please donate

part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

  newer posts →

Final Portrait movie review: the not-so-fine making of fine art

Wed Jan 10 2018, 09:31pm | 4 comments

A bleakly funny, genteelly twisted gloss on the clichés of temperamental creative genius, via the relationship between an artist and his subject, one that questions the sometimes high personal price of great art.

curated: Hollywood dudes now just flat out admitting they don’t know the difference between sex and violence

Wed Jan 10 2018, 08:24pm | 1 comment

Threatening to give us fewer movies like the Fifty Shades trilogy is a good thing.

things Hollywood men could have said at the Golden Globes

Tue Jan 09 2018, 10:00pm | 6 comments

These will all work at the Oscars too! Feel free to steal ’em, guys.

AWFJ 2017 EDA Awards winners announced

Tue Jan 09 2018, 08:54pm | 5 comments

The Shape of Water wins Best Film, and Best Director goes to Guillermo del Toro. Agnes Varda is Defying Age and Ageism, and Hollywood’s sexual tormentors are inducted in the AWFJ Hall of Shame.

curated: what the men didn’t say at the Golden Globes

Tue Jan 09 2018, 06:06pm | 0 comments

They weren’t silent, though, either.

curated: the underlying reason for all those vague male complaints about ‘The Last Jedi’

Tue Jan 09 2018, 06:03pm | 2 comments

It’s exactly what you think it is.

Call Me by Your Name movie review: met a boy cute as can be…

Tue Jan 09 2018, 01:58pm | 11 comments

You can feel the stillness and the heat of this sultry, sensual summer in Italy. This is a glorious romance about falling in love with life itself, and living with gusto.

Brad’s Status movie review: when a white man can’t bear not having all the privilege

Fri Jan 05 2018, 05:24pm | 0 comments

Ben Stiller is having another midlife crisis, and only his sincere, heartfelt performance saves this pile of unchecked white male privilege from self-parody. But only just.

movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Mon Jan 01

Fri Jan 05 2018, 03:13pm | 0 comments

Jessica Chastain and Maggie Q. get centered in their own stories, while Michelle Williams is this week’s Best Supporting Mother.

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Jan 05

Fri Jan 05 2018, 03:08pm | 1 comment

Molly’s Game goes wide, and a few foreign films about women arrive (in limited release) on US shores.

I’m highlighting female participation in a film with each new review

Fri Jan 05 2018, 01:44pm | 6 comments

Quick visual icons to the top of each review will indicate whether a film has a female director, writer, and/or protagonist.

curated: women are making absolutely zero progress in Hollywood

Fri Jan 05 2018, 01:08pm | 0 comments

We tried asking nicely. Time for big action.

curated: women in Hollywood are doing “disaster feminism”

Wed Jan 03 2018, 11:56am | 0 comments


All the Money in the World movie review: cashed out

Tue Jan 02 2018, 10:38pm | 3 comments

The most interesting thing about this all-over-the-place drama-thriller is Ridley Scott’s last-minute Hail Mary pass to replace a disgraced cast member. The finale is tense and exciting, but it’s a slog to get there.

curated: Star Trek Continues E11: “To Boldly Go: Part II” (the last one ever)

Mon Jan 01 2018, 06:10pm | 0 comments

A very bittersweet ending to an incredibly rich fan production.

gendered abuse I have received

Mon Jan 01 2018, 02:50pm | 161 comments

In which I am informed that as an ugly, irrelevant, undesirable 70–year-old cat-lady spinster, and probably a lesbian, I should just die already.

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Dec 25-29

Fri Dec 29 2017, 10:39pm | comments off

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

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Dec 26

Fri Dec 29 2017, 10:37pm | comments off

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

Molly’s Game movie review: absolutely aces

Fri Dec 29 2017, 10:32pm | 7 comments

Bold, tough, hugely entertaining. Like a new GoodFellas, except about a woman caught up in her own impudence and daring. Jessica Chastain is badass.

The Post movie review: printing truth to power

Fri Dec 29 2017, 09:34pm | 1 comment

Crackles with life and energy, depicting a grand adventure in journalism from almost half a century ago with vigor, suspense, and an urgent relevance for today.

OFCS 2017 awards winners announced

Thu Dec 28 2017, 09:09pm | 0 comments

Get Out wins Best Film and Best Original Screenplay. Call Me by Your Name, Dunkirk, and Three Billboards also take two awards each.

curated: what if Kevin in ‘Home Alone’ is actually dead?

Thu Dec 28 2017, 02:41pm | 2 comments


new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, US/Can, from Dec 26

Wed Dec 27 2017, 09:12pm | comments off

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

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Dec 26

Wed Dec 27 2017, 08:35pm | comments off

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

Bright movie review: every little thing it does is the opposite of magic

Fri Dec 22 2017, 11:42pm | 135 comments

Trolls the viewer and condescends to genre fans. A smirking, tone-deaf parable about racism that is itself racist, including about its made-up orcs and elves.

curated: why Vice Admiral Holdo is so important a character

Fri Dec 22 2017, 01:30pm | 4 comments

She’s the Laura Dern character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

curated: stories matter

Thu Dec 21 2017, 02:17pm | 2 comments

This has always been the foundation of my criticism.

Pitch Perfect 3 movie review: pitch, please…

Wed Dec 20 2017, 09:19pm | 6 comments

The slim charms of the previous movies have been tossed away in favor of cringe-inducing cattiness and a ridiculous plot. There’s barely even any music. Aca-palling.

Downsizing movie review: let’s get small (#LFF2017)

Wed Dec 20 2017, 01:28pm | 4 comments

Absolutely stupendous: smart, funny, poignant, a true original. A thrilling odyssey of ideas that takes its sci-fi concept to the very edges of extrapolation.

curated: online critics pick ‘Get Out’ as best film of 2017 in HeyUGuys poll

Wed Dec 20 2017, 12:19pm | 0 comments

Get Out won over Dunkirk by a single vote.

I’m on BBC Radio 4’s “Front Row” this Friday, December 22nd

Wed Dec 20 2017, 12:09pm | 2 comments

My reach into the BBC is expanding!

curated: ‘The Room’ is getting a wide release in the US

Tue Dec 19 2017, 04:37pm | 1 comment

One day only. Wednesday, January 10th, 2018.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie review: jungle feeble

Tue Dec 19 2017, 02:33pm | 11 comments

Culturally clueless cinematic vomit, a cynical undertaking embracing the most diminishing clichés it can apply to its characters. Low stakes, and low humor.

curated: somehow, spinster Jane Austen was able to imagine marriage

Mon Dec 18 2017, 12:59pm | 4 comments

And her with only a ladybrain!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie review: a great disturbance in the Force

Mon Dec 18 2017, 11:21am | 216 comments

Upends expectations, demythologizes the mythos, and takes an iconic series in a bold new direction with a story full of humor, courage, and dazzling imagery.

Mountain documentary review: the philosophy of peak adventure

Sat Dec 16 2017, 09:09pm | 0 comments

Dizzying and dazzling, this is a stirring meditation on the allure, the mystery, and the danger of the world’s highest summits, as places but also as ideas.

The Unseen movie review: when the see it/skip it recommendation is right in the title

Fri Dec 15 2017, 09:26am | 2 comments

A portrait of grief and guilt that’s only mildly engaging, until it morphs into a wannabe psychological thriller and turns limp, laughable, and just plain icky.

I, Tonya movie review: a woman at war with herself

Thu Dec 14 2017, 04:53pm | 4 comments

A black comedy about domestic violence, parental abuse, and low self-esteem (and it works!), one that challenges our appreciation of how true based-on-fact might be.

curated: Salma Hayek’s Harvey Weinstein horror story

Wed Dec 13 2017, 07:15pm | 2 comments

This one is really bad…

Menashe movie review: the unhappy nonconformist

Wed Dec 13 2017, 03:16pm | 0 comments

A bittersweet, deeply human tale, one with a documentary sense of discovery to its setting: a little seen, highly insular ultraorthodox Jewish community.

new ways to support my work: Patreon, Ko-Fi, Liberapay (PayPal still works, too)

Tue Dec 12 2017, 10:52pm | 4 comments

You may have noticed some new links around the site through which you can financially support my writing.

Ferdinand movie review: no bull, it’s wonderful

Mon Dec 11 2017, 10:52pm | 5 comments

Goofy, charming, faithful to its sweet source material, and all while advancing the standard “Be yourself” message with fresh challenges to gender expectations.

The Rape of Recy Taylor documentary review: meet the unheralded badass black women of recent American history

Sun Dec 10 2017, 09:55pm | 0 comments

Enraging, and eye-opening, the beginning of the antidote for how black women’s lives get erased in America. Tells a story that we should recognize as epic.

curated: ‘Star Wars’ meets ‘The Florida Project’

Sun Dec 10 2017, 07:15pm | 0 comments

The stars, that is: Daisy Ridley interviews Brooklynn Prince, who couldn’t be happier to meet her idol.

A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven) (4K restoration) movie review: paradise on Earth

Fri Dec 08 2017, 05:46pm | 9 comments

One of the most beloved British films ever is now even more lush, more gorgeous, more humanist in a glorious new restored edition.

curated: “make the movie dumber”

Thu Dec 07 2017, 09:12pm | 4 comments

I don’t belong on this planet.

curated: even the “contrarian” film critics are white men

Thu Dec 07 2017, 09:10pm | 11 comments

So many white men…

11/8/16 (aka November 8th) documentary review: too soon, too soon

Wed Dec 06 2017, 04:28pm | 5 comments

An important portrait of America on the day that changed it for the worse… but difficult to watch, with the impact of the election still spiraling out of control.

The Disaster Artist movie review: a view on ‘The Room’

Tue Dec 05 2017, 02:56pm | 15 comments

A hilarious ode to talentless passion. James Franco gives the bizarre Tommy Wiseau depth without solving his mystery, but skips a deserved zing at Hollywood.

I’m doing National Novel Writing Month! (updated)

Fri Dec 01 2017, 04:39pm | 12 comments

My book is tentatively entitled The Righteous Guild Conspiracy, and it’s a Dan Brown–style mystery adventure set on a human-inhabited planet that is not Earth.

← older posts   newer posts →

Pin It on Pinterest