Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I have made no effort to hide my disdain for the aesthetic flattening that goes on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it has its plus side, too. Namely, it acts as a control: a film might have a pretty severe ceiling on how good and/or creative it can be, but it also has a […]

A review requested by Devin, 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! The housekeeping part first: the 1999 animated feature Adolescence of Utena (whose Japanese title more literally translates as […]

A review requested by David, 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! In the interests of having some way to start talking about FLCL (pronounced, because why the hell not, […]

CODA is unbearably cloying and contains barely a single narrative beat that isn’t an ossified cliché. Naturally, it has been greeted with rave reviews and a spirited bidding war in the wake of its opening-night premiere at the Sundance Film Festival; elevating sentimental schlock made with little more than the most functional artistry has been […]

Boys State, a documentary by Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss (who’ve worked together and apart in the world of “let’s look at this thing with a journalist’s eye” PBS-esque documentaries for years; their chief collaboration prior to this was 2014’s celebrated The Overnighters), is interesting or less-interesting for any number of different reasons, but I […]

At the dawn of the third decade of the 21st Century, I for one am ready to anoint Cartoon Saloon the finest animation studio in the world outside of Japan. The studio’s wonderful first three features – 2009’s The Secret of Kells, 2014’s Song of the Sea, 2017’s The Breadwinner – might have been enough […]

One thing that Love and Monsters cannot be accused of is a superfluity of original ideas. The film, written by Brian Duffield (of the bald-faced Alien knock-off Underwater) and Matthew Robinson (of the bald-faced everything knock-off Monster Trucks), is something of a grab bag of sci-fi and post-apocalypse narratives of every sort, especially where those three […]

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 […]

In the wake of Smiles of a Summer Night, a major international hit that had been dismissed by Swedish critics (thereby setting up a pattern that would persist for the rest of his career; my instinct is to accuse the Swedish critics of snobbery), Ingmar Bergman took a year to regroup. In the ten years […]

Insofar as the 1944 Swedish film Torment is much remembered or discussed at all, it’s because the script was written by a 24-year-old named Ingmar Bergman, who was very eagerly in those days trying to kick-start a career in cinema, or theater, or both. He was successful in these goals. And this film is a […]

Pete Davidson is a prickly, sad, and a tough person to be around. The reason I know this is that Davidson’s entire professional identity is built around defining himself as prickly, sad, and tough to be around. And now we have him as the lead actor in an entire semi-autobiographical feature film that he co-wrote, […]

Summer Interlude was the first film directed by Ingmar Bergman that he was entirely happy to have made. That’s enough to grab my attention, at least, and while there’s no reason we have to agree with him (filmmakers have been getting their own films wrong since the beginning), it’s still worth pondering what about the […]