Tabloid (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes


Tabloid (2011)



Critic Consensus: It's far from his most thought-provoking work, but Tabloid finds Errol Morris as smart, spirited, and engaging as ever.

Tabloid Photos

Movie Info

Thirty years before the antics of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears were regular gossip fodder, Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney made her mark as a tabloid staple ne plus ultra. Morris follows the salacious adventures of this beauty queen with an IQ of 168 whose single-minded devotion to the man of her dreams leads her across the globe, into jail, and onto the front page. Joyce's labyrinthine crusade for love takes her through a surreal world of kidnapping, manacled Mormons, risqué photography, magic underwear, and celestial sex-until her dream is finally realized in a cloning laboratory in Seoul, South Korea. By turns funny, strange, and disturbing, Tabloid is a vivid portrayal of a phenomenally driven woman whose romantic obsessions and delusions catapult her over the edge into scandal sheet notoriety and an unimaginable life. -- (C) IFC Films

Watch it now


Critic Reviews for Tabloid

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (55)

Operates as both an examination of the dominating media mentality at the time and an embodiment of it, no less keen on delving into the juicy details now as tabloid rags were then.

November 18, 2011 | Full Review…

Morris suggests that you can sometimes find profundity in triviality - and though Joyce condemns herself out of her own mouth, it is always possible to feel sorry for a woman whose obsession has so totally ruled her life.

November 11, 2011 | Rating: 3/5

A vivid picture of the way we lived then.

November 10, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

McKinney is no Robert McNamara, but there are lessons to be learned from this fog of sleaze.

November 10, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Morris's doc is less about What Really Happened than exploring the lifespan of one of those stories that kept on giving.

November 10, 2011 | Rating: 4/5

[Morris] tells us nothing about the prurience and gutter morality of the tabloid newspaper industry that Britons haven't heard every day and that the world, in the Murdochgate era, is now hearing likewise.

November 10, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tabloid


While the film borders sometimes on the sensationalism that it criticizes (even visibly delighting in how bizarre this whole story is), Morris finds a perfect anchor for it in the ludicrous way the tabloid media exploit anything that is crazy enough to attract readers.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

"Tabloid" is an invasive, if underwhelming, character study that follows the life of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen with a genius IQ and a penchant for histrionics. While Joyce McKinney is undoubtedly an interesting subject for this taboo documentary, the execution of Errol Morris is left wanting. The title of the film is misleading, since most of the focus lies on Joyce, and little to do with the actual media, or tabloids. Most of the film concerns cartoonish recreations of the alleged events, and interviews with McKinney and her accomplices. Her victim doesn't give his two cents, and the message of the film is very up in the air. Is Morris trying to say something about media, about the antics of this beautiful kidnapper, or is he simply displaying her for the audience to ooh and aah over? McKinney's story is interesting, but this would have worked just as well as a "Where Are They Now?" article, or as a book. This medium really wasn't necessary to express the trivialities of a former criminal even if she is entertaining to watch.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

"As Brigitte Bardot said, I gave my youth to men and my old age to dogs I can trust." A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.

Joyce McKinney was former Miss Wyoming. She became a British tabloid darling in the late 1970's when she came over to the UK and kidnapped a young man, holding him hostage. The film tells the story of McKinney's various obsessions; she became obsessed with a young Mormon missionary, but his faith was compromised and, as far as Joyce was concerned, the Mormon church stole him away from her, taking him to England to restore his faith. The levels of obsession are exposed progressively throughout the film. Joyce's fixation on this one person who she claims to love unconditionally is actually quite sad. She states late on in the film that there is only one love, and she loves the Mormon, and will love no other. This stubborn focus on one love has seen through to her old age, as she fills this love with a dog. The obsession of one love is also propagated in her love of her dog, that once dead, she spends thousands of dollars to get it cloned in South Korea. As with all Morris documentaries, this is a little gem, and is never outwardly judgemental of it's subject matter. It is a tragic tale, and whilst it has been Joyce's own choice, her strong morals are quite touching. However, strip all sympathy aside, and she is simply mental!

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Tabloid Quotes

News & Features