Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There is certainly a very good film within Better Days. Arguably, in fact, there are three: a story about high school bullying, a story about the high pressure put upon teenagers to perform well academically, and a love story about two teenaged outsiders finding strength in each other’s presence. It’s not very hard to see […]

The film that has been released in the United States and the United Kingdom as [The] Iron Mask, with the article disappearing if you (like me) are west of the Atlantic – that banal little title covering up a truly dumbfounding number of AKAs in at least English and Russian including Viy 2, Journey to […]

A finalist in the latest round of voting in the poll to select what 2020 arthouse film I should watch and review next. Vote in that and the other polls if you want to control my, and the website’s fate To have made one of the most sublimely beautiful urban-set movies of a decade is […]

“The feature film directorial debut of former superstar Disney animator Glen Keane” cannot possibly help but be a big deal, even if it’s not a big deal. Apologies for trying to be cryptic right out of the gate, but I’m doing it with a purpose: the unfortunately reality is that Over the Moon – the […]

You might say, if you were a terrible person with a weakness for cheap wordplay, that Shadow is an anti-Hero. It is the work of director Zhang Yimou, one of the most celebrated directors in the world during the 1990s for his delicate character dramas in recent historical settings (the likes of 1990’s Ju Dou, […]

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! It is entirely possible that Hero is the single most beautiful film of the 2000s. I’m not making […]

Recently, in reviewing the 14-hour La Flor, I suggested that most films that are very, very long achieve their great length in part by trying to make themselves deliberately unpleasant and hard to watch. Here we have a perfect case in point: An Elephant Sitting Still is three hours and 54 minutes long (so let’s […]

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 […]

Nothing about Abominable is even mildly surprising (unless it’s that an English-language movie made by American creators and mostly at an American animation studio should be set in China and have a female protagonist, and neither of these facts are even briefly commented upon), which is kind of a great thing. It doesn’t feel like […]

I have said before and will, I am entirely sure, have reason to say it again: nothing in the whole world of filmmaking in the 2010s interests me as much as the Chinese film industry’s concerted efforts to establish itself as an internationally competitive alternative to Hollywood, concurrent with the swift rise of that country’s […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. The week just ended: Keanu Reeves has spent some 20 years now as a sometimes hand-to-hand combat god, as John Wick: […]

It is well to avoid making absolute statements, especially absolute statements about weirdly idiosyncratic and fundamentally unquantifiable things, but I’m feeling feisty. So here goes: I think it’s entirely likely that the most interesting and important thing happening to cinema anywhere in the world right now is the Chinese film industry’s attempts – largely successful […]