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.

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.

Articles by Matthew Lickona

That fat analog sound

My Belles A is "absolutely worth repairing”

Maybe it’s when a man starts to feel a bit broken down and disposable himself that he starts to look around for things that are worth repairing and saving. Things like this Belles A amplifier ...

Wife locks husband in chicken coop

There is a great gulf between us, millions of years wide.

I gave my wife five chickens for Christmas. A friend gave her three more, for a total of eight, which is also the number of children we’ve conceived. (Two made their exitus before being born.) ...

New movie releases for 2018

... including The Commuter and The Post

A dumb train movie. A sweet train movie. A movie about sad old people. A movie about sad young people. A movie about a strong white woman. A movie about a strong black woman. And ...

Top 18 movies of 2017

A list of favorites (as opposed to “bests”)

Looks back over the twisted landscape of 2017. Well, that was weird. Look, if lifelong cinephile Scott Marks can’t manage to put together a Top 10 List for this year, I don’t see why Matthew ...

Read it and reap

Free library boxes in front yards around Altadena/Burlingame

2302 Montclair Street Litterachur: A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, by David Foster Wallace God, etc.: The Shack, by William P. Young Crime: Smokin’ Seventeen, by Janet Evanovich. Sexytimes: none Kidz: Troubling a ...

Beat cancer, publish book. Check.

David Grant Urban uses serial murderer Cleophus Prince

David Grant Urban was a fit 50something who had just finished hiking Mount Whitney when he found a lump on his neck. “I went through cancer treatment with three other people, and they all died,” ...

The year in Reader comments

Never mind who watches the Watchmen — who critiques the critics?

Below, please find the most popular movie reviews of 2017, listed in descending order. It should go without saying that “popular” does not necessarily have any connection with “positive.” That goes double for the comments, ...

Something for everyone this Christmas weekend

All sorts of Christmas goodies in this week’s new movie releases, including Call Me By Your Name and All the Money in the World.

An ode to eros. A screed against greed. A plea for decency. A tribute to decency. A digital update of a board game. A threequel for the Bellas. Daddy issues. Chemical issues. And a trunkful ...

Call Me By Your Name, a frank depiction of desperate teenage longing

It’s not love

“What of [Alcibiades’] beard? Are you not of Homer’s opinion, who says, ‘Youth is most charming when the beard first appears’? And that is now the charm of Alcibiades.” — Socrates, the Protagoras That is ...

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!