subscriber help

movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson


curated: no, Rotten Tomatoes is not killing film criticism

Mon Mar 27 2017, 10:52pm | 0 comments

And apparently I’m one of the critics keeping the flame.

CHiPs movie review: they promised chip would happen, and it did

Mon Mar 27 2017, 10:22pm | 1 comment

Toilet humor, cars exploding for no reason, random naked boobies, and gay panic… although, weirdly, also lots of awkward, unerotic nearly naked Dax Shepard.

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Mar 24

Fri Mar 24 2017, 05:34pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Mar 24

Fri Mar 24 2017, 05:31pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.

2017’s films ranked

Fri Mar 24 2017, 05:27pm | 0 comments

I rank films on the fly as I see them during the 2017 awards year. (Exclusively for subscribers only, until the end of the year, when it will be made public.)

2016’s films ranked

Fri Mar 24 2017, 05:26pm | 29 comments

I rank films on the fly as I see them during the 2016 awards year, still ongoing through the Oscars ceremony on February 26th. (Now available to all readers.)

curated: impressionist Ross Marquand’s movie-star mashups

Fri Mar 24 2017, 02:19pm | 3 comments


Dig Two Graves movie review: and bury this deep

Fri Mar 24 2017, 09:59am | 0 comments

Muddy and muddled 70s-style backwoods gothic Americana only comes to life when it rises to the accidentally silly. Little more than an incoherent showreel.

Another Mother’s Son movie review: punching Nazis, mom style

Thu Mar 23 2017, 06:52pm | 3 comments

Not alt-history but a true story from a Nazi-occupied English-speaking place, a hugely relevant reminder that resistance to injustice is an absolute imperative.

curated: the Victorian interracial lesbian murder mystery you’ve been waiting for

Wed Mar 22 2017, 10:26pm | 3 comments

Alas, it is in French, with no subtitled version available.

T2 Trainspotting movie review: GenX running out of steam but chugging on

Wed Mar 22 2017, 09:31pm | 0 comments

The sparse, cold satisfaction that could be wrung from Trainspotting’s punk insolence has been replaced by an exhausted cynicism. Which is exactly right.

curated: alt-right dudes trying to co-opt Jane Austen

Tue Mar 21 2017, 10:08pm | 2 comments


new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, US/Can, from Mar 21

Tue Mar 21 2017, 10:04pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Mar 20

Tue Mar 21 2017, 08:48pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.

curated: all the indie film orgs that will lose money under NEA cuts

Mon Mar 20 2017, 03:50pm | 0 comments

Small problem: If you’re woke enough to care about this, you’re woke enough not to have voted for Donald Trump.

curated: Jimmy Breslin on the NYPD cops who drove a dying John Lennon to the hospital

Mon Mar 20 2017, 03:11pm | 0 comments

The iconic New York newspaper columnist died this weekend.

Mean Dreams movie review: Paxton et justitia

Sun Mar 19 2017, 08:05pm | 0 comments

Tepid teen romance turned implausible thriller is just about saved by a powerful, and unusually disturbing, performance from Bill Paxton (one of his last).

curated: historical dramas limit black actors in the UK

Sun Mar 19 2017, 07:28pm | 0 comments


curated: Time magazine’s most influential images of all time

Sun Mar 19 2017, 12:54pm | 1 comment

Essential surfing if you have any interest in visual storytelling.

a running tally of all the artists and intellectuals hassled by border agents or actually kept out of America under Trump

Sun Mar 19 2017, 11:48am | 15 comments

You don’t make a nation “great” by making it difficult or impossible for writers, historians, scientists, artists, and other intellectuals to enter the country to give lectures, perform, do research, teach, or promote their work.

ads now appearing in Disqus threads

Sat Mar 18 2017, 02:08pm | 9 comments

Sorry. I hate to do this, but Disqus is about to start charging sites like this one $10 per month to not show ads.

curated: why books (and movies) are so important

Fri Mar 17 2017, 07:47pm | 11 comments

Read a book!

Personal Shopper movie review: shadows of sorrow

Fri Mar 17 2017, 04:37pm | 0 comments

Strange and melancholy, this genre-defying portrait of grief and loneliness puts Kristen Stewart’s onscreen persona of restive reluctance to very effective use.

London photo: tiny car left to its own devices

Thu Mar 16 2017, 10:04pm | 2 comments

Someone is very trusting…

Get Out movie review: yes all white people

Thu Mar 16 2017, 09:17pm | 24 comments

Shattering and deep-down bone-chilling. A viciously unsettling nightmare of race and privilege that carves out a much-needed paradigm shift for genre film.

curated: ‘Ghost in the Shell’ meme backfires on Paramount

Wed Mar 15 2017, 04:37pm | 25 comments

Wild stab in the dark, but I’m gonna guess they don’t have any nonwhite people in powerful roles in marketing.

curated: ‘Hidden Figures’ passes big geek franchise flicks at US box office

Wed Mar 15 2017, 04:33pm | 4 comments

But no one wants to see movies about women, never mind about black women.

curated: Klimt Eastwood

Wed Mar 15 2017, 04:31pm | 1 comment

Love it.

London photos: vintage automotive ads

Tue Mar 14 2017, 09:42pm | 2 comments

I love when old ads are uncovered on city walls.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) movie review: ever just the same, never a surprise

Tue Mar 14 2017, 06:34pm | 264 comments

Like a theme-park mounting of the 1991 cartoon, or the blandified pop version of an enchanting signature character tune. A watered-down pastiche of itself.

curated: “Trumped” (or “Springtime for Bannon”)

Mon Mar 13 2017, 06:50pm | 0 comments

Starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

The Ottoman Lieutenant movie review: erasing the past with sleight of cinematic hand

Fri Mar 10 2017, 06:34pm | 46 comments

Odious propagandistic attempt to enshrine Turkish denial of the Armenian genocide of World War I into cinematic history via a tepid and unconvincing romance.

The Chamber movie review: hell and high water

Fri Mar 10 2017, 03:37pm | 2 comments

A wonder of low-budget suspense, this is a horror movie with no monsters, only people in an impossible situation. Intense, claustrophobic, totally gripping.

London photo: lonely winter wading pool…

Thu Mar 09 2017, 09:42pm | 1 comment

Sad and gray.

Catfight movie review: punches not pulled

Thu Mar 09 2017, 08:57pm | 1 comment

Takes women’s hostility out of the realm of the passive-aggressive and gives it free comedic rein physically in a way that is hilarious, disturbing, and pointed.

curated: Sue the Field Museum T-Rex wins Twitter

Thu Mar 09 2017, 07:32pm | 0 comments

What a geek.

curated: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is ruined for me already

Thu Mar 09 2017, 07:30pm | 2 comments


curated: Gaston = Trump?

Wed Mar 08 2017, 11:34am | 3 comments


curated: film criticism is heavily male-dominated

Wed Mar 08 2017, 09:31am | 7 comments

A reminder on International Women’s Day.

London photos: new graffiti at Turnpike Lane

Tue Mar 07 2017, 10:42pm | 1 comment

From a hidden trove of street art near the tube station…

curated: Hugh Jackman doing ADR for ‘Logan’

Tue Mar 07 2017, 10:23pm | 2 comments

How the movie sausage gets made.

Kong: Skull Island movie review: ape-ocalypse now

Mon Mar 06 2017, 03:45pm | 8 comments

Boiled down to its bonkers essence, Skull Island is a Vietnam war movie with monsters, a retro analog vibe, and a dash of both Moby-Dick and The X-Files.

curated: why does “separate the art from the artist” only ever apply to white men?

Mon Mar 06 2017, 01:56pm | 0 comments

(I think we know the reason…)

curated: gunslingers from classic westerns, gender-swapped

Mon Mar 06 2017, 01:52pm | 2 comments


curated: Riz Ahmed on diversity in the media

Mon Mar 06 2017, 01:48pm | 0 comments


curated: the future that liberals want (Doctor Who edition)

Mon Mar 06 2017, 01:40pm | 5 comments

Basically, sure. Seems awesome.

curated: IMDb adding F (“feminist”) ratings to films

Mon Mar 06 2017, 01:37pm | 0 comments


My Life as a Zucchini (aka My Life as a Courgette) movie review: nutritious, filling, and delicious

Mon Mar 06 2017, 12:10pm | 0 comments

Simply a lovely film, with some of the most striking — and haunting — animation I’ve ever seen, and full of a remarkable and palpable warmth and humanity.

London photo: the most elaborate doorway in London

Fri Mar 03 2017, 10:28pm | 3 comments

Not a scientific determination.

The Last Laugh documentary review: punching Nazis (with comedy)

Fri Mar 03 2017, 04:48pm | 8 comments

Analyzing jokes can ruin humor, but not here. This is a provocative, hilarious, and important discussion of comedy taboos, who gets to transgress them, and why.

← older posts  

Pin It on Pinterest