Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Insofar as we should always sit up and take notice when a major film director produces an obviously intimate and personal work, then yes, we should absolute bow in the direction of Licorice Pizza. The ninth feature directed by Paul Thomas Anderson – who is, by any measure, a major director – isn’t a work […]

It was, I believe, my father who introduced me to the phrase “he thinks his shit don’t stink” as a pithy way of denigrating the kind of person who is arrogantly convinced of their righteous infallibility. I will not say of writer-director Adam McKay, and his newest film, Don’t Look Up, that he thinks his […]

If one is adapting the work of comic book artist and author Jack Kirby, particularly the era of Jack Kirby when he was obsessed with Chariots of the Gods and trying to create extraordinary new cosmologies for first the DC and then the Marvel universe, I think the obviously correct thing to do would be […]

The Suicide Squad is one of the most pleasantly “that was exactly the movie I assumed it would be” movies in ages. That is to say: it has always been very clear that it would be better than 2016’s Suicide Squad, to which it is a very vaguely-related sequel. It has also always been very […]

Notwithstanding its title, one of the most acutely generic and forgettable (not to mention, inapt) I have encountered in an age, No Sudden Move is a triumph of writing, with a hell of a script by Ed Solomon that’s as good as any that director Steven Soderbergh has worked with in a good ten or […]

The mash-up at the heart of Breaking News in Yuba County makes perfect sense, even if the results are terrible. The film takes the lacerating cynicism of Gus Van Sant’s 1995 newsmedia satire To Die For and mixes it in with the “several idiots trying to run several different cons; violent farce ensues” of Joel […]

A review requested by Kevin, 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! I liked I ♥ Huckabees in 2004, and would most likely have given it a 4/5 review then; […]

On paper, The Personal History of David Copperfield does everything right. The first feature film adaptation of Charles Dickens’s 1849-’50 novel in a half century is both clearly in love with the source material (just check out that title, which at least reminds us that most Dickens novels technically have much longer names than we […]

Ingmar Bergman once suggested, I do not know how seriously, that his choice in the early summer of 1955 was between two things: making a lightweight comedy for Svensk Filmindustri, or killing himself. Now, I shouldn’t think that his professional situation was as bad as all that – his position with Malmö City Theatre was […]

Worse films have won the Best Picture Oscar than 1933’s Cavalcade, though not many. I think there is a real argument to be made, though, that it is the most defective movie to win that award. Sure, 1929’s The Broadway Melody and 1931’s Cimarron are both weaker technically, with their janky early sound hiccups, and […]

To talk about Knives Out in any remotely sensible way, I’m going to have to tell you something that happens about one-quarter of the way through the 130-minute movie. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem at all – the convention I have always followed is that spoilers are things that happen in the second half […]

Midway is an English-language film financed substantially with Chinese money, directed by a German, about one of the defining American victories of World War II. If you’re thinking that means it’s probably a muddle, I have good news: you’re not wrong. We could put it another way: you know how Roland Emmerich has kind of […]