Writer-director David O. Russell reteams with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro (after 2012's Silver Linings Playbook and 2013's American Hustle) for this comedic biopic, based on the life of Joy Mangano – inventor and founder of a family business dynasty that has raked in over $1 billion in sales.

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Flicks Review

From The Fighter onwards, David O. Russell’s films have felt increasingly similar, focusing on prestige actors giving candid performances, and an emphasis on character over plot. His latest, Joy, takes this approach to its extreme, relying on the star power of Jennifer Lawrence and some whiz-bang filmmaking to distract from the fact that not much is actually happening.... More

And it mostly works. At the very least, it’s far more entertaining than a story about the inventor of a mop has any right to be. Lawrence has ample star power, the pace is breezy, and Russell invests even the most mundane scenes with energy. He’s at his best when allowing himself to obey his weirder impulses, like creating a 60s soap opera within the world of the film.

But while Joy is top-notch filmmaking all round, it never quite overcomes a threadbare plot, which falls back on cliche and contrivance far too often in the 2nd half. It feels like Russell is aiming for profundity but can’t make it stick, no matter how well he can shoot a montage or choose a pop song.

The cast of top-tier actors all do great work, especially given they’re often discussing mop manufacturing. It’s admirable to tell stories about the struggles of everyday people, a subject we see less and less of in movies, but when Joy begins with the title card ‘Inspired by true stories of daring women’, it begs the question: surely there were more daring stories to tell?Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 13 ratings, 10 reviews
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If you think (and you should!) that women aren't represented strongly in cinema, then Joy is the film for you.

Jennifer Lawrence plays strong female lead in this story about a woman's drive to invent, create, and win.

David O'Russell's starting team of Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro are back in this films arc of one woman's success against the odds.

There are plenty of laughs to be had in this drama and a fun soundtrack (typical of Russell) to make this story one heck of a... More ride.

Not one of his best, and had a hard task following Silver Linings Playbook, but a great addition to Russell's and Lawrence's filmography.Hide

BY PeterS superstar

Jennifer Lawrence brings home the bacon on this (real life) story of the American Dream in action. This has to be the best movie I've seen all year.

Joy is so frustratingly languid. It's as though everyone was directed to speak and move as if through syrup. Jennifer Lawrence is forever amazing though. Her performance proved that we'll all wait with baited breath to watch her blink.

BY Deb superstar

I get the feeling Joy's sister and Dad and friend might have a different story and I thought the almost reverential narration from her grandmother was a little OTT but if you run a business or you've ever tried to then you'll relate to this movie. I enjoyed it, it was told in a quirky way and the acting and character roles were highly entertaining.

BY SCshiers lister

lost me in a few places but not a bad flick.

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The Press Reviews

63% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • The ringmaster of The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle seems to have mellowed a little, which means fewer outright belly laughs, but a more layered and involving emotional landscape. Full Review

  • Lawrence is gritty, real and totally genuine. And, after ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘Carol’, here’s another film that passes the Bechdel Test for proper female characters with flying colours. Full Review

  • Keeps firing on all cylinders in the manner of the writer-director's previous few outings. Full Review

  • Another dazzling Jennifer Lawrence performance anchors a blue-collar parable that boasts some inspired moments but never quite gels. Full Review

  • There is a lot of story to be covered throughout Joy. And being a story that is principally concerned with making sales, the film owes everything to Lawrence's proven ability to seal a deal when the acting chips are down. Full Review

  • Devoid of special effects, but supercharged through the wit of its writing, the richness of its characterisation, and the evangelical profundity of its subtext, this film about one truly amazing woman rates as an eye-popping, breathtaking achievement. Full Review

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