Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

We’ve got to start somewhere, so why not with the question that I’ve been kicking around in my head since I finished Space Jam: A New Legacy: how can anyone worship a God vindictive and hateful enough to allow this movie to exist? No wait, that’s the other question I’ve been kicking around. The one […]

Black Widow is, on balance, a largely blank experience: devoid of anything particularly obnoxious other than a 133-minute running time that it seems to view as an obligation rather than an opportunity for expansive storytelling, pretty formulaic in every single element of its storytelling, packed with hollow action scenes that don’t hurt to watch, nor […]

“Why didn’t you make this other movie I would have liked better, instead of the movie you did make?” is one of the shabbiest angles a film critic can ever play, and I do not deny that in my time I have played it, to my shame. But it’s rare to find a film that […]

Everything that is worst about F9 – or to give its mildly bizarre, never-seen-onscreen full title, F9: The Fast Saga – is exactly the same as everything that makes it such a wonderfully ludicrous, over-the-top joy to behold. As the first honest-to-God watch-it-on-the-biggest screen possible Hollywood popcorn blockbuster in over a year, since the repulsive […]

The worst thing we can say about Oxygen is that it is a very gimmicky thriller based on an overfamiliar gimmick, but done by a director with a skill set extremely well-positioned to make the most of that gimmick, and starring an actor who wrings everything she possibly out of basically only three elements (her […]

The opening sequence of Stowaway, a new science fiction thriller by director Joe Penna that’s much heavier on the “science” than “thriller”, is a top-notch bit of space travel filmmaking that calls to mind all the best examples of the form from Apollo 13 to First Man; the last sequence is ginned-up sentimental horseshit that […]

Three stars gets absolutely nowhere close to my actual feelings about The Mitchells vs. the Machines, the new film by Sony Pictures Animation that has, after pandemic-related delays, settled into a home on Netflix. There are, in fact, three entirely different films happening here, and I would give three stars to none of them; but […]

I have never read Patrick Ness’s 2008 YA novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, the source material for the feature film Chaos Walking (the movie takes its title form the overall series of which the book was the first part). Indeed, until a day ago, I had never heard of The Knife of Never […]

In fairness to Thunder Force, a high-concept science-fiction comedy vehicle for Melissa McCarthy written and directed by her husband Ben Falcone that was released as a direct-to-streaming exclusive in the first third of 2021: it is better than Superintelligence, aΒ  high-concept science-fiction comedy vehicle for McCarthy directed (but not written) by Falcone that was released […]

I could tell you what I thought Assassin 33 A.D. was going to be about, and I would not turn out to have been precisely “wrong”, and it would seem like a completely bugfuck bonkers movie that simultaneously must be seen to be believed, and also is so revolting to human decency that nobody really […]

As the climax to Legendary Pictures’ “MonsterVerse” franchise, Godzilla vs Kong raises the question: was anybody in the entire world waiting for the climax to the MonsterVerse? How many people other than the rabid consumers of media news blogs, their brains addled by too much internet, know that the “MonsterVerse”, under that name, even exists? […]

There’s a certain slobbering, puppy-dog shamelessness to how desperately Psycho Goreman wants to be anointed a new cult favorite. The formula behind writer-director Steven Kosinski’s script is clear as a summer day: take the aesthetic of cheesy children’s television shows about people in very elaborate foam suits punching each other in the kind of spirited […]