Joe Morgenstern

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For 2,312 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% 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: 61
Highest review score: 100 Detroit
Lowest review score: 0 Olympus Has Fallen
Score distribution:
2312 movie reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    Every once in a while a movie grabs you, unsuspecting, and hustles its way into your heart. Jeremiah Zagar’s We the Animals does that. This exquisite debut feature, based on a poetic debut novel by Justin Torres, is a tumbling evocation of a volatile family, narrated by one of three young brothers living in upstate New York with their Puerto Rican father and white mother.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Bright, buoyant and hilarious, though far from flawless, this romantic comedy, directed by Jon M. Chu and based on the popular novel by Kevin Kwan, is also a cultural milestone.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Howard is nothing less than mesmerizing. She seems to be giving a master class in unswerving focus and absolute simplicity. It’s a superb piece of acting about acting, and a harbinger of great things to come in this young actor’s future.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This freewheeling account of an African-American cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1970s is problematic as narrative drama, but stunning as provocation.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s the work of a contemporary master who arrives at the philosophical by way of the playful, ironic and lyrical.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The star of Susanna Nicchiarelli’s freely fictionalized biopic, Trine Dyrholm, finds fierce beauty in the woman Nico has become. I’ve never seen a performance quite like it — unsparingly harsh, but also graceful, droll and tender, a portrait of soul-weariness laced with a yearning for salvation.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Tyrnauer is a serious filmmaker — his “Valentino: The Last Emperor” was a first-rate documentary portrait of the legendary fashion designer Valentino Garavani. His new doc, which was based on Mr. Bowers’s memoir, “Full Service,” combines tell-all appeal with a seriously significant story of prejudice and hypocrisy on a literally mythic scale.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    This episode is something special, because the dance is so smashingly gorgeous.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Puzzle is less puzzling than exasperating. What’s good is exceptional — a meeting of minds, and then more, between two jigsaw-puzzle prodigies — while the rest is perfunctory or lifeless.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    This new film, though, is mainly appalling, and not instructively so. It’s all over the place, to the point of inducing numbness or suffocation. In the end it comes out in favor of love, which is good, but getting there may leave you glassy-eyed, unless you’re deeply into bling porn.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Among the books that McCall carries with him is a volume of Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”; we see the cover in pointed close-ups. That can serve as one of the hero’s life lessons. Take a pass on the movie and you avoid losing two hours.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The glee is industrial-strength, and the ABBA-fueled production numbers are so far over the top that the film is at once topless and chaste. Yet there’s a wellspring of genuine feeling in this time-hopping sequel, framed as an origin story.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Skyscraper is a tribute to duct tape, and to Dwayne Johnson’s enduring appeal. The movie is great, outlandish fun because the star makes it so; he’s a soft soul in an action-hard body.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    Poignantly funny, wrenchingly wise and meltingly beautiful, Eighth Grade is a not-so-small miracle of independent filmmaking.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney is a documentary chronicle of Whitney Houston’s life; it’s tough-minded, unsparing and far superior to the biopic and the nonfiction film that preceded it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The best thing, though, is the movie’s modest scale. It’s a good-natured epic, dedicated to the nontech principle of dispensing plain old pleasure.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Don’t write it off. You know about good things and small packages; this is a dark and startling thing in a brightly wrapped package, and the brightness is all the more misleading because the action takes place during Iceland’s radiant summer.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    This documentary feature is fascinating and infuriating in unequal parts, the latter far outweighing the former, since Mr. Jarecki’s instrument is a shoehorn.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    The first few minutes of Leave No Trace are as entrapping as the spider webs the camera notices in passing. They catch you up in a suspenseful wilderness tale that opens out to an urgent drama of conflict, beauty and growth.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Three Identical Strangers is clear about the awful fate that befell its innocent subjects. They grew up as lab rats and didn’t know it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    After a quarter-century the franchise may be terminally long in the teeth; much of this fifth iteration is absurd, both intentionally and un. Yet it’s also funny, intriguingly dark and visually sumptuous.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Tag
    Tag ends up being good fun, with an unexpectedly sweet spirit that stays with you. It’s really about the persistence of friendship, a vision of adult life as the playground we would love it to be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Plenty good enough as exuberant entertainment with elegant graphics, plus a showcase for female superempowerment.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    A meta-mystery lurks here — how it is that this horror flick can be so shocking and dismaying, so genuinely upsetting in spasms and spurts, yet at the same time so madly entertaining.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This beautiful film celebrates a deeply good man with a great gift for repairing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Simón, who has used both of her young performers to powerful effect, also wants us to know how resilient children can be. Some creatures are able to grow new limbs. Frida, given more than half a chance after demanding it, achieves something no less remarkable. She grows new joy and hope.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    An impressive and self-impressed documentary by Jennifer Peedom, has some of the best speck shots you could imagine—not spec as in speculation, though the film offers plenty of that on the subject of why human beings choose to climb tall peaks, but speck as in the size of a human seen against a stupendous alpine landscape.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The neutral news about “Solo” is exactly that, its dramatic neutrality. Time ticks by at a drifty pace while lots of action of no great consequence grinds on.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s overstuffed, and essentially empty.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    A chance to see four terrific actresses — let’s not use the gender-neutral term in this context — having varying degrees of fun with matters of sisterhood, sex and hope in a movie that touches on mortality and holds out the prospect of later-life joy.

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