Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The opening sequence of Stowaway, a new science fiction thriller by director Joe Penna that’s much heavier on the “science” than “thriller”, is a top-notch bit of space travel filmmaking that calls to mind all the best examples of the form from Apollo 13 to First Man; the last sequence is ginned-up sentimental horseshit that […]

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 […]

Sometimes, consensus has it so spot-on that it’s downright gratifying to agree with what everybody else has already said on the matter. To wit: yes indeed, 1977’s The Serpent’s Egg is the worst movie Ingmar Bergman ever directed, finally toppling his 1950 make-work misfire This Can’t Happen Here from its 27-year reign of terror, if […]

A review requested by Kelleson, 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! “Adult animation” is a category so broad as to be meaningless,* but I bet if I just put […]

Anna Seghers’s 1944 novel Transit is a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of the paranoid life of refugees in Nazi-occupied Marseille in 1942, telling the story of the constant feeling of danger and despair on the part of people clustered in the last escape hatch from an increasingly locked-down Europe. Christian Petzold’s 2018 adaptation of the novel is… […]

Diane Kruger won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for In the Fade, and that’s pretty much exactly right. I don’t know if there was or wasn’t a better performance at that festival this year, but I do know that this is the kind of film that, if you’re involved in festival […]

A review requested by Andrew Johnson, 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! It is, in principle, the job of the movie critic to be objective, or at least to […]

Toni Erdmann is a two-hour and 42-minute-long comedy in German, and I foreground that fact because I feel like if I went on and on about how completely wonderful it is, and only at the end got around to mentioning those facts, you would probably consider that I was trying to play a trick on […]

There’s something undeniably medicinal about the notion of yet another film in which the psychic scars of the Holocaust play out in a post-war European domestic drama. Even when they are very, very good, the questions loom: what’s actually left to say about this topic? And dear God, is it at least being said in […]

A review requested by Branden, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Writer-director Wim Wenders’s The American Friend is, arguably, not a very good adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley’s Game at all: it backs off on the thriller elements considerably, alters the tone, jettisons important plot details and changes […]

Once upon a time (the rumor goes), two sisters both loved and lusted after important 18th Century German author/critic Friedrich Schiller (Florian Stetter), and it’s at this point that we perhaps tense up a little bit in regards to Beloved Sisters, recalling all of the other person that find Long-Dead Important Artist Better-Known By Academics […]