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 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 ...

Catch that pitch: Final Girl

When my hair gets long and the light is dim, I look just a little bit like an overweight, poor-man’s Malcolm Gladwell. And I am that poor man, at least compared to Mr. Gladwell himself. ...

Sinless City

Woodstock goes electric.

As an ad for the Electric Daisy Carnival — an annual electronic dance music festival — Under the Electric Sky is pretty good. The gigantic animatronic owl whose nest serves as the event’s main stage ...

The Fault in Our Stars

[This piece contains spoilers about the film. Not the ending or anything, but still. Read at your own risk.] So I joined the review aggregator that is Rotten Tomatoes. (Thanks, Rotten Tomatoes!) I don’t love ...

This again?

Dying is such a brutal grind

Edge of Tomorrow sports a fine premise for these entertaining times: what if you woke up inside a video game? Specifically, what if you had to go through the brutal grind of dying over and ...

Q&A with Fed Up director Stephanie Soechtig at Landmark La Jolla Village

Hey, did you see Fed Up? Alas, neither did we — not yet, anyway. But Saturday brings a chance to change all that, plus chat with the film’s director! Stephanie Soechtig will be on hand ...

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