Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

An alien invasion picture built on the framework of a French Resistance thriller? That is absolutely an idea I think it’s worth rallying behind. Resistance thrillers can be amazing things, combining the ingenuity and mechanical precision of a great heist movie with the life-or-death stakes of a real-world history, and they can have pretty much […]

It only takes a short while for Widows to prove to us that we’re in good hands. In point of fact, it takes until the very first cut, and the first cut comes rather sooner than we expect it to. Which is, in fact, part of how it shows us we’re in good hands – […]

In the film Rampage, in the office of its over-the-top villains, there is a copy of the 1986 arcade game Rampage, and this cute gesture raises ontological questions that the film is unprepared to address. Does Rampage exist within the universe of Rampage? Do the characters in the movie in fact realise that they are […]

The Boss is not actually good. Melissa McCarthy is actually great in it, however, and that provides enough cover for the film as a whole to achieve some kind of simulation of goodness. Or to put it another way, I laughed, and I laughed often enough to conclude that it was a worthwhile comedy, however […]

Categories: comedies, shot in chicago

A review requested by Mark K, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Let us be very clear about one thing: The Blues Brothers is, by any objective standard, a messy wreck. This is true of the 1980 theatrical cut, and it’s even more true of the extended cut […]

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, from 1986, is the filmmaking equivalent to being shot in the gut and kicked into a pool of sewage to bleed out. That’s not a pullquote you should hope to see on any future home video releases, but I mean it in the most earnest, admiring way possible. There […]

A review requested by Cammy, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. High Fidelity is a movie that sounds on paper like it should be an obnoxious slog in the company of obnoxious men whose sense of sexual entitlement is treated with the utmost admiration and gravity, and I […]

A review requested by Michael R, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Let’s not dick around here: Candyman is the finest American horror film of the 1990s. Now, admittedly, those who’ve been hanging around this blog for all that long are aware that for me to make this […]

To begin with, Jupiter Ascending is pulp sci-fi of a very ancient stripe, and it is utterly proud of that fact. It tells the story of a secret space princess, set against the machinations of evil space corporations who hire burly lizardmen with bat wings as their guards; characters have names like “Titus Abrasax” and […]

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: we’ve hit the point where something as dire as Planes: Fire & Rescue legitimately qualifies as one of the […]

There comes a time when you start to think, “Am I really going to start ranking the Transformers films?”, and the answer turns out to be “apparently”. Because there’s a lot of chatter out there about how Transformers: Age of Extinction is so godalmighty awful, and it’s really not, actually. Now, Transformers: Revenge of the […]

An open question for which I would honestly and none-snarkily beg for an answer: could anybody who likes up-and-coming actress Shailene Woodley – and a quick peek at the internet promises me that there are many of you – please explain why? Is it a The Spectacular Now thing? Because I still haven’t seen that. […]