Paul Anthony Johnson

Paul Anthony Johnson


***** - Great
****- Exceptional
*** - Good
** - Bad
* - Worthless

Favorite films

  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • GoodFellas
  • Shadow of a Doubt
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

Recent activity

  • Magnitude 7.9


  • Take Me Home Tonight


  • I Used to Go Here


  • Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage


Pinned reviews

  • The Gold Rush

    The Gold Rush

    [Originally appeared at the now-defunct]

    In 1952, the British film journal Sight & Sound published the results of the first of its decennial lists of the greatest movies ever made, compiled from a survey of respected international critics. First place went to Vittorio De Sica’s neorealist masterwork The Bicycle Thieves (1948), but in second and third place came two Chaplin movies–City Lights (1931) and The Gold Rush (1925). Chaplin’s reputation as the cinema’s greatest artist, both as a filmmaker and…

  • It's a Wonderful Life

    It's a Wonderful Life

    [Originally appeared at]

    Few movies have benefited from copyright purgatory more than Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Beloved/barely tolerated for a generation after a lapse in ownership made it a ubiquitous television companion during the holiday season for about thirty years (until it eventually fell into the hands of NBC, which now only airs it a couple of times during the Thanksgiving to Christmas programming abyss) and thus redeemed a film that had marked the virtual end of…

Recent reviews

  • Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage

    Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage

    Imagine the one poor soul who maybe attended this hateful calamity just to see Al Green on Saturday morning. That poor soul could have, would have, should have been 19 year old me. Anyway, watchable and fitfully compelling on a VH1 Behind the Music level, but also sloppy and confusing (at one moment you have Wesley Morris opining that that the 1969 festival was just as much a shit show only it got absolved by aggrandizing boomer mythmaking, then a…

  • The One and Only Dick Gregory

    The One and Only Dick Gregory

    There's some great archival footage in the first half, but the way this spends about as much time on 'Dick Gregory - amateur nutritionist' as 'Dick Gregory - stand-up comic' and 'Dick Gregory- civil rights activist' (which is admittedly probably exactly the balance he would have wanted) inherently limited my interest and enthusiasm for this well-meaning doc.

Popular reviews

  • Circus of Books

    Circus of Books

    The fact this doc spends more time on how the woman who co-owned a major gay porn book store in Los Angeles and co-produced a bunch of gay adult movies in the 80s had trouble accepting the coming out of her son than it does on how the AIDS crisis affected her business and the community it catered to and employed is both inevitable and understandable given the subject's daughter made said doc. But that's also why someone other than…

  • Double Indemnity

    Double Indemnity


    All you need to make a movie is a girl, a gun, and a life insurance policy.