Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Kirsten Johnson’s 2016 feature-length documentary Cameraperson is one of the great non-fiction films of the last decade, a personal memoir that doubles as an inquiry into the “meaning” produced by the photographic moving image. For a while, it seems like her follow-up, Dick Johnson Is Dead, will end up splashing in similar thematic waters, as […]

I have noted many a time that it is a particular privilege of genre films to comment on society, politics, and humanity much more craftily than the blunt-force lecture of more traditional message movies, but there’s no reason they can’t be pretty damn blunt themselves. And so it is with La Llorona, a Guatemalan film […]

To give credit where it’s due, Sound of Metal gives you a lot of movie for the money: three movies, in fact, by my reckoning. And the first two of them even fit together pretty smoothly. What this third, aberrant movie means for the whole is something we’ll get to a bit later, although I […]

A review requested by Martha, 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! There aren’t too many formulations that make me instantaneously suspicious of a movie more than A) a story […]

2016’s The Boy isn’t a very good movie, but for a horror movie released in January during the 2010s, it’s pretty darned good. For a January horror movie directed by William Brent Bell, who perpetrated 2012’s inhumanly bad The Devil Inside, it’s an I’ll-be-god-damned miracle sent down from the Lord Christ on fucking high. More […]

Pablo Larraín, probably the most prominent Chilean director in the world right now, has at this point directed eight feature films. Most of these are period films; most of these are explicitly about politics; most of them have a certain performative sense of irony. His eighth and newest film, Ema falls into not one of […]

Every film director in the history of the medium has made, or will have made, their final film. Most of them scrape out some dumb nonsense, the kind of half-assed project that a fading, aging artist can get financed. The lucky ones are able to do so at least semi-knowingly, ending their career on a […]

For what would prove to be the final film of his self-imposed exile in West Germany, Ingmar Bergman wanted to finally honor the cinema of his host country, rather than keep making quasi-Swedish chamber dramas as if nothing had changed but the address of his studio. And indeed, that is very much what he ended […]

One cannot grapple with 1978 Autumn Sonata, not in any of the ways it’s doing pretty much anything, without going straight to the most blazingly obvious. This is, before it is anything else, the single collaboration between the two most internationally famous representatives of the Swedish film industry,* the one where iconic AAA-level Hollywood movie […]

It is tempting, easy, and maybe even accurate to describe Shirley, director Josephine Becker and screenwriter Sarah Gubbins’s adaptation of Susan Scarf Merrell’s 2014 novel, as a biopic of Shirley Jackson. But it is not by any stretch of the imagination an accurate one. To be scrupulously fair, it does not pretend to be; it’s […]

As we all know, Ingmar Bergman directed two television miniseries that were also cut down to feature length for theatrical release: Scenes from a Marriage and Fanny and Alexander. What is surely less-known is that, in between the two of them, he made another one. This is Face to Face, which aired on Swedish television […]

By Jaysus, is Wild Mountain Thyme a great piece of shite. Sure, and never did I see a film about Ireland and the Irish that was so desperately addicted to the most revolting cartoon stereotypes – in comparison The Quiet Man looks like a documentary, Waking Ned looks like guttural neorealism, and that episode of […]