Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

One of the best developments of the 2010s, in the eyes of this cinephile, has been the ascendancy of Rose Byrne to the status of one of the most reliable comic actors working right now. Obviously, she’s been in some bad things, and sometimes she has been not very interesting in relatively straight dramatic roles, […]

Pondering what makes for the nadir of the showbiz biopic screenplay is a yawning chasm that we had best not peer into, lest we fall in and plunge into a rich madness that can barely be described in words. I mean, it’s only been fifteen years since Beyond the Sea, and I’m still not sure […]

I will happily concede that Downton Abbey, the motion picture, does not present itself as a fans-only experience. It does not assume you have seen any or all of Downton Abbey, the 2010-2015 television series (as I have not: the unanimous opinion of every person in my life who has seen it – Series 1 […]

The mid-budget serious prestige drama has become an endangered species in 2010s cinema, we all know this. It’s a shame, but it has at least one positive benefit, which is that classic Oscarbait has become less common over the past few years. Oh, there are still the usual cradle-to-grave biopics and literary adaptations and Commentaries […]

The only word to describe The Peanut Butter Falcon is “nice”. I use the word “only” literally. Niceness is the film’s defining characteristic: it was made for nice reasons, it is nice to its characters (who are nice people), it is nice to its audience. It is not in any way interesting. It feels like […]

I will, with some mystified sadness, credit Don’t Let Go with showing me one thing I wouldn’t have necessarily expected to see: it turns out that you can assemble a cast that is approximately 50% comprised of David Oyelowo, Alfred Molina, Mykelti Williamson, and Brian Tyree Henry, and still have absolutely nothing worth watching in […]

Sequels that are really more like unrelated entries in an anthology series are nothing new at all, especially in the horror & thriller genres, so the fact that 47 Meters Down: Uncaged has absolutely not one blessed thing to do with 47 Meters Down, the banal shark film from 2017, is not surprising. That it […]

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a misnomer twice over. First, the onscreen title treatment and all of the advertising material state, clear as day, The Angry 2 Birds Movie. Second, the birds in this one are not angry. But I imagine that The Birds with Depression Movie would sell fewer tickets. As you undoubtedly […]

I have no intention of ranking the …Has Fallen films. They haven’t earned that. You rank things because it is fun to think about their relative merits, not their relative flaws; one could as well rank one’s sinus infections as rank the …Has Fallen films. But I will, albeit sullenly, hazard the quasi-praise that Angel […]

“I like movies. Old ones. Back when they knew what they were doing,” says Ed Hemsler (John Lithgow), star of The Tomorrow Man, and you know what? I totally agree with that. Also, if you want a really clear-cut example of the kind of movie that gets made now, when they don’t know what they’re […]

So, his name is Stu, and he drives an Uber. This really is the sum total of what what qualifies for wit in Stuber, a deeply unsatisfying movie that typifies almost everything wrong with comedies in modern American cinema, save one: it appears to have a proper screenplay, by Tripper Clancy, and not just a […]

Part of the Summer 2019 Netflix Jubilee I can think of one thing that’s interesting to me about Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil and Vile, a heavy hitter at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival that ended up as one of Netflix’s biggest releases of the year. Namely, it provides an especially clear demonstration of the truth […]