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. 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,, and Doublethink. In his spare time, he likes to write movie pitches and country songs.

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Latest Articles

Interview with The Good Lie stars Arnold Oceng and Kuoth Wiel and screenwriter Margaret Nagle

Good gracious, did I like The Good Lie better than I thought I would after seeing the trailer. My suspicion was that Reese Witherspoon would get her life changed in heartwarming, gently comical fashion by ...

Rough brotherhood

God and guns.

Fury’s title refers to an American tank that started out WWII fighting Germans in Africa and is now pushing toward Berlin as the enemy makes its last stand. Its crew — evangelical Shia LaBoeuf, brutish ...

Grecian Daddy Drama

The Two Faces of January could have been urid and awful and fun.

It’s not a subtle move to open your story with a tour guide (Oscar Isaac) leading a group around some sun-drenched ruins and telling site-specific stories from the Greek myths. (In this case, the story ...

Home Movies: The Big Heat

Though I review movies for a living, I try not to recommend movies to other people too often, even movies I like. Maybe especially movies I like. Because when someone urges something on me — ...

Interview with The Drop director Michaël Roskam

Trashcan puppies

I spoke with Mr. Roskam shortly after his latest film had screened at the Toronto Film Festival. He reported that the screening had gone very well: people applauded not only at the end of the ...

Crime and circumstance

Life is hard.

The Fourth of July fireworks display that caps off the poor-kids-in-the-heartland documentary Rich Hill can be viewed in a couple of ways. You can see the young’uns staring open-mouthed at the pretty explosions while chants ...

Robin Williams, RIP

Most everyone has had their say already about the death of Robin Williams. I don’t have anything to add about the man, except to say that he helped to shape, as much as Jack Benny ...

Interview with Calvary writer-director John Michael McDonagh

Matthew Lickona: The man calls Father James a good priest. What makes him a good priest, to you? John Michael McDonagh: I think he’s completely sincere. He makes suggestions, let’s say, that are based on ...

Broken adults

Music mines memory

“I’ve forgotten so much,” says the 90-year-old woman who opens the documentary Alive Inside. “I’m very sorry. I’ve forgotten what I did after I became a young lady. If I could tell you, I would.” ...

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