Joy Review Roundup: Did Critics Like the New Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Movie?

The actors also starred together in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and Serena

By Corinne Heller Dec 23, 2015 9:21 PMTags
Jennifer Lawrence, JoyTwentieth Century Fox

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reunite for yet another movie, Joy, set for release on Christmas Day.

In the film, the fourth the two have starred in together, Lawrence, 25, plays a divorced mother of two who invents a device called the Miracle Mop and creates a business empire. Cooper, 40, plays a Home Shopping Network executive who helps her become famous. The actress has received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.

Joy was helmed by David O. Russell, who directed both actors in Silver Linings Playbook, which earned Lawrence an Oscar, and American Hustle. The stars also both appeared in the movie Serena.

Joy also stars Robert De NiroÉdgar Ramírez and Isabella Rossellini.

Check out what five critics said about Joy.

1. Rolling Stone's Peter Travers gives the movie 2.5 out of four stars.

"It brings out the best in Russell and Lawrence to show Joy fighting to retain her humor and humanity in a world of crass commercialism. But there's no teeth in Russell's bite this time," he says. "His admiration for Joy has blurred his vision. And he lets the climactic scenes of empire building drown the film in a sea of clichés. Sadly, Russell's movie is not a joy forever. Happily, Lawrence is."

2. IGN Movies' Josh Lasser also did not seem that impressed.

"Rather than playing out like anything remotely resembling a true story, Joy is much more like a plot out of one of Joy's mother's soaps," he says. "It is foolishly over the top in its establishing the problems for the main character, and Joy's overcoming the obstacles she encounters is not just miraculous, but leads to a life of greater wealth and happiness than she could possibly have ever dreamed. And, just like those soaps, the movie is entertaining at times, ludicrous at times, and utterly disposable."

Twentieth Century Fox

3. The Chicago Sun-Times' Richard Roeper gives Joy three out of four stars.

"Joy is a mixed bag—part dark comedy, part dysfunctional family study, part inspirational tale—and it ends about 15 minutes after it could have ended," he says. "It's not in the same league as Playbook or Hustle, but thanks to some memorable set pieces and the best performance by Jennifer Lawrence since her breakout role in Winter's Bone, the sometimes-bumpy journey is worth your investment."

4.'s Joshua Starnes gives the movie a score of four out of 10.

"It is genuinely refreshing to see a film so thoroughly committed to the idea of the inner life of an adult woman whose hopes and dreams have nothing to do with meeting a man or getting married and where no romantic subplot ties into her resolution," he said. "There is definitely a need for such films but Joy is not one of them. Mostly it's a slog, offering few surprises and doing little to live up to its title or aspirations."

5.'s Sean O'Connell gives Joy 3.5 out of five stars.

"Joy is enjoyable, particularly if you buy into Russell's brand of erratic, homespun dysfunction, carried on the broad shoulders of his favorite leading lady," he says. "It can't be undersold how fantastic Lawrence is in this movie, almost miraculously weaving an entrepreneurial master class with a grit and determination that's far more mature than her age (25) suggests she can play."

"Something tells me both Russell and Lawrence realize that they could have created something wonderful this time out if they stepped back, let it breathe for a bit, and took a little more time hammering out a cleaner script," he adds. "Can't wait to see what they do next."