Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

By 2001, Joel & Ethan Coen had already written and directed a free adaptation of Dashiell Hammett in the form of 1990’s Miller’s Crossing, and a riff on Raymond Chandler in the form of 1998’s The Big Lebowski. So of course they’d have to do their version of a James M. Cain story, to wrap up […]

It’s right around the 14-minute mark in 1984’s Blood Simple that Joel & Ethan Coen first become “the Coen Brothers”. It’s a short, single-take scene set in bar, and the scene starts all the way at the far end of the bar from the characters we actually care about. So the camera tracks forward, right […]

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 […]

It’s been just a little bit more than two years since Collateral Beauty barfed its way in and out of theaters, and ever since then, it feels like we’ve been living in a golden age for astonishing cinematic boondoggles.  Over the decades, the Hollywood film industry has been fine-tuned to discourage truly horrible filmmaking, and […]

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 […]

A review requested by Benjamin, 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! Double Indemnity is the noir of noirs. To be sure, there are more typical examples of the strengths […]

It’s going to sound like I’m crabbing and bitching and pissing and moaning and harboring all sorts of ill will towards Blade Runner 2049, so let me please clarify one important thing: it’s a fine movie. And that’s already most of the battle won. Given the uncountable number of ways that a decades-later sequel to […]

A review requested by manwithpetgull, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The Woman Chaser has a teeny-tiny cult following, and this confuses me. It should have an extremely large cult following. Which is a contradiction, of course, and I mean… surely you know what I mean. Just for […]

A review requested by Nik Evans, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Laura is a fucked-up movie about sex. There’s much else to say about it, virtually all of it good, but I think that’s the core of it. Movies released in America in 1944 didn’t have the […]

A review requested by Mark M, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. It can no longer be argued, as was once stated with some casual authority, that The Maltese Falcon was “the first” film noir (it was released in October, 1941, more than fours years after You Only […]

A review requested by Kaitlyn B, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. There are two great cinema masterpieces of American folklore.* Kind of. One of them is The Devil and Daniel Webster AKA All That Money Can Buy, which is based on a 1936 short story that draws […]

The development of film noir, the not-quite-a-genre that wouldn’t be named until after the fact, but which dominated American genre filmmaking in the 15 years after World War II, snakes this way and that, constantly churning and turning out new variations on a theme. But it’s still possible to pin it down on a map […]