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

Kid stuff

Children abide (or don’t) in this week’s new movie releases, including The Florida Project and Goodbye Christopher Robin

It’s tough being a kid, especially when Mom is an unemployed stripper. Or a suicidal lover. Or something of a child herself. And then there’s Dad — you know, the distant guy who pushes you ...

From minx to hellcat

The Florida Project: A different sort of Disney movie

“My soul is humbled when I see the way little ones accept their lot,” says Mrs. Cooper at the end of Night of the Hunter. “Lord save little children. The wind blows and the rains ...

Movie multiplicity

Lots of new movie releases, including The Foreigner and Trophy

Suffering Sappho! There certainly are a lot of new movie releases this week! (Yes, that’s Wonder Woman’s catchphrase, chosen in honor of the Wonder Woman origin story biopic Professor Marston & the Wonder Women.) And ...

Consider the lowbrow Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key

A brisk, brusque, bloody, bawdy Italian cheapie

That thundering synthesized flop you hear is Blade Runner 2049 coming in well below industry expectations; guess you people don’t have much use for highbrow, three-hour sci-fi epics that are long on scenery and short ...

Did the Glen Street killing start at El Cajon Oktoberfest?

Death next door

I moved from Normal Heights to La Mesa in 1999, mostly because I wanted a yard for my kids. But also because an old woman was attacked across the street from my house on East ...

DJ Ferny prefers to go manual

Heartfelt '80s music at TJ's Privee Lounge

Green light glows off the stippled white exterior of Priveé Lounge Bar, perched above the Plaza San Angel on Tijuana’s Avenida Sonora. (Just off Boulevard Agua Caliente before the Club Campestre.) Inside is white as ...

The trials and triumphs of women, synthetic and otherwise

This week’s new movie releases include Blade Runner 2049, The Queen of Spain, and The Mountain Between Us

Ryan Gosling may be at the center of Blade Runner 2049, but he’s surrounded by women: his boss at the police station, his opposite number on the corporate side of the investigation, his digital girlfriend, ...

We’ll never be royals...

...but we can watch them on screen in this week’s new releases, including The King’s Choice and Victoria and Abdul

Royals: they’re just like us! King Haakon VII of Norway liked to play hide and seek with his grandchildren and even pretended to have conversations with his grandson’s teddy bear! I mean, he also had ...

Liberty Station gallery shows crossover power of comics

Feeds and is fed by popular culture

“The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” says San Diego Comic Art Gallery manager TJ Shelvin, “are unlike anything else. On the one hand, you’ve got this major machine that it became” — six movies, six TV ...

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