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critics consensus

Joy is anchored by a strong performance from Jennifer Lawrence, although director David O. Russell's uncertain approach to its fascinating fact-based tale only sporadically sparks bursts of the titular emotion. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A story of a family across four generations, centered on the girl who becomes the woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Facing betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, Joy becomes a true boss of family and enterprise. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy's inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces.

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Critic Reviews for Joy

All Critics (272) | Top Critics (75) | Fresh (163) | Rotten (109)

  • Joy pursues a number of ill-fitting narrative detours that detract from the fascinating story that should be at the core of the movie. While I was rooting for the film-and for Joy herself - ultimately it felt like the film missed a key opportunity.

    February 9, 2021 | Full Review…
  • This optimistic, often amusing story is a Lawrence show all the way as she flies the flag for feminism, entrepreneurship and family without missing a beat.

    August 15, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Oh Mr. Russell, you're nothing if not predictable.

    September 1, 2017 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • I love the expedition that this wonderfully complex heroine is on, watching her use her intelligence to get what she wants out of life is gloriously gratifying.

    August 16, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • I am a huge Jennifer Lawrence fan -- I think she is an intuitive and smart actress -- and it's great that she's been given a part this meaty to sink her teeth into. And I get why Russell cast her... But boy oh boy, is she miscast.

    June 12, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • It's a messy script, even by Russell's own lax standards; characters disappear for huge swaths of the narrative, story strands don't pay off, and big emotional beats are so overcooked they smoke up the screen.

    April 27, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Joy

  • Aug 24, 2017
    It takes a special kind of director to tell the story of a single mom trying to sell a mop that she has invented and make it anywhere close to compelling, and David O Russell is a that special kind of director. This is the third time he has teamed with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, and I hope it happens 15 more. Great use of Music, especially Buffalo Springfield's dreaming to fly during an emotional funeral scene. The film that is both uplifting in Joy's perseverance and dispiriting in the stonewalling obstacles that an ordinary person with an idea has to overcome to succeed.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2017
    No matter how much this film tries to big itself up, it's still about a woman who re-invented the mop.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2016
    http://cinephilecrocodile.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/joy-dir-david-o.html
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Jun 08, 2016
    I am a sucker for the under dog story and this film is definitely about an underdog. David O. Russell takes a unconventional and moody approach in telling the life story of Joy Magnello. But, Lawrence gets her best role since Winter's Bone and hits it out of the park.SHe has great support from Madsen, Ladd, Ramirez, Cooper and Roehm. But, De Niro calls his performance in as her father and almost ruins the film. The film can be accused of too many flashbacks that can confuse the viewer but I was invested enough and was overall satisfied. 05-30-2016
    Christopher O Super Reviewer

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