Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In discussing any long-running series that doesn’t exactly swing from pole to pole, qualitywise, one of the trickiest parts in reviewing the individual entries can be figuring out where to start: what specifically makes this film different from all of those films? Happily, then, Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft – which premiered in 1998 […]

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With Witchcraft IX: Bitter Flesh, we hit an exceptionally exciting milestone: the back half of the franchise. At the time of writing, anyway; the series came back after one nine-year hiatus, I am not in any way optimistic enough to assume it will not do so again. But for now, we celebrate. It’s a milestone […]

In a bleak age for big studio moviemaking, when not all that many directors seem to really love their job, and even viewer seem to love the medium, we are blessed to have someone like James Wan. The man palpably, overwhelmingly, desperately loves movies, and at their best, they’re so overripe and juicy with that […]

There’s simply no disentangling the things that are good about Reminiscence from the things that are bad. The film is the feature debut of writer-director Lisa Joy, who co-created the television series Westworld with her husband, Jonathan Nolan, and it is very much something that feels like it came from the mind of Christopher Nolan’s […]

In deference to the very vocal minority of internet cinephile types who have decided to use the new film Old to declare that M. Night Shyamalan has Actually Always Been Good, I will say this: the directing certain is not lazy. Shyamalan has quite a remarkable number of tricks laid out to make what’s very […]

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 […]

When confronted with a story as vigorously trashy as the one underlying The Woman in the Window – adapted from the 2018 novel by A.J. Finn, the pen name of Daniel Mallory, a book editor who very openly described how the book came about as a compendium of every trope in popular post-Gone Girl crime […]

The worst thing we can say about Oxygen is that it is a very gimmicky thriller based on an overfamiliar gimmick, but done by a director with a skill set extremely well-positioned to make the most of that gimmick, and starring an actor who wrings everything she possibly out of basically only three elements (her […]

In methodically carving one’s path through something like the Witchcraft series, it becomes important for the reviewer to keep himself amused by plucking at the tiniest little points of distinction, lest every single review turn into exactly the same series of despondent rants. So here is what I think is most interesting about Witchcraft IV: […]

The Empty Man was shot in 2017 and had to wait for years to finally come out, caught in the net of 20th Century Fox being purchased by the Walt Disney Company and thus owned by a corporation that had absolutely no idea what in Hell’s name they were supposed to do with something this […]