Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Intermittently throughout the summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to a major new release. This week: David Lowery and A24 have brought us a moody art-film version of most beloved of 14th Century romances in the form […]

Black Widow is, on balance, a largely blank experience: devoid of anything particularly obnoxious other than a 133-minute running time that it seems to view as an obligation rather than an opportunity for expansive storytelling, pretty formulaic in every single element of its storytelling, packed with hollow action scenes that don’t hurt to watch, nor […]

“Why didn’t you make this other movie I would have liked better, instead of the movie you did make?” is one of the shabbiest angles a film critic can ever play, and I do not deny that in my time I have played it, to my shame. But it’s rare to find a film that […]

More than any American animation studio that exists, one gets the feeling that Pixar Animation Studios would love it very much for us to compare all of their movies to the work of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, and especially that studio’s co-founder and most prolific director, Miyazaki Hayao. So first things first: congratulations to Luca, the […]

If there is one nice thing I can say about the threateningly-titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw – and I do think it is just the one thing – it’s that this represents a much braver attempt to haul the old Saw franchise back into the public eye than the last one. 2017’s Jigsaw was a […]

Whatever one things of the seven films to date that make up the Conjuring Universe – I admire their guileless commitment to the “jump out and say boo!” qualities of a good cheesy ghost story, and the thick mountains of period atmosphere they wrap that commitment in – surely we must all agree that the […]

Intermittently throughout the summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to a major new release. This week: Disney’s latest live-action branding deposit, Cruella, finds everyone’s favorite puppy-killing fashionista showing up in the flesh for the second time. The […]

I genuinely cannot think of any way in which humanity is advanced by taking an all-time magnificent psychopathic comic villain like Cruella De Vil, raving madwoman of the 1961 Walt Disney animated feature One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and giving her a sympathetic origin story. But then, I cannot think of any reason to have […]

It is very easy to root for a movie like Those Who Wish Me Dead: a curt thriller that focuses all of its stakes on seven human beings in a mostly constrained period and space, serious in tone without going up its own ass about it, built around a proper movie star, and best of […]

There is very little inherently interesting about Things Heard & Seen, a movie about which the strongest emotional response I have had is frustration at the almost gravitational pull that I have towards typing out the title as Things Seen & Heard, having to bodily force myself on the right track every time.  Or that […]

I’m no purist. I don’t think there are all that many things you need to include in a film adaption of the long-running video game series Mortal Kombat. While the games have a fairly involved overarching story line, I don’t really think most players are that aware of what it is, and anyway it’s been […]

I have never read Patrick Ness’s 2008 YA novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, the source material for the feature film Chaos Walking (the movie takes its title form the overall series of which the book was the first part). Indeed, until a day ago, I had never heard of The Knife of Never […]