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.

Latest Articles

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 ...

Oscars 2015: Who’s gonna win?

Losing the ability to live-blog his angst during last year’s Academy Awards ceremony made it hell on this reporter. Forced to sit and watch the damn thing in real time — the horror. Matthew Lickona ...

A couple’s bond

If this is Valentine’s Day weekend, The Duke of Burgundy must be a deeply felt lesbian BDSM romance. Don’t arrive looking for titillation; there’s little in the way of sex and/or nudity. But writer-director Peter ...

I think Garrison Keillor is a genius

You could learn a lot from a small-town guy.

Well, a secret genius, anyway. That might seem a funny sort of title for someone who’s written for The New Yorker, penned the screenplay for a Robert Altman film, published a slew of novels and ...

Interview with National Gallery director (and master documentarian) Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman’s documentaries have titles such as High School, Hospital, Juvenile Court, Meat, Model, Racetrack, Deaf, Missile, Zoo, Domestic Violence, and Boxing Gym. That last, from 2010, was my first exposure, and I was immediately ...

Interview with American Sniper actor (and San Diegan!) Ben Reed

Matthew Lickona: In the film, you play Wayne Kyle, father to the deadliest sniper in American history. Ben Reed: It was a great opportunity for me because it kind of sets the tone for who ...

Interview with The Babadook writer-director Jennifer Kent

Matthew Lickona: How did you pitch this? Jennifer Kent: It’s funny, because all the things that people are liking about it are the things that the financiers said wouldn’t work. But I think it’s about ...

Talking soundtracks with Wild director Jean-Marc Vallée

Matthew Lickona: Tell me about putting the soundtrack together. I thought it was a very interesting approach, having snatches of songs come in here and there, sometimes having them sung by the characters. Jean-Marc Vallée: ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close