Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The setting for Fast Color is a world a short way into our own future where for unknown reasons it has stopped raining. Two years into this crisis, enough water remains (somehow) that all of civilization hasn’t collapsed, but it has become a precious resource as desirable as gasoline in Mad Max, and culture has […]

Joanna Hogg is one of the most interesting working directors that you most likely haven’t heard of. In the four features she’s made, starting Unrelated in 2007, she’s carved out a very peculiar but rewarding niche of crafting sedate character dramas after the fashion of Γ‰ric Rohmer, but charged with the kind of overwhelming Englishness […]

First, let’s address the misconception that seems to be all over: there haven’t been “so many” film adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 1868 novel Little Women. In the 92 years of sound cinema, there have been three: the one directed by George Cukor in 1933, the one directed by Mervyn LeRoy in 1949, and […]

The Hegelian dialectic is a concept that sometimes gives people trouble (it is also a concept that Hegel did not devise and openly derided, at least its typical formulation), but it’s not that hard to understand. There exists a condition; a thesis. The existence of this condition necessarily triggers its opposite reaction; an antithesis. The […]

All the credit in the world to Shia LaBeouf – there’s a phrase that makes me feel unwell just typing it out – for how unfathomably hard it must have been to write and then act in Honey Boy. The film is a barely-disguised autobiography drawing a bright, bold line from LaBeouf’s years as a […]

Tom Hanks does not look very much like Fred Rogers. Tom Hanks does not sound very much like Fred Rogers. And Tom Hanks does not move very much like Fred Rogers. Given that the new pseudo-biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has been sold almost solely on the basis of “watch with amazement as […]

Waves is an absolute disaster, morally odious on top of being aesthetically confused. But to its credit, it couldn’t be such a thoroughgoing failure if it wasn’t swinging so hard for the fences. The movie’s failure is absolutely not a failure of ambition: writer-director-editor Trey Edward Shults, making his third feature film, has approached this […]

Bong Joon-ho has been a brand-name director among cinephiles since 2006’s monster movie-cum-domestic drama The Host, and South Korean cinema’s ongoing golden age has been around for even longer, at least as far back as 2002’s Oasis, directed by Lee Chang-dong. So there’s not really any sense in which Bong’s seventh feature, Parasite, is particularly […]

Blinded by the Light is an extraordinarily nice movie. There’s a lot about it that could do with a substantial bit of tweaking, but all of its flaws come directly as a result of its niceness. And who could feel too very bad about that? Plenty of movies have flaws because they’re cynically commercial, or […]

Intermittently 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 Don’t Let Go, a cop is able to communicate across time with a dead relative and feed her the […]

When one of the greatest working directors of actors and one of the greatest working actors collaborate on their first film together, it is extremely easy to get one’s expectations all riled up. And this much at least can’t be denied about Where’d You Go, Bernadette: Cate Blanchett (for she is the actor) is splendid, […]

The IMDb synopsis for The Art of Racing in the Rain reads as follows: “Through his bond with his owner, aspiring Formula One race car driver Denny, golden retriever Enzo learns that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life.” What this fails to clarify is […]