Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Intermittently 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 finest scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood finds Sharon Tate raptly watching herself in the […]

Consider a movie about spies. Consider a movie, in particular, about a normal woman who is thrust into the position of having to be a spy without any real training, and so ends up fumbling her way through major European cities by a combination of dumb luck and common sense, to humorous effect. What you […]

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 […]

Red Sparrow is real dumb. We can and shall go into why that is the case, but it seemed important to get that read into the record as soon as possible. I cannot say how much of that dumbness was intrinsic to the 2013 source novel by Jason Matthews, and how much was introduced by […]

Depending on what you’re watching for, on a scene-by-scene basis The Villainess might be anything from a contender for 2017’s most powerfully image-driven film to a frustrating, confusing an alienating affair of watching non-characters maneuver through a non-plot while gushing jets of blood. And why I say “scene-by-scene basis”, I really almost mean a “shot-by-shot […]

Kingsman: The Secret Service is the quintessence of the kind of movie that I haven’t thought about from basically the moment I hit “publish” on my review back in 2014, but I remember thinking it was sufficient enough as junk food. It had the right amount of saltiness, it was greasy but not, like slick […]

I’ll say right out that if you’re the kind of person for whom “style over substance” is a bad thing, you’ll certainly have less of a good time with Atomic Blonde than I had (and I had a very good time indeed – it’s my favorite movie of summer 2017 to date). The film is […]

The consensus around Jason Bourne has quickly emerged that it’s disappointing because it’s just more of the same: that director Paul Greengrass has retrenched to simply copying his own The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum from 12 and 9 years ago, respectively, and is doing nothing new. In fact, it is even worse. If […]

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: Jason Bourne is back! Let us take this opportunity to remind ourselves of where he has been. There’s so […]

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: Jason Bourne is back! Let us take this opportunity to remind ourselves of where he has been. There’s no […]

To start with, Our Kind of Traitor is based on perhaps the least-interesting of John le Carré’s novels that have so far been turned into a movie or TV miniseries or both, so it’s perfectly natural that it should be the least-interesting movie of the recent le Carré fad (which I’m only really using to […]

You know who we take for granted? Tom Hanks. And I include myself in this – at the time I write this review, I’m also sorting through my various Best of 2015 year-end musings, and I have not once thought of mentioning him as one of the year’s best actors, despite how utterly arid Best […]