Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Ask me to make a snap judgment, and I think I might very well say that 1983 is the worst single year in the history of American cinema. I’d also say that the 1983 Academy Awards, notwithstanding the gratifying overperformance of Ingmar Bergman’s monumental Fanny and Alexander (four wins on six nominations, for a subtitled […]

There has been many a horror film to be completely saved through the intervention of nothing other than a really terrific, atmospheric location. You Should Have Left is not one of these. To be sure, the location is terrific, an ultramodern McMansion with razor-sharp clean lines, tastefully austere appointments, and a profoundly inorganic hostility to […]

Later in life,when Ingmar Bergman would speak of his earliest films, it was generally to crap all over them. It seems to me that, within that cluster of movies, 1947’s A Ship to India (adapted from a play by Martin Söderhjelm) is the one that he would discuss with the most open hostility, referring to […]

Oh, how very clearly I remember looking forward to The Ladykillers, back in the first few months of 2004! After being extremely disappointed in Intolerable Cruelty the previous fall, it felt like this was going to see the Coen brothers right the ship: it didn’t exude the same unengaged aura of “we had a gap […]

Worse films have won the Best Picture Oscar than 1933’s Cavalcade, though not many. I think there is a real argument to be made, though, that it is the most defective movie to win that award. Sure, 1929’s The Broadway Melody and 1931’s Cimarron are both weaker technically, with their janky early sound hiccups, and […]

I have a my disagreements with legendary film critic Pauline Kael, some of them fairly intense, but one thing I’ll never fault her for: she could write a hell of a sentence. And there’s no sentence of hers I co-sign more eagerly than the one that she used to start her review of Rain Man, […]

The book-length interview Hitchcock/Truffaut (one of the greatest texts about how filmmakers make films that you will ever read), was first published in 1966, at which point Alfred Hitchcock’s newest film was Torn Curtain, from that summer. He didn’t have very much to say about it to François Truffaut, skimming over a few sequences, point […]

Broadly speaking, writer-director-producer Tyler Perry makes two kinds of feature films: funny ones that are awful, and serious ones that can, from time to time,be okay. The last serious one was Acrimony in 2018, and before that was Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor in 2013, both of which break that general pattern by being […]

The most interesting thing I could come up with for The Last Thing He Wanted, a movie whose main thing is that it’s not interesting in any way, is that I’m pretty sure Anne Hathaway isn’t wearing any make-up for most of it. Or at least, she’s wearing make-up that’s designed to make her look […]

Sonic the Hedgehog is so deeply adequate that it’s almost hostile. The film comes fully predigested, with every single bit of its plot, every character beat, every gag telegraphing itself and its intended response; it is the kind movie for which the existence of an independent, thinking audience seems almost like an unnecessary complication to […]

A review requested by Not Fenimore, 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! So here we are, face-to-face with the all-time worst winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. […]

Of all the major American animation studios to have dominated computer animation in the 21st Century, Blue Sky Studios has almost always had to settle for being the scrappy, hopeless one. And this has only become more pronounced since the 2019 takeover of 20th Century Fox by the Walt Disney Company, which makes Blue Sky […]