Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I admire The Aeronauts for its purity. This not a movie that does anything. It’s a movie that seems to exist because somewhere along the line, a producer or writer or director (here, Tom Harper is all three, which means it’s probably safe to blame him) heard about how 19th Century scientists figured out a […]

The Shining, the motion picture from 1980, is better than The Shining, the novel from 1977, but I will concede the point that the latter is an awfully good read even so, one of the best books ever written by Stephen King. Meanwhile, Doctor Sleep, the 2013 sequel to the 1977 novel (and pointedly not […]

It’s all kind of right there in the concept of Last Christmas. No, no, not the plot, which is muddy and overdone but basically the standard holiday season romantic boilerplate: she’s a Scrooge, he’s guileless and charming, and he eventually forces her to open up to the spirit of loving and giving and so on […]

The Addams family has existed in multiple forms, but the three big ones that have made the most impact on culture are, in order, the New Yorker cartoons drawn by Charles Addams across several decades in the middle of the 20th Century, the 1964-’66 television sitcom that gave the characters names and an undying theme […]

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 […]