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 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.” ...

Interview with I Origins director Mike Cahill and star Michael Pitt

I Origins, which opens this week, is another piece of smart sci-fi from Another Earth director Mike Cahill. It stars Michael Pitt — an actor possessed of considerable if quiet magnetism — as a scientist ...

Layers upon layers

In 1977, film director Roman Polanski pled guilty to the charge of unlawful sex with a minor — a 13-year-old girl. He then fled the country to avoid sentencing. Need every review of a Polanski ...

Variations on a theme

I love craft cocktails for the same reason I love variations on a theme in a sonata: the pleasure of the familiar combined with unexpected invention. Alchemy Alchemy is where I learned to get behind ...

Interview with Life Itself director Steve James and Roger Ebert widow Chaz Ebert

Roger Ebert was a pioneer. Famously the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, he also pioneered film criticism as televised entertainment with Sneak Previews and At the Movies, both of which he hosted ...

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