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Spoilerpiece Theatre

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Boston film critics Evan Crean, Megan Kearns, and David Riedel help you decide what to watch by sharing spoiler-filled reviews of the latest blockbusters and independent films, across genres, including films by women, nonbinary, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC filmmakers. Opening music: "My Life as a God" by Augean Stables. Closing music: "Pants Party" by Oilhead. Show edited by Otto Klammer. Logo design by Rita Csizmadia.


United States


Boston film critics Evan Crean, Megan Kearns, and David Riedel help you decide what to watch by sharing spoiler-filled reviews of the latest blockbusters and independent films, across genres, including films by women, nonbinary, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC filmmakers. Opening music: "My Life as a God" by Augean Stables. Closing music: "Pants Party" by Oilhead. Show edited by Otto Klammer. Logo design by Rita Csizmadia.






Episode #480: "Dark Asset" and "Flora and Son" featuring Jason from Binge Movies!

Dave is once again without his co-hosts, so Jason from Binge Movies sits in! It's a delight to have him, and he and Dave take a battering ram to DARK ASSET (2:18), action-thriller (?) with a million problems and zero solutions. We on Spoilerpiece don't go out of our way to tear a movie to pieces (honest!), but sometimes we're left no choice. Following that, they talk about FLORA AND SON (30:37), writer-director John Carney's latest musical-that's-not-a-musical, starring Eve Hewson, Jack Reynor, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Does the SING STREET/ONCE creator get it right again? In this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk abouut Mike Nichols's restrained foray into romantic horror, the very 1994 WOLF starring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and James Spader. It's a fun conversation about a bizarro movie.


Episode #479: "Elevator Game" and "John Carpenter's Vampires" with guest The Lady-Wan!

With Megan and Evan off this week, Dave is joined by ScreenRun's The Lady-Wan! On ScreenRun, Wan and her co-host Chris Scalzo tackle the films of a particular artist or franchise. This season, ScreenRun ran through (ha) the films of John Carpenter, so in that spirit, Wan and Dave take a deep dive into JOHN CARPENTER'S VAMPIRES (1:45), and it ain't pretty (but it is fun). Next, they get to a new release: Rebekah McKendry's horror film ELEVATOR GAME (17:43), in which a bunch of kinda dumb teens (starring Gino Anania, Megan Best, Alec Carlos, Nazariy Demkowicz) play a game that lands them in The Red World, or gets them torn to shreds by "The Fifth-Floor Woman," or both. It's a movie with an intriguing premise, ideas that don't go anywhere, and a whole lotta blood and guts. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, Dave and Wan talk about Michael Mann's 2004 thriller COLLATERAL, starring Tom Cruise's frosted hair and Jamie Foxx.


Episode #478: "Sitting in Bars with Cake" and "You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah"

It's family/tearjerker week at Spoilerpiece! Evan is off, so Megan and Dave tackle Sammi Cohen's family comedy YOU ARE SO NOT INVITED TO MY BAT MITZVAH (5:24), starring Sunny Sandler, Samantha Lorraine, Idina Menzel, and Adam Sandler (and more of his family). This movie has everything: Petty gripes, snipes, and pipes. (It doesn't have pipes; Dave just wanted to rhyme. -Ed.) And it features a whole lot of tween/teen angst. (One of us liked it more than the other.) Then at 28:44, the dynamic duo (TM) settles into Trish Sie's SITTING IN BARS WITH CAKE, (written by Audrey Shulman) which is exactly what it sounds like, until it turns into a pretty serious drama about two lifelong best friends (Yara Shahidi, Odessa A'zion) dealing with one's cancer diagnosis. And patrons! Don't forget to check out this week's exclusive Patreon audio in which Dave and Megan talk about James Bridges's 1979 nuclear disaster thriller THE CHINA SYNDROME, starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Michael Douglas. It's a fun talk about a great movie.


Episode #477: "Perpetrator" and "Our Father, The Devil"

Megan and Dave start the show this week reviewing Jennifer Reeder's stylized feminist horror film PERPETRATOR (2:50), which follows a teen (Kiah McKirnan) with unusual powers pursuing a villain abducting girls at her school. Next, we all cover Ellie Foumbi's excellent thorny thriller OUR FATHER, THE DEVIL (21:18), about a Guinean refugee (Babetida Sadjo) living in France whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a charismatic Catholic priest (Souleyman Sy Savane), whom she recognizes as the warlord who slaughtered her family. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about a Patron's request: the 1986 animated cult classic TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE!


Episode #476: "Landscape with Invisible Hand," "Scrapper," and "Blue Beetle"

Megan starts this week's show with a quick review of Angel Manuel Soto's entertaining Latinx superhero film BLUE BEETLE (3:22). Next, she and Dave discuss Charlotte Regan's well-acted drama SCRAPPER (14:47), which follows a 12-year-old girl who connects with her estranged father. Then, we all cover Cory Finley's grim sci-fi satire LANDSCAPE WITH INVISIBLE HAND (26:54), which involves teens (Asante Blackk and Kylie Rogers) who decide to broadcast their courtship for an extraterrestrial audience, but also a lot more. In this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our alien poll, Robert Wise's 1951 sci-fi film THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL!


Episode #475: "Brightwood" and "Bad Things"

This week we start by reviewing Dane Elcar's compelling sci-fi horror film BRIGHTWOOD (2:23), which follows a troubled couple (Dana Berger and Max Woertendyke) who become trapped in the woods while they're out for a run. Next, we cover Stewart Thorndike's frustrating horror movie BAD THINGS (24:19), which follows a group of friends (Gayle Rankin, Hari Nef, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, and Rad Pereira) who spend a chaotic weekend at the hotel one of them has inherited. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, in honor of the late William Friedkin, we talk about his 1977 thriller SORCERER starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, and Francisco Rabal.


Episode #474: "Aporia" and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie"

This week we start by reviewing Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic, and Pierre Leduc's animated movie, THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE (1:55), which adapts the popular videogame franchise for the big screen with an all-star cast. Now streaming on Peacock, this one has us pretty divided. Next, we discuss Jared Moshe's sci-fi film APORIA (22:09), which follows Sophie (Judy Greer), a wife and mother grieving the loss of her husband (Edi Gathegi). Sophie learns about a time-bending machine created by a physicist friend (Payman Maadi) that could restore her former life but using it involves an impossible choice with unforeseen consequences. This is another film that has us divided. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, in honor of the late Paul Reubens, we talk about a non-Pee-wee Herman movie with him, Fran Rubel Kuzui's 1992 action comedy BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry.


Episode #473: "Shortcomings" and "What Comes Around"

This week we have reviews of SHORTCOMINGS AND WHAT COMES AROUND! We start by talking about Amy Redford's not-so-thrilling thriller WHAT COMES AROUND (1:56), a story about a teenager (Grace Van Dien) who starts dating a much older man (Kyle Gallner) with a disturbing connection to her mother (Summer Phoenix). Then we discuss Randall Park's directorial debut SHORTCOMINGS (23:00), based on a graphic novel by Adrian Tomine. The film follows Ben (Justin H. Min), a deeply unlikable twentysomething from the Bay Area, as he grumpily navigates interpersonal relationships with his friend Alice (Sherry Cola) and girlfriend Miko (Ally Maki). And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Robert Rodriguez's 1996 action horror comedy FROM DUSK TILL DAWN starring George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Keitel, and Quentin Tarantino!


Episode #472: "War Pony" and "The Unknown Country"

This week it's all about Indigenous films at Spoilerpiece Theatre. But before we delve into them, Evan pays tribute to his friend, teacher, and writing partner, Dr. Bryan Krull, who passed away very suddenly. He describes how they met, became friends, and decided to team up to write Your '80s Movie Guide to Better Living, as he expresses his gratitude for their friendship over the years. Moving on to the week's films, we start by reviewing Gina Gammell and Riley Keough's emotionally challenging Indigenous drama WAR PONY (3:50), which follows two young Oglala Lakota men growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Next, we discuss Morrisa Maltz's tender narrative/documentary hybrid, THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY (26:36), starring co-writer Lily Gladstone as a young woman grieving her grandmother as she travels through the American Midwest and makes her way down to Texas. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our directors' first film poll, Céline Sciamma's 2007 queer romance/coming-of-age drama WATER LILIES!


Episode #471: "Barbie" and "Theater Camp"

Dave is off this week, so we (Megan and Evan) tackle the show as a duo. Megan opens by reviewing Greta Gerwig's vibrant, sharp, and funny film BARBIE (2:32), in which the iconic doll (Margot Robbie) suffers an existential crisis that causes her to question her influence on the world. Next, we both talk about Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman's musical mockumentary THEATER CAMP (20:37), which follows the eccentric staff (Gordon, Ben Platt, and Noah Galvin) of a musical theater camp in upstate New York who must team up with the founder's bro-y son (Jimmy Tatro) to save the camp from financial ruin. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss a Patron's choice: the 1982 John Milius sword and sorcery epic CONAN THE BARBARIAN, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones!


Episode #470: "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" and "Final Cut"

This week we start off by reviewing Christopher McQuarrie's Tom Cruise action vehicle MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE (2:45). As with all MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movies, this one brings amazing action and death-defying stunts, but is the story worthy of being told in two parts and is there an actual dead reckoning? You'll just have to listen and find out. Next, we cover the Michel Hazanavicius horror comedy FINAL CUT (28:08), a French remake of the Japanese film ONE CUT OF THE DEAD. None of us at seen the original, but two of us are fans of this version, and one of us very much isn't. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we review Gus Van Sant's 1991 queer drama MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves!


Episode #469: "Biosphere" and "The Lesson"

We start this week by reviewing Mel Eslyn's post-apocalyptic dramedy BIOSPHERE (2:01), which stars Sterling K. Brown and Mark Duplass (who also co-writes) as the last two men on Earth, who learn that they must adapt, quite literally, to save humanity. It has great performances and surprising themes, but we don't all agree on how well it tackles those themes. Next, we cover Alice Troughton's thriller, THE LESSON (25:10), which stars Daryl McCormack as a young writer who tutors the son of a famous author (Richard E. Grant) and discovers a dark web of family secrets. We agree that the film's acting is top-notch, but for two of us, it isn't thrilling or surprising in any way. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick's technological thriller MISSING, a follow-up to 2018's SEARCHING (which we discussed as our AAPI Heritage Month poll winner on a recent Patreon bonus episode!


Episode #468: "Every Body" and "Nimona"

This week we start off by reviewing Nick Bruno and Troy Quane's entertaining and moving animated sci-fi action film NIMONA (1:50). The movie, which is based on a graphic novel by ND Stevenson, follows a futuristic knight (Riz Ahmed) and a mischievous shapeshifting teen (Chloe Grace Moretz) who team up to clear the knight's name after he's framed for a crime he didn't commit. Next, we cover Julie Cohen's captivating and heartbreaking documentary EVERY BODY (25:22), which chronicles the lives of three intersex individuals who overcame shame, secrecy, and unauthorized surgery to share their stories and advocate for other intersex people around the world. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our Pride Month poll, Stephan Elliott's 1994 queer road trip film THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT!


Episode #467: "The Perfect Find" and "Stan Lee"

We start the show this week by reviewing David Gelb's documentary STAN LEE (3:55), which chronicles the life and mythos of Marvel's Stan Lee but makes some truly bizarre storytelling choices that paint a sanitized, incomplete portrait of his life. Next, we discuss Numa Perrier's vibrant Netflix rom-com THE PERFECT FIND (25:19), where Gabrielle Union plays a woman trying to start a new chapter in her career only to be thrown for a loop when she falls for her boss's (Gina Torres) son (Keith Powers). The leads have great chemistry, there is some funny dialogue and amazing production and costume design, but we all agree that the film struggles a little in the last act. In this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Steven Spielberg's 1993 film JURASSIC PARK in honor of its recent 30th anniversary!


Episode #466: "The Blackening" and "Inside"

Friend of the show Kristen Halbert from Forces of Geek returns this week! First, Evan, Megan, and Dave review the gross and glacially-paced Vasilis Katsoupis film INSIDE (3:28), which stars Willem Dafoe as an art thief who gets trapped inside a high-tech Manhattan penthouse and struggles to maintain his sanity as he fights to survive. Next, Kristen, Megan, and Dave cover THE BLACKENING (20:37), a horror comedy Kristen has been wanting to discuss with us for months. We delve into this predictable, yet very funny film, and Kristen explains why it resonated for her even more as a Black viewer. It's a rollicking conversation, we hope you enjoy it! And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the 1992 Allison Anders indie drama GAS FOOD LODGING, starring Fairuza Balk, Ione Skye, and Brooke Adams!


Episode #465: "Flamin' Hot" and "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves"

This week, we discuss DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES (1:58), Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley's delightful and fun fantasy heist action-comedy based on the iconic role-playing game, starring Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, and Hugh Grant. Then, we review Eva Longoria's FLAMIN' HOT (25:07), a biographical comedy-drama starring Jesse Garcia as Richard Montañez, who claimed to invent Flamin' Hot Cheetos. It's a trite film, but we appreciate the Mexican-American representation. And on this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we cover James Wan's 2013 supernatural horror film THE CONJURING!


Episode #464: "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse"

On this week's show we have one movie to talk about but boy is it a big one! We're reviewing SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE (1:44)! We have a couple more critiques than we did of the previous film in the franchise, but we have a lot to say about this excellent sequel from its styles of animation to its editing, pacing, score, new characters, and more. Plus, Evan shares a very special reason why the movie hit him in a way he wasn't expecting. Of course, in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we're talking about SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, since we've somehow never discussed it on a main episode!


Episode #463: "The Little Mermaid," "Influencer," and "Days of Daisy"

Megan kicks off this week's show by offering her thoughts on Disney's new live-action adaptation of THE LITTLE MERMAID (2:18), which features a fantastic performance and amazing vocals from lead Halle Bailey. Next, we all discuss Kurtis David Harder's smart and entertaining horror movie INFLUENCER (9:50), which subverts expectations in a number of ways with its tale about a social media influencer (Emily Tennant) who makes a dangerous new friend (Cassandra Naud) while traveling in Thailand. After that, we cover Alexander Jefferey's indie rom-com DAYS OF DAISY (26:52), which has us pretty divided about its story of a 39-year-old librarian's (Jency Griffin Hogan) quest to find the right guy to start a family with. And in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about the winner of our AAPI Heritage Month poll, Aneesh Chaganty's 2018 thriller SEARCHING starring John Cho and Debra Messing!


Episode #462: "The Starling Girl" and "Consecration"

Evan is off this week, so Dave and Megan review CONSECRATION (3:18), Cristopher Smith's disappointing supernatural horror film, starring Jena Malone who investigates her brother's death at a convent. Then we discuss Laurel Parmet's excellent nuanced drama THE STARLING GIRL (24:42), starring Eliza Scanlen as a 17-year-old in a fundamentalist Christian community dealing with her faith when she falls for the youth pastor (Lewis Pullman). And on this week's Patreon exclusive audio, since FAST X opens in theaters, we talk about Justin Lin's FAST FIVE (2011), starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker!


Episode #461: "The Mother" and "BlackBerry"

This week we start by reviewing Matt Johnson's tech bro dramedy BLACKBERRY (2:27), which stars Glenn Howerton, Jay Baruchel, and Johnson himself, and chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the famous BlackBerry smartphone. Next, we cover Niki Caro's Netflix action film THE MOTHER (29:37), which stars Jennifer Lopez as a sniper and former arms dealer who comes out of hiding to protect her daughter from her ex-business associates (Gael Garcia Bernal and Joseph Fiennes) who are seeking revenge on her. And in our Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Martin Scorsese's MEAN STREETS in honor of its 50th anniversary this year!