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

Lo and behold a movie this weekend!

Movies opening this week: Lo and Behold, Hands of Stone, and more

It’s a quiet week on the new-release front, at least in terms of what we were able to see. I wanted Werner Herzog’s take on the Internet in Lo and Behold to be a little ...

Here comes Hell or High Water

Interview with director David Mackenzie and costar Gil Birmingham

The stars align in the Western sky. Hell or High Water is the sort of film that tempts the critic — well, tempts me, anyway — to start writing the sort of copy that might ...

Knitting the middlebrow

Movies opening this week: Indignation, Suicide Squad, The Innocents, and more

How do I know that I am, at heart, a middlebrow critic? Well, partly because I have yet to join my fellow critic Scott in his celebration of the Jackass franchise. But also because I ...

Getting indignant

Indignation director James Schamus on his new film

In 2013, James Schamus was given, as he puts it, “the privilege and the luxury of being fired from my studio job in late middle age.” (The job was CEO of Focus Features.) “So I ...

Bourne Too Late?

Movies opening this week: Jason Bourne, Bad Moms, Nerve, and more

Reader ur-critic Duncan Shepherd (who has been showing up on the site of late, praise be) was not a huge fan of the original Bourne trilogy. The first was something of a disappointment, I guess, ...

Café Society at Café Angelika

Opening this week: Café Society, Star Trek Beyond, Our Little Sister, and more

To mark the opening of Woody Allen’s autumnal, handsome ode to himself and Old Hollywood, Café Society, the Angelika Film Center in Carmel Mountain is looking to start up a little café society of its ...

Bill Murray, haunted by the ghost[busters] of his past?

Opening this week: Ghostbusters, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Neon Bull, and more

Poor Bill Murray. At 1 a.m. on Thursday, just before the Paul Feig-directed, gynocentric reboot of his monster ’80s hit Ghostbusters opened in theaters, Murray stopped by to hang out with a bunch of stoner ...

Two to view: Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Captain Fantastic

Idyll in the bush

This week sees two films that feature adventures on the fringe of civilization, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Captain Fantastic. Wilderpeople — which zigs and zags from silly to somber (retaining perfect emotional frankness throughout) ...

Louis CK as Max the Dog fails to unseat Patton Oswalt as Remy the Rat

Opening this week: The Secret Life of Pets, Zero Days, and more

I think it’s fair to say that the comedian Louis CK is squandered in The Secret Life of Pets, but the frustrating thing is, he’s not squandered right away. The opening holds such promise: a ...

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