Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There are times when it makes sense to bury the lede, and times when it makes sense to just have out with the thing that needs to be said. So let me have out with it: the reason to see The Christmas Chronicles is Kurt Russell’s performance as Santa Claus. This cuts two ways. First, […]

Want another opinion? Check out Conrado’s thoughts on the film! Joel and Ethan Coen have, in their long career as the most interesting and probably best American-born filmmakers alive, dabbled in damn near every genre that a filmmakers in the last 30 years could possibly get away with dabbling in, but in some way it […]

It is real kind of Hold the Dark, the fourth film directed by Jeremy Saulnier, to sum up all of its problems in one single shot. Or, I guess, a pair of shots. Late in the film, there’s a very long, extravagant gun battle (no spoiler: it is one of the only things anybody has […]

Nicole Holofcener is not a name-brand film auteur, but she really should be. Her films, which come out at a fairly steady once-every-five-years clip, are clearly the work of a single mind, tidily unifying her approach to the messy business of humanity by showing people in profound disarray through the lens of quiet, unhurried, unfussy […]

It speaks to how quickly the words “Netflix original” have come to mean “like a direct-to-video film from the ’90s, only somehow even sadder” that a pretty straightforward thriller like Calibre seems like a small masterpiece. I mean, for God’s sake you guys, it’s a Netflix genre film that tells an interesting story with well-defined […]

I’m not sure if Jack London’s 1906 novel White Fang has remained more of a cultural touchstone in Europe than in its home country. I do know that the marketing push for the new Franco-Luxembourgian animated adaptation of the book seems to think that it’s a major cultural touchstone, but who’s to say. Regardless, one […]

In the 50 years since Night of the Living Dead first introduced to the big screen the idea of mindlessly cannibalistic human revenants who spread themselves like a disease, the zombie movie has touched on just about every possible iteration of the basic scenario, in just about every possible setting, that one could reasonably imagine. […]

In the latter half of the 2010s, “it’s like an episode of Black Mirror” has replaced “it’s like Philip K. Dick” as the hackiest, laziest way you can describe any work of science fiction. But Anon courts that comparison more vigorously than most. Not just because it’s a satiric treatment of contemporary social ills in […]

Director Joshua Marston began his career in TV journalism, and somehow that feels exactly right. Not one of his films have been a documentary, and not one of them have had anything like a documentary aesthetic, but they have do have one important element of great journalism: they observe. The filmmaker’s approach is long on […]

Passionate filmmakers are good, because without passion you have hackwork. And so, QED, passion projects are good, because they are the place where filmmakers devote the greatest part of their energy, creativity, and soul. On the other hand, passion projects can also trigger a kind of blindness from artists so deeply in love with their […]

Quite independently of the quality of any of the films in question, the Cloverfield series-if-that’s-the-word-for-it has taken one of the strangest routes imaginable to willing itself into existence. Cloverfield was always just Cloverfield, and that was it for eight years, when an unrelated in-production film titled The Cellar was mildly retooled and made into 10 Cloverfield […]

The biggest problem with Strong Island – but oof, what a terrible way to frame it. The movie has problems, of course; very few movies have absolutely no problems. But not so many movies are good at sympathetically displaying a range of human despair in a tight, intimate way that makes you feel like weeping […]