Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The title character in the 2019 Russian art film Beanpole – for yes, “Beanpole” is a character’s nickname, and in most contexts that would suggest a lightly quirky dramedy, but I did say “Russian” and so you had best be gearing yourself up for some abject misery – is a veteran of the Second World […]

Part of me thinks the best thing to do is just to point to the star rating and then tell you only exactly what I knew about Shadow in the Cloud before I sat down to watch it: it’s a World War II movie starring ChloΓ« Grace Moretz as some manner of airwoman, it has […]

The great Polish director Agnieszka Holland is in the pantheon of European master filmmakers whose work we are more or less required to grapple with, if we take seriously the idea that cinema is an art form. And in this light, it’s not surprising that Mr. Jones, a political history lesson that premiered at the […]

If, as is so often said, Tom Hanks is America’s Dad, it makes perfect sense that he would, at some point, have to be involved in an American Dad Movie. And, of course, he already has, but in the case of Greyhound, his role was far more active than in such dad movies par excellence […]

The 1983 animated feature Barefoot Gen has the bad luck to suffer from being overshadowed from two different directions. First, it’s an adaptation of one of the most important manga of the 1970s, Nakazawa Keiji’s very loosely autobiographical story about a six-year-old boy living in Hiroshima at the time that residents of that city became […]

The Russian language does not have a definite article. Instead, as with most languages with the same characteristic, the difference between a generalised version of an object and this specific example of an object is largely gleaned through context. But that context is not available for a standalone noun, and here’s where we come to […]

Anna Seghers’s 1944 novel Transit is a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of the paranoid life of refugees in Nazi-occupied Marseille in 1942, telling the story of the constant feeling of danger and despair on the part of people clustered in the last escape hatch from an increasingly locked-down Europe. Christian Petzold’s 2018 adaptation of the novel is… […]

Before I go anywhere with A Hidden Life, the tenth film directed by Terrence Malick in 46 years, and also the sixth in just the last eight years, I must remind you all that I am a fanboy incapable of anything like the proper objective distance from this director and his work. When the critical […]

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 […]

Midway is an English-language film financed substantially with Chinese money, directed by a German, about one of the defining American victories of World War II. If you’re thinking that means it’s probably a muddle, I have good news: you’re not wrong. We could put it another way: you know how Roland Emmerich has kind of […]

Every week 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: Avengers: Endgame is actually last week’s film, but since it’s still making simply gaudy amounts of money, it seemed […]

A review requested by Michael Matula, 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! Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album The Wall was accompanied by one of the most ridiculously complex tour […]