Matthew Lickona Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Matthew Lickona

Matthew Lickona
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/5 98% Blaze (2018) Ethan Hawke continues scratching his artisty itch by directing and co-writing a biopic of Blaze Foley that feels as raggedy-shambling, jumbled, and sad (but secretly thoughtful and impressive) as the country music oddball himself. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2018
2/5 67% Lizzie (2018) When the time comes for the famous axe and whacks, Lizzie reveals itself as more Greek tragedy than murder mystery - a depiction of feminine ferocity and ingenuity in the face of injustice.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2018
3/5 67% The Apparition (L'apparition) (2018) The result is something rare: a genuinely engaging cinematic treatment of faith, one that offers revelations even as it casts a gimlet eye on Revelation.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
1/5 84% A Simple Favor (2018) Director Paul Feig doesn't seem able to decide whether he's making a slightly outré crime comedy, a blithely twisted relationship thriller, a brightly lit horror melodrama, or maybe an arch meta-take on all three. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
1/5 34% The Predator (2018) What's remarkable is that the results are so blockbuster-bland. It might've helped if Black had stuck to the band of misfits angle, pitting the Predator against a group of war-ravaged vets who have to find a way past their damage if they're gonna survive.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
3/5 89% We the Animals (2018) The conclusion is certain enough to be practically foregone, and if what leads up to it is aggressively arty, it's also artful and frank, a rare combination.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
1/5 43% Destination Wedding (2018) Your enjoyment may depend on how cheekily delightful you find it that they keep up the chatter even during a hillside hump: "Can we please stop talking about your mother?" "I'm killing time."‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
3/5 86% Madeline's Madeline (2018) Add another name to the list of talented and charismatic young actresses of color making auspicious debuts of late: Helena Howard, star of director and co-writer Josephine Decker's simultaneously attractive and repellent mindjob.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
2/5 89% Skate Kitchen (2018) Less a movie than a visually striking meditation on Being a Girl These Days.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2018
1/5 88% John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection) (2018) In the end, [Faraut] doesn't have quite enough of anything for a feature. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2018
3/5 66% The Little Stranger (2018) Everything here is precise: Abrahamson's direction, the understated performances, the intrusive sounds that stop just shy of jarring. The result is more sad and spooky than suspenseful or scary, an effect that seems entirely, and pleasingly, intentional.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2018
1/5 67% A Midsummer Night's Dream (2018) Whether you are amused or bemused, it's unlikely that you'll feel much of anything; this is comedy at its frothiest and foamiest. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
2/5 100% McQueen (2018) [The directors] would have done well to shear away the obscuring frills of polite encomiums and pay more attention to the structural details of both the man and what he made.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
1/5 46% The Meg (2018) Maybe director John Turteltaub thought the barrage of pathos and yuks would distract from the fact that his star is a very big fish that is not very bright. Still: cool shark, bro.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
1/5 46% Generation Wealth (2018) Scattered and self-indulgent, a career retrospective in search of a coherent theme.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2018
1/5 17% The Darkest Minds (2018) Notable for its willingness to display coarse language (kids these days), and nasty behavior - it's a dystopia; when mind-control powers are in play, is it really so surprising that they get used for murder, rape, and torture?‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2018
2/5 76% The King (2018) The insistence may inspire a furrowed brow here, a rolled eye there, and a shaken fist or knowing nod over yonder, but there's enough earnest comment and good music to make the effort worth seeing and chewing over.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
1/5 51% Equalizer 2 (2018) It's not much of a movie - more a parade of rah-rah triumphs obscuring a batch of logical oddities - which makes Washington's committed performance stand out like the heavenly host in the night sky over Bethlehem. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
1/5 93% Blindspotting (2018) [Casal and Diggs'] talent and charisma are all but undeniable, and their ambition is impossible not to admire, but their execution is confused - fatally so, from a storytelling standpoint.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
2/5 97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) The McDonald's hamburger of action movies. Well, maybe that's not entirely fair. Maybe the Wendy's.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
1/5 46% Skyscraper (2018) The pleasures here come from watching an extraordinary physical specimen go through a lo-tech workout routine thousands of feet above the ground as he tries to rescue his family from a burning superskyscraper.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2018
1/5 88% Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) Would be okay and maybe even fun were it not for the frequent presence of a gruesome ghost haunting the proceedings: a woman in constant physical and emotional agony who is trying desperately not to die. A weirdly disturbing fly in the amiable ointment.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2018
0/5 63% Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) As if in imitation of the ruthless Mexican drug cartel its heroes go after, director Stefano Sollima's sequel decapitates, disembowels, and castrates Denis Villeneuve's beautiful, tough, and sad 2015 original. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
2/5 49% Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Golly, maybe life really will find a way, even in a franchise whose last installment played like a zombified version of the original entry from Steven Spielberg.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
1/5 52% Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town (2018) A pretty, slightly precious punk trifle with blood on its white tux jacket. ‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2018
2/5 91% Hearts Beat Loud (2018) The story is barrel-proof earnest sentiment, straight no chaser. How to keep the eyes from rolling in response? Well, it helps to have Nick Offerman at the center of things.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2018
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 89% 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 68% 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 59% 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 85% 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 67% 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 78% 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 84% 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 51% 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 95% 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 83% 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 53% 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 75% Gemini (2018) The word "beguiling" came to mind throughout.‐ San Diego Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2018
1/5 72% 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 90% 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 80% 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