Matthew Lickona Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Matthew Lickona

Matthew Lickona
Matthew Lickona's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): San Diego Reader

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/5 83% 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 70% 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 11% 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 43% 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 39% 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 58% 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 96% 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 55% 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 86% 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
1/5 65% The Tribes of Palos Verdes (2017) What's the point of white privilege if it doesn't protect you from disaster and despair?‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2017
2/5 91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) When the salt settles, we are left with neither triumph nor tragedy; instead, it's one more chapter in the continuing saga, punctuated by a few moments of genuine awe.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2017
1/5 31% Wonder Wheel (2017) If 2016's Café Society was writer-director Woody Allen's attempt to introduce a younger generation to the world of Woody Allen, then this might just be his followup attempt to show the Kids of Today what a filmed Tennessee Williams play looks like.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2017
3/5 91% The Disaster Artist (2017) Wiseau also makes a pretty good avatar for Franco himself: a mercurial, relentless performer whose ambition encompasses a thrilling willingness to crash and burn. And it's that identification that makes the comedy work here: Franco kids because he loves.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2017
3/5 92% The Shape of Water (2017) It's a testament to the storyteller's skill that he manages to cram [so much] into his narrative with nary a lump and still keep his characters dancing with only one or two minor missteps. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2017
3/5 97% Coco (2017) Of every Pixar film that deals with family, memory, and loss, ask, "Is there sufficient reason for the tears that will inevitably run down my face by the end?" Yes, thanks in no small part to the ingenious use of De La Cruz's hit song, "Remember Me."‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2017
1/5 93% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) McDonagh works way too hard to inject nearly every scene with his patented solution of acid wit and dark-roast comedy... It's jarringly effective until it starts to feel like shtick, at which point it works only as a numbing agent. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2017
2/5 82% The Square (2017) The whole experience is rough going: sometimes numbing, sometimes horrifying, sometimes merely baffling. There's a kind of artful artlessness at work here‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2017
1/5 40% Justice League (2017) There's some welcome levity, some genuine conversation (as when Bats and Diana share a drink), and a few moments that feel like really good comic book panels (especially mid-credits). For some, that may be enough.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2017
2/5 99% BPM (Beats Per Minute) (120 battements par minute) (2017) [Director] Campillo tries to give both personal and political equal weight (or at least equal screen time), and proves more adept at the latter: never have highly regulated meetings to propose policy and review results been so richly engaging. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2017
2/5 100% No Greater Love (2017) Despite the sentimental soundtrack, the declarations of American greatness, and the stories of courage under fire, what mostly comes though is that war is hell, and it takes an awful toll on those who wage it.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2017
1/5 57% Murder On The Orient Express (2017) Whodunit? Who took the life of a famous murder mystery and left it dead on the screen? I accuse...director and star Kenneth Branagh. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2017
2/5 75% Last Flag Flying (2017) The film winds up like both its subjects and the military they served in: sincere in its objectives, compromised in its execution.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2017
1/5 87% Novitiate (2017) [Reverend Mother Leo's] countenance alternates between a stony smile and a twisted snarl, except for the moments when the changes wrought by Vatican II threaten to loosen her iron grip over her young charges. Then she simply goes to pieces.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2017
4/5 85% Okja (2017) Pitch-black satire, heartwarming devotion, over-the-top performance, and subtle drama are engineered into something decidedly (if improbably) delicious.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2017
4/5 81% The Nile Hilton Incident (2017) The evocation of that old film noir feeling is hugely effective here: Dad telling his freshly-bribed son "You can't buy dignity," the fantastic slow zoom on a love scene reflected in a two-way mirror, even the beguiling torch singer.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
3/5 99% Jane (2017) Writer-director Brett Morgen makes the most of both the find and his still-living subject: image and story alike are packed with rich color and affecting detail.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
1/5 92% Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Director Taika Waititi's take on the God of Thunder plays a bit like the rock mockumentary This is Spinal Tap: it's front-loaded with jokes, built around a severe humbling, and full of silly bombast.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
2/5 100% The Departure (2017) Lana Wilson's documentary portrait of [Buddhist priest] Nemoto triumphs as a story but stumbles as a movie. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
1/5 28% Suburbicon (2017) The narrative automobile lurches from fifth gear to first, then swerves into a white picket fence and bursts into flames.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
1/5 7% The Snowman (2017) It's a pity, because there's some squirmy vitality in the hothouse premise.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2017
2/5 64% Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) So yes, even kid-friendly art begins in a wound, and money tarnishes everything it touches. But maybe there's a silver lining to that little black rain cloud hovering over the honey tree?‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2017
3/5 96% The Florida Project (2017) [Director Sean Baker's] frantic depiction of Moonee's final fantasy verges on both brilliance and heartbreak. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2017
4/5 98% Trophy (2017) Trophy doesn't tell you which side to pick; it's content to show you what they are.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2017
2/5 84% Loving Vincent (2017) There's lots of love (and loveliness) on display here: the color paintings are rendered after the manner of the modern master, and there's a stubborn refusal to either glamorize a suffering soul or demonize those who may have helped to seal his fate.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2017
2/5 87% Professor Marston & The Wonder Women (2017) Writer-director Angela Robinson is interested in both her subjects and their ideas, and that counts for something.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2017
1/5 29% The Queen of Spain (La reina de España) (2017) Watching here feels akin to peeking at a private love letter from an artist to his art, an experience that will fascinate some and off-put many.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2017
2/5 87% Blade Runner 2049 (2017) There's a frisson in seeing fecundity exalted in a world bent on selling pleasure-sex.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2017
2/5 66% Victoria & Abdul (2017) What to make of such a remarkable bit of history? Alas, for director Stephen Frears, the answer is "not much" (though what is there is certainly splendid to look upon).‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2017
2/5 84% The King's Choice (2017) Director Erik Poppe's handling of complicated material - diplomacy amid invasion, familial struggles amid national strife, political machinery clanking along amid explosions - is clear and sure. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2017
2/5 86% American Made (2017) The point here is not to depict Reagan-era corruption or cartel ruthlessness. The point is a wild ride akin to [the real-life] Barry's own - you may as well enjoy it.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2017
3/5 77% Woodpeckers (Carpinteros) (2017) Cabral's depiction of prison society feels measured and just: there is no pretending that it isn't awful, but nor is there a denial of basic human feeling.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2017
2/5 90% Marjorie Prime (2017) A gentle story that is no less profound for being so.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2017