Wall Street Journal

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
One Night in Miami (2020) John Anderson One Night in Miami is about innocence and experience, and Ms. King, a well-known actress herself, has a cast at her disposal that is capable of enormous subtlety. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
The White Tiger (2021) Joe Morgenstern A zestful epic blessed with rapier wit, casually dazzling dialogue, gorgeous cinematography (by Paolo Carnera ) and, at the center of it all, a sensational star turn by an actor, singer and songwriter named Adarsh Gourav. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
Locked Down (2021) Joe Morgenstern What kind of movies will the pandemic inspire? How will the drama of Covid-19 be told? A harbinger has arrived, but it doesn't amount to much. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
My Little Sister (2020) Joe Morgenstern The quiet wonder of My Little Sister, Switzerland's Oscar entry, is its cumulative effect... Every moment strengthens the essence of the drama -- the bond of love between two people who came out of their mother's womb within seconds of one another. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
The Reason I Jump (2020) Joe Morgenstern Their struggle is heroic, and this superb documentary has more heroes than any blockbuster would dare to put on the same screen. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2021
Pieces of a Woman (2020) Joe Morgenstern Does the rest of the film live up to such an agonizing and yet commanding beginning? Unfortunately it does not, despite the presence of a star who manages to navigate a cluttered narrative with clarity and solemn grace. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2021
Elizabeth is Missing (2019) John Anderson Ms. Jackson has always shown herself to be an exacting and gifted artist, but Maud Horsham is the kind of role that requires much more out of a performer than just actorly craft. And that, happily, is what we get. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2021
Herself (2020) Joe Morgenstern Herself bulks far larger than any would-be blockbuster with a shriveled spirit if measured by depth of feeling, sheer delight and genuine surprise, even shock. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
The Go-Go's (2020) John Anderson As director Alison Ellwood shows in her briskly entertaining documentary -- The Go-Go's -- the band's members can explain away, with enormous charm, the naked ambition that made them the most successful "girl group" ever. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
News of the World (2020) Joe Morgenstern Tom Hanks gets the best lines in News of the World... He does them justice, as always, but his co-star, an extraordinary 12-year-old named Helena Zengel, gets the best silences. They give the film its dimension of mystery. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
Farewell Amor (2020) Joe Morgenstern One of the great strengths of Farewell Amor is its intimacy, the sense it conveys of three people close together yet emotionally distant in Walter's small, narrow Brooklyn apartment. Another strength, and a huge one, is Mr. Mwine's portrayal of Walter. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
Sylvie's Love (2020) Joe Morgenstern The pleasure of this one, partly set in a jazz milieu, is its embrace of all the conventions -- not just the melodrama and the star-crossed lovers but careerist ambition, emergent feminism, cultural pretension. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
Soul (2020) Joe Morgenstern The film juggles interesting ideas, dramatizing them with great verve and deep feeling. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2020
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Joe Morgenstern Wit has been replaced by feverish caricature, feeling by sentimentality, and Wonder Woman is left with almost nothing to do for long stretches of a very long and disjointed story. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas with Vanessa Williams (2020) John Anderson The music is the point, as is the Fitzgerald spirit (the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation was on board with the show). Visually, "Ella" might be better enjoyed while decorating, wrapping, trimming or shopping online. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Joe Morgenstern Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is the year's best movie thus far, and a fitting tribute to Chadwick Boseman. His loss is still stunning, but oh, what a legacy to leave behind. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
Promising Young Woman (2020) Joe Morgenstern Were it not for the presence of Carey Mulligan in the starring role, I'd give Promising Young Woman the shortest of shrifts as a festival of terrible acting (apart from her performance) and a stylized but airless polemic on a serious subject. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
The Art of Political Murder (2019) John Anderson The Art of Political Murder is urgent and suspenseful, even if one is aware that around its periphery exists information that, in a courtroom, would be deemed quite relevant to the case. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2020
Let Them All Talk (2020) Joe Morgenstern [Soderbergh] has made a number of features, with varying success, that were partly or wholly improvised. This one, though, feels flat and slack, with scenes that drift off oddly, or aren't there at all. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
The Midnight Sky (2020) Joe Morgenstern Mr. Clooney and his colleagues have crafted an elegant screen version of a novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton with a resonant performance at its center -- his own. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
Gunda (2020) Joe Morgenstern Pigs are smart... An improbably beautiful work of barnyard art, Gunda figures that we're smart too. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
Wolfwalkers (2020) John Anderson The film is terrific fare for kids. But the underpinnings of its fantastical story lie in tortured Irish history... Adults will be eager to see where it's all going to go. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
Ammonite (2020) Joe Morgenstern [Ammonite] is many things, all of them remarkable: a queer romance that finds passion in austerity; a biopic that strips away most details of Anning's career while honoring its spirit; and a portrait of genius thwarted by gender. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
Another Round (2020) Joe Morgenstern Drink, drinking or binge-drinking -- there's some of that too -- can't begin to convey the wild beauty and emotional depth of this film. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
The Prom (2020) Joe Morgenstern For much of its 130-minute running time the production, directed by Ryan Murphy, suffers from excessive self-delight, chronic glee and a surfeit of joyishness, along with splotches of sentimentality. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
Baby God (2020) John Anderson An unavoidably sordid but captivating story. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2020
Zappa (2020) John Anderson There's little fault that even the most hardcore fan could find with Mr. Winter's film, which accomplishes the acrobatic act of doing justice to a figure like Frank Zappa. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
My Psychedelic Love Story (2020) John Anderson [Errol Morris] has taken the mechanics of movie journalism a step further... It's not an entirely new thing, but it's a film-nerd treat and a fascinating technique, almost as fascinating as the subject herself. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
Uncle Frank (2020) John Anderson Uncle Frank feels like a memoir, and also feels extraordinarily true, and fresh, thanks to the untrammeled terrain it visits, at least in New York. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
Crazy, Not Insane (2020) John Anderson The prolific Mr. Gibney makes art out of the most unlikely subjects, and in Crazy, Not Insane his expressionist's inclinations are given full rein. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
Jiu Jitsu (2020) John Anderson Nicolas Cage has worn a lot of things on his head over the years, but the Burmese fisherman's bonnet we glimpse at the beginning of the action-adventure romp Jiu Jitsu is something new. It's one of the few things in the movie that is. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
The Last Vermeer (2019) John Anderson It's a clever gesture, but also points out what's ultimately wrong with director Dan Friedkin's postwar thriller: It knows a lot about art history and presumes we know nothing. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
Belushi (2020) John Anderson A documentary about the comedian and actor, based on interviews done with his widow, treats its subject with a scrutiny and reverence usually reserved for more serious figures. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2020
Mank (2020) Joe Morgenstern The first thing to note about Mr. Fincher's film is what immediately meets the eye. It is gorgeous -- not just eye candy but, in its radiant black-and-whiteness, graphic caviar. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2020
The Climb (2019) Joe Morgenstern It's a beautiful film, a piece of absurdism that goes straight to the heart. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2020
The Life Ahead (2020) Joe Morgenstern Instead of diffusing [Sophia Loren's] legendary features it distills her presence into another sort of beauty, stern and stirring, that befits the woman she's playing in this small but surprising film. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2020
Dark Phoenix (2019) Joe Morgenstern The spectacle is entertaining, up to a point, but even the digital wizardry wears thin, and Dark Phoenix turns into a standard-brand miasma of explosions, collisions and swirling force fields. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2020
Let Him Go (2020) Joe Morgenstern These are skilled actors, but the writing is so threadbare and the direction is so lacking in nuance that genuine dramatic energy gets lost by the wayside. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020
Proxima (2019) Joe Morgenstern Set in Germany and Russia, this multilingual feature does justice to the technology, yet operates most powerfully in the precincts of two hearts. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020
Citizen Bio (2020) John Anderson The story told is the stuff of outrageous sci-fi, at least to those of us without doctorates in biology or medicine. Fortunately for the layman... the film takes great pains to explain exactly what it's talking about and make it accessible. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
Curse of the Undead (1959) David Mermelstein With its eerie, electric-violin heavy score and noirish lighting, it casts a potent spell EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2020
The Ape (1940) David Mermelstein Boris Karloff is the prime draw in The Ape, even if this 62-minute effort, co-written by horrormeister Curt Siodmak, is largely unworthy of its star. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2020
The Face at the Window (1939) David Mermelstein A romance lies at the heart of this 65-minute potboiler, set in Belle Époque Paris and directed by George King with fine distinction drawn between the high and low life depicted. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2020
The Donut King (2020) Joe Morgenstern It's an immigrant-makes-good tale filled with uplift and downfall in equal measure, and there's no glazing over the heartbreak. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2020
City Hall (2020) Joe Morgenstern Constitutes a love letter to civic governance, and the notion of democracy, at a time when public discourse seethes with scorn for urban life. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2020
Meet Joe Black (1998) Joe Morgenstern I've never encountered such dramatic flatulence, never heard so many pregnant silences that don't deliver, never watched so many close-ups that graze on actors' faces until every last trace of expression has been devoured. EDIT
Posted Oct 26, 2020
Roald Dahl's The Witches (2020) Joe Morgenstern What was weirdly but deliciously scary has grown ponderously out of scale, even for witches at their malign worst. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2020
Rebecca (2020) Joe Morgenstern Both Ms. James and Mr. Hammer are skilled performers, as well as attractive ones, and they go through the motions of a passionate love affair, but any passion between them is indicated rather than felt. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2020
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Joe Morgenstern Sorkin's film is sometimes eloquent, and sustained for the most part by his flair for hyperverbal entertainment. Yet it also diminishes its aura of authenticity with dubious inventions, and muddles its impact by taking on more history than it can handle. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
The Sounding (2017) Joe Morgenstern Ms. Eaton's film can be trying for its messiness, challenging in its allusiveness, or precious in several spasms of ritual jubilation, but it's never less than fascinating, and often beautiful. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020