Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Anyone comfortable stating in public “I am a fan of the directorial works of Lee Daniels, and I root for his films to succeed” honestly deserves exactly what they get. But the thing is, I am a fan, and I do root for him; whatever one wants to say about his first three movies, 2005’s […]

A finalist in the latest round of voting in the poll to select what 2020 arthouse film I should watch and review next. Vote in that and the other polls if you want to control my, and the website’s fate The great Polish director Agnieszka Holland is in the pantheon of European master filmmakers whose […]

Judas and the Black Messiah is a perfectly fine film about Fred Hampton, a man who deserves much better than a perfectly fine film. If you haven’t heard of Hampton, ah! such a marvelous figure you have in front of you, and truth be told, as a starting point – only as starting point, mind […]

There are directorial debuts that reveal the newborn cineaste to be someone who thinks and feels in images, a visionary who has just been searching for an outlet. One Night in Miami…, the first film directed by the endlessly reliable character actor Regina King, is not one of these. But it is a very promising […]

The consensus of opinion, as far as I can tell, is that Alex Wheatle, the fourth episode of Small Axe, is also the weakest, granting an exceptionally high lower bound for “weakness”. I don’t agree, but it’s not hard to understand why somebody might come to that conclusion: the 67-minute story (written and directed, as […]

It would hardly be righ to expect a filmmaker to crank out what amounts to five consecutive feature films all right in a row and have absolutely no detectable drop in quality, so the fact that Small Axe, Steve McQueen’s five-part TV anthology, couldn’t keep knocking out one Lovers Rock after another isn’t surprising, and […]

A finalist from the latest round of voting in the poll to select what 2020 indie film I should watch and review next. Vote in that and the other polls if you want to control my, and the website’s fate It is tempting, easy, and maybe even accurate to describe Shirley, director Josephine Becker and […]

I can barely process the words I’m about to type myself, but here goes nothing: imagine if – and it is a tough thing to imagine if you haven’t seen the evidence – imagine if there was a film about a 1970s British glam rock superstar so fucking bad that it made Bohemian Rhapsody look […]

A finalist from the latest round of voting in the poll to select what 2020 indie movie I should watch and review next. Vote in that and the other polls if you want to control my, and the website’s fate Capone is an outright disaster, but it’s my favorite kind of outright disaster: ones that […]

My first response to Mank has absolutely nothing do with the what we do see in the film, and everything to do with what we don’t: this is not, as was rumored, “Raising Kane: The Movie“, and for that I am grateful. “Raising Kane”, if you have the good fortunate not to have read it, […]

We arrive now at the only time that the Oscar for Best Picture been awarded to a single piece of music. For if there’s any other explanation for how Chariots of Fire took the top prize at the Academy Awards for 1981, I’m god-damned if I know what it might be. Nomination leader and Best […]

In 1936, when the film was new, MGM sold The Great Ziegfeld as the longest talkie ever made, and at 176 minutes (185 in the roadshow version), I certainly can’t dispute that. This of course makes the film my nemesis. Further cementing that antagonism: this was the first biopic to win the Best Picture Oscar,* […]