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

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 ...

Jennifer Connelly discusses Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut

American Pastoral takes on nothing less than the fragile impermanence of the American Dream

Matthew Lickona: When Dawn is in the depths of her sadness and misery, she tells the Swede that she should have married one of the nice Holy Cross boys she knew when she was young. ...

All abuzz for American Honey

New movies opening this week include Long Way North and The Accountant

American Honey is the second movie from a Brit director about economic hardship in America that has won me over this year — the first being Hell or High Water. Where Hell is tight, polished, ...

The Birth of a Nation has a host of problems

Movies opening this week: The Girl on the Train, My Blind Brother, and more

As I was leaving the screening of The Birth of a Nation with my brother, he turned to me and said, “I’d say that was more like a TV movie than anything else, but that ...

The Birth of a Nation is passionate but careless

Nate Parker's Nat Turner

The Birth of a Nation — director, star, and cowriter Nate Parker’s take on Nat Turner’s failed slave uprising — may be a sadly timely movie. That certainly seems to be the point behind Mrs. ...

Deepwater Horizon, tronc, and other disasters

Movies opening this week: Queen of Katwe, Demon, and more

Last week I mentioned the Reader‘s original and longtime film critic, Duncan Shepherd. I arrived at the paper back in the mid-’90s, and often as not when I told people where I worked they’d reply, ...

I'll never know if Storks delivers

New movies opening this week: The Magnificent Seven, Author: The JT LeRoy Story, and more

Aaaand we're back! Eight, count 'em, eight piping hot reviews of new releases — but alas, Storks is not one of them. Our proprietary Reader review algorithm (affectionately dubbed the the Duncanizer), which calculates the ...

Jeff Feuerzeig on creating a character

Author: The JT LeRoy Story writer-director discusses truth and fiction

Matthew Lickona: When the scandal breaks about author Laura Albert having created the author JT LeRoy, you give us several phone messages from Laura’s answering machine, urging her to get a huge book deal right ...

Hollywood bets there’s gold in them thar woods! (Also, the womb.)

New movies opening this week: Blair Witch, White Girl, Snowden, and more

Apple founder Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you give it to them.” Maybe he’s right. I never dreamed people would want threequels to The Blair Witch Project and Bridget ...

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