Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Any film as enervating as The Nightingale must be doing something right: it is one of the most upsetting, unpleasant, grueling films I have watched all year, and this is not something that happens without effort. If you consider (as I do) that the first mission of art is to trigger an emotional response in […]

The new anti-death penalty film Clemency offers no surprises; some unexpected emphases, maybe, but no surprises. And given what message movies are, and what Oscarbait is, surprises weren’t the point, of course. The only thing we can really hope for is that the execution of the not-surprises will be effective, and in this case, I […]

House of 1000 Corpses is an energetic, lively movie, but it is also a substantially dysfunctional one, better-suited for demonstrating writer-director Rob Zombie’s all-encompassing love for the horror genre than for working as an audio-visual narrative object. It’s the kind of first feature that a filmmaker needs to get out of their system so they […]

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! There is an internal crisis that probably just about every film reviewer who uses a rating scale […]

I would say at the outset that David & Nic Sheff, subjects of the biopic Beautiful Boy, are a real-life father and son (the movie is based on their respective memoirs, titled after David’s), and the suffering depicted in the movie is real-life suffering, and far be it from me to minimise any of it. It […]

A review requested by Paul Royar, 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! Palindromes isn’t merely an example of a kind of film we don’t really have any more, it […]

Far be it from me to tell a theater full of people merrily chuckling away that what they’re laughing at isn’t funny. For it was in just such a room that I saw Eighth Grade, the first feature written by Bo Burnham, and most of the crowd was having a fun time, while I felt […]

If you would know, would truly know, how good Roger Deakins is at his job, there’s now a simple way to demonstrate it. Just take any daytime exterior shot from the 2015 Sicario, and compare it to any daytime exterior shot from that film’s decidedly unncessary sequel Sicario: Day of the Soldado. And look, I’m […]

First, the bad news: Hereditary isn’t by any means as all-time “scary” as the hype would have it (with the proviso, as usual, that one person’s “scary” is another person’s “silly” is another person’s “boring” and so on). What it is, and it’s almost as good, is distressing – a film that so persistently depicts […]

A review requested by Michael Matula, 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! Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album The Wall was accompanied by one of the most ridiculously complex tour […]

The Rider isn’t sensu stricto a biopic of its star, Brady Jandreau, but it’s a pretty fine line. Jandreau was an up-and-coming rodeo star out of South Dakota when he fell off a bronco he was riding and suffered a debilitating brain injury, and there’s not a single word of that sentence that doesn’t also […]

Chalk up another victory for the evergreen “non-Americans understand America better than Americans” genre. Lean on Pete has an English writer-director and an English producer, it was made using only British money, and it is the most clearheaded, unsentimental portrayal of the perilous life of poor Americans living outside of the social mainstream since 2016’s […]