Joe Morgenstern

Joe Morgenstern
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
No Score Yet Those Who Remained (Akik maradtak) (2019) This is not another riff on Lolita. Rather, it's a coming-of-age story about the coming of unlikely, unbidden hope. As such, the film explores one boundary -- the erotic zone that beckons to both of them -- and illustrates another. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
88% Judy (2019) Singing in her own voice, body hunched and eyes squinting against the light, [Renée Zellweger] summons up the desperate fervor of a woman who has lived most of her life on parallel starvation diets, one lacking for food and the other for love. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
100% Marriage Story (2019) A 137-minute depiction of a marriage coming apart in which unusual intimacy is created, paradoxically, by big and spirited performances. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
89% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Thrilling, and greatly affecting... The running time is 152 minutes, and it is running time -- not a moment seems slow. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
No Score Yet The Human Factor (2019) It's a deeply wise examination of statesmanship and leadership, or their egregious absence; a celebration of compromise as the indispensable element of diplomacy; and a stirring argument for the power of humanity. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
96% The Two Popes (2019) This scintillating drama, written by Anthony McCarten, achieves a maximum of theatrical delight and intellectual substance with two glorious performances. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
100% Vision Portraits (2019) An eye-opener. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
97% Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2019) The fantasy grows overlush from time to time, but Ms. López has created an original work of art in genre disguise. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
89% Aquarela (2019) No one there, or anywhere else in the film, ever utters the words "global warming," yet the message could not be clearer-we are all of us living on thin ice. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
82% Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) The trip is entertaining and even instructive-not about the facts of the case, which go from murky to opaque, but about the slip-slidingly elusive nature of truth. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
88% Blinded by the Light (2019) "Nobody wins unless everybody wins," Springsteen likes to say. This little movie is a big winner. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
95% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) This lovely debut feature by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz trafficks in the pleasure of watching intriguing people working through outlandish problems in unlikely ways. Go in expecting the best and you'll come out smiling. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
99% One Child Nation (2019) Shocking as it may be, One Child Nation needs to be seen. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
43% The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) A clumsy potboiler that is that is long on melodrama yet strangely short on racing sequences and interesting animal behavior. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) The action is impressive and the stars are personally as well as gladiatorially appealing, but the filmmakers seem to have shot the treatment instead of the script, or never bothered with a script. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
93% Luce (2019) The narrative, framed as a psychological mystery, labors under more layers of significance than it can handle without falling into contrivance and argumentation. Still, the dramatic core is strong. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Mike Wallace Is Here doesn't answer tough questions about Wallace's career: Was it drama, good journalism or both? What was his legacy? But Avi Belkin's documentary offers fascinating insights into what made its subject tick. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) As one might expect from Mr. Tarantino's previous films, his new one is violent as well as tender, plus terrifically funny. Yet this virtuoso piece of storytelling also offers intricate instruction on the pervasiveness of violence in popular culture. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
92% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) True to its subject, who has been true to his muse, David Crosby: Remember My Name is about music in a revelatory way. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
13% Taken 3 (2015) In David Crosby: Remember My Name, a fine documentary directed by A.J. Eaton, some excellent questions are posed from behind the camera by the producer, the veteran rock journalist and filmmaker Cameron Crowe. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
53% The Lion King (2019) The Lion King redux doesn't feel marvelous, let alone like a magical creation from the Magic Kingdom. The beauty of the landscapes fills the eye without stirring the soul. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2019
99% The Farewell (2019) The lovely paradox of The Farewell is that everyone in it tries to hide their feelings as long as they can, yet their story goes straight to your heart. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
83% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) The film as a whole feels audacious and original, a case study of violence begetting more of the same, and Mr. Eisenberg is ideally cast as the soul of fearfulness. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
97% Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) 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. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
93% Wild Rose (2019) Ms. Buckley brings her own truth to this mostly synthetic confection, and it's a beautiful thing to behold. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) The new film isn't flawless, but it's hugely enjoyable and speaks, with bewitching buoyancy, to nothing less than the purpose of living and the mystery of life. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
45% The Way of the Gun (2000) The Way of the Gun is doomy trash, a blood-soaked saga of remorseless killers and natural-born blatherers. I'm sure I've seen worse movies, but nothing so steadfastly unpleasant comes to mind. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
22% Men in Black International (2019) No need to huff and puff about the idiocy of Men in Black: International... Still, the fourth episode in the series sets a low-water mark for warm-weather entertainment. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
89% The Raft (2019) A document, as well as a documentary, of genuine consequence. The news is surprising, and pretty darned good. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) The Last Black Man in San Francisco glides from moment to meaningful moment with cumulative power and singular grace. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
70% The Anderson Tapes (1971) The spectacle is entertaining, up to a point, but even the digital wizardry wears thin, and Dark Phoenix turns into a standard-brand miasma of explosions, collisions and swirling force fields. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
59% The Fall of the American Empire (La chute de l'empire américain) (2019) The tacit thrust of Mr. Arcand's film is didactic, even polemic. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
97% Booksmart (2019) Nothing funnier, smarter, quicker or more joyous has graced the big screen in a long time. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
89% Rocketman (2019) Whatever the film's shortfall in psychodynamics, Rocketman invokes the spirit and specifics of music -- enormously aided by Mr. Egerton's performance -- to illuminate the hero's soul. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Mixed feelings about the violence are inescapable... Still, there's nothing iffy about the best action stuff in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, although the film runs out of fresh ideas toward the end. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
51% A Dog's Journey (2019) I enjoyed the film, as many will, in a split-brain way that goes to the essence of fantasy -- half-believing what I wanted to be true, embracing the emotional manipulation whenever possible. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
71% All Is True (2019) The screenplay, by Ben Elton, wasn't woven from whole cloth. But its inventions and speculations aren't very interesting. Nowhere do they hint at the man who gave us the plays - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
89% Non-Fiction (Doubles vies) (2019) This is parody... As such, it's very funny and not without winsome affection for its hyperverbal, overprivileged characters. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
100% At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal (2019) Everything about "At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal" suggests someone coming toward you with a spoonful of particularly ghastly medicine. But the benefits outweigh the few unsavory side effects of this largely first-rate documentary. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
81% Long Shot (2019) The pleasingly adolescent absurdities soon regress to grindingly infantile and the raunch grows repetitious until the comedy wears out its welcome. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
95% Shadow (2019) The film doesn't pretend to be profound... But Mr. Zhang's film is elegant fun. Along with all the ying-yangery, there's the governing concept of movies as entertainment. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
89% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) As interviewers -- and filmmakers -- go, Mr. Herzog is one of a kind, his searching curiosity complemented by his instantly recognizable German accent. His new film, he goes out of his way to note, is a love letter. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Succeeds at its daunting task: summing up an epic struggle with bedazzling action... and with more humor, zest and feeling -- the real, heartfelt stuff -- than you'd dare to expect from what is, after all, an immense industrial undertaking. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
96% Hail Satan? (2019) A fascinating documentary about ragtag political activists making fundamentally serious mockery at a high level of media savvy. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
96% Little Woods (2019) This startlingly accomplished debut feature by Nia DaCosta has the eyes and ears of a documentary-the opioid crisis is everywhere, the nearest hospital is far away-but the heart of a drama, and a stirring one. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
97% Working Woman (2019) An understated polemic that becomes an affecting drama. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
17% Hellboy (2019) No one needed another Hellboy, let alone a wretched contraption whose single-word title suggests that it's an original, rather than the cynical enterprise it proves to be. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
83% Dogman (2019) Instead of sentimentalizing his character, Mr. Fonte gives a superbly austere performance, with comic dimensions, in which Marcello becomes a haunted, and haunting, enigma. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
47% Little (2019) Instead of seeing the world through a child's eyes, little Jordan continues to see it through the filter of big Jordan's psyche. Worse than a disappointment, that's a betrayal of the original premise. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
91% Shazam! (2019) What "Shazam!" lacks most obviously is gravitas. And grimness. Also bleakness, darkness and relentless self-seriousness. In other words, it's terrific fun. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019