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

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 ...

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Light is a kind of noise

A tale of Marks in the dark, plus new releases including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Curmudgeonly grouch Scott Marks has, like some kind of critical Sam Jackson, had it with these blankety-blank cell phones in the blankety-blank theater! Read all about it here, and then scooch over to his rapturous ...

The Edge of Seventeen — the kids of today

Hughesian youth

Writer-director-producer Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen offers a verbally frank take on the horrors of adolescence — difficult parents, difficult siblings, difficult romantic interests, and even difficult best friends — gentled just enough ...

What should we name Trump: the Sequel?

The latest in presidencies and movies

Well, President-elect Trump scored a sleeper hit with his stunning election-day performance at the ballot box. And what do studios do after scoring a hit? They greenlight a sequel! Let's get the obvious options out ...

Doctor Not Too Terribly Strange

Doctor Strange, Gimme Danger, and more hitting movie theaters

On the wall of my office is a framed, tiny sketch of the Marvel comic book superhero Doctor Strange, drawn by Gene Colan the year before he died. My brother bought it for me at ...

Teresa Palmer on Mel Gibson’s new film

Interview with Hacksaw Ridge costar

Mel Gibson’s latest film tells the story of Desmond Doss, a man compelled by duty to join the Army during World War II and compelled by belief to avoid committing acts of violence. Palmer, who ...

A slow week at the movies is not the same as a weak week

Aquarius and The Free World among new theater releases

This week is a strong one for women here at The Big Screen. The big news is Sonia Braga, who not only plays a strong, intelligent woman in Aquarius, but also plays a strong, intelligent ...

Certain Women, uncertain concept?

Movies opening this week: London Town, A Man Called Ove, and more

Scott decided to dodge this week’s Santa Anas by ducking into the cool confines of his local cineplex and staying there. Our man in the dark took in five features this week, and if it ...

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