Matthew Lickona Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Matthew Lickona

Matthew Lickona
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
0/5 55% Tag (2018) The cast is talented and game. But the game itself is grotesque, largely because of the characters they're forced to play. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2018
1/5 94% Incredibles 2 (2018) Incredibles 2 feels like a rebuke of the audience that came to gawk at a superhero movie - and worse, that had the nerve to identify with its superior protagonists.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
2/5 58% Hotel Artemis (2018) The characters are stock, but interior complexity isn't the point in a one-crazy-night genre outing like this; what matters is the reaction produced when these known quantities get placed in an unstable environment and shaken up.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2018
2/5 90% Hereditary (2018) Having announced itself, it works as a bravura technical exercise in the slow reveal. Cameras are forever following terrified gazes to the source of the terror, and revelation builds on revelation until an awful culmination begins to seem inevitable.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2018
3/5 69% On Chesil Beach (2018) What had been impossibly sweet becomes simply impossible, and old-fashioned mores prove unsuited to the task of navigating the emotional morass. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
2/5 56% Always at the Carlyle (2018) What looks at first like it might be a 92-minute commercial for a venerable luxury hotel... turns out to be something quite different - something more melancholy and elegiac than a simple celebration of refined indulgence.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
2/5 84% Disobedience (2018) The film gets the exterior structures of religion, and even gets the idea of belief, but fails to grasp its content...Of course, such considerations are easy to overlook when a decade's worth of repressed sexuality is bubbling over.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted May 25, 2018
1/5 69% The Seagull (2018) A story full of passion and longing and rage and betrayal that comes across as abstract verging on bloodless. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted May 25, 2018
1/5 71% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Young Han can only watch helplessly as the gravity of the Star Wars children's crusade overwhelms him and the wondrous fun run gives way to a joyless slog that actually undermines the heroism of A New Hope even as it seeks to foreshadow it. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted May 25, 2018
1/5 84% The Escape (2018) The colors are rich and the direction is intelligent...but the overall effect is frustration leading to dissatisfaction.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
2/5 82% Deadpool 2 (2018) Instead of seeking to top the over-the-top antics of the first film, [both director and star are] content to simply groove with what they've already established and just have fun. The result is less exhausting and more entertaining.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
2/5 83% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Maybe the quips and the punch-ups are there because they have to be, what with the film's steady parade of failure and even death. Plans fail. Character fails. Even sacrifices fail. It's not exactly refreshing, but it is bracing, and even gratifying. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
1/5 53% Ismael's Ghosts (Les fantômes d'Ismaël) (2018) It's all very artfully done, with plenty of inventive camera work by Irina Lubtchansky. But I found it unsatisfying, even as a slice of life; it seemed more of a julienne. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
2/5 89% Itzhak (2018) Perlman seems that rare sort: a virtuoso at peace with God, neighbor, and himself, a man who suffered much in youth, and then triumphed over that suffering to make a happy, ordinary life.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
3/5 96% The Endless (2018) The eventual reveal fits with the film's overall intelligence and interest in people and existence over spectacle and action. (Though there's some of that as well.) The Endless is a smart, sweetly creepy good time.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
2/5 84% Borg Vs. McEnroe (2018) By the end, even the flaws become, if not entirely justifiable, then at least intelligible. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
1/5 52% Rampage (2018) It may be based on a video game, but it plays like a live-action cartoon, one that doubles as a fantastical journey into the imagination and sensibility of a 10-year-old boy, complete with rude hand gestures and goofy declarations of badassery.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
3/5 95% Tehran Taboo (2018) Happily, Soozandah is more humanist than polemicist, so that what follows is less about the system than the people navigating it.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2018
2/5 77% Gemini (2018) The word "beguiling" came to mind throughout.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2018
1/5 73% Ready Player One (2018) Life in the OASIS is exciting and wondrous to behold through your avatar's oversized anime eyes, but it doesn't mean much without some real-world stakes, and that's where the film stumbles, badly.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
3/5 89% Isle of Dogs (2018) A delight, albeit one that is red in tooth and claw.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
3/5 96% The Death of Stalin (2018) Director and co-writer Armando Iannucci puts it all on black (comedy), betting that the vast discrepancy between great power and small souls will make you laugh at the absurdity of it all - or at least not scream in horror.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
3/5 79% Unsane (2018) Director Steven Soderbergh returns to the cinema of anxiety he explored in 2013's Side Effects. Here, he wraps a lump of toxic masculinity in a thick layer of mental distress and deep fries it in rancid insurance malfeasance...Nasty and spot-on.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
2/5 43% Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) Guillermo Del Toro's 2013 original (well, first, anyway) Pacific Rim was a genre love letter. The sequel is an exemplar, a big-budget actioner that goes about its bang-up business with skill and speed. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
1/5 48% Tomb Raider (2018) For a while, it looked like director Roar Uthaug was going to deliver a video game movie that transcended the genre, mostly through the neat trick of having his ass-kicking heroine be driven by the thoroughly human desire to be Daddy's little girl again.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2018
3/5 64% The Cured (2018) The feelings are right, and that's very much the main thing.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2018
4/5 93% Loveless (Nelyubov) (2018) Everything here - from the image to the dialogue to the landscape to the film's vision and judgment - is clean, cold, and bracing.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2018
1/5 84% Mohawk (2018) As with last year's The Void, Mohawk is wonderfully long on setting, mood, and practical effects, and woefully short on storytelling and drama.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
0/5 35% Nostalgia (2018) Here, director Mark Pellington seems to be aiming at a portrayal of nostalgia itself, with the people feeling it serving as necessary but ultimately unimportant vessels, the way a doctor researching cancer needs to see it working on a patient.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
2/5 47% Red Sparrow (2018) Lurid but not quite trashy thriller from director Francis Lawrence, who puts his Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence through trials that never made it into their previous, PG-13 collaboration.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
2/5 82% Have a Nice Day (Hao Ji Le) (2018) It's all very self-consciously cool, but not off-puttingly so.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
2/5 81% The Party (2018) Like a soap bubble, writer-director Sally Potter's arch sendup of the English intelligentsia (plus the odd coked-up banker) is brief, diverting, and laden with impending doom from its very first moments.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
2/5 87% Annihilation (2018) Writer-director Alex Garland continues his assault on human specialness (and humanity in general), this time going so far as to loop in the self among the parts of us subject to genetic malleability. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
3/5 87% A Ciambra (2018) Writer-director Jonas Carpignano displays a fine feeling for the simple joys and blunt sorrows of life at the margins, and a great regard for his compelling young star. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
2/5 71% Double Lover (L'amant double) (2018) For a film about identical-twin gynecologists who share a woman, David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers was awfully psychological. Conversely, for a film about identical-twin psychologists who share a woman, François Ozon's latest is awfully gynecological.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
2/5 97% Black Panther (2018) Ultimately, it's more interesting to think about than it is to watch.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
1/5 14% Winchester (2018) Let the guilt and dread and spooky atmospherics and oh, yes, ensuing madness commence! Wait, no? Jump scares? Oh well.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
2/5 41% Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) It's...not great. But it's better than it has any right to be.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
3/5 73% Hostiles (2018) By turns deliberative and chaotic, brutal and merciful, definitely bleak and just maybe hopeful, Hostiles could have ended with its penultimate scene, but it would have been a very different movie. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
2/5 91% Phantom Thread (2018) If Anderson's The Master was a swirling miasma, Phantom Thread is an unforgiving dress. It presents an ideal and even inspires wonder, but it does make breathing difficult, and heaven help you if all you want is to have a good time. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
2/5 41% Den of Thieves (2018) [Butler] tears into his performance as nasty cop (well, sheriff) and lousy husband Nick Flanagan the way Flanagan tears into a crime-scene donut, and crams the screen with a combination of Russell Crowe's burly menace and Mel Gibson's manic rage.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
1/5 54% 12 Strong (2018) Combat scenes seem more interested in the faces than the fracas, missions are undertaken with no apparent outcome, and great difficulties loom and then dissolve like mist.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
3/5 96% Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas, los niños olvidados) (2017) An animated movie about troubled teens, and quite possibly for them as well, because it's so very like them: alternately sweet and scary, tender and violent, dense and scattered, and oh yes, childlike and adult.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2018
3/5 100% Paddington 2 (2018) It may be difficult to find a review of director and co-writer Paul King's followup to [Paddington] that does not employ some form of the word "charming." This is right and just, and the achievement is surely harder than the devoted cast makes it look.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2018
1/5 57% The Commuter (2018) If you don't think too hard about why Neeson gets brought in or how the baddies operate or what the point is, you may be able to enjoy yourself. At least until the final act, when the film goes off the rails. Like a train might do. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2018
2/5 82% Molly's Game (2018) Word-pusher Aaron Sorkin makes his debut as a director, and whaddya know, he directs a lot like he writes: fast and smooth, bordering on slick. But just bordering, because love demands sincerity, and he's found someone to love in Molly Bloom‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2017
2/5 51% Downsizing (2017) Payne's brand of prickly humanism is on full display here; he seems to revel is the notion that it's only when we're uncomfortable that we have any chance at being good.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2017
2/5 95% Call Me by Your Name (2018) It's a story less about the characters involved than it is about the dynamics between them, a late addition to the Symposium's accounts of the great god Love.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2017
1/5 56% The Greatest Showman (2017) Historians now agree that Barnum wasn't the one who said "There's a sucker born every minute," but it's hard to escape the feeling that you're being sold a poptimist bill of goods here.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2017
0/5 85% Darkest Hour (2017) And yet for all that telling about how it was, the film feels much more like happy fantasy than detailed history, a fond look back on the lead-up to a moment of moral righteousness.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2017