Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Producer-writer James Cameron has been nurturing a screen adaptation of Kishiro Yukito’s manga series Battle Angel Alita almost since it was first translated into English in the 1990s. And this is perhaps why Alita: Battle Angel – the every-so-slightly-worse-named feature that has finally emerged from that years-long dream – feels so much like a film […]

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is, I am deeply unhappy to report, a bit better than you should expect of the fourth movie in a franchise of animated comedies for children that double as toy commercials. I am unhappy to report this, because 2015’s The Lego Movie wasn’t “better than you should expect”; […]

Like many of you, I greatly enjoy John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2. Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here, and assume that those of you who agree with me – and for that matter, those of you who do not – probably do not spend much of your time thinking, […]

The general tenor of reviews of Glass suggest that, after a two-film renaissance consisting of 2015’s The Visit and 2017’s Split, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan is up to his bad old tricks again. But I don’t know, I think that this actually is a return to form: sharp-looking movies with with an elegantly classical visual […]

Aquaman is the dorkiest fucking movie. I think I slightly loved it. This is a film that luxuriates in all of the absolute dumbest bullshit of superhero comics: the overwrought dialogue in which words like Cylinder and Trench are repeatedly declaimed with unmistakable Capital Letters; unbelievably squirrelly concept like sharks with laser cannons on their […]

Previously reviewed at the Film Experience Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a joyful, celebratory movie. I cannot name another superhero movie in the 40 years since Superman invented the modern version of the genre that has so perfectly captured the free-floating, whiz-bang, everything-is-possible delight of comic books. This is the movie version of a child […]

Tom Hardy’s ever-increasing collection of accents – you might love ’em, you might hate ’em, but you sure as hell can’t deny that he sure as hell commits to ’em. I had not even though to live in hope that there might come a day when Hardy would pull up a bigger, loopier, more vivaciously […]

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. This week: in addition to being the best DC superhero team movie ever released to theaters, Teen Titans Go! To the […]

By all means, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a goofy and dumb kids’ movie. But there’s goofy and dumb, and then there’s Goofy and Dumb, and there’s something positively dazzling about how much inspiration screenwriters Aaron Horvath (who co-directs with Peter Rida Michail) & Michael Jelenic – also the creators of Teen Titans […]

Over the course of 19 features, the interconnected productions of Marvel Studios have perfected the art of quality control: there is an extremely narrow band of not-too-good and not-too-bad that the films consistently hit. But there’s never been a point when the quality was quite as controlled as with Film #20 in the Marvel Cinematic […]

There’s an elegant symmetry at play here. One could argue, I’d say with very little effort, that no superhero movie released since The Incredibles debuted in November 2004, has improved upon it.* And now, finally, something has, and it’s Incredibles 2, a very long-delayed follow-up that’s also one of the most wholly satisfying sequels in… […]

I have mentioned, once or twice in the past, my theory that superhero franchises are uniquely likely to produce sequels that improve upon their predecessor. And I’ll stick by it, while noting with some annoyance that the 2010s most visible superhero franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, seems largely resistant to this trend. For here we […]