Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The story goes that A Madea Family Funeral is going to be the final big-screen appearance by Tyler Perry’s most famous and infamous creation: the bossy, violent, and vulgar Mabel “Madea” Simmons, played by Perry himself with increasingly diminished enthusiasm over the years. Absolutely nothing in the film suggests  that will be the case (it […]

Without a moment’s hesitation, I’d declare 2009’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself the peak of Tyler Perry’s career as a director, and in a pinch I’d call 2008’s The Family That Preys his second-best, and this matters because of one of the only characteristics they share in common: prior to 2018, they were […]

There was a time once, and not so very long ago either, when a chainsaw-wielding psychopath in a Madea film would have been Madea herself, as was so memorably, dispiritingly seen in the character’s very first big-screen appearance, 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. But times change, and with Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, […]

Maybe I’m feeling generous because it’s been so many years since we’ve last seen Tyler Perry’s drag horrorshow in the movies, but I sort of wonder if Boo! A Madea Halloween isn’t the best of all the Madea films (I admit that the character’s last appearance, in 2013’s A Madea Christmas, remains unseen by me). […]

The Sears-exclusive Kardashian Kollection is given a shout-out in the end credits of Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor – that’s Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor to those of you who like clumsy titles to be even clumsier – and I won’t say that this has anything to do with the fact […]

Let us now consider the vexing issue of Madea’s Witness Protection, the twelfth feature film written and directed by Tyler Perry, and the seventh in which he plays the lamentably iconic fat, sassy Atlanta grandma Mabel “Madea” Simmons. I do not quite know what to make of this movie – and is that not the […]

Eleven films into his directorial career, Tyler Perry has, you might think settled into a groove. On the contrary! His newest, Good Deeds, demonstrates that the filmmaker continues to learn new tricks, and by “new tricks”, I mean “that cameras have zoom buttons”. And boy, does he use this newfound skill like a rabid animal […]

Madea’s Big Happy Family, the sole Tyler Perry film released in 2011 (which thereby became the first year with only a single Perry release since 2006), crystallises something for me: I don’t get Madea. And not in the obvious sense of what that phrase means: by this point, I imagine anyone paying attention to this […]

For Colored Girls is the clear outlier among all of Tyler Perry’s films: most prominently because it is the only one of his features not ultimately based on his own idea, adapted instead from a 1975 theater piece by Ntozake Shange, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf. It is, […]

When I reviewed Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, I was able to comfortably make this observation: it was “the first genuinely boring Tyler Perry movie, on account of being the most tasteful and restrained Tyler Perry movie.” And that remains true, all these Tyler Perry movies later. It is still fairly simple and […]

There’s something I want to get off my chest to start: regular readers will know that as a matter of policy, I review (or try to) every film that hits #1 at the U.S. weekend box office. This started back in in the spring of 2009, and was my response to feeling guilty that I’d […]

Oh, Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. And I was just starting to like you, with the surprisingly competent Meet the Browns and the less-than-competent but intensely magnetic The Family That Preys back-to-back in 2008; and then you had to go and bring her back. That shrieking, inhuman Madea-thing. To make matters worse, you brought her back in […]