Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Ana Lily Amirpour’s 2014 A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was just about every last little thing I want out of a directorial debut: technically adept and hugely gorgeous, full of left-field concepts, and just limited enough in some really obvious ways that it was easy to hope that her next one would be […]

I suspect, with absolutely nothing to back it up besides anecdotal data and hunches, that Murder on the Orient Express, from 1934, is Agatha Christie’s best-known mystery novel; or at least the best-known title to one of her mystery novels, which is the same thing as far as film producers go. And yet here we […]

Nothing says “unforced realism” more than a narratively shapeless slice-of-life snapshot of impoverished kids wandering around in beatific innocence of their own suffering; all the way back to 1946’s Shoeshine and 1948’s Bicycle Thieves, child non-actors floating in front of the camera, guileless in their moral comfort, have been a mainstay of the form. It’s […]

Idris Elba is a damned handsome man, and that’s very close to the solitary reason it’s worth paying any attention at all to The Mountain Between Us. The only other reason I could come up with was the film’s terribly beautiful cinematography, courtesy of Mandy Walker, whom I would like to see get more attention […]

It’s going to sound like I’m crabbing and bitching and pissing and moaning and harboring all sorts of ill will towards Blade Runner 2049, so let me please clarify one important thing: it’s a fine movie. And that’s already most of the battle won. Given the uncountable number of ways that a decades-later sequel to […]

A review requested by reader WBTN, with thanks for supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! The 1961 British film The Innocents – which is either a horror film about ghosts or a […]

Sight-unseen, my expectation (not unfairly, I think) was that Wind River would be a terrific screenplay with undistinguished directing holding it back. After all, the screenplay was by Taylor Sheridan, whose first film as writer was 2015’s excellent Sicario, and whose second was 2016’s sturdy, elegantly classical Hell or High Water. And the direction is […]

A review requested by Will Beckley, with thanks for donating to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. 25th Hour is a great curiosity in Spike Lee’s filmography: it feels, to watch it, like an extremely important and personal film to him, in which the director is unloading all his anxiety and anger and […]

Goddammit, but I wish A Ghost Story was a masterpiece. It comes real close. The opening half of writer-director David Lowery’s 92-minute feature is a marvel and then some, marshaling some highly idiosyncratic cinematography, sound design, and performances in the creation of a breathtakingly good exploration of different forms of existential loneliness. And the second […]

I’ll say right out that if you’re the kind of person for whom “style over substance” is a bad thing, you’ll certainly have less of a good time with Atomic Blonde than I had (and I had a very good time indeed – it’s my favorite movie of summer 2017 to date). The film is […]

It would be a blatant exaggeration to call Dunkirk an experimental film, or any such thing. But for a film with a $150 million price tag that’s been positioned as the biggest superhero-free Warner Bros. tentpole of 2017, it does just about as much experimenting as it could possibly dare. The film, on paper, is […]

First things first: the sheer weirdness of watching a director whose work up till now has all been characterised by a glacial sheen of emotional remove from her characters and their behavior retelling a story of hothouse Southern Gothic sexuality during the U.S. Civil War – and maintaining that glacial quality! – is all it […]