Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Anyone comfortable stating in public “I am a fan of the directorial works of Lee Daniels, and I root for his films to succeed” honestly deserves exactly what they get. But the thing is, I am a fan, and I do root for him; whatever one wants to say about his first three movies, 2005’s […]

The Father is the most miraculous kind of film adaptation of a theater piece: one that’s almost impossible to imagine being staged live. In principle, sure, one can ponder how this exact screenplay might be fitted into a theatrical space, and how it could use stagecraft to get at the same sense of slithery, unstable […]

Judas and the Black Messiah is a perfectly fine film about Fred Hampton, a man who deserves much better than a perfectly fine film. If you haven’t heard of Hampton, ah! such a marvelous figure you have in front of you, and truth be told, as a starting point – only as starting point, mind […]

Land is a movie as simple and unprepossessing as its magnificently anonymous title. The film, the directorial debut of its star, Robin Wright, is not built for surprise: it takes a character, gives her an unspoken but extremely clear emotional trauma, and lets her work it out over the course of the film’s running. Which […]

To give credit where it’s due, Sound of Metal gives you a lot of movie for the money: three movies, in fact, by my reckoning. And the first two of them even fit together pretty smoothly. What this third, aberrant movie means for the whole is something we’ll get to a bit later, although I […]

There are directorial debuts that reveal the newborn cineaste to be someone who thinks and feels in images, a visionary who has just been searching for an outlet. One Night in Miami…, the first film directed by the endlessly reliable character actor Regina King, is not one of these. But it is a very promising […]

A review requested by Martha, 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! There aren’t too many formulations that make me instantaneously suspicious of a movie more than A) a story […]

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like Kate Winslet has been gone for a very long time. She has, of course, been showing up in movies and TV shows, lots of them. But for about a dozen years following Sense and Sensibility in 1995, it felt like she was a pretty reliable middlebrow fixture […]

After having acted in two of the 21st Century’s finest slow-moving movies about space travel, Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris in 2002 and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity in 2013, George Clooney has taken it upon himself to make one of his very own. And thus we have him not only directing, but headlining The Midnight Sky (his first time acting […]

It is perhaps ironic for a film titled News of the World to have nothing actually new within it. Fortunately, it’s doing very familiar things very well, so even if the exact people most likely to enjoy what it’s doing (diehard Western fans) are exactly the people most likely to have seen it all before, […]

August Wilson’s 1984 play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is, to my mind, one of the best American plays from the latter half of the 20th Century. I have not, of course, read all of them, and I have seen even fewer, but still, we’re talking about a towering piece of theater from a formidable talent, […]

I can barely process the words I’m about to type myself, but here goes nothing: imagine if – and it is a tough thing to imagine if you haven’t seen the evidence – imagine if there was a film about a 1970s British glam rock superstar so fucking bad that it made Bohemian Rhapsody look […]