Joe Morgenstern Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joe Morgenstern

Joe Morgenstern
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
19% Dolittle (2020) A production that achieves the dubious distinction of combining too-muchness with not-enoughness: too much tumult and chaos, not enough dramatic focus; too many animals with clever names spouting glib one-liners, not enough simple human feeling.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
94% Weathering with You (2020) A resplendent piece of anime art... Mr. Shinkai has marshaled more themes than he knows how to organize, but his film feels fresh and urgent. ‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
76% Bad Boys for Life (2020) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
85% Les Misérables (2020) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
93% Clemency (2019) Ms. Woodard is superb, as always, in a role that sets up a formidable barrier between character and audience. We understand what's happening to Bernadine, but it's hard to have any sense of dramatic release because her repression is almost unrelenting. ‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2020
95% Little Women (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2019
52% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) [A] vast, convoluted, sometimes cluttered, intermittently thrilling and thoroughly entertaining production that brings the Skywalker trilogy to a heroic close.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
91% Uncut Gems (2019) Everything is simultaneously terrifying, horrifying and mesmerizing in Mr. Sandler's new movie. Uncut Gems is a dark sparkler.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
74% Richard Jewell (2019) 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. ‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
68% Bombshell (2019) A movie with a compelling story to tell turns into a blunt-force polemic that can't stop hammering its message home.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
71% The Aeronauts (2019) A heavier-than-air adventure, set in Victorian England, that seldom rises above the level of elegant hokum.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
97% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) Portrait of a Lady on Fire -- the fire is figurative, but also real -- goes beyond painterly beauty. It sees into souls.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
97% Knives Out (2019) An entertainment that's as smart, witty, stylish and exhilarating as any movie lover could wish for.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2019
90% Dark Waters (2019) Dark Waters is Mr. Ruffalo's film, both in its gestation and execution, and his passion has been well served.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Given the nature of the production, sticky sweetness threatens at every turn, along with naked contrivance. Yet the movie bets on goodness, and wins.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
63% The Good Liar (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
95% Marriage Story (2019) I'd say expect a lot from the movie and you won't be disappointed. It's a life-affirming, profoundly affecting classic.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
93% Honey Boy (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
64% Love Actually (2003) That could have been a fascinating theme, but Mr. Curtis's film has no attitude about it other than blind approval.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2019
96% The Irishman (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) 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. ‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
100% Fantastic Fungi (2019) Fantastic Fungi is never uninteresting, and often startling in the natural beauty it reveals. ‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
96% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) What's old heightens the impact of what's new and remarkably timely in François Ozon's powerful By the Grace of God.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
86% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) One word for Nadav Lapid's Synonyms, a movie with a hero obsessed with words, is "astonishing."‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
91% The Lighthouse (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
40% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) The big-horned heroine is played once again by Angelina Jolie in this dull sequel to the not-so-sparkling 2014 original.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
26% Gemini Man (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Mr. Murphy, surrounded by superb actors and abetted by a sensational score, turns everything he touches into comedy.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Mixes darkness with light, melancholia with drollery, nostalgia with renewal, and regret for lost love with ineffable tenderness.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
69% Joker (2019) If you're feeling insufficiently anxious in your life, "Joker" could be just the ticket. If not, look elsewhere to be entertained.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
81% Abominable (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
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
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
83% Judy (2019) 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.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
80% 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
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
89% 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
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
100% Vision Portraits (2019) An eye-opener.‐ Wall Street Journal
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
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
87% 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
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
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
89% Blinded by the Light (2019) "Nobody wins unless everybody wins," Springsteen likes to say. This little movie is a big winner.‐ Wall Street Journal
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
96% 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
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
98% One Child Nation (2019) Shocking as it may be, One Child Nation needs to be seen. ‐ Wall Street Journal
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
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
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
90% 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
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
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
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019