Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I’m not going to go so far as to say that Queen & Slim has the best opening sequence of any 2019 movie, though it’s good enough that that thought flickered across my mind briefly. I am going to say that it has the best opening credits sequence of any 2019 movie, perfectly timed after a […]

Not, by any means, the most important fact about Martin Scorsese’s exhaustive new biographical epic The Irishman, but to me easily the most distracting: it is not titled The Irishman. The film has been adapted by Steven Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s 2004 nonfiction novel I Heard You Paint Houses, and that is the only title […]

When Marvel blew the world apart back in 2012 with The Avengers and the creation of the most financial dominant shared universe in cinema history, two things leapt to my mind. The first thing was that DC and Warner Bros. weren’t going to be able to compete with that financially, and it would maybe be […]

Of all the characters who could get the “let’s check in on our old friends from years ago and see what they’re up to” sequel treatment, I would not have supposed that people who we last see dying in a stand-off with the cops would be good candidates. But underappreciated horror auteur Rob Zombie doesn’t […]

Hustlers is Goodfellas. It is, in fact, so very similar to Goodfellas down to some very specific points of overlap that I don’t see how it can possibly be an accident: both involve a lot of voice-over explaining how a character went from rags to riches and only had to pay their humanity in order […]

Categories: comedies, crime pictures

For some years now, director Quentin Tarantino has been maintaining that his tenth feature will also be his last. While I don’t actually believe that (artists retire when they die, no earlier), I suddenly find myself deeply hoping that he doesn’t believe it either. Or maybe that when he says that it will be “his” […]

Taking a piece of pop culture as profoundly yoked to a specific moment in cultural and social history as 1971’s Shaft and updating it for modern tastes is a fool’s game, one that has fooled people twice now. Which, I mean, if a talent as undeniable as John Singleton couldn’t crack the problem with 2000’s […]

2015’s Embrace of the Serpent, director Ciro Guerra’s third film, was a story of indigenous traditions in Colombia being corrupted and overwritten by an encounter with Westerners. It’s also one of the most remarkable sui generis films of the 2010s, a film that takes place in history but also feels outside of it; draws upon […]

The very first thing that happens in Gotti is that the camera pans across the Manhattan skyline on the far side of the river, to land on John Gotti (John Travolta), turning around to regard the camera with practiced surprise, like the host of a cooking show welcoming us to their fake house. The second […]

Years ago, a cop was assigned to infiltrate a criminal organisation in Los Angeles. Things went horribly wrong, people died who oughtn’t have, and the cop fell into a self-loathing spiral that neatly dovetailed with how much everyone in her department stopped trusting her. Now, the leader of that gang has – possibly – restarted […]

Not one solitary thing is fresh about Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and I’m not sure how far back in time you’d have to go for that statement not to be true. Even if you got as far back as 1991-1993, when the film takes place, I think people would be unimpressed by how much […]

It only takes a short while for Widows to prove to us that we’re in good hands. In point of fact, it takes until the very first cut, and the first cut comes rather sooner than we expect it to. Which is, in fact, part of how it shows us we’re in good hands – […]