Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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! First things first: form dictates that I give this film a star rating, and I want you […]

Nicole Holofcener is not a name-brand film auteur, but she really should be. Her films, which come out at a fairly steady once-every-five-years clip, are clearly the work of a single mind, tidily unifying her approach to the messy business of humanity by showing people in profound disarray through the lens of quiet, unhurried, unfussy […]

There’s absolutely no reason to expect much of The Ice Cream Truck, and maybe it’s for that reason that I found it to be such a fetching affair. In at least two very noticeable respects, the film flagrantly boasts the limitations of its teeny-weeny budget: the dialogue, particularly in outdoor scenes, has the unmissable, overly […]

The question of authorship of 1982’s Poltergeist is not going to be resolved here. It is one of the great stubbornly unanswered question of film production in modern days: whether producer/scenarist/co-writer Steven Spielberg (it is one of only three films for which he took a screenwriting credit) in fact directed the movie for which Tobe […]

1975’s The Stepford Wives has long since become one of those movies for which the twist ending of its central mystery has become the single thing that most people know about it. This is never a fair place for a work of narrative art to find itself, but it’s especially unfortunate for this film, which […]

That are certain expectations that immediately present themselves in connection with a film made at MGM in 1958, starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and directed by Vincente Minnelli, and not the least merit of Some Came Running is that it completely defies them. It’s not a musical, for one thing, though that’s a superficial […]

Years of intense critical re-evaluation, from Marxist theorists, feminist theorists, queer theorists, and structuralists, have brought the career of German emigrant Douglas Sirk to a level of respectability and significance that he was not generally accorded in the 1950s, when he was regarded as one of several nobodies churning out “women’s pictures”, and producing what […]

Mike Gibson, in contributing to the Carry On Campaign, gave me one of the richest challenges I’ve ever been privileged to receive as a writer: to explain my dislike for a generally well-regarded movie in clear, thoughtful terms, engaging with it on an honest level, finding refuge in smart argument rather than dismissive snark. Oh, […]

Justin Wiemer’s contribution to the Carry On Campaign included the desire that I should review a movie that, to put it gently, hasn’t ever been terribly much in my favor. I will honestly admit that in rewatching it for the first time in a decade, I was forced to upgrade it from “no damn good” […]

We return at last to the steady and certain decline of Alan J. Pakula, who went from intelligent producer of prestige dramas for adults in the 1960s, to director of fascinating character studies and brilliant thrillers in the 1970s, and one of the defining American filmmakers of that period, a privilege that he is never […]

It must be fairly important that Lymelife takes place in 1979, because a whole lot of energy is expended very early in the movie to make certain we understand where we are in time. And at the same time, it cannot be at all important that Lymelife takes place in 1979, because the filmmaking brothers […]

To judge from the advertisements – and even some of the reviews – you’d be forgiven for assuming that Adventureland sees director Greg Mottola returning to the goofy, dirty comedy blended with sweet nostalgia that made Superbad a big ol’ hit back in the summer of 2007. It is not. Oh my, no. No, no, […]