64% The Maze Runner Sep 19
53% This Is Where I Leave You Sep 19
—— A Walk Among the Tombstones Sep 19
82% Tracks Sep 19
92% The Guest Sep 17

Top Box Office

13% No Good Deed $24.3M
73% Dolphin Tale 2 $15.9M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $8.1M
19% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4.9M
20% Let's Be Cops $4.4M
88% The Drop $4.1M
37% If I Stay $3.9M
36% The November Man $2.8M
33% The Giver $2.6M
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

68% The Equalizer Sep 26
69% The Boxtrolls Sep 26
86% The Two Faces of January Sep 26
—— Two Night Stand Sep 26
91% Jimi: All Is by My Side Sep 26

Premieres Tonight

—— Brickleberry: Season 3
—— The Mindy Project: Season 3
—— New Girl: Season 4

New Episodes Tonight

88% Finding Carter: Season 1
67% Matador: Season 1
83% Sons of Anarchy: Season 7

Discuss Last Night's Shows

71% Dallas: Season 3
62% Under the Dome: Season 2

Tabloid (2011)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 115
Fresh: 105 | Rotten: 10

It's far from his most thought-provoking work, but Tabloid finds Errol Morris as smart, spirited, and engaging as ever.


Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 1

It's far from his most thought-provoking work, but Tabloid finds Errol Morris as smart, spirited, and engaging as ever.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 10,869

My Rating

Movie Info

Thirty years before the antics of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears were regular gossip fodder, Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney made her mark as a tabloid staple ne plus ultra. Morris follows the salacious adventures of this beauty queen with an IQ of 168 whose single-minded devotion to the man of her dreams leads her across the globe, into jail, and onto the front page. Joyce's labyrinthine crusade for love takes her through a surreal world of kidnapping, manacled Mormons, risqué photography, magic


Documentary, Special Interest

Nov 1, 2011


IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now


Latest News on Tabloid

July 14, 2011:
Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II is Certified Fresh
This week at the movies, we've got the conclusion to one of the most popular cinematic franchises...


Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (105) | Rotten (10) | DVD (4)

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.

November 18, 2011 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a lighter, less significant work than his 'Standard Operating Procedure' or 'The Fog of War', but it's engrossing and pleasingly slippery with the facts.

November 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Errol Morris is a genius, a gifted documentarian who has made better movies than "Tabloid," but none so entertaining.

August 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Tabloid" is tantalizing, but like yesterday's headlines, it's a fleeting flirtation.

August 5, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though the events Tabloid recounts took place in the pre-digital age, the film also functions as a kind of prehistory of modern celebrity culture and tabloid journalism.

July 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Morris's subject is sexual fantasy and a particular kind of American stupidity-the ability to substitute self-justification for self-knowledge. His tone is merry.

July 24, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tabloid is totally fascinating. It features brilliant editing and pacing along with well thought out concepts that are expertly executed. A must see!

November 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Mesmerizing...In Joyce McKinney, Morris has found a fittingly weird and funny muse

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Morris gets to have his cake and eat it.

November 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Scotsman

It's a bizarre "where are they now?" story of a rather unedifying kind, and one feels ashamed of laughing at this sad exhibitionist.

November 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

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.

November 11, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A vivid picture of the way we lived then.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

McKinney is no Robert McNamara, but there are lessons to be learned from this fog of sleaze.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Morris's doc is less about What Really Happened than exploring the lifespan of one of those stories that kept on giving.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

[Morris] tells us nothing about the prurience and gutter morality of the tabloid newspaper industry that Britons haven't heard every day and that the world, in the Murdochgate era, is now hearing likewise.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Compelling, weird and queasy documentary on the eccentric Joyce McKinney and her stranger-than-fiction story.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A truly bizarre tale, Tabloid is enjoyable but not as compelling as some of Morris' previous documentaries...

November 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

A bizarre coda turns what begins as a playful exposé of the British media's sensationalist excesses into a surreal voyage into a warped mind no reporter could invent.

November 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A compelling story told with Morris's usual flair.

November 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Tabloid is such a mirthful, fascinating and fantastically entertaining documentary that you can't help but get caught up in all the sordid fun

October 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Moviedex

McKinney is mesmerizing: the vain, expressive, motormouthed star of an elaborately structured drama of self that qualifies as one of the more astonishing first-person cinematic tours de force since 'Eddie Murphy Raw.'

October 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

...fairly lightweight. But it's nevertheless one of the most entertaining movies that will hit theaters this year.

October 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A lot of fun; Morris himself is clearly unconvinced about Joyce -- and no wonder -- but she's a funny woman and hers is a ripping yarn if ever there was one.

September 21, 2011 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Expertly guided by Errol Morris, and featuring a wholly compelling subject, this is a fascinating exploration of truth and memory.

September 21, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

Audience Reviews for Tabloid

"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.
August 28, 2014

Super Reviewer

"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.

Joyce McKinney was former Miss Wyoming. She became a British tabloid darling in the late 1970's when she came over to the UK and kidnapped a young man, holding him hostage. The film tells the story of McKinney's various obsessions; she became obsessed with a young Mormon missionary, but his faith was compromised and, as far as Joyce was concerned, the Mormon church stole him away from her, taking him to England to restore his faith. The levels of obsession are exposed progressively throughout the film. Joyce's fixation on this one person who she claims to love unconditionally is actually quite sad.

She states late on in the film that there is only one love, and she loves the Mormon, and will love no other. This stubborn focus on one love has seen through to her old age, as she fills this love with a dog. The obsession of one love is also propagated in her love of her dog, that once dead, she spends thousands of dollars to get it cloned in South Korea. As with all Morris documentaries, this is a little gem, and is never outwardly judgemental of it's subject matter. It is a tragic tale, and whilst it has been Joyce's own choice, her strong morals are quite touching. However, strip all sympathy aside, and she is simply mental!
May 1, 2012
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Usually in a documentary the director slants the facts to suit an agenda; either by judicious editing of talking head testimony, or by omitting certain facts. In the case of Tabloid, you have a refreshing expose of events portrayed through the usual witness testimonies, but with a certain lightness and tongue in cheek that is totally apropos to the bizarre content being reported.

Tabloid tell the sensational tale of Joyce McKinney, who was a tabloid sensation in the UK back in the 70's by "allegedly" kidnapping a Mormon acolyte for a weekend of debauchery. Director Errol Morris masterfully reveals the story by way of talking heads, including the editor of one of England's top tabloid newspapers of the time as well as Ms. McKinney herself (a natural born actress if ever there was one). She plays fast and loose with a lot of information, all told with a certain happy-go-lucky bit of glee; a raconteur who you could listen to for hours, even while telling of her temporary imprisonment and eventual escape from the British Isles.

For his part, the Brit editor seems equally caught up in the outrageousness of the story, and uses several lovely English colloquialisms to further lighten up the festivities. But underneath it all there is a dark side - that of the beginnings of media sensationalism - the likes of which give the Paris Hilton's of the world constant attention, even though they have done absolutely nothing noteworthy. In the case of Ms. McKinney, what should have been a simple human interest story, barely worthy of Andy Warhol's' 15 minutes of fame, became the story that refused to die.

The big question is whether McKinney, who "admits" to an I.Q. of 168, and was a former Miss Wyoming, was simply trying to pry her man from the clutches of the evil Mormon church by kidnapping the elder in training, or if, as she professes in lovely detail, he came with her willingly and then, facing excommunication, claimed to be a victim.

The story should have ended after the trial and her release on bail before sentencing, after her daring incognito escape from Britain, but, just as the media wouldn't let go of her initial story, the film goes further, introducing the head photographer from the rival tabloid, The Mirror, who purports that McKinney spent time in LA as a call girl. This part of the film drags just a bit, but gives you the necessary doubt that all isn't as Ms. McKinney would have you believe.

After scandalous nudie pics start getting plastered all over the front page of The Mirror, pics that McKinney claims were composites (her head on another body - and believe what you will on that one), she retreats to a remote farm, trying to steer clear of the paparazzi and becoming agoraphobic (she claims). This of course leads to a further bizarre tale circa mid 80's where she buys a huge mastiff for protection, the dog is poisoned, the pharmacy messes with the doses of the poor dogs medicine, causing the dog to go bonkers and attack McKinney, and almost killing her (saved only by a pit bull stray she had picked up only a month earlier). This crazy tale just keeps on going, with McKinney then, years later, making contact with a South Korean geneticist who then clones her beloved pit bull. News of the event once again, of course, puts her back in the limelight.

A crazy tale, told exceedingly well - a wild ride that's interesting and just plain fun. Probably the most fun I've had watching a doc ever - highly recommended.
March 19, 2012
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Kidnapping, magic underwear, religious cultism, the British Press, a sex scandal, a police investigation and the cloning of a dog called Booger. Errol Morris reads between the lines in this funny and fascinating and unbelievably true story of eccentricity at it's most glorious. It takes all sorts to make a world, here is the proof! Highly recommended.
March 12, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Joyce McKinney: Worms crawl out of the woodwork when you become famous.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Joyce McKinney: It's like putting a marshmallow in a parking meter.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Tabloid on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

100 pics from Toronto Film Fest

Hunger Games
Hunger Games

New Mockingjay - Part 1 trailer

New on DVD & Blu-Ray
New on DVD & Blu-Ray

Godzilla, The Fault in Our Stars

Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire

New reviews for "Good Listener"

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile