For 819 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Williams' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Timbuktu
Lowest review score: 0 The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 819
819 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It still has cool creatures and 1960s set design, and the 3-D is the best of the season, but if you try to remember the story or jokes, you'll find that you've been hit by a neuralyzer beam.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Bully is a good start to a necessary conversation, but its loving voice is likely to be drowned out by haters who hide their own wounded hearts behind Internet pseudonyms and broadcast microphones.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Be forewarned: The 100-Year-Old Man is edgier than its title would lead you to believe. Bad guys are bludgeoned, blown up and even crushed by an elephant, and the two duffers take a lassez-faire attitude toward disposing of them.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Built on shaky and blood-soaked ground, but if towering technique is all you want from an action movie, then yippee-ki-yay.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    A true story of animal rescue, and it even stars the sea creature to whom it happened. But it's the humans who do the cutesy tricks that make it a mixed blessing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This long, ludicrous soap opera is also a mighty spectacle, a new standard in disengaged destruction.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Although the characters are three-dimensional, the simultaneous crises and last-act resolutions are a little too neat for a movie about the messiness of life.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    After some overly talky revelations, the cornered writer/directors are forced to shatter their absurd shell game with a final act of violence that spoils the breezy, capering mood that prevailed for much of the movie.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The Woman in Gold works, largely because of the odd-couple chemistry between Mirren and Reynolds. It just goes to show that broad strokes are appealing when they’re in the right frame.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The Hefner we meet here is the likable rogue we already know.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    With its references to other properties in the Marvel universe and to classic tales of redemption, this no-surprises summer movie might appeal to those who've been bitten by radioactive spiders or the Shakespeare bug.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Finally the film tips its hand and becomes a bet-the-house warning about climate change.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Like the politicians it tries to pull into the big picture, Killing Them Softly promises more than it delivers.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Unfolds like a fable instead of a believable slice of life. Mexican TV and film star Bichir gives a poignant performance, but he's distinctly more European than the cholos and Chicano laborers on the sketchy edges of the hero's plight.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Without the kindling of character development, Planes: Fire and Rescue is no smoldering success, but if Disney’s flight plan is to share Pixar’s airspace, it’s getting warmer.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Although Besson, the director of “La Femme Nikita” and the producer of “Taken,” indulges in some operatic violence, the film is more spacey than pacey.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Despite some gruesome images and the psychotic fervor of Rakes, it's a frustratingly slow boil.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Too modest to become a worldwide phenomenon, but sensitive teens and their older kin who pine for the '90s may want to take it for a spin on the dance floor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The Road has the signposts of an important film, but it lacks the diversions of an inviting trip.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Barney's Version has episodes instead of plot, outbursts instead of wit and alibis instead of growth.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    There’s plenty of talk about sex — even from Brandy’s supportive mom (Connie Britton), who offers her lubricant — but not much nudity or consequence. In The To Do List, sex is just another dubious achievement to outgrow.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Moore's voice is weak and fuzzy, directed at a choir that should already know the words by heart.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Because he's the protagonist of the movie and played by the likable Matt Damon, we keep an open mind, but Promised Land is morally ambiguous to a fault.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Obviously a labor love, and its very existence in a godforsaken marketplace is a minor miracle.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Chartered to provide both sides of every debate, CNN has positioned itself as the middle ground for discussions of current events. But without a knowledgeable teacher (or filmmaker) to lead such discussions into new territory, they devolve into noisy bull sessions.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It’s amusing fluff, but from an Oscar-winning dramatist, this return to comedy is a bit of a letdown.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Redford is an adequate director, and he keeps things moving at a moderate pace, passing up exits to more spectacular vistas or hotter issues.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    By the time the meta-movie and cute-dog subplots collide in the desert, this high-concept vehicle has run out of gas. Movies about the filmmaking process may never get old, but self-referential hit men smell like yesterday's fish story.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    If what you seek from a samurai film is the friction between communal duty and personal honor, join the orderly queue to see 13 Assassins. But if what you seek is action, spend the talky first hour at a sushi bar before barging into the theater for the bloody good finale.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    There's little that's new in the retelling, except mellowed musings on Environmentalism 2.0.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Elles is provocative company, but it leaves us feeling hustled.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Surviving Progress reiterates arguments made in movies such as "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Inside Job," it marshals minds such as Jane Goodall and Stephen Hawking, and it utilizes artful imagery reminiscent of films such as "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Up the Yangtze."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    If the world were really coming to an end, we'd spend it with Knightley and tell her tag-along friend that there's not enough food for a 50-year-old virgin.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    We're left with an impression of a vivacious pioneer; but warm shouldn't have to mean fuzzy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    While the underrated Brosnan is effective as the cold-hearted produce mogul, the character starts as such a sourpuss that after he softens in the Sorrento lemon groves, it’s still hard to root for his inevitable hookup with Ida.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Eccentric enough to get mistaken for an uplifting fantasy, but it's Plaza who belongs in the penthouse.
    • 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?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    X-Men: First Class is a mutant movie, half fun and half fearsome. For those who have developed an immunity to fanboy hype, the contradictory traits may seem to weaken rather than strengthen this beast, but readers of the "X-Men" comics will hail an origin story as satisfying as "Thor."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This loony 'toon is dizzy with wonderments, especially in 3-D. The spindly-limbed character design owes more to Charles Addams' family than to Walt Disney's kingdom, while the story and settings evoke James Bond on laughing gas.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Successful in small doses, but the full regimen needed more testing.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Although the characters don’t lapse into stereotypes, neither are they sufficiently funny or fierce to engage us in the issues they raise.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    For all its professionalism, I found it as cold as the ice rink at Rockefeller Center.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Director Dereck Joubert gleans a valuable thread that connects us to these endangered creatures.
    • 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."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    A solid sci-fi/horror hybrid, but this iceman doesn't deliver enough to chew on.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Trollhunter has a lot of down time as the crew treks to the fjords, but it's also got dryly subversive humor and, eventually, some impressive special effects.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Crowe is effectively restrained in his acting, but in his debut as a director, he overdoes the manipulative music and the pretty images from cinematographer Andrew Lesnie.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Salt goes down easy, but it's lacking both nourishment and flavor.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    There's an alliance of interesting stories fighting for dominance here, but instead of a clear victory, Hyde Park on Hudson is the site of a muddled truce.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Fading Gigolo is like two different movies on an awkward blind date at a jazz club. While Allen charms us with a parody of “Broadway Danny Rose,” Turturro is off-key in his lounge-lizard riff on “The Piano.”
    • 36 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Yet notwithstanding its derivative dolefulness and PG-13 timidity, The Art of Getting By is smart and sweet enough to become the favorite film of some Midwestern adolescent who wrongly believes he's already seen the dark side.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The saving grace of Biutiful is Bardem.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The Hunger Games is dressed as a dark satire of soulless entertainment, but like Katniss' adversaries in the PG-13 hunting scenes, it doesn't have a distinctive identity or go-for-the-throat.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Cue the folky music and the two eccentric locals who are the only other characters, and Prince Avalanche is a molehill that dreams it’s a mountain when it’s really, really stoned.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra were weaned on earthy comedies like "Bad Santa," and every moment of mature insight in Crazy, Stupid, Love is answered by a scene of formulaic farce.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Hits most of the markers of a flashback film but not enough of the beats.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Gordon-Levitt is a victim of his own success here. He plays such a convincing cad that we don’t believe or invest in his redemption.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Extract has some flavor, but the comedic kick is diluted by flat characters and a thin story.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Although this sober film spares us some of the grim, survivalist details, the harrowing adventure from a girl's perspective is so compelling that Julia's simultaneous sleuthing seems like an unnecessary distraction.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    July is a provocative and honorably independent filmmaker, but given the meager rewards of investing our time, The Future wasn't worth the wait.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Ultimately a movie that could have been a little jewel is unpolished.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    It does induce a few giggles like cheap champagne.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    This broadside against sharia law lacks the finesse of an import, but it's effectively melodramatic.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    A Knight's Tale succeeds as light entertainment if not as historical record. [11 May 2001, p.F1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    I Am Love is easy to savor but tough to swallow.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Although this stylish and ominously paced vehicle starts with a full itinerary, it never makes a vital connection.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The fiery finale is good enough to leave the legions smiling. But when a movie is expected to lift an entire industry, "good enough" shouldn't be good enough.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    In skewering the neuroses of New York bohemians, Durham has left us too little to care about.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The double deception of suppressed personality and repressed sexuality could have been the basis for a rewarding character study, but after Albert meets a kindred spirit and dares to dream of a happy ending, her denial and naivete become too much to swallow.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    Draining most of the blood, sweat and tears from a true story, this music-minded movie capably covers a song we’ve heard a hundred times before.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    A bait-and-switch comedy. It poses as a naughty "no-mance" about friends who use each other for casual sex, but at the moment of truth it goes limp.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    The premise is pure formula.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Joe Williams
    While it may not be a smorgasbord of red herrings and red meat, Flame and Citron is often chilling.

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