Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Annihilation feels like it might be the most Alex Garland thing that Alex Garland has written. The writer’s sixth screenplay – the second that he has directed – is the embodiment of all his most characteristic traits: it is far more interested in ideas than characters, it’s infatuated with the scientific processes at the heart […]

Let us be honest: Early Man is a little bit dumb. Or it is, at any rate, so unbelievably silly that it comes off as dumb, albeit dumb on purpose. The latest film produced by the great Bristol-based Aardman Animations, and the first feature directed by the studio’s creative soul Nick Park since 2005’s Wallace […]

A review requested by Gabe, with thanks to 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! There is, in Shakespeare criticism, an inconsistently-applied and vaguely-defined term, “problem play”, which basically means that nobody knows […]

It is easy, and usually ignorant as hell, for the Western critic to declare of any fantasy-tinged anime feature from Japan, “why, that reminds me of Studio Ghibli!”, but in the case of Mary and the Witch’s Flower, that resemblance is less a matter of cultural bias than of distinct, definite intent. This is, in […]

First things first: Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Kevin Hart, in that order, are the whole set of reasons to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. If none of those names stir any kind of pleasure in your heart, or worse still, if those names raise your hackles, it’s probably safest to ignore […]

Three cheers for conceptual integrity: the animated feature My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea is a nigh-perfect marriage of style and narrative content, bringing to life the bored apocalyptic fantasies of a bookish, smart, socially inept high school boy of 16, who takes pleasure in casting himself as the hero and his social […]

There’s nothing too sensitive in here, spoiler-wise, but there’s not nothing. I will try to warn you any time I talk about that occurs after the first 20 minutes or so. The obvious praise first: Star Wars: The Last Jedi swings for the fences, and of course that’s something to be grateful for. Particularly for […]

“These films have a peculiar and at times indefinable whiff of the ersatz”, I once said about films made for conservative, fundamentalist Christian audiences on mainstream models, and while I was right, I got lucky. You don’t know from ersatz until you’ve seen The Star, which is on the one hand a studio-funded “faith audience” […]

Exhibit No. whatever in the continued softening of Pixar Animation Studios: Coco, the company’s 19th feature film in 22 years, and a film that would be the pride and joy of literally any other American animation studio. And yet even after so many years of such unexceptionally fine output, I keep wanting them to still […]

A review requested by Chere Evans, with thanks to 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 word “weird” is among the vaguest and therefore least useful terms in art criticism. It is […]

So, with Thor: Ragnarok, we finally have a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe directed by a no-two-ways-about-it Great Director. And that’s a subjective enough claim, of course; we do after all live in a world where people will earnestly defend Kenneth Branagh, who helmed the first Thor an unfathomably long six and a half […]

They tell me that one of the major changes between the television series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the spin-off theatrical feature My Little Pony: The Movie is that the film has substantially more polished animation. That could easily be the case, and if it is… oh dear. As 2017’s solitary example of […]