Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

After five films ranging from sub-adequate to freakishly bad, the idea that all it would take to make a satisfactory Transformers film would be to have 1) a prequel, 2) centered around one of the dullest characters in the franchise is ludicrous on its face. And yet here we are with Bumblebee, which manages not […]

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 […]

1987’s Predator is an ideally stripped-down version of itself: a 1980s movie about a bunch of muscled meatheads typical of that decade’s action pictures encountering the one thing in this world (or rather, out of it) that’s tough enough to tear through them like wet toilet paper. It reduces both the ethos of Hollywood action […]

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: the true story of how infamous war criminal Adolf Eichmann was captured by the Mossad is related in Operation […]

In a marvelous decade for low-budget indie sci-fi, the writing-directing team of [Aaron] Moorhead & [Justin] Benson still stand out for making some of the most offbeat genre films out there. They’ve gone-three-for-three now on films that start out as a low-key character dramas about two people who like each other a lot but are […]

I don’t know if Boots Riley has any interest in directing or writing a second feature film. And if he did, I don’t know if I’d expect it to be an even better refinement over his debut, or if he’d have one of those careers that begins in an explosion of pure creativity and then […]

I have to give The First Purge this much credit: it patches one of the biggest holes in the Purge universe. Namely, the titular Purge itself, an annual event held across the United Stated by the neo-fascist governing party New Founding Fathers of America in which all crime is made legal for 12 consecutive hours, […]

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 […]

It’s tough to talk about Hotel Artemis in any meaningful way, because all of the best adjectives to describe it sound like insults. The thing is, it’s a real trashy movie, pulpy and derivative, and these are all good things in this case. It feels very much like the summertime B-movie equivalent of a short […]

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 […]

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: Solo: A Star Wars Story is titled Solo, but it’s not the first film for which that’s true. Why, […]

EDITED 27 May 2018 to change star rating down from 3. I’ve slept on it a couple nights, and it just didn’t feel right The big challenge in watching Solo: A Star Wars Story is, of course, watching Alden Ehrenrich play the young version of Harrison Ford’s iconic charming asshole smuggler Han Solo, introduced 41 […]