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

Latest Articles

Interview with Good Kill star Bruce Greenwood

Besides his recent role as a wealthy developer on TV’s Mad Men, Bruce Greenwood may be most familiar as the fatherly Captain Pike in J.J. Abrams’ s Star Trek reboots. In Good Kill, he plays ...

Niccol on drones

Extra missiles, please

The battlefield in Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill is within the soul of Major Thomas Egan (a drawn and dead-eyed Ethan Hawke), a former fighter pilot who now spends his days in a metal box on ...

East County pork excursion

Carnitas Uruapan “One ($2.50) crispy carnitas taco, please.” “Crispy taco, or crispy carnitas?” Because when you’re this good with pig meat, it could go either way. I chose the taco, because nowhere else have I ...

A reason to make Far from the Madding Crowd

Interview with director Thomas Vinterberg

Matthew Lickona: There are those who say that when a film is set in the past, it’s in order to comment on the present. Was there a particular reason to make this film now? Thomas ...

Ex Machina belongs in the success column of AI movies

Interview with writer-director Alex Garland

Artificial intelligence — the notion of a sentient machine — has had a bit of a run at the movies of late, with some entries (Her) more successful than others (Chappie). I’m putting Ex Machina ...

Franco's falsehoods

Interview with True Story director Rupert Goold

True Story is a film based on a true story about stories that aren’t entirely true. Namely, the one told by disgraced journalist Mike Finkel (Jonah Hill) — fired by the New York Times after ...

Speakeasies, night clubs, and a solid but slightly self-conscious neighborhood joint

The Rabbit Hole What happens when the hipsters go underground. Ha-ha. It’s really more of a solid but slightly self-conscious neighborhood joint. Normal Heights, everybody! Worth a visit for the trippy lapine art alone: murals, ...

It's just death

Screenwriter Ol Parker discusses The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The 2012 film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel pulled in $137 million worldwide on a $10 million budget, numbers that seem especially impressive when you consider that the film was about, in the words of ...

Interview with She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry subject Alice Wolfson

The historical documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry stitches together — to borrow an image from one of its subjects — a magic quilt of the various groups, motivated by various concerns, that more or ...

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