Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The one good thing about living in some godforsaken quadrant of the country where the luscious awards-season heavy hitter Call Me by Your Name took forever and then some to open is that, by the time I had my chance to catch up with it, it had already moved from “rapturous praise” to “mild backlash”, […]

A review requested by John Taylor, 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! My God, is it possible I’ve been at this reviewing thing for more than 12 years, and […]

The number of things that Beach Rats does that would ordinarily annoy the hell out of me is basically all of it. And yet. Somehow, the precise ratio of ugly-ass indie film cinematography, meandering narrative focus, and pointedly smudgy adolescent self-discovery is managed by writer-director Eliza Hittman (making her second feature; I have not seen […]

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 […]

Personal Shopper was booed at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival en route to winning the award for Best Director for Olivier Assayas, both of which are exactly right. I would be inclined to call it not merely a great film, but a very great film, and comfortably the best thing Assayas has directed since 2002’s […]

The problem with with The Handmaiden is that it starts out perfect. Just perfect, I mean, everything I want a movie to be is in there: utterly lush, can’t-stand-it-how-pretty costumes and production design that bring pre-WWII Korea to life with elegance and great vividness while also locking the film into a visual schema based on […]

A review requested by Alex, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The line on 2010’s Attenberg, established during its 2012 U.S. release in my hearing, but possibly older, is that it is a warped and weird and delectably perverse entry into the 21st Century’s tradition of demented Greek […]

The first challenge in talking about The Duke of Burgundy is describing it. I think it is a tremendously great film; but the sort of people who would be most likely to agree with me aren’t the people who’d be most easily seduced by hearing the basic details of its scenario, and the sort of […]

A review requested by David Greenwood, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. L’âge d’or, an hour-long 1930 feature, is the second of the two collaborations between France-based Spanish surrealists Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, and it is certainly less jam-packed with iconic “every film buff alive knows this […]

A review requested by Gabe P, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Spoilers are going to be crawling up and down this post like ants. If you haven’t seen Mulholland Dr., know that I give it a perfect 5/5, and if I were making a list of the […]

To the best of my knowledge, at the time of this writing, 1976’s In the Realm of the Senses has never been shown uncensored in its home country of Japan. The easy gag is to go for the “ye gods, it’s too explicit for the country that invented tentacle porn?” angle, except that glosses over […]

Take my hand – or whatever other body part you prefer – and walk with my back to the 1970s, and the Golden Age of Eurosmut. It was a time when the boundary between the glaciated art films developed from the mid-’50s onward and the new world of pornography was as thin and porous as […]