Matthew Lickona

Matthew Lickona

As an undergraduate at Thomas Aquinas College near Ojai, California, Matthew Lickona co-founded and ran The Hype, a college lit-mag printed on the school's copier and sold at a dollar a copy to pay off speeding tickets acquired while trying to make movie times in Los Angeles. This may or may not have helped him to land a job at the Reader upon graduation in 1995, but the paper did reprint some of his collegiate Easter Island-based cartoons, and later, his Mudflap Girls series. He has been at the paper ever since, in a variety of capacities: feature writer, wine columnist, church reviewer, restaurant critic, television columnist, editor at large, and now, film critic. Plus some other stuff under various pseudonyms.

Some samples of his early writing at the Reader:

March 20, 1997, page 54 Men Will Rise to the Level Women Demand of Them

Oct. 16, 1997, page 50 Pistol Pete Was Fat in All the Right Places(cattle insemination)

Oct. 30, 1997, page 46 My Darling Droolbucket

(one of the Daddy columns)

June 18, 1998, page 26 Dah Always Wins

March 20, 2003, page 59 Domestic Spy

He is the author of a couple of books (Swimming with Scapulars, Surfing with Mel), and his essays have appeared in places like The Awl, FirstThings.com, and Doublethink. In his spare time, he likes to write movie pitches and country songs.

Articles by Matthew Lickona

Movies can make you feel things

New January releases: Patriots Day, Julieta, and more

A lot of critics liked Patriots Day — The Boston Globe‘s Ty Burr being a notable exception. I didn’t much care for it. Peter Berg’s dramatization of the Boston Marathon bombing and ensuing manhunt started ...

Patriots Day, a net cast wide but with little care

Berg’s Boston Marathon

Based on Peter Berg’s sprawling Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day, here is what I know about Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two brothers who planted pressure cooker bombs near the marathon’s finish line ...

The best isn’t Silence

New year, new movie releases: Hidden Figures, Train to Busan, and more

Hmph. Happy New Year, indeed. All y’all out there in movie-pass land had a chance to win tickets via the Reader to see an advance screening of Underworld: Blood Wars. But not us critics. Like ...

The Middlebrow Monk's best films of 2016

Critical listicle!

Matthew Lickona here. One of the painful things about looking back over the year in reviews is you get an eyeful of your unfortunate overuses. I’m going to try to excise “riveting,” “gripping,” and “fascinating” ...

Not with a roar, but a whimper

A fizzling end to a bang-up year of movies, including Passengers, Lion, and more

This is it, folks. Unless you know something I don’t, there will be no new releases next Friday, December 30. (Scott and I will take the occasion to post our two Top Ten Lists, which ...

A welcome break from opera — super, space, or otherwise

A good week of new movie releases, including Jackie and Rogue One

The Wikipedia entry for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story calls it “a 2016 American epic space opera film.” There’s lots more after that, but let me pause for a moment. “Space opera?” As in ...

Hello, ladies!

A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more

I missed the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. I also missed both versions of the “awful opera singer” story (Marguerite and Florence Foster Jenkins). Heck, I even missed Denial, despite the fact that it starred personal ...

Jump into a bag of humor and death

Eyes of My Mother is unnerving

First-time writer-director Nicolas Pesce’s The Eyes of My Mother feels unnervingly like a Diane Arbus photo that’s been stretched into a film. Which is to say, it’s unnerving, a shadowy black-and-white (well, black-and-gray) image of ...

Sometimes critics mean what they say

Musings and new movies: Manchester by the Sea, The Similars, and more

Duncan Shepherd had it easy. When he slammed a movie, people would accuse him of being elitist or of hating anything that wasn’t foreign (Eastwood and the Coens excepted). Sometimes they would accuse him of ...

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