Joe Morgenstern

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For 2,686 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Drive My Car
Lowest review score: 0 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Score distribution:
2686 movie reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    What you see is exactly what you think you’re seeing from the moment of your first guess. What you feel is another story—one of calm, almost inexplicable enchantment.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    One of the pleasures—even privileges—of watching a film like this is seeing what superb actors are able to do with material that doesn’t aspire to greatness. The story is charming, the performances are exceptional.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    Loving it is not the issue, of course—the level of amputating, eviscerating, decapitating violence transcends good nasty fun. The challenge is taking it in, watching it without averting your eyes—I can’t say mine stayed fixed on the screen—and seeing it for what it is, a tumultuous, graphically gorgeous entertainment for our time as well as an ineffably somber meditation on our species’ seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of savagery.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The film isn’t just about their search for love and the vagaries of modern dating, but the craziness of life as it’s lived by passionate, gifted people with insufficient channels for their passion and shabby containers for their gifts.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Joe Morgenstern
    Productions can go wrong. Certain elements can fail to ignite or cohere. Bad stuff happens all the time, especially in industrial enterprises of this magnitude, but usually there’s some good stuff to dilute the debacle. Not here, though.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a return to dramatic accounts of blastoffs, followed by soul-filling footage from beyond our sheltering atmosphere and implacable gravity; a portrait, by reflected light from fiery boosters, of one of Earth’s most curious (in every respect) overachievers; and a testament to failing upward—far, far upward.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    In this action adventure, the apotheosis of his career thus far, cheerful idiocy occasionally rises to the level of delectable lunacy. For the most part, though, it’s entertainment as punishing paradox, a high-speed slog.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    This film is what it is, a particularly generic genre piece that the bean counters at a once-great studio must have had reason to believe would turn a profit, mostly in the foreign market. Very possibly it will.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a piece of urban history seen through the lens of magic realism, a fragile but beguiling fantasy, tethered now and then to gritty reality, about a do-gooder doing the best he can against daunting odds.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The film, written by the director and Thomas Reider, is often brutal in content and spare in style, a celebration of unquenchable tenacity and the sustaining power of love.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    The climax as a whole is cheerfully chaotic, if not over the top, but who cares about perfection when a movie is as good as this one?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The film, playing in theaters, is very long, relentlessly intense, murmured more often than spoken, and photographed, by Greig Fraser, with a glowering gorgeousness that must be seen to be felt. It’s also enthralling and tailored to our time, an extended rumination on finding one’s moral compass in a world of all-encompassing evil.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    In a tale that touches on such a diversity of subjects—loneliness, mortality, adoption, family ties, the realm of the senses, artificial intelligence—it’s the ineffable things that count.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The casting is perfect in concept, and occasionally fulfills its promise, but in a notably imperfect film that’s afflicted by a benumbing score and dreary songs.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Haroun is a sophisticated filmmaker who alternates bold, almost impressionistic strokes with quietly meditative passages, and his cinematographer, Mathieu Giombini, works in astonishing colors that can be bold and exquisitely subtle almost simultaneously.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    An enthralling, even visionary drama that regards its subject with empathy and horror, locates him on the actual piece of land he once owned in Montana and portrays him through a stunning performance by Sharlto Copley, who finds emotional mercury in Kaczynski’s boiling cauldron of rage.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    If less is more, Uncharted must be a masterpiece. It’s bloodless, heartless, joyless, sexless and, with one exception, charmless. The exception is Tom Holland, but what’s he doing in a slapdash action adventure adapted from a videogame? Making money, of course—gamers will flock.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Hurwitz’s film, which was written by Michael Levine, is modest in scale yet far-ranging.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Blacklight isn’t much of a title. At the very least, though, it provides a useful hint that the movie isn’t much either. One could even argue that it’s not a movie at all, only a rusted-out recycling bin of ill-fitting themes, notions, poses, conventions, affectations, tropes, tropelets and inert snippets of dialogue from other movies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    Like Poirot’s mustache, the movie as a whole is a waxworks.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Josephine Decker’s screen version of the Jandy Nelson young-adult novel, which was adapted by the author, embraces excess as an expression of the heroine’s mercurial spirit. Sometimes the results are excessively excessive, blithely blissed-out or simply clichéd. Mostly, though, they’re funny, affecting and endearing. And daring.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    This vibrant, buoyant drama, intimate in scope instead of vast, takes us to Oslo—not exactly another planet, but an adventure all the same—where it builds a world of mercurial passions while its enchanting heroine, Julie ( Renate Reinsve ), belatedly and erratically comes of age over the course of several years.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The film is less like a full-fledged story than a series of notifications you might get on your phone, most of them couched in language that could have been generated by a buggy AI program.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    For those with a hunger for surprising, affecting films, I say seek this one out by all means. Mr. Kuosmanen’s direction of actors is impeccable; he and his stars deserve one another fully.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s a tribute to the sizzle of the central relationship that you want all that silly plot stuff to go away so Maggi and Carsten can kiss some more. They’re the main course, and the most zestful one, in an alluring but overcooked feast.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Through no fault of Mr. Roth’s, his character isn’t interesting enough to sustain our involvement in the story. Neil’s detachment doesn’t intrigue us, it only detaches us in our turn.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The film is a fable, to be sure, and one that unfolds at a leisurely pace, not a tough-minded psychological drama. But it’s sharp-witted as well as soulful, reasonably suspenseful.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Instead of “The Shape of Water” this is a stream of drivel.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    What this film does best is offer, sometimes playfully and sometimes not, new perspectives on the central problem of our shared history.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    There’s too much plot for the film to manage, but its heart, and sumptuous art, are so firmly in the right place that its appeal comes through sweet and clear.

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