The Pulitzer Prize-winning critic of The Wall Street Journal, Joe Morgenstern reviews films weekly in the paper and on KCRW.
When Telluride Came To the Rose Bowl
After cancelling this year's Telluride Film Festival because of the pandemic, the festival set up shop for one night at a pop-up drive-in next to the Rose Bowl. Only one film was shown, but it was special, and beautiful--Chloé Zhao's "Nomadland."
What Are They Doing To Us?
A Netflix documentary, "The Social Dilemma," examines the myriad ways social media platforms hold our attention while they mine our minds for data and pollute them with news that ranges from trivial through questionable to flat-out counterfeit.
A Mobius Strip Of a Road Trip
Charlie Kaufman's "I'm Thinking of Ending It All" defies description but doesn't defeat it. The Netflix film starts with two people in a car on a road trip, then goes off on a trip of its own to explore matters of identity, relationships, projection...
In the Matter of Robin Williams's Death
A new documentary, "Robin's Wish," deals with the disease that took his life, but also celebrates his life, and his courage as his inner self came undone.
Heroism and Heartbreak
"Desert One," a superb documentary by Barbara Kopple, examines the 1980 special forces mission launched secretly by President Jimmy Carter in an attempt to end the Iran hostage crisis.
Through a glass glibly
In "Boys State," a documentary streaming on Apple TV+, 1,000 or so high school juniors come together in Texas for a week-long program in which they build their own state government and run for governor in mock elections. How they go about it...