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

Exploring the underbelly and outliers

Including 68 Kill, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Logan Lucky, and Menashe

You know what I’d like to do? I’ll tell you what I’d like to do. I’d like to host a redneck film festival. Maybe not this year, what with all the awfulness surrounding disenfranchised white ...

Endless Poetry, very much a picture show

Jodorowsky’s juvenalia journal

With Endless Poetry, Chilean surrealist (super-realist?) Alejandro Jodorowsky continues the fantastical memoir he began in 2013’s Dance of Reality. But where that first film made a tragic-absurdist hero out of young Alejandro’s father — he ...

Kids today — and yesterday

Offspring abounds in this week’s new movie releases, including The Glass Castle and Wind River

A strong week at the movies, if not necessarily a happy one for the kiddies. Not so much the ones in the seats — though we’re not holding out much hope for The Nut Job ...

An inconvenient weekend at the movies

There’s not a lot of good stuff in this week’s new releases

This was...not a great week for movies. The big drama? Well acted, badly built. The big adaptation? A fizzle by all accounts. (Your humble correspondents saw it coming and steered clear.) The “starring Academy-Award winning ...

Comic-Con sideshows: the $6 million yacht, the preacher, the cigarette bummer

Why follow a fantasy?

Mark came to Comic-Con from Laguna aboard his friend’s 85-foot, $6 million yacht Motown, a sleek gray vessel tied up alongside the Embarcadero just south of the convention center. “I’ve been here every year for ...

Mideast woman and child get baby back ribs and ribeye steaks at Walmart

Immigrant exploitation

Walmart Neighborhood Market carries El Jimador reposado tequila for $15.97 a bottle, which is $4 cheaper than my local liquor store, which is why I went there on the night of July 7th. As I ...

[Sad face emoji]

This week’s new movie releases include The Emoji Movie, which almost (almost) no critics like

As of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes features only one positive review of The Emoji Movie: that of Betsy Bozdech of Common Sense Media. Brave, brave Betsy. Of course, it’s not as bold as being one ...

Pictures at a (Movie) Exposition

Visuals are the story in this week’s new movie releases, including Dunkirk and Lady Macbeth

Director Christopher Nolan wants to remind folks why they go to movie theaters — instead of, you know, watching a movie on a telephone. In this critic’s humble opinion, he succeeds admirably in that effort ...

Lady Macbeth’s director on morality, animals, and his star Florence Pugh

Smart about evil: matrimony, misery, murder

William Oldroyd’s elegantly executed debut feature Lady Macbeth may prove to be the sort of quiet breakout for star Florence Pugh that Martha Marcy May Marlene was for Elizabeth Olsen (as opposed to the more ...

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