WSJ's Joe Morgenstern

Joe Morgenstern is the movie reviwer for the WSJ. His reviews are published in the Journal's Weekend Edition on fridays. I usually pick up the friday edition of the WSJ for the crossword puzzle (also located in the Weekend Edition), so I often read Mr. Morgenstern's reviews, which are always on the first page.

I confess to not being an expert in the art of the motion picture. In fact, I don't even know some of the technical terms that are bandied about by reviewers. In addition, I generally like most movies, and completely dislike very few of them (a notable exception to this last point was the movie Waiting to Exhale, one of the few movies that I actually wanted to leave the theater before it was finished.) To state it bluntly, I am completely unqualified to be a movie critic myself.

However, I don't feel inappropriate being a critic of the critics. Why are so many of them overwhelmingly negative? Is the movie industry in this day and age really in as bad a shape as the contemporary critics make it out to be? It seems to me that the critics are either looking for perfection or actually like to complain. Maybe writing a bad review makes for better press. In the case of Morgenstern, a bad review usually leads his column even if several other good reviews are included later down the page. His latest diatribe is against Ocean's 12, a movie that I have been looking forward to seeing. The problem is, after reading a bad review, it is hard to go to see the movie without thinking of the review. I keep telling myself that I'm going to avoid reading reviews alltogether, but I find myself perusing through them time after time. I have no one to blame but myself. But, I wish Mr. Morgenstern were a little bit more positive about the movies.

I was reading on a website, Metacritic, about how Mr. Morgenstern rates movies lower than the average on a consistent basis. Interestingly, people seem to find this appealing. In the comments section of the webpage, Mr. Morgenstern is praised

In contrast, I like Roger Ebert, and I usually agree with his opinion.

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