Critic Consensus: It's far from his most thought-provoking work, but Tabloid finds Errol Morris as smart, spirited, and engaging as ever.
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Critic Reviews for Tabloid
Operates as both an examination of the dominating media mentality at the time and an embodiment of it, no less keen on delving into the juicy details now as tabloid rags were then.
Morris suggests that you can sometimes find profundity in triviality - and though Joyce condemns herself out of her own mouth, it is always possible to feel sorry for a woman whose obsession has so totally ruled her life.
McKinney is no Robert McNamara, but there are lessons to be learned from this fog of sleaze.
Morris's doc is less about What Really Happened than exploring the lifespan of one of those stories that kept on giving.
Audience Reviews for Tabloid
While the film borders sometimes on the sensationalism that it criticizes (even visibly delighting in how bizarre this whole story is), Morris finds a perfect anchor for it in the ludicrous way the tabloid media exploit anything that is crazy enough to attract readers.
"Tabloid" is an invasive, if underwhelming, character study that follows the life of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen with a genius IQ and a penchant for histrionics. While Joyce McKinney is undoubtedly an interesting subject for this taboo documentary, the execution of Errol Morris is left wanting. The title of the film is misleading, since most of the focus lies on Joyce, and little to do with the actual media, or tabloids. Most of the film concerns cartoonish recreations of the alleged events, and interviews with McKinney and her accomplices. Her victim doesn't give his two cents, and the message of the film is very up in the air. Is Morris trying to say something about media, about the antics of this beautiful kidnapper, or is he simply displaying her for the audience to ooh and aah over? McKinney's story is interesting, but this would have worked just as well as a "Where Are They Now?" article, or as a book. This medium really wasn't necessary to express the trivialities of a former criminal even if she is entertaining to watch.
"As Brigitte Bardot said, I gave my youth to men and my old age to dogs I can trust." A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.
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