96 episodes

Some are born film critics, some become critics, and some have film criticism thrust upon them. Each week, Michael (The Unaffiliated Critic) convinces his reluctant wife Nakea (The Unenthusiastic Critic) to sit down and watch a classic film that nearly everyone else on the planet has already seen.

The Unenthusiastic Critic The Unenthusiastic Critic

    • Film Reviews
    • 3.9 • 28 Ratings

Some are born film critics, some become critics, and some have film criticism thrust upon them. Each week, Michael (The Unaffiliated Critic) convinces his reluctant wife Nakea (The Unenthusiastic Critic) to sit down and watch a classic film that nearly everyone else on the planet has already seen.

    THE SILENT PARTNER (1978)

    THE SILENT PARTNER (1978)

    The Unenthusiastic Critic concludes her 2020 marathon of "Christmas-adjacent" movies, with an unjustly forgotten suspense thriller from the 1970s: Daryl Duke's The Silent Partner (1978), starring Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer.



    First, this week, we're having a brief discussion about The Year in Review, as we discover which movies The Unenthusiastic Critic is glad she watched in 2020, which ones she is angry she watched, and which ones she doesn't even remember watching.



    Then, we're sitting down for Nakea's first viewing of a sleeper classic. Overlooked and under-distributed on its release in 1978, The Silent Partner is a tense cat-and-mouse game that turns out to be a cat-and-cat game, as Elliott Gould's seemingly meek bank teller turns out to be more than a match for Christopher Plummer's homicidal bank robber.



    Will Michael be able to convince Nakea that this overlooked Hitchcockian gem—with an early screenplay by Oscar-winner Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential)—deserves to be a cult canon Christmas favorite?



    Program



    0:00: Prologue: from The Silent Partner

    0:33: Preliminary Discussion: Our Year in Review

    12:26: Interlude: from The Silent Partner

    12:46: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion

    20:49: Original Trailer

    22:35: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion

    54:36: Outro and Next Week's Movie

    56:03: Outtake



    For show notes, links, additional episodes, and other information, please go to unaffiliatedcritic.com.

    • 57 min
    CHILDREN OF MEN (2006)

    CHILDREN OF MEN (2006)

    The Unenthusiastic Critic's 2020 Christmas-Adjacent Movie Marathon continues, as Michael and Nakea watch the perfect film for 2020's holiday season: Alfonso Cuarón's dystopian nativity story CHILDREN OF MEN (2006), starring Clive Owen, Julian Moore, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clare-Hope Ashitey, and Michael Caine.



    Premiering on Christmas Day 2006, CHILDREN OF MEN was a box-office flop, failing even to make back its budget. With every subsequent year, however, Cuarón's dark fable has only seemed more and more prescient, and its critical reputation has solidified its place as one of the truly essential films of the 21st century.



    Now, with its images of refugee crises, immigrants in cages, and a global pandemic that leaves schoolyards eerily silent, Cuarón's masterpiece is really a little too on-the nose. But it remains a thrilling action movie, a stunning technical achievement, and a clear-eyed message of tentative hope.



    Program



    0:00: Prologue: from A Charlie Brown Christmas

    0:34: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion

    8:50: Interlude: Original Trailer

    11:05: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion

    54:12: Outro and Next Week's Movie

    56:19: Outtake



    For links, show notes, additional episodes, and other information, please go to www.unaffiliatedcritic.com.

    • 57 min
    MOONSTRUCK (1987)

    MOONSTRUCK (1987)

    It's beginning to look a (very little) bit like Christmas, as The Unenthusiastic Critic's annual "Christmas-adjacent" movie marathon begins with Norman Jewison's "Moonstruck" (1987), starring Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, Danny Aiello, and Olympia Dukakis.



    First, this week, we're acknowledging that the holiday spirit is going to be hard to come by in 2020, and discussing how Nakea's most festive plan for the season is to murder the plastic snowman on our neighbors' front lawn.



    Then, we're doing the bare minimum to get in the Christmas spirit, by watching a movie that contains the bare minimum of Christmas references. "Moonstruck" won a Best Actress Oscar for Cher, a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Olympia Dukakis, and a Best Original Screenplay award for writer John Patrick Shanley. But will this madcap comedy—about love and death, passion and Opera, dismembered bakers and philandering plumbers—help bring the Unenthusiastic Critic into a holiday mood? Or will it just hit her eye like a big pizza pie?



    Program



    0:00: Prologue: from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

    0:48: Preliminary Conversation: Trying to Get in the Christmas-Adjacent Spirit

    12:04: Interlude: from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

    12:47: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion of Moonstruck

    22:50: Interlude: Original Trailer

    24:31: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion of Moonstruck

    50:11: Outro and Next Week's Movie



    For links, show notes, additional episodes, and other information, please go to https://unaffiliatedcritic.com/2020/12/moonstruck-1987.

    • 51 min
    SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957)

    SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957)

    The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river, as Michael and Nakea enjoy a #Noirvember viewing of Alexander Mackendrick's SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957).



    Sweet Smell of Success was a total flop when it opened in 1957, proving too smart and too cynical for the movie-going public. Since then, however, it has been recognized as a stone-cold, pitch-black masterpiece, featuring career-best performances from Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, a jazzy Elmer Bernstein score, gorgeous cinematography from the great James Wong Howe, and some of cinema's best, most acerbic dialogue in a brilliant screenplay by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman.



    Make no mistake: This movie is "a cookie full of arsenic." But will The Unenthusiastic Critic take a bite?



    Program



    0:00: Prologue: from Diner 

    01:02: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion

    12:34: Original Trailer

    13:29: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion

    57:51: Outro and Next Week's Movie

    59:32: Outtake



    For links, show notes, and additional episodes, please go to unaffiliatedcritic.com.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)

    DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)

    This week The Unenthusiastic Critic is manifesting her destiny by watching Kevin Costner's epic western Dances with Wolves (1990) for the first time.



    Celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, Costner's big-budget directorial debut was widely expected to be a costly flop. Instead, it became a box-office hit, a critical triumph, and a big winner on Oscar night. The film was almost universally hailed for its progressive and sympathetic portrayal of indigenous communities, and welcomed as a long overdue corrective to Hollywood's long and shameful treatment of Native Americans as violent savages.



    But that was 30 years ago. Is there any chance Nakea will be won over by it today, or will this three-hour "white savior" narrative simply leave her buffaloed?



    Program



    0:00: Prologue: Graham Greene interviewed by Bobbie Wygant 

    00:39: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion

    11:53: Original Trailer

    13:46: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion

    55:36: Outro and Next Week's Movie



    For show notes, links, additional episodes, and other information, please go to unaffiliatedcritic.com.

    • 57 min
    THE STRANGERS (2008)

    THE STRANGERS (2008)

    There's no place like home, as The Unenthusiastic Critic's 2020 Halloween Movie Marathon concludes with Bryan Bertino's harrowing home-invasion thriller THE STRANGERS (2008), starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman.



    Michael has been disappointed with Nakea's absence of actual fear throughout her horror movie ordeal, so this time he's chosen what seems like the perfect movie to creep her out, one that plays to all of her particular paranoias. Critically panned when it arrived in 2008, Bertino's feature debut has since been recognized as a tough, efficient, expertly crafted chiller that uses silence, space, and suspense to create an almost unbearable ordeal. But will this one have Nakea locking all the windows, turning on all the lights, and reaching for the butcher's knife?



    Join us for a discussion of white suburban anxieties, sad break-up sex, and how these pre-pandemic killers prove that there's nothing you can't do while wearing a mask.



    Program



    00:00: Prologue: from The Strangers

    00:44: Intro and Donation Acknowledgement

    04:23: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion

    13:50: Interlude: Original Trailer

    15:42: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion

    56:18: Outro and Next Week's Movie

    57:42: Outtake



    For show notes, additional episodes, to leave a comment, or to make a donation, please go to unaffiliatedcritic.com.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

71MJH ,

Worth your time

Smart conversations about movies that are worth talking about. Worth your precious time.

tyrtegh68 ,

Terrible

Worst films takes I have ever encountered. How could people with such little film knowledge think they should podcast?

lil big ed ,

Vapid

They’re brilliant, just ask ‘em. Um huh, um huh, um huh...sure...yeah. I’m sorry Apocalypse Now wasn’t PC enough for you. As a dirty, dirty lib, I’m embarrassed for you. How about some female agency and male gaze, too?

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