Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Midway is an English-language film financed substantially with Chinese money, directed by a German, about one of the defining American victories of World War II. If you’re thinking that means it’s probably a muddle, I have good news: you’re not wrong. We could put it another way: you know how Roland Emmerich has kind of […]

The problems with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil begin right with its title. It’s a reference to a climactic moment in the 1959 Disney animated feature Sleeping Beauty, in which the imperious evil fairy Maleficent, voiced with haughty cruelty by Eleanor Audley, reveals to the protagonists that they have failed in their single goal: “You poor, […]

A review requested by Gabe, 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! Starship Troopers is maybe the clearest articulation I can name of the disappointing fact that you can never, […]

It’s not really accurate to suggest that The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is the latest example of Disney’s irritatingly robust program of remaking its animated features in shrieking, shiny CGI and “live-action”. But it’s not really inaccurate, either: the feature makes more than its share of glancing nods back towards 1940’s Fantasia, mostly (though […]

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 trope that dinosaurs must always live on the slopes of a volcano about ready to pop is much […]

A review requested by Michael Matula, 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! Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album The Wall was accompanied by one of the most ridiculously complex tour […]

The first and least useful observation I have to make about Tam Cam: The Untold Story is that it suggests that Vietnam has much better fairy tales than the rest of the world. Here’s what I mean: the film, directed by Veronica Ngô Thanh Vân from a script whipped together by a small army of […]

A review requested by Andrew Milne, with thanks for 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! We now live in a world where it seems like goddamn near every movie has massive CGI […]

The promotional subtitle of First They Killed My Father (as well as the subtitle of the 2000 memoir from which it has been adapted) is A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, and it’s that last word, “remembers”, that ends up being the key to the whole film. With a screenplay adapted by Loung Ung and director […]

The Wall isn’t a movie so much as an amuse-bouche, and one that’s none too amusant. I rescind none of my faith in director Doug Liman, who has made a few good films, a couple of great ones, and only one that’s actually bad, 2008’s Jumper, but this first of his two 2017 releases (the […]

The only time that an animated movie will ever be made with the raw emotional potency of Takahata Isao’s Grave of the Fireflies, for Studio Ghibli, it will be at the very end of the universe, since two such profound motion pictures could not co-exist. Still, Katabuchi Sunao’s In this Corner of the World comes […]

It would be a blatant exaggeration to call Dunkirk an experimental film, or any such thing. But for a film with a $150 million price tag that’s been positioned as the biggest superhero-free Warner Bros. tentpole of 2017, it does just about as much experimenting as it could possibly dare. The film, on paper, is […]