Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Whatever you think about Clint Eastwood, as director and actor, The Mule is not the film to change your mind. Myself, I persist in admiring the sinewy minimalism and directness of his style, his utter refusal to sentimentalise even when sentiment is called for. When he’s working with actual professional actors, as he is here, […]

The question of whether Green Book is worse on race or worse on class is a tough one. It’s at least more spectacularly bad on race; but I, for one, was unprepared for it to touch on class at all, so that came as the far uglier surprise. Either way, it’s the kind of modestly […]

A review requested by Paul Royar, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Palindromes isn’t merely an example of a kind of film we don’t really have any more, it […]

It is a little tempting to overvalue Logan for its novelty. And I do use “novelty” advisedly – it’s no less than the tenth movie in the broadly-construed X-Men movie franchise to come out in the last 17 years, and one of God knows how many superhero comic book adaptations during the same period. But […]

A review requested by Matt U, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Sideways, from 2004, is one of the more peculiar Zeitgeist hits of the 21st Century. It’s a film about two rather dismal human beings acting generally horrible, and it puts all of its chips on metaphors […]

If Captain Fantastic had come out nine years earlier, you’d suppose it was a minimally inspired Little Miss Sunshine knock-off: a colorfully eccentric family travels across These United States in a vehicle unapologetically nostalgic for the 1960s (a refurbished school bus named “Steve”, decked out in hippie decor, in this case), with a misfit teenager […]

Not one blessed thing connects the film other than being road films through the western part of the United States directed by Europeans, but all during Andrea Arnold’s fourth feature, American Honey, I found myself thinking that it was great that we’ve finally gotten a worthy successor to Paris, Texas. For even as they’ve got […]

An unyielding commitment to honesty in the face of the supremely obvious demands that I concede that Forrest Gump, a gargantuan box-office hit that was the highest-grossing film at the U.S. box office in 1994 and the fourth-highest-grossing film in U.S. history at the time of its release, the winner of six Oscars including Best […]

Magic Mike was one of the great surprises in 2010s cinema: a shaggy tale of male strippers starring an army of beefcake with limited (at best) acting skills that turned out to be a piercing, hurtfully insightful examination of personal financial stability in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse. It is a party movie […]

There are certain casting choices that are so ineffably perfect that it’s impossible for the reality to match up to the fantasy one concocts upon learning of them. “Ian McKellen as a geriatric Sherlock Holmes in 1947” is, for me, one such bit of casting, and sure enough, Mr. Holmes (for that is the movie […]

Far be it from me to tell the nearest and dearest friends and survivors of David Foster Wallace, a great many of whom have said some pretty withering things about the beatifying biopic-in-miniature >The End of the Tour, that they’re wrong. There’s something squishy and off-putting about the film just in relationship to itself, 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: the notorious insta-flop Pixels is an adventure about a group of competition-level video game players. It’s also pandering to […]