Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In the early parts of Mainstream, it appears that producer, director, and co-writer (with Tom Stuart) Gia Coppola was really anxious to make her own version of Aunt Sofia’s The Bling Ring. It is not very good at this, and also, by the time the film’s glacially-paced 94 minutes are over, this will seem like the […]

Three stars gets absolutely nowhere close to my actual feelings about The Mitchells vs. the Machines, the new film by Sony Pictures Animation that has, after pandemic-related delays, settled into a home on Netflix. There are, in fact, three entirely different films happening here, and I would give three stars to none of them; but […]

In fairness to Thunder Force, a high-concept science-fiction comedy vehicle for Melissa McCarthy written and directed by her husband Ben Falcone that was released as a direct-to-streaming exclusive in the first third of 2021: it is better than Superintelligence, a  high-concept science-fiction comedy vehicle for McCarthy directed (but not written) by Falcone that was released […]

At this point, in the third decade of the 21st Century, “terrible late-career comedies starring the formerly great actor Robert De Niro” has become its own genre, and I don’t think there’s a person among us who would claim that it’s a good one. Even so, The War with Grandpa is impressively terrible. The warning […]

The one and only Ivan who gives Disney’s pandemic-stricken direct-to-streaming refugee The One and Only Ivan its title is a very subdued gorilla played by a CGI effect and voiced by Sam Rockwell, and he spends mot of the the movie doing almost nothing other than just kind of hanging out, being quiet, and looking […]

Given the pandemic-related days to its release date, Raya and the Last Dragon, the 59th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animation Studios canon has by chance landed on exactly the same weekend, relatively speaking, as Pixar Animation Studios’ first release of 2020, Onward – the tenth weekend of their respective calendar years. And this […]

The mash-up at the heart of Breaking News in Yuba County makes perfect sense, even if the results are terrible. The film takes the lacerating cynicism of Gus Van Sant’s 1995 newsmedia satire To Die For and mixes it in with the “several idiots trying to run several different cons; violent farce ensues” of Joel […]

I have certainly not seen every single movie released in 2020, but I have an extremely hard time imagining any of them beginning with a more profoundly horrible bit of screenwriting than Godmothered, a Disney thing that clearly hoped to capture some of that old Enchanted magic, and had to settle for being shit out […]

Between 1960 and 1963, Ingmar Bergman directed five feature films, and four of them were the most intensely depressing work of his career as it then stood. In particular, the one-two punch of 1963’s Winter Light and The Silence, a pair of films in which he dove headfirst into watching the degree to which human […]

For more (that’s more positive) about Scare Me, check out Rob & Carrie’s interview with writer-director-star Josh Ruben! It is inordinately easy to root for Scare Me (one of two films by that title with extremely similar loglines released in 2020; this is the one picked up by the streaming service Shudder as an exclusive). […]

The argument is there to be made that the present moment in American history is so inherently ludicrous that it is immune to satire. I would not want to be the one to make it, but I offer to whomever wants to take the job a peerless piece of evidence in the form of Irresistible. […]

Pete Davidson is a prickly, sad, and a tough person to be around. The reason I know this is that Davidson’s entire professional identity is built around defining himself as prickly, sad, and tough to be around. And now we have him as the lead actor in an entire semi-autobiographical feature film that he co-wrote, […]