Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The United Kingdom has been socked by the ravages of neoliberal capitalism. Rather than serving the best interests of its subjects, the government seems to regard them as a problem to be solved or, better still, ignored. A technocratic, bureaucratic system of means-tested quasi-solutions serves to funnel human suffering into a warren of endless regulations […]

Onward is the 22nd animated feature made by Pixar Animation Studios, and thus we arrive at a numerically exciting point. For 2010’s Toy Story 3, the last movie in that company’s virtually uninterrupted early string of medium-defining computer animated films, was their 11th feature, which means they have now been a company that makes generally […]

It’s early yet, but I wouldn’t be even a little bit surprised if The Lodge ends up being the most frustrating film I see in 2020. The film starts off amazingly well, with some unexpected and slithery character work, handing off the storytelling perspective from one character to another with absolutely no finesse, but so […]

The vexing problem of movies adapted from the work of the iconic pulp horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is by no means news. The man’s go-to writing tic was “and then I saw something that defied both physics and optics, and just thinking about describing its appearance would surely cost me the final thread of my […]

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 Éric 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 […]