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

Unstuck via stick and poke

"When you etch something into flesh, it’s almost like a spell."

Sarah Kahn was stuck — “in a lot of areas in my life, but really in my career.” She’d gotten her doctorate in clinical psychology, but didn’t want to get licensed, because she “didn’t like ...

We have met the Underminer, and he is us

Alas, Incredibles 2 is not too incredible

I loved the first Incredibles movie. I especially loved the ending. Journey back with me to 2004, and mind the fourteen-year-old spoilers along the way. The super-powered Parr family has triumphed: in stopping the killer ...

Women in Hollywood

Ocean's 8, Hereditary and more "women's pictures" among this week's new movie releases

Well, director Colin Treverrow (Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World, and um, The Book of Henry) went and gave a barn-burner of an interview to the good people at Uproxx that should have folks talking about ...

Romance on the rocks

Maybe the On Chesil Beach kids should have stayed at the Carlyle, and other new movie releases

Love is hard. Sometimes, it's going well, and the past intrudes in unexpected ways. Sometimes, it's going well, and you hit an unexpected squall. Sometimes, it's going well, and someone murders your wife and all ...

"Watch this." (Or maybe don't)

Solo: A Star Wars Story is half a good Star Wars story

I played an awful lot of Star Wars when I was a kid. My snowy backyard in upstate New York was the ice planet Hoth. My jungle gym was The Millennium Falcon. And my best ...

A burlesque extension of the Star Wars universe

The Empire Strips Back aims for the funny familiar

Pulitzer-nominated political cartoonist Jeff Danziger once wrote that he wanted his panels to work like an icicle slipped down your back — funny in a way, but also discomfiting. Laughter tinged with the twinge that ...

Dressing the part, from Atlanta to Vegas to here

Sartorial scientist Pearce Cleaveland helps host Happy Hour poolside at the Pendry

There’s an elevator at the Pendry hotel on Fifth that runs from the underground Oxford Social Club, with its $1500 Saturday night bottle service, up to the ground-floor Lionfish restaurant, home to Eater “Top-50 Young ...

"You're tearing me apart!"

James Dean has nothing on Ryan Reynolds in this week's new movie releases, including Deadpool 2 and The Desert Bride

I've been on about this before, but one of the things that make so many superhero punch-ups so deadly dull is the Toughness Inconsistency Index, which states that the amount of punishment a hero can ...

Post-movie problems

A potentially profitable plight?

Avengers: Infinity War was a long movie: 160 minutes or so. After a long movie, there is often a general rush to the rest room, followed by an increasingly uncomfortable wait among a crowd of ...

Get $5 off any Reader event

Sign up for our email list to get your promo code

Close