Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I’ve already announced my intention that as I work through the early films of director Ingmar Bergman, I’m going to avoid looking too far ahead to his better-known later films. But even if that wasn’t the official plan, I’m not sure that I’d have any other option in dealing with his second feature, and one […]

The first question about 2003’s Intolerable Cruelty to tackle is, why in God’s name did the Coen brothers make it? Their tenth feature as co-directors (and the last one which Joel took sole official credit for directing and Ethan for producing – that is, Ethan was credited along with Brian Grazer, but I hope you […]

Fred Zinnemann is the epitome of a certain kind of film director. He was a workhorse – not a hack, not somebody who’d just show up and do the job in the most uninspired way, but somebody who still did obviously view it as a job. There’s nothing flashy in a Zinnemann film, but they’re […]

What is cinema? We can speak of its technical aspects: cinema is a medium in which still images (often, but not always photographic in nature) are shown at a fast enough rate to create the illusion of movement. Cinema is a medium of montage, in which the creator shows the viewer a single image followed […]

Broadly speaking, writer-director-producer Tyler Perry makes two kinds of feature films: funny ones that are awful, and serious ones that can, from time to time,be okay. The last serious one was Acrimony in 2018, and before that was Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor in 2013, both of which break that general pattern by being […]

There is one truly sublime moment in Just Mercy, near the beginning. Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan), a legal intern on the verge of taking the bar, has been sent to meet with Henry (J. Alphonse Nicholson), a young man of about Bryan’s age on death row, to give him the news that there is […]

A review requested by Julia, 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 “movies that unnecessarily fall flat on their asses thanks to just one single massive flaw” hall […]

Ultimately, On the Basis of Sex is exactly the thing it most evidently appears to be: a paint-by-numbers biopic that rewards its audience for having politics more socially progressive than people had 50 years ago, and which was clearly aiming for Oscar glory until the distributor figured out far enough in advance that it was […]

2014’s God’s Not Dead has a loopy, auto-erotic concept that makes no sense, but I can vaguely see how, if you were so deep in the culture war trenches that you needed binoculars to see daylight, it might seem like its story of hostile academics trying to humiliate the Christ out of their students speaks […]

Typically, Paths of Glory is described as an anti-war movie, but this is accurate only to a degree. It is, certainly, a movie that has fairly intense negative feelings about the act of warfare and what it does to the people fighting in them, with American cinema’s first really horrifying depiction of what was once […]

The newly-created American Film Company, in the end credits of its very first feature, The Conspirator, announces its intentions to oversee the creation of “entertaining, engaging, and historically accurate” movies about great events in U.S. history, and this first effort comes so damn close. It is, as far as my limited expertise suggests, more than […]

In so many ways, Conviction is a terribly defective movie, far above and beyond the ordinary ways that we already expect prestige season movies based on true stories about tremendous people doing inspirational things. Two central performances that are entirely better than the script deserves – it’s by Pamela Gray, whose last produced film eleven […]