Joe Morgenstern

Joe Morgenstern
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
45% Miami Vice (2006) Miami Vice is a movie made by a man whose mastery of the medium, and whose obsessive concerns for detail, put images of uncommon distinction on the big screen.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2018
67% Vox Lux (2018) For all its fancy style and philosophical posturing, Vox Lux wears its vacuousness on its sleeve.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
68% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) What's mysterious about this film is why, with so much on its mind and such gifted stars to express it, the drama should be so unaffecting.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
81% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) Anna and the Apocalypse does have its singular moments. On the whole, though, I'd say don't bite.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
91% Mirai (2018) Expands into a lyrical realm that is both very Japanese and entirely universal.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
82% Green Book (2018) A fine setup for two strong-willed characters to have at each other... Yet Green Book wears thin, and how could it not, since it's basically an illustrative construction in which each scene has a predictable shape and a clear-cut purpose.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
91% Widows (2018) Simultaneously an affecting drama of self-discovery and hard-won female power, a vision of limitless civic corruption, and an incendiary, sometimes violent variation on the theme of carrying a torch.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
58% The Front Runner (2018) Given the profound currents and countercurrents that have transformed-and menaced-the news media in the last few years, this story plays like quaintly ancient history.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Lisbeth is asked to save civilization... but she can't save the film because there's nothing for her to do but fight and suffer, suffer and fight, and there's no one around her to hold our interest, let alone catch our fancy.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) Be forewarned that Disney's latest holiday offering has reprocessed nothing but bits, pieces, slivers and chunks of Nutcrackery into a colorful, sumptuously produced confection with barely detectable nutritional value.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
94% Burning (Beoning) (2018) "Burning" keeps reminding us how little we can be sure of. Its mysteries extend through character, plot and the essence of fiction to the real world as we think we know it.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
89% A Private War (2018) In Ms. Pike's fierce yet laconic portrayal, this tormented woman commands a fateful grace under the fire that will consume her.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
88% Horn From the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story (2018) It's full of music that makes the case for its subject's pre-eminence... and has an interesting slant on the issue of cultural appropriation.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
86% Monrovia, Indiana (2018) The pace is slow over the course of 143 minutes, sometimes maddeningly so, even for a Wiseman documentary, but the film rewards patience.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
97% Border (Gräns) (2018) "Border" may not be everyone's idea of a fun night out, but it takes you to places you won't forget, and that's nothing to sniff at.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
63% Suspiria (2018) In Suspiria, style stomps fun into submission.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Yet Lee, played with unerring wit and ferocious verve by Melissa McCarthy, turns out to be terrific company; so does her raffish companion in crime, Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant).‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
94% Wildlife (2018) Ms. Mulligan shows her character no mercy, at least on the surface; her performance is startling, and for the most part unsparing.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
88% What They Had (2018) Yet the cast is exceptional, the performances are extraordinary, the writing and direction are heartfelt, and the film is, consequently, stirring, frequently funny and consistently affecting.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
88% First Man (2018) Most movies aim to take us out of ourselves. This one goes to majestic extremes.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
68% Beautiful Boy (2018) The root problem is repetitiveness, the seemingly endless cycle of progress and relapse that causes heartbreak in real life and induces déjà vu in audiences - even dejà déjà vu, since there's repetition within the already familiar pattern.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
94% Private Life (2018) In Richard [director Tamara] Jenkins has created a role that fits Mr. Giamatti, who has always been great at comic gloom, like a glove that should have been one size larger.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
90% A Star Is Born (2018) The film feels fresh from thunderous start to exquisite finish.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2018
82% Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) The good stuff -- and there's some extremely good stuff -- keeps getting tainted by Mr. Moore's poison-camera penchant for drawing dark inferences from dubious evidence.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2018
92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Still, it's a modest treat for movie lovers with memories that extend beyond last summer's comic-book extravaganzas, and not only because of Mr. Redford's presence.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
No Score Yet It Must Schwing - The Blue Note Story (2018) An unusually lustrous-though admittedly esoteric-gem was Eric Friedler's "It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story."‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
98% Free Solo (2018) Great documentaries, of which this is one, need great subjects, and Mr. Honnold fills the bill; he's thoughtful, funny, articulate, self-reflective and fatalistic to a scary degree.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
80% Boy Erased (2018) Nicole Kidman brings her virtuosity to bear in "Boy Erased".‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
50% The White Crow (2018) Oleg Ivenko, a Ukrainian dancer in his acting debut, is persuasive in "The White Crow".‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
94% The Favourite (2018) Olivia Colman is simply dazzling as a fragile, volatile and sometimes dotty Queen Anne in "The Favourite," a zestful period piece directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
82% The Other Side of the Wind (2018) I found it grandiloquent and emotionally vacant, notwithstanding some hilarious sendups of the period's pretensions.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) A compact masterpiece about a scruffy family that isn't what it seems, and love that's the real thing.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
91% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) A passionate love story (yes, there's a recurrent theme here) that plays out, with musical accompaniment and political resonance, across three decades in postwar Europe.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
99% Roma (2018) "Roma" is one of the best movies I've ever seen, and one of the most moving. If Norma Desmond had been able to see it she wouldn't have worried about the pictures getting small.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
91% We the Animals (2018) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
92% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) The result is hugely enjoyable, and hooray for Hollywood for making it happen.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
87% Madeline's Madeline (2018) It's a superb piece of acting about acting, and a harbinger of great things to come in this young actor's future.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
95% BlacKkKlansman (2018) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
91% Nico, 1988 (2018) Yet the star of Susanna Nicchiarelli's freely fictionalized biopic, Trine Dyrholm, finds fierce beauty in the woman Nico has become.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2018
84% The Third Murder (Sandome no satsujin) (2018) The Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda has a quietly seductive way of finding the sublime in the mundane.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2018
88% Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2018) [Director Matt Tyrnauer's] 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) Plenty of pleasures apart from pure action turn up in the film, which, like the previous episode, "Rogue Nation," was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
83% Puzzle (2018) 'Puzzle" is less puzzling than exasperating.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
81% Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) What's notable about the broadness, though, is that it stays clear of grandiosity.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
45% Generation Wealth (2018) It's all over the place, to the point of inducing numbness or suffocation.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
99% Eighth Grade (2018) Poignantly funny, wrenchingly wise and meltingly beautiful, "Eighth Grade" is a not-so-small miracle of independent filmmaking.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2018
46% Skyscraper (2018) The movie is great, outlandish fun because the star makes it so; he's a soft soul in an action-hard body.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2018
84% Under the Tree (Undir trénu) (2018) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2018
88% Whitney (2018) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2018
88% Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) Unlike the unaccountably dull "Ant-Man" feature that came and went three years ago, this one tangles us up cheerfully, almost instantly, in its high-tech bedazzlements and witty beguilements, never loosening its grip.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2018