Joe Morgenstern

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For 2,476 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 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joe Morgenstern's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Transit
Lowest review score: 0 How Do You Know
Score distribution:
2476 movie reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s an emotional investment with rich returns. Pedro Costa’s hypnotic drama, shot superbly by Leonardo Simões, follows its heroine through a dark night of the soul into the light of a new life in a new land.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    The film, newly streaming on Netflix, pulls together disparate strands of an untold saga into something thrillingly new.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    The Hunt occupies a special place in the chockablock landscape of movie junk. This gleeful, gross-out gorefest looks as tacky and violent as its trackdown plot would suggest, and lives up to certain parts of its bad reputation. It is also funny, genuinely topical, extremely shrewd and, heaven help us, slyly wise. I liked it quite a lot.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    This tough-minded, forthright and exquisitely tender film transcends polemics. It’s the odyssey of a lost child in poorly charted territory.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    Onward, the latest feature from Pixar Animation Studios via Disney, is insistently unspecial. It’s enjoyable enough if you don’t mind machine-made entertainment, but so desperate to please that it wears out its welcome long before the closing credits.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Taken on its own terms, the film is beautifully crafted, a sequence of events, many of them stirring, along a road to redemption that intersects with a winning group of high-school kids on a losing basketball team.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    First Cow is vividly alive on arrival and grows into pure enchantment, although it starts at a saunter and its physical scale is small.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    The film isn’t funny at all. It’s so didactic and dislikable that it took me a while to realize humor wasn’t its main goal.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The tutoring sessions progress from whimsical to intriguing to captivating, even though Cristi and his confederates don’t really do very much with their secret code. Good stories thrive on details. The specifics here are abundant, and so charmingly preposterous — or maybe not, who knows? — that they command your rapt attention.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The scariness quotient remains high to the end, the plot is sufficiently twisty, and it’s stirring to watch Cecilia prevail against monstrosity without becoming a monster herself. As to how it all works out, let’s just say that the right person gets the last slash.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Joe Morgenstern
    What’s missing is nuance (the idea of Mr. Nighy’s performance, like others in the film, is wittier than what’s actually on screen); connective tissue (the story is semicoherent at best, a jumble of characters rushing to and fro); and depth of feeling.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 0 Joe Morgenstern
    Buck is so precocious, such a relentlessly clever construction, that he leaves nothing to our imagination. He’s the soul-free star of a movie that’s dead in the icy water.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    The film’s strength lies in the performances — two fine actors elevating their roles from the touchingly mundane to the suddenly momentous.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    The film is an improbably thrilling work of art by virtue of its physical beauty and its relentless intensity of feeling about people — not only Iya and Masha — who would prefer in their heart of shattered hearts to feel nothing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Joe Morgenstern
    The most horrible thing about The Lodge, a horror flick set mostly in a snowbound vacation house, is that it’s no fun.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Joe Morgenstern
    Much of this R-rated movie is chaotic, yet it’s a richly hued, madly inventive, gleefully violent and happily slapdash contraption with a formidable female at its center.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Still, human doesn’t leap to mind, even though Ms. Lively works hard to inject blood in the veins of her feminist avenger. The Rhythm Section isn’t a human movie. It’s as cold as the waters of that loch, and nowhere near as lucid.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Garner transcends the inherent limits of her role to convey ineffable tenderness and wordless ferocity in a movie that’s bigger than it seems.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Joe Morgenstern
    The film, which was written and directed by Todd Robinson, begins with those dreaded words “Based on a True Story,” meaning in this instance concocted from certain established facts, lots of unconvincing fiction and large dollops of sentiment into a disjointed tale that means to inspire us, yet manages against steep odds to be dull and emotionally remote.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The result is a sequence of events that’s both intriguing and gossamer-thin. You enjoy the challenge of figuring out who’s doing what to whom and for what devious reasons, but it all goes out of your head once the story ends and the lights come up.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Shinkai has marshaled more themes than he knows how to organize, but his film feels fresh and urgent. Star-crossed lovers are old news. Hodaka and Hina are cloud-and-rain-crossed, the hero and heroine of a tale of love in a time of climate change.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 10 Joe Morgenstern
    Too much tumult and chaos, not enough dramatic focus; too many animals with clever names spouting glib one-liners, not enough simple human — or for that matter nonhuman — feeling. What a waste!
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Joe Morgenstern
    The production is no masterpiece. Much of the physical action is ludicrous, or gratuitous; some of the heroes’ emotional baggage is excess. But an unexpected something sneaks up on us as the story unfolds. In between the volcanic eruptions of violence and mayhem, the film takes its buddies seriously — with such outsize sincerity that we can take them to our hearts.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    It reminds us how long she had to wait for the recognition she so richly deserved, and what a distinctive, generous, funny, astute, self-doubting, unstoppable and formidable figure she was along the way.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    The film becomes an enthralling, edifying, terrifying, sometimes funny and improbably stirring portrait of a multiethnic, polycultural cauldron where fury against injustice and neglect hovers near the boiling point.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Clemency is a meditation on capital punishment from a singular perspective. Call it Dead Warden Walking.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    Ms. Gerwig’s reimagining — and provocative restructuring — of the American classic is all ablaze with ferocious purpose, urgent passion, boisterous humor and the nourishing essence of family life in good times and bad.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joe Morgenstern
    It’s impossible to imagine that “The Rise of Skywalker” won’t do huge business, even though it’s merely good, not great, and though there’s a growing sense around the galaxy that Star Wars fatigue has set in.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joe Morgenstern
    Can a movie that generates steady-state anxiety also function as entertainment? Yes it can, and Adam Sandler is here to prove it in Uncut Gems, a hard-edged and hard-charging phenomenon directed by Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie from a screenplay the brothers wrote with Ronald Bronstein. Mr. Sandler is flat-out sensational as Howard Ratner.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joe Morgenstern
    Richard Jewell has much to recommend it. The story is compelling — from hero to reviled heel in no time flat. In a jauntier time it might have been raw material for social satire; in our day it’s a cautionary tale about abuse of power by the press and government alike.

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