotionally. But his Inception is a wake-up call, a blaring reminder that cheap tricks can't compensate for personal investment.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    I Am Love is easy to savor but tough to swallow.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Salt goes down easy, but it's lacking both nourishment and flavor.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's a little black dress of a movie, an elegant hint of something sensual that is ultimately denied to us.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Between the carefully trained animals and their computer-animated mouths, the movie doesn't have much room for realism; but the 3-D effects are surprisingly effective, and this playful pic earns a pat on the head.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    A passable popcorn movie, but fans of the first film who expect lightning to strike twice are liable to get burned.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This homey construct is warm, exactingly crafted and painted with pop-country tones, but it's lacking a deep foundation where the issues that it raises can resonate. For a movie like that, we may have to depend on the Danes.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    There aren't enough surprises to justify the title, but The Switch produces sufficient light for a late-summer diversion.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The Hefner we meet here is the likable rogue we already know.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    There are audiences for movies that amuse us, and arouse us, and scare us, but the career of Todd Solondz ("Storytelling") raises the question: Is there an audience for movies that make us feel icky?
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    While it's both too crude and too commercial to be mistaken for journalism, the good news is that the headliners deliver.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Three actors portray the clumsy-but-limber Li in the years of his arduous training, when he is pulled between a teacher who's inspired by Mao and another who's inspired by bootleg videos of Mikhail Baryshnikov.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    As phony as a poodle-skirted waitress at a mall diner, yet it's as sweet as a malt. A vanilla one.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The premise is pure formula.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    A bizarre buffet of buffoonery, brutality and beautiful landscapes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Like Ernest Borgnine, Philip Seymour Hoffman is an unconventional leading man with an Oscar on his mantle, and his bittersweet Jack Goes Boating has elicited comparisons with "Marty."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Waiting for Superman raises important questions while wearing a big red heart on its chest, but inconvenient facts are its kryptonite.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Tangled is lovely to look at, but if you're not a pre-teen girl, you may be distracted by the split ends.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    In skewering the neuroses of New York bohemians, Durham has left us too little to care about.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Successful in small doses, but the full regimen needed more testing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's a triumph of streamlined design, but TRON: Legacy never enters the fourth dimension where it's worth a plugged nickel to humans.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    You would expect an epic with brains and hearts. Instead we settle for sturdy craft, with a stellar cast struggling to breathe life into the cold material.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The saving grace of Biutiful is Bardem.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Barney's Version has episodes instead of plot, outbursts instead of wit and alibis instead of growth.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's pure speculation on the filmmakers' part that Gaelic pagans were adorned with bones, blue mud and Mohawks, but the fire-dancing spectacle is a welcome respite from the beefcake of the journey scenes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    On a minute-to-minute level, it's an engaging mystery, the kind that rewards our participation with eye candy and adrenaline shots. But when we pull back for an overview, we see that it's flat and that pieces are missing.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Hits most of the markers of a flashback film but not enough of the beats.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Director Dereck Joubert gleans a valuable thread that connects us to these endangered creatures.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Strikes an uneasy compromise between liberty and justice. It marches at an efficient pace, but there's too much collateral damage to believability.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It's a compelling tale of surf and survival.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Call it "On the Lakefront." Or "Pretty-Good Fellas."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Rio
    Notwithstanding some allusions to "Lady and the Tramp," the characters and their comic high jinks are nothing special, but the the getaway gives us spectacular 3-D images of the city.