Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The Hegelian dialectic is a concept that sometimes gives people trouble (it is also a concept that Hegel did not devise and openly derided, at least its typical formulation), but it’s not that hard to understand. There exists a condition; a thesis. The existence of this condition necessarily triggers its opposite reaction; an antithesis. The […]

We have, in Dolemite Is My Name, such a perfect object lesson in what actually matters about movies that it almost feels unfair. This is a competent film – magnificently competent. Screenwriters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski know exactly how to write this material (in fact, this is basically the fourth time they’ve written precisely […]

Not, by any means, the most important fact about Martin Scorsese’s exhaustive new biographical epic The Irishman, but to me easily the most distracting: it is not titled The Irishman. The film has been adapted by Steven Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s 2004 nonfiction novel I Heard You Paint Houses, and that is the only title […]

A shorter version of this review was previously published at The Film Experience There are two different, and perhaps irreconcilable ways to watch Klaus. First, we could look at it as the directorial debut of Sergio Pablos, an animator who rose through Disney in the 1990s, ending up getting his first supervising animator credits on […]

Part of the Summer 2019 Netflix Jubilee I can think of one thing that’s interesting to me about Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil and Vile, a heavy hitter at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival that ended up as one of Netflix’s biggest releases of the year. Namely, it provides an especially clear demonstration of the truth […]

Part of the Summer 2019 Netflix Jubilee At the risk of essentialising the rules of narrative (but what is genre, if not a shorthand for essentialising certain clusters of narrative tropes?), I think there’s only one thing that a romcom actually, definitely needs to do in order to “work”. It might work poorly – it […]

In reviewing Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, I summed up my not-really-a-conclusion thus: “If the next two films are great, this will hopefully seem like an elegant piece of scene-setting. If they’re lousy, this will seem like a huge missed opportunity that wasted too much time getting to the good stuff”. As it turns out, […]

Like many of you, I greatly enjoy John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2. Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here, and assume that those of you who agree with me – and for that matter, those of you who do not – probably do not spend much of your time thinking, […]

Every satire of the for-profit art world makes largely the same points about that target, and Velvet Buzzsaw, the third film by writer-director Dan Gilroy, is not looking to break the habit. Oh, sure, it drags in the stuff of a slasher-style horror movie for its second hour, but it’s still basically the same thing […]

The most overwhelming takeaway from Private Life is that Tamara Jenkins needs to be enabled to make more movies. In a career stretching 20 years, the writer-director has only now made her third feature, following Slums of Beverly Hills in 1998 and The Savages in 2007, and once again she’s created an immaculate gem of […]

The following review spoils the movie, but not any more than the movie’s first ten minutes have already done on their own. Still, tread carefully. A world-wide epidemic of suicides, a monster that manifests as ominous blowing wind – of all the fucking movies to take as a primary influence, why would anybody with a […]

Want another opinion? Check out Conrado’s thoughts on the film! Every movie, even if just by accident, starts out by telling us how to watch it. Roma, the eighth feature film directed by Alfonso CuarΓ³n (who also takes solo screenwriting credit), just happens to be unusually great at doing this. The film’s exemplary opening shot […]