Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Furious 7, the last altogether good movie in the Fast & Furious series, came out in April 2015. This is very recent according to any human-scale accounting of time; but it has been an entire generation in American action cinema. The intervening four years have borne witness to a veritable golden age: while Furious 7 […]

So, his name is Stu, and he drives an Uber. This really is the sum total of what what qualifies for wit in Stuber, a deeply unsatisfying movie that typifies almost everything wrong with comedies in modern American cinema, save one: it appears to have a proper screenplay, by Tripper Clancy, and not just a […]

For some years now, director Quentin Tarantino has been maintaining that his tenth feature will also be his last. While I don’t actually believe that (artists retire when they die, no earlier), I suddenly find myself deeply hoping that he doesn’t believe it either. Or maybe that when he says that it will be “his” […]

A cursory perusal of the reviews for Disney’s new remake of The Lion King reveals that even some of the pointedly negative ones will concede that it is, at least, a very visually amazing, even beautiful film. This is wrong. It looks like a dead dog’s asshole on a hot day. I have never been […]

The killer alligator picture Crawl is maybe the least Alexandre Aja-esque film that Alexandre Aja has directed thus far, which I imagine is even a good thing for some people. The filmmaker’s body of work, to date, has been one of extreme violence and gore, with highlights including the 2003 New French Extremity barnburner High […]

Taking a piece of pop culture as profoundly yoked to a specific moment in cultural and social history as 1971’s Shaft and updating it for modern tastes is a fool’s game, one that has fooled people twice now. Which, I mean, if a talent as undeniable as John Singleton couldn’t crack the problem with 2000’s […]

There are multiple versions of 1973’s The Wicker Man, but the one that has been easiest to see for most of the film’s existence is 88 minutes long. This might not matter, since you’re not reading a review of The Wicker Man, but here’s the thing: Midsommar is basically The Wicker Man with the serial […]

Part of me, and it is a very large part, feels extremely uncomfortable giving Yesterday a star rating implying that it’s a good film, because in point of fact it is not. It is an adorable film, almost entirely on the backs of stars Himesh Patel and Lily James; it is one of the most […]

Part of me wonders if Kevin Feige is really just sticking it to Amy Pascal for the sake of it. The whole thing about Spider-Man in movies since 2016 is a bit tedious and wrapped up with corporate nonsense, but the basic thing to keep in mind is that Columbia Pictures, a subsidiary of a […]

We are now at the seventh film of the Conjuring Universe, and by this point, the films have established a formula as reliable and unyielding as a religious ceremony. They are not “stories” to be “told”; these movies are enacted. So how in God’s name is it that Annabelle Comes Home works so well – that […]

Remakes of 1980s horror movies have had something like a 0% success rate. If that’s not enough to give somebody pause before green-lighting a remake of the 1988 paranormal slasher movie Child’s Play, there are plenty of other red flags waving themselves. For one thing, the 31-year-old franchise is still going strong: series creator and […]

This thing where various Hemsworth brothers show up in profoundly unsatisfying years-later sequels to major Will Smith vehicles is likely nothing more than a coincidence, but I think it leads to a useful analogy: Liam Hemsworth as to Chris Hemsworth as Independence Day: Resurgence is to Men in Black: International. That is to say, MIB:I […]