Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The newest film titled simply Robin Hood – this one starring Taron Egerton as England’s favorite socialist thief – is dumb. Fucking dumb, one might even say; dumb as balls. But there’s an alchemical quality to its utter, hapless stupidity, one borne of its absolute commitment to the most insane shit. It is a terrible […]

It is genuinely difficult to understand how Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald could have turned out so badly. This is, after all, the tenth movie in what I guess is officially being called the Wizarding World franchise, after eight Harry Potters and 2016’s Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and one […]

Tom Hardy’s ever-increasing collection of accents – you might love ’em, you might hate ’em, but you sure as hell can’t deny that he sure as hell commits to ’em. I had not even though to live in hope that there might come a day when Hardy would pull up a bigger, loopier, more vivaciously […]

So here’s the thing: The Meg is actually able to concoct a reason for Jason Statham to get into hand-to-hand combat with a 75-foot shark. That is, in a sense, the whole of what the film needs to do, and I unhesitatingly admire it for this, and even love it for this, even though I’m […]

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: in addition to being the best DC superhero team movie ever released to theaters, Teen Titans Go! To the […]

In the short period of time that Mission: Impossible – Fallout has existed out in the world, the claim “it’s the best action film since Mad Max: Fury Road” has gone from being a fun bit of hype-raising and a useful comparison to a lifeless cliché to a symptom of unmitigated critical groupthink, and yet […]

Credit where credit’s due: Skyscraper delivers what it promises. Admittedly, this is because the only thing it promises is green-screened shots of Dwayne Johnson precariously hanging off the edge of things as CGI fire dances in the background. But it is damn good CGI fire, the best incarnation of this sort of VFX work since […]

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: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation demonstrates all the fun times that can be had when a collection of monsters […]

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is pretty well dumb across the board, but there is one respect in which it’s kind of so unexpectedly smart that I absolutely have to assume it’s on purpose. And that precise combination of “almost entirely dumb, but smart in just enough ways that you can see the filmmakers peering through […]

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: after an eleven-year break, Ocean’s Eight revives the finest heist movie franchise in all of cinema. The perfect opportunity […]

Ocean’s Eight finds itself in the heinously awkward position of being a rather middling Ocean’s _____ movie, but a very good generic heist movie, thanks mostly to the things it takes from the franchise in terms of style and structure. So most of its strengths are exactly those things that, by calling attention to themselves, are […]

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: in Adrift, we get to see the real-life results of riding a small boat through a hurricane. Historically, the […]