Joe Morgenstern

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For 2,642 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Fits
Lowest review score: 0 Henry Fool
Score distribution:
2642 movie reviews
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    I found the film so insistently campy yet painfully mirthless—its style lies somewhere between opera buffa and telenovela—that my mental state of acute anguish may have skewed my perceptions of whatever the story has to offer.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    What it is can be summed up in a word that’s often used loosely but fits the case here—a masterpiece, a mysteriously enthralling creation that keeps you guessing about where it’s going, then reveals its essence with astonishing clarity.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    [Mr. Anderson's] screenplay soars above and beyond literal references by creating the oddest power couple you’ve ever seen. Whatever the psychodynamics between Gary and Alana may be, their bond has its own brilliant logic.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Insisting on the significance of its themes, the film dispenses one emotion at a time while it creates a pervasive atmosphere of dread. Yet there’s no air in the atmosphere, not much life in the brooding landscapes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    If you’re up for going with the fascinating flow of a mercurial tale, this distinctive feature by Mike Mills may be just the ticket.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s serious at bottom. It means to teach and inspire, as well as entertain, and takes on more subjects of consequence than you can shake a racket at—among them race, parenting, marital dynamics, the weight of personal history and the mad commercialization of sports. Yet it’s marvelous fun from start to finish.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    It shows us the woman in full, a fearless, joyous eccentric committed to carrying the oriflamme of French cuisine to the Jell-O-scarfing masses.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    There’s only one trouble with his semi-autobiographical account. It’s so polished—so spirited, funny and skillfully calibrated—that it could be taken for a while as a crowd-pleaser and not a lot more. Sign me up for the crowd, though. This is surely the most pleasing film I’ve seen so far this year, but also the most affecting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Pablo Larraín’s film, written by Steven Knight, calls itself a “fable from a true tragedy.” It might also be called a fever dream, a surreal nightmare, a reductio ad tedium or just an inherently limiting concept that slowly but inexorably squeezes the life out of itself.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The physical locations are spectacular, a surprise because most examples of the genre are shot in the augmented reality of high-tech soundstages. The spirit of Ms. Zhao’s film—and it is Ms. Zhao’s film—ranges from buoyant to playful during the downtime between generic battles to the almost death.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    With its exuberant images (cats, oodles of cats), quaint Victorian settings, damask palette, odd camera angles and old-fashioned screen proportions, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain might have been too clever by more than half, except for its startling tenderness and depth of feeling, and the brilliance of its starring performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    So what does the film, playing in theaters, want to make millions of moviegoers feel? Delight in graphic design? Sure, but the filmmaker’s familiar motifs, playful and inventive as they may be, operate in an emotional void.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    There is simply not enough dramatic development to fill the film as a whole.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Hogg has outdone herself with an even stronger film about grief, self-discovery, the daunting uncertainties of the creative process and, before and after everything else, the mysterious power of the movie medium.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Rather than belabor the what that was chosen—the silly lather the story works up—I’ll reflect in my turn on how fine “Last Night In Soho” turns out to be when its co-stars are fully engaged in their eerily mysterious dance of identity.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The Last Duel is often ponderous, and no wonder, given its ambitious but erratic script.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This ingenious and beautiful film by Mia Hansen-Løve isn’t for chewing so much as savoring. The more you think back on its mysteries, the more pleasure it bestows.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    In scene after scene we don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re sure it will be worth the wait, especially because of Ms. Rapace’s presence.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The stuff of heroism is always mysterious. In this case it’s also marvelously strange.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The greatest reward of Old Henry is Mr. Nelson’s performance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    An astonishing and horrific thriller that has been constructed, like few films I’ve ever seen, to make you turn away from its frequent eruptions of savagery but then look back, just as often, to savor its mysterious beauty.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The new installment is exciting for its energy and scale, despite its flaws and derivative themes, and makes a lovely valediction for its star.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    To its perverse credit, “Venom 2,” as it’s being called, manipulates its audience with all the tentacles it can deploy, most of them cheerfully ridiculous, although a climactic battle between Venom and Carnage is the dreariest face-off since the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel duked it out in Zack Snyder’s 2016 “Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice.”
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The film is poetic in its turn, as well as deliciously funny, and pretty much perfect except for a slightly didactic coda. But that’s a minor flaw in a major achievement. To err, even slightly, is you know what.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    The film suffers from a different condition, an emotional elephantiasis that is inexorable and ultimately terminal. What was by all accounts a modestly scaled production in all of its live-theater iterations has become a ponderous movie that turns earnest into maudlin, lyrical into lugubrious.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Jessica Chastain is the only reason, though a good one, to see The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a shrill biopic of the televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a slow-release dose of sincere feelings.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    What begins as a chamber piece, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin from a screenplay by Dennis Kelly, becomes a full-fledged movie with a pair of marvelous performances at its claustrophobic center.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The filmmakers find a way to expand their slashifications into provocative reflections on the white world’s fear of ostensibly menacing Black men, and, secondarily but importantly, art’s power to shape our understanding of the world around us.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s clear what the film means to be—a bittersweet portrait of a daughter’s love for her incorrigible father. But the characters don’t add up. The complexities and nuances that might have brought them fully to life never made it to the screen.

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