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, FirstThings.com, and Doublethink. In his spare time, he likes to write movie pitches and country songs.

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Latest Articles

Interview with Dom Hemingway writer-director Richard Shepherd

Okay, my bad. Dom Hemingway came out last Friday, and I’m just getting to this now. Inexcusable. Still, I believe Dom would understand — he knows about time slipping away. And anyway, it’s still in ...

Don’t be a Dragula

Hipster vampires.

Only Lovers Left Alive is less a movie than an extended, deadpan, highly stylized rant from director Jim Jarmusch. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is a vampire. Adam listens to vinyl, collects vintage electric guitars, and makes ...

Jude Law luxuriates in role of Dom Hemingway

The lyrical gangster.

Dom Hemingway opens with an extended (snicker) shot of a bare-chested and beefy Jude Law delivering an equally extended (snicker) panegyric on his penis. An encomium for his erection. A tribute to his tallywacker. On ...

Interview with Cuban Fury star Nick Frost

Nick Frost — perhaps best known as the Oliver Hardy to Simon Pegg’s Stan Laurel in the Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) — salsas into the spotlight in the ...

Interview with Divergent stars Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Christian Madsen

In Divergent (opening this week), Shailene Woodley plays Tris, a young woman living in a post-war dystopian city that has been divided into five factions: Erudite, Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity, and Candor. At 16, all children ...

Whiskey notebook: 2 Gingers rolls into San Diego

Just in time for St. Pat's

It's an odd thing to hear an it-is-ya-know Irish accent filtered through Minnesota real-good-then. Almost as odd, perhaps, as encountering an Irish whiskey named after a couple of redheaded women, dreamed up in a Minneapolis ...

Try this one weird trick to enjoy The Grand Budapest Hotel

I liked The Grand Budapest Hotel better than my co-critic Mr. Marks. Even so, it takes only the merest whit of imagination and effort to set the film’s alpine chase sequence to the melodic strains ...

Life imitates art, cheesecake edition

On the left, a promo photo from 2012’s Spring Breakers. On the right, the cover of the 2014 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Good artists borrow; great artists get the girls to go topless.

Presentation is all

It’s possible to accuse Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel of verging into self-parody. But I think Anderson is too self-conscious for that. And if you squint just so, you may be able to see ...