Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In truth, it doesn’t matter to me that it’s a Romanian film (I tend to love Romanian films), a dark comedy (most of my favorite Romanian films are dark comedies), a story about totalitarian politics (my favorite Romanian dark comedy, 12:08 East of Bucharest, is about the nation’s history of totalitarianism), or as the cherry […]

I’m not going to go so far as to say that Queen & Slim has the best opening sequence of any 2019 movie, though it’s good enough that that thought flickered across my mind briefly. I am going to say that it has the best opening credits sequence of any 2019 movie, perfectly timed after a […]

Synonyms is French as hell, which is a bit ironic in and of itself. This is the fourth film made by Israeli director Nadav Lapid, and it’s about an Israeli man named Yoav (Tom Mercier); but it’s also Lapid’s first movie made outside of Israel, and it’s specifically about how Yoav attempts to bury his […]

Waves is an absolute disaster, morally odious on top of being aesthetically confused. But to its credit, it couldn’t be such a thoroughgoing failure if it wasn’t swinging so hard for the fences. The movie’s failure is absolutely not a failure of ambition: writer-director-editor Trey Edward Shults, making his third feature film, has approached this […]

The hook for Jojo Rabbit, and the central focal point of the advertising campaign, is that there’s little German boy in 1944, Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis), who like most ten-year-olds just wants to fit in and be admired, and in Germany in 1944, that means that Jojo wants more than anything to grow […]

Intermittently this 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 one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: Disney’s new version of The Lion King presents painstakingly animated photorealistic CGI lions milling about doing lion shit. This might […]

First published, with slight alterations, at the Film Experience. Presented now during the film’s limited release in the U.S. First things first: the Brazilian animated feature Tito and the Birds is a preposterously beautiful motion picture. The film’s style is perhaps best described as looking like a digital oil painting, with swirling smears of color […]

Ultimately, On the Basis of Sex is exactly the thing it most evidently appears to be: a paint-by-numbers biopic that rewards its audience for having politics more socially progressive than people had 50 years ago, and which was clearly aiming for Oscar glory until the distributor figured out far enough in advance that it was […]

The 2017 January release A Dog’s Purpose, based on a book by W. Bruce Cameron (who co-wrote the script with four other people, among them Cathryn Michon), and produced by Gavin Polone, is a movie in which the entire concept of the plot hinges on watching the same dog die five different times as it […]

There are individual moments of goodness littered all throughout Vice, and individual moments of badness, just like with any movie. Unluckily for the film, the moments of badness are all given pride of place, and so what might, in a happier life, have just been a moderately irritating “hip” biopic turns into one of the […]

If you have to watch one of 2018’s two dramas about the parent of a teen drug addict played by one of the young hot It Boys who co-starred in Lady Bird – and I assure you that you don’t, but let’s say that you have to – I guess the least you can say […]

The question of whether Green Book is worse on race or worse on class is a tough one. It’s at least more spectacularly bad on race; but I, for one, was unprepared for it to touch on class at all, so that came as the far uglier surprise. Either way, it’s the kind of modestly […]