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since 1997 | by maryann johanson


The Snowman movie review: winter blunderland

Tue Oct 17 2017, 02:29pm | 9 comments

A clichéd loose-cannon cop is on a case of murdered women in faux Norway. And it’s not even a decent procedural. Sexist, pointless, thoroughly awful.

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, US/Can, from Oct 17

Tue Oct 17 2017, 12:05pm | comments off

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

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Oct 16

Tue Oct 17 2017, 11:21am | comments off

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

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women movie review: secret identities (#LFF2017)

Mon Oct 16 2017, 10:00pm | 1 comment

A sweet, romantic story about the polyamorous triad that created a beloved superhero… and about the power of comic books to speak to our inner lives.

curated: Panama Papers journalist killed by a car bomb

Mon Oct 16 2017, 07:34pm | 1 comment

Her name was Daphne Caruana Galizia, and she is a hero.

curated: “my mama told me never trust a space engineer…”

Mon Oct 16 2017, 01:50pm | 5 comments

“But I did, I did, I did…”

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Oct 13

Fri Oct 13 2017, 10:26pm | comments off

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

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Oct 13

Fri Oct 13 2017, 10:24pm | comments off

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

2017’s films ranked

Fri Oct 13 2017, 10:10pm | 2 comments

I rank films on the fly as I see them during the 2017 awards year.

I’m on BBC World Service’s “The Arts Hour” again this Sunday, October 15th

Fri Oct 13 2017, 05:12pm | 0 comments

We’ll be talking about the London Film Festival, which wraps up this weekend.

The Ritual movie review: into the woods

Thu Oct 12 2017, 06:44pm | 2 comments

A horror movie for grownups, dripping with the dread of a fairy tale of yore, primitive and atavistic, drawing on profound human pain and fear.

Breathe movie review: paralyzed but determined to be mobile (#LFF2017)

Wed Oct 11 2017, 09:11pm | 0 comments

A romance and a real-life adventure, full of life-and-death peril and unexpected cheerful good humor, about a pioneer in disability rights and dignity.

curated: the only thing you need to read about that ‘Rick and Morty’ McDonald’s fiasco

Mon Oct 09 2017, 08:51pm | 2 comments

Fandom gets toxic, part 45,320.

curated: sorry, no Armie Hammer peen in ‘Call Me By Your Name’

Mon Oct 09 2017, 06:15pm | 7 comments

Funny how the contracts of female actors often require nudity instead of forbidding it…

Blade Runner 2049 movie review: a rickety retro replicant

Mon Oct 09 2017, 01:31pm | 95 comments

Visually, this dying future world is immersively hellish. Intellectually, though, its ideas haven’t kept up with the rapidly evolving science-fictional conversation.

I am *so* behind on reviews

Fri Oct 06 2017, 10:07pm | 0 comments

There are never enough hours in the day, and this gets worse during a film festival…

curated: ‘Fast & Furious’… on Ice!

Fri Oct 06 2017, 08:51pm | 0 comments


curated: do not dare to be a woman who publicly defies gender norms

Fri Oct 06 2017, 07:57pm | 2 comments

You’re only asking for it.

curated: Harvey Weinstein, another total creep

Thu Oct 05 2017, 07:38pm | 6 comments

Clearly men cannot be trusted with power or wealth.

I need a new bingo card…

Thu Oct 05 2017, 07:41am | 5 comments

…one to track Terrible Ways to Treat Women Onscreen.

curated: “where are the women?” is a problem in books, too

Mon Oct 02 2017, 04:18pm | 2 comments

This could just as easily have been written about movies.

curated: Ryan Gosling is correctly upset about one aspect of ‘Avatar’

Mon Oct 02 2017, 09:52am | 8 comments

From Saturday Night Live

#Raindance2017: In Another Life, Hello Again, Maya Dardel

Sat Sep 30 2017, 07:16pm | 0 comments

Quick takes from the 25th Raindance Film Festival, with public screenings in London through October 1st, 2017.

Flatliners movie review: DOA

Fri Sep 29 2017, 10:55pm | 11 comments

The reboot no one asked for of a movie no one much remembers has landed… and it’s dead on arrival, with nothing new to say and no new way to say it.

Pecking Order documentary review: ruffled feathers and fowl play

Fri Sep 29 2017, 03:06pm | 0 comments

An absolutely hilarious and very pointed exploration of politics and culture on the smallest possible scale. And a lot of good-lookin’ chickens.

I rewatched the 1990 ‘Flatliners’…

Fri Sep 29 2017, 12:49am | 9 comments

…and I livetweeted it.

#Raindance2017: Black Hollow Cage, Stuck, Mukoku

Thu Sep 28 2017, 10:23pm | 2 comments

Quick takes from the 25th Raindance Film Festival, with public screenings in London through October 1st, 2017.

Home Again movie review: imitation of life

Wed Sep 27 2017, 06:41pm | 2 comments

Precious, fatuous, Nancy Meyers–lite rom-com about a privileged rich white lady with no real problems who can’t help but mom her much-younger new boyfriend. Barf.

American Made movie review: they’re quite bad fellas, in fact

Mon Sep 25 2017, 10:30pm | 5 comments

Style and humor galore, and a hugely entertaining performance from Tom Cruise. But should a true story of immense governmental corruption be quite this fun?

curated: Harry Knowles is a total creep

Mon Sep 25 2017, 06:39pm | 45 comments

Women who’ve read Knowles’s crap already knew this.

curated: the Brexit talent drain is real

Mon Sep 25 2017, 06:20pm | 2 comments

Colin Firth has taken Italian citizenship.

curated: “Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Mother!’ Has a Muse Problem”

Mon Sep 25 2017, 06:17pm | 1 comment

Pretty much exactly what I said in my review…

Kingsman: The Golden Circle movie review: deliver us from “edgy”

Mon Sep 25 2017, 03:43pm | 115 comments

Save us from male artists who think they are dangerously, uniquely innovative. This stew of toxic masculinity and CGI-cartoon violence is nothing but tediously mundane.

Happy Hobbit Day!

Fri Sep 22 2017, 07:56am | 1 comment

Today is the birthday of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins.

curated: yes, actors are well paid for their often long working days…

Thu Sep 21 2017, 10:29pm | 5 comments

…but a nice paycheck does not justify putting actors in danger.

curated: the gender imbalance in British film has not improved in a century

Thu Sep 21 2017, 08:39pm | 1 comment

Not in the least but surprised.

Battle of the Sexes movie review: totally ace

Thu Sep 21 2017, 04:54pm | 89 comments

An essential history lesson with a smart smack of relevance for today (because feminism always has to be relitigated). It’s also warm, funny, and hugely entertaining.

curated: ‘Moana’ in Maori

Wed Sep 20 2017, 10:34pm | 4 comments

Representation matters.

curated: ‘Wonder Woman’ Honest Trailer

Wed Sep 20 2017, 07:45am | 0 comments


Friend Request movie review: Facebook, a horror story (again)

Tue Sep 19 2017, 03:58pm | 2 comments

We’ve literally just seen this, in 2015’s Unfriended. Tedious wannabe scarefest misses the true horrors of Facebook and cultivates a personality-free blandness.

curated: suddenly I’m a little worried about Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Shape of Water’…

Mon Sep 18 2017, 12:48pm | 9 comments

Don’t piss me off, del Toro…

American Assassin movie review: we’ve CIAn it all before

Sun Sep 17 2017, 09:06pm | 5 comments

It’s tormented hotheads all around with a hero and villain who are almost indistinguishable and same-old spy stuff racing to a seen-it, been-there ticking-clock finale.

Victoria & Abdul movie review: one of her best friends was brown

Fri Sep 15 2017, 05:31pm | 5 comments

Charming based-on-fact British costume dramedy gently snarks about power and propriety but cuts a lot deeper when it comes to bigotry and bootlicking.

My Pure Land movie review: meet a real-life heroine in a land that really doesn’t want her

Thu Sep 14 2017, 08:21pm | 1 comment

Behold a modern-day feminist western set in deeply patriarchal Pakistan. Stark and spare, with a heroine full of mean grace, it’s even a true story.

curated: why I am a feminist film critic

Wed Sep 13 2017, 03:10pm | 6 comments

It’s because film journalism is so very unfeminist.

curated: ‘It’ has an even bigger problem with race than I realized

Mon Sep 11 2017, 09:39pm | 2 comments


mother! movie review: from WTF to STFU

Mon Sep 11 2017, 04:30pm | 190 comments

Darren Aronofsky’s self-pitying cinematic rending of garments is repulsive, transparent, and pointless. A grotesquely wrapped gift box of utter banality.

It movie review: a series of unfortunate events

Fri Sep 08 2017, 10:49pm | 243 comments

The Goonies, Stand by Me, and Poltergeist went into a blender with a pinch of E.T. and John Hughes to smush into a mess of retro 80s mush.

give $1, just once, for Flick Filosopher’s 20th anniversary

Fri Sep 08 2017, 09:00am | 10 comments

As Groucho Marx or Mae West or Mark Twain or someone else once said: “If I’d known I was gonna live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

The Vault movie review: where the money is haunted

Thu Sep 07 2017, 11:11pm | 1 comment

Psychologically risible and paranormally inconsistent heist horror gives us not a single character to like or root for, or even to cheer dying.

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