Wall Street Journal

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Ford v Ferrari (2019) Joe Morgenstern It's a new and emotionally complex model of an old-fashioned audience-pleaser, with wonderful performances by Christian Bale and Matt Damon and a resonant soul to go with its smarts. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
The Good Liar (2019) Joe Morgenstern The calculation couldn't be clearer. Put two superb performers together and you're on your way to making an exceptional movie. Not so fast, though. The Good Liar is calculation from arch start to hollow finish. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
For Sama (2019) Dorothy Rabinowitz They display a striking buoyancy, which the film captures in moving detail -- there is laughter, there is comradeship, there is life even in the face of horror. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
Lady and the Tramp (2019) John Anderson Lady and the Tramp is quite the mild ride. Its marriage of computer animation with real dogs may be impressive, but it's aimed at kids, and they won't care. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
Marriage Story (2019) Joe Morgenstern I'd say expect a lot from the movie and you won't be disappointed. It's a life-affirming, profoundly affecting classic. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
Honey Boy (2019) Joe Morgenstern The film is not a product of vanity, though, or of self-helping self-absorption that shuts others out. It is a powerful, tough-minded entertainment that welcomes us in and tells us a story we haven't seen before. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
Love Actually (2003) Joe Morgenstern That could have been a fascinating theme, but Mr. Curtis's film has no attitude about it other than blind approval. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
The Irishman (2019) Joe Morgenstern Feels genuinely new and deeply satisfying -- for its subtlety, wit and resonance; for its serenely confident technique, meaning no truck with fancy tricks; for the sumptuous quality of the production; and for the epic scope of the story. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Joe Morgenstern The plot makes no sense -- time travel as multiverse Dada. Worse still, it renders meaningless the struggles that gave the first two films of the franchise an epic dimension. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Fantastic Fungi (2019) Joe Morgenstern Fantastic Fungi is never uninteresting, and often startling in the natural beauty it reveals. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
Grâce à Dieu (2018) Joe Morgenstern What's old heightens the impact of what's new and remarkably timely in François Ozon's powerful By the Grace of God. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
Synonyms (2018) Joe Morgenstern One word for Nadav Lapid's Synonyms, a movie with a hero obsessed with words, is "astonishing." EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
The Lighthouse (2019) Joe Morgenstern The Lighthouse is, among many other things, very funny in its pitch-dark fashion, and atmospheric in a way that's rarely seen, or felt, on the screen. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Joe Morgenstern The big-horned heroine is played once again by Angelina Jolie in this dull sequel to the not-so-sparkling 2014 original. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Joe Morgenstern The film doesn't lack for audacity, or ultimate purpose -- it's against hate and in favor of love. But the adaptation isn't funny enough to sustain the style, which owes an overt debt to Mel Brooks and amounts to Springtime for Hitler Youth. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
Little Monsters (2019) John Anderson Is this Bergman? Fellini? George Romero? No, but it's alarmingly fun (and profane, and gory) and Ms. Nyong'o is a delight. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Gemini Man (2019) Joe Morgenstern The frame rate doesn't speed up the pace -- the film bogs down woefully between action sequences -- and the shake rate wasn't sufficient to keep my body from going slack while my mind meandered through the story's incoherence. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Parasite (2019) Joe Morgenstern Imagine a high-wire act where the acrobat suddenly leaps to a higher wire, then to another that's higher still. It's the best way I can think of to describe the giddy thrill of watching Parasite, a masterpiece of serial surprises. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Joe Morgenstern Mr. Murphy, surrounded by superb actors and abetted by a sensational score, turns everything he touches into comedy. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) Joe Morgenstern Mixes darkness with light, melancholia with drollery, nostalgia with renewal, and regret for lost love with ineffable tenderness. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
Joker (2019) Joe Morgenstern If you're feeling insufficiently anxious in your life, "Joker" could be just the ticket. If not, look elsewhere to be entertained. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
Abominable (2019) Joe Morgenstern This Chinese-American co-production is so distinctive pictorially, and so manifestly good-hearted, that it's easy to forgive if not quite forget the ragged quality of its storyline. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) John Anderson To lavish too much praise on Mr. Pitt's performance would be to somehow suggest he isn't already among the best actors on screen. He is. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Downton Abbey (2019) John Anderson With a two-hour running time, Downton Abbey can indulge itself in some of the more delicious aspects of its six-season run. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) John Anderson Most of what Mr. Tyrnauer serves up is not news, but to have it all in one place is to immerse oneself in a bilious lesson in history. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
The Sound of Silence (2019) John Anderson Art is supposed to help us see the world in novel ways. The Sound of Silence, in its quietly exhilarating manner, may make us hear it differently, too. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (2019) John Anderson It is a very moving film by veteran documentarian Irene Taylor Brodsky about deafness, music, raising children and your parents getting old. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
The Goldfinch (2019) John Anderson Mr. Straughan [the screenwriter] remains faithful to the book when he should be committing adultery. Chunks of original dialogue land like bricks. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Depraved (2019) John Anderson It puts a punctuation mark on the mythos and epic that Mary Shelley conjured up, and on which Mr. Fessenden puts such a delightfully gritty, sometimes gruesome spin. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Akik maradtak (2019) Joe Morgenstern 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. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Judy (2019) Joe Morgenstern The movie, directed by Rupert Goold, is a conventional but perfectly serviceable showcase for its star, who sets the whole thing on fire every time she launches into a Garland classic in her own voice. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
() Joe Morgenstern 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. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
The Two Popes (2019) Joe Morgenstern This scintillating drama, written by Anthony McCarten, achieves a maximum of theatrical delight and intellectual substance with two glorious performances. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
() John Anderson What is made perfectly clear by Mr. Helms's proselytizing voiceover is that bluegrass fans are passionate, the music exists and persists, and is constantly changing. From what, however, is not something "Big Family" ever satisfactorily explains. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) John Anderson A gossipy and very musical primer on Davis, who is, needless to say (though it is said and said), among the giants of jazz. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
Official Secrets (2019) John Anderson An unabashedly political movie that is, essentially, a procedural, but also a very sophisticated, ornate, complex and convincing thriller. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
The Fanatic (2019) John Anderson One can understand the draw of The Fanatic for someone like Mr. Travolta: It calls for full immersion, mentally and physically. And he pulls it off. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
Vision Portraits (2019) Joe Morgenstern An eye-opener. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Joe Morgenstern The fantasy grows overlush from time to time, but Ms. López has created an original work of art in genre disguise. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
() John Anderson One wishes Cola Wars took a bit of a snarkier stance on its subject. The narration is anodyne, and the ingredients are standard-issue, even if the talking heads are very smart. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2019
The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) John Anderson "The Amazing Johnathan Documentary" is ostensibly about a comic and is often very funny. There are snatches out of the Amazing Johnathan archive and repertoire, which includes gross-out gags and no small amount of meta magic. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
Aquarela (2018) Joe Morgenstern 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. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) Joe Morgenstern 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. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Blinded by the Light (2019) Joe Morgenstern "Nobody wins unless everybody wins," Springsteen likes to say. This little movie is a big winner. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Joe Morgenstern 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. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
One Child Nation (2019) Joe Morgenstern Shocking as it may be, One Child Nation needs to be seen. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Joe Morgenstern A clumsy potboiler that is that is long on melodrama yet strangely short on racing sequences and interesting animal behavior. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
() Nancy DeWolf Smith As fun as it is to learn where these characters (and Ms. Ullman) came from, it's sad to see her pack their wigs back into a trunk as "Live and Exposed" ends. We can never get enough of the gentle skewering they provide. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
() Dorothy Rabinowitz A Carvey comedy special comes with special problems -- for one, a star with minimal skills for stand-up comedy. He's wildly repetitious, punishing to hear in his gnawing on the same mirth-free shtick. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
The Distant Barking of Dogs (2017) John Anderson Childhood during wartime is hardly a new subject for filmmakers of any stripe, but The Distant Barking of Dogs finds its own special nonfiction space. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019