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

Articles by Matthew Lickona

Local boys make good

San Diego shines in this week's new movie releases, thanks to The Endless

Look, even Homer nods. So yes, we missed A Quiet Place. Happily, a whole bunch of people found it without our help. Hooray for smart (by all accounts), small-budget horror! You know, like The Endless, ...

The divine cinematographer

The Endless, a lo-fi local treat

A Catholic friend of mine is fond of saying “That’s gonna burn” when he looks back on this or that moment of personal failure. He imagines that when he dies and faces his final judgment, ...

"Are you serious?"

More new movie releases than you can throw a tennis racket at, including Borg vs. McEnroe and Beirut

Well, we tried. We made it to Sgt. Stubby, You Were Never Really Here, Beirut, Baja, Rampage, and Borg vs. McEnroe. Aardvark and Sweet Country should be up before 5 p.m. (UPDATE: Okay, 10 p.m. ...

The remembered dead

Spring Street memorials in La Mesa

The Rodeway Inn at the intersection of Spring and Gateside in south La Mesa burned in 2015. But its freestanding roadside sign still advertises the “new management, complimentary breakfast, and free WiFi” at the “home ...

Tequila is like wine

Finding gold at Patron's Corner

The Easter Bunny slipped a bottle of Fortaleza reposado tequila into the bright blue English watering can that doubled as my wife’s Easter basket this year. He deigned to plunk a bottle of Casa Noble ...

Critter cinema

Animals arrive in this week's new movie releases, including Pandas and Tehran Taboo

Let's start with the big new release: for some reason, there's a rooster in the poster for Blockers, a movie about parents trying to preserve their daughters' virginity. What's that about? (Cue Beavis & Butthead ...

Ready viewer one

This week's new movie releases clear the way for Ready Player One

For a while there, it looked like Steven Spielberg had spun his last spiel — or was getting close to it, anyway. Three years between Munich and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal ...

Bob Balaban gets to be King — the dog

"There’s a thin line dividing us, and it involves the fact that he has more hair than I do."

Actor Bob Balaban has appeared in director Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom. In the delightful and exquisite Isle of Dogs, he plays King, a former dog food commercial star who is ...

St. Patrick's with Clan Welch & Co.

Last year, they posed as Irish Drunks for Trump

“God love him, you can’t have a holiday without Mike,” says Beth Lipski of her uncle, Mike Welch. He’s the one standing in full Tipperary kilt on the greensward of Balboa Park along Sixth Avenue, ...

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