Show cover of Spoilerpiece Theatre

Spoilerpiece Theatre

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 510: "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" and "We Grown Now"
This week Megan took one for the team and checked in on Guy Ritchie’s latest, THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE (2:38). Does this based-on-a-true-story movie take Ritchie down some less traveled paths? Or is it standard Guy Ritchie fare? Megan has the answers! Evan and Dave join Megan to talk about WE GROWN NOW (17:52), writer/director Minhal Baig’s coming-of-age story of two boys growing up in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green complex in the early 1990s. Over on Patreon, in honor of its 50th anniversary, we talk about Francis Ford Coppola’s THE CONVERSATION.
49:51 4/19/24
Episode 509: "Civil War" and "The Greatest Hits"
Perhaps you’ve heard the brouhaha surrounding writer-director Alex Garland’s Kirsten Dunst-starring CIVIL WAR (2:18) and wondered what it’s all about (um...a civil the United the near future). Wonder no more! Megan and Dave saw it, and they have things to say: unkind, complimentary, and all points in between. One of them hated it. One did not, acknowledging its strengths as well as its flaws. Then Evan joined Megan and Dave to watch THE GREATEST HITS (32:15), starring Lucy Boynton and Justin H. Min, and written and directed by Ned Benson. And guess what? NOT A ROM-COM, which Evan and Dave both thought it was when they hit play. No, it’s a pretty serious look at grief with a romantic/fantasy (and a smidge of comedy) twist. We all liked it! And over on Patreon, we talk about James Cameron’s 1989 film THE ABYSS, which was recently released for the first time on 4K.
62:36 4/12/24
Episode 508: "The People's Joker" and "Girls State"
This week on the show we Megan and Dave tackled the controversial (to Warner Bros.) THE PEOPLE’S JOKER (1:53), director/co-writer/editor/star Vera Drew's queer coming-of-age superhero parody. Good sound design, good visuals. What else is good about it? Then Evan, Megan, and Dave talk about the documentary GIRLS STATE (24:27), directors Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s companion piece to their 2020 doc BOYS STATE. Following a group of  teenage girls from Missouri as they navigate a week-long immersive democratic experiment, the Spoilerpieces have a range of views. And over on Patreon, in honor of its 90th anniversary, we talk about the classic (?) romcom IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT.
59:49 4/5/24
Episode #507: “Femme” and “Ennio"
Dave can't join us, so it’s just Megan and Evan this week! First, Megan reviews Giuseppe Tornatore’s lengthy, yet fascinating documentary ENNIO (2:35) about the life and work of Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. Then we both discuss Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping’s gritty queer thriller FEMME (16:18), which captivated us, but left us with some complicated feelings. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we chat about the winner of our poll on women-directed films, Lynne Ramsay’s psychological drama WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN!
53:33 3/29/24
Episode 506: "Late Night with the Devil" and "Road House"
On this week’s show, Megan and Dave kick things off with LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL (2:18), Cameron and Colin Cairnes's nasty found-footage horror thriller starring David Dastmalchian and featuring demonic possession, heads on fire, garroting by necklace, all wrapped up in a nifty 1970s production design. Bonus: Michael Ironsides does the opening voiceover! Then Evan, Megan, and Dave watched director Doug Liman’s update of ROAD HOUSE (21:03). Jake Gyllenhaal picks up Patrick Swayze’s reins and beats the snot out of (checks notes) countless people. And there’s a man-eating crocodile thrown in for good measure. But is it any good?  Over on Patreon, we talked about CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE., the 2011 comedy featuring recent Oscar-winner Emma Stone.
55:06 3/22/24
Episode 505: "Love Lies Bleeding," "Stopmotion," and "Frida"
Megan kicks things off this week with talk of LOVE LIES BLEEDING (2:16), Rose Glass's intense queer thriller starring Kristen Stewart and Katy O'Brian. Verdict? LISTEN (ha). Next Dave and Megan review STOPMOTION (6:11), Robert Morgan's horror movie starring Aisling Franciosi and featuring lots of compelling stop-motion animation. Megan likes it but wishes it delved deeper, and Dave thinks they should have stopped this motion picture from being a thing. Lastly, Evan, Megan, and Dave all discuss FRIDA (17:37), Carla Gutierrez's dynamic Frida Kahlo documentary that everyone liked. Over on Patreon, we talk about the 2024 Oscars. If you’re a member, head on over and take a listen. If you'd like to join, for $5 you can listen to bonus episodes each week, and vote in monthly polls.
48:09 3/15/24
Episode 504: "American Dreamer" and "Damsel"
This week Megan and Dave tackle AMERICAN DREAMER (2:07), and it ain’t pretty. Sure, Peter Dinklage and Shirley MacLaine are fine. And sure, Dave laughed at a few things. But that’s about all the positives we have for it (hoo boy, do we get amped up during this talk!). Then Evan, Megan, and Dave watched DAMSEL (22:40), the new dragon’s-gonna-eat-ya-but-not-if-I-can-help-it flick starring Millie Bobby Brown as a princess who meets said dragon after a bit of marital subterfuge orchestrated by Robin Wright as her nefarious would-be mother-in-law. Following an uneven opening, we thought it pulled together (even if Dave had some choice things to say about his favorite actor ever, Ray Winstone, who plays Brown’s father). And did we like DAMSEL as much as we liked the similar-ish THE PRINCESS from 2022? Over on Patreon, we talk about the 1954 GODZILLA in honor of its 70th anniversary.
60:28 3/8/24
Episode 503: "Dune: Part Two" and "Spaceman"
This week, Megan and Dave discuss DUNE: PART TWO, Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and Rebecca Ferguson. Dave found the fatalism inherent in its story rendered it dramatically inert, even if he dug its look (despite the on-the-nose Nuremberg rally-inspired sequence) and some of the performances. Megan loved the spectacular film: Dazzling visuals, immersive sound, excellent performances, riveting narrative, and a perceptive critique of colonialism and power dynamics. Everyone watched SPACEMAN, Johan Renck's existential sci-fi drama starring Adam Sandler (well, Dave listened to two-thirds of it for reasons that become clear pretty quickly) and we agree it has flaws. Lots of flaws. But, in the end, does the movie get past those flaws? Will Dave ever like a new release again? TBD on that second question, gang. TBD.  Over on Patreon, the gang checked out Hayao Miyazaki’s delightful 1988 animated fantasy MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, a first-time watch for two of us. Fun!
53:47 3/1/24
Episode 502: "Lovely, Dark and Deep" and "Players"
It’s been two weeks since we talked horror at Spoilerpiece, so Megan and Dave remedied that by watching Teresa Sutherland’s LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP, a bump-in-the-night-type thriller that plays out in a national park. While Megan and Dave came to roughly similar conclusions about the movie’s technical aspects and Georgina Cambell’s lead performance, one of them hated it overall (like, HATED IT) and one of them liked it. First listener to guess who hated it wins a trip down amnesia lane. Then the whole gang watched PLAYERS, a new Netflix romcom starring Gina Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr., and a million supporting actors. Listeners, this movie is the definition of meh. It’s too bad, because there’s some serious talent involved. But few things can save crummy writing, except maybe doing a bunch of shrooms so you can space out while watching this below-average collection of silly gags and contrived plot threads. (Spoilerpiece doesn’t advocate you doing shrooms. But we can’t stop you, either.) And over on Patreon, we talk about Bill Duke’s DEEP COVER with Laurence Fishburne and Jeff Goldblum, which won our Black History Month poll.
58:32 2/23/24
Episode 501: “Orion and the Dark” and “The Hobby”
Megan is back! And to kick things off, she and Dave talk about the animated film ORION AND THE DARK (2:33). Yes, it’s screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s first foray into children’s films. But is it any good? Not surprisingly, Megan and Dave have divergent views. But who liked it and who did not?!! (Eh, it’s exactly what you think.) Then Evan, Megan, and Dave discuss THE HOBBY (22:17), a documentary about the trading card boom that kicked into overdrive in 2020 after Covid hit. Sports cards, Pokémon cards, memorabilia, you name it, the doc covers it (with a notable absence of Magic: The Gathering). THE HOBBY is compelling for about half its running time, but its repetitive second half left us yawning. Over on Patreon, to honor the recently departed Carl Weathers, we talk about PREDATOR, which Megan had never seen. It’s a fun conversation! For just $5 per month, you get access to many, many, many bonus episodes and monthly polls. 
53:12 2/16/24
Episode 500: "Out of Darkness" and "Restore Point"
Spoilerpeeps, this is the 500th episode of the show. Megan couldn’t make it this week, leaving the duo of Riedel & Crean. (That doesn’t roll off the tongue like Hall & Oates. Such is life.) Dave watched OUT OF DARKNESS (2:04), a survivor horror film (so its marketing says) set 45,000 years ago, about six people struggling in a new, vast, inhospitably cold environment. What keeps attacking them at night? Probably exactly what you think! Then Evan and Dave watched RESTORE POINT (14:36), a dystopian-adjacent sci-fi film with a great production design, but a story that both of them found lackluster (even if one of them still recommends it). Over on Patreon, we talk about the 1980 comedy USED CARS with Kurt Russell and Jack Warden.
47:13 2/9/24
Episode 499: "The Taste of Things" and "Scrambled"
This week we talk about THE TASTE OF THINGS (2:05), which features many of Dave’s loves: Juliette Binoche, French food, romance, and tobacco (Megan liked it, too). This deliberate romantic drama, about a gourmand (Benoît Magimel) and his gifted cook (Binoche), is directed by Trân Anh Hùng. It's beautifully photographed, meticulously staged, and it also is not for everyone. Then all three of us watched SCRAMBLED (18:13), a comedic drama written and directed by Leah McKendrick, who stars as Nelly, a 34-year-old woman who freezes her eggs while also taking stock of her life. This one had a range of reactions from the gang. And over on Patreon, we cover the 1968 Norman Jewison-directed THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR. If you’re not a member, you may become on for $5 a month. There’s a bonus episode each week (about 400-ish now), and we post monthly polls about which movies to watch. Please check it out!
47:50 2/2/24
Episode #498: "Self-Reliance" and "Sometimes I Think About Dying"
This week, we cover two movies dealing with loneliness and connection. Megan reviews SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT DYING (1:56), Rachel Lambert's poignant and sweet comedy-drama starring Daisy Ridley as a shy and isolated person who meets someone new (Dave Merheje). Then we (Evan and Megan) discuss SELF-RELIANCE (14:23), Jake Johnson's uneven comedy — which he directed, wrote, and stars in — about a lonely person participating in a dark web reality game show where people try to kill him. And on this week's Patreon bonus episode, we cover the winner of our Best Picture Oscar winners poll: THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971), William Friedkin's tense crime thriller starring Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider!
43:37 1/26/24
Episode 497: "Origin" and "I.S.S."
Thanks for patience with the delay in posting the show this morning. This week Megan and Dave talk about ORIGIN (2:51), director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay's adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson's book Caste, starring Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as Wilkerson, Jon Bernthal as Wilkerson's husband Brett, and Niecy Nash-Betts as Wilkerson's cousin and best friend Marion. All three of us watched I.S.S. (21:32), starring Ariana DeBose and Chris Messina, in a tale as old as time: The United States and Russia are at war, so the astronauts and cosmonauts on the international space station in Earth's orbit are instructed to take the structure in the name of their respective nations by any means necessary. Ah, science! And over on Patreon, we talk THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, the 1971 film based on Michael Crichton's novel. If you're not a Patreon member, you can become one and get access to nearly 400 bonus episodes for $5 a month, and access to monthly polls.
55:23 1/19/24
Episode 496: "Mean Girls," "The Settlers," and "Good Grief"
  There’s no way to scrub quickly through the previous 495-ish episodes to find out, but it’s possible we’ve never had two movies featured in the main episode that are so tonally at odds. First, Megan talks about MEAN GIRLS (2:01), the new enjoyable musical comedy about teen cliques based on the Broadway musical, which is adapted from the 2004 film. Directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. and written by Tina Fey, it stars Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, and Auliʻi Cravalho. Then, Dave and Megan discuss Felipe Gálvez Haberle's Western THE SETTLERS (10:29), a movie so gruesome in its depictions of genocidal violence in 1901 Chile that Dave can’t stop nervous-laughing throughout (even though it’s an exceptionally well-made movie). Finally, we all review GOOD GRIEF (29:12), which, as Evan points out, is not a Charlie Brown biopic, but Dan Levy’s new comedy-drama, co-starring Ruth Negga and Himesh Patel. We had mixed reactions. Over on Patreon, we talk about STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, so check that out!
57:59 1/12/24
Episode 495: "Memory" and "Leave the World Behind"
We start of 2024 with two not-depressing movies: A love story bathed in trauma (MEMORY at 3:25) and a maybe-end-of-the-world drama where one of the characters is so selfish you hope they walk into the ocean and never return (LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND at 21:31). Over on Patreon, we talk about the 1993 animated film BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM. Take a listen!
65:54 1/5/24
Episode #494: Our Top 10 Lists from 2023
For the last Spoilerpiece of 2023, we keep with the tradition of sharing our top 10 films of the year. Evan starts (2:51), followed by Megan (20:15) and Dave (43:22). there are tangents aplenty, and not much overlap between lists. We had a lot of fun with this one. And if you're so inclined, please take a listen to our Patreon bonus episode, in which we dicuss the December poll winner, the 1947 holiday classic THE BISHOP'S WIFE.
67:08 12/29/23
Episode #493: "Anatomy of a Fall" and "All of Us Strangers"
This week we talk about Canne's 2023 Palme d'Or winner ANATOMY OF A FALL (3:02). Was it a fall? Or a push? Then it's ALL OF US STRANGERS (27:56), a movie so sad Dave has to shut off his mic. Twice. And please check ot our Patreon. This week we talk about our non-movie recommendations for 2023.
59:43 12/22/23
Episode #492: "Saltburn" and "American Fiction"
Megan is on vacation, so Evan and Dave are joined by friend of the show Kristen Halbert! Together the three of them discuss whether SALTBURN (4:10) is the kind of film you'd recommend to your friends or enemies. Then it's AMERICAN FICTION (28:37), starring Jeffrey Wright and familial angst (among roughly a dozen other plots). And don't forget to listen to our bonus episode on Patreon, in which we discuss the 1974 heist film THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE.
79:02 12/15/23
Episode #491: "Eileen" and "The Holdovers"
Megan is off this week so that leaves Evan and Dave to contend with Alexander Payne's latest, THE HOLDOVERS (2:30). Question to the audience that we pose to ourselves: Aside from ELECTION, do you remember Alexander Payne movies after you've seen them? And then there's EILEEN (23:46) - which Megan loved, btw - with its hour of being one movie and its half-hour of being a very different movie. And this week on Patreon we talk about the 2009 Duncan Jones movie MOON.
54:37 12/8/23
Episode #490: "Silent Night"
We're only talking about one film this week, but boy, is it a doozy! We review John Woo's SILENT NIGHT, a dialogue-free action movie that stars Joel Kinnaman as a grieving father who exacts bloody revenge on the gangs that killed his son on Christmas Eve. Does the conceit work? We'll let you know! And, in this week's Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss Gregory Hoblit's 1998 supernatural thriller FALLEN starring Denzel Washington! 
47:44 12/1/23
Episode 489: "Poor Things" and "Frybread Face and Me"
Welcome to wherever you are, peeps. And welcome to the last episode of November 2023. Megan and Dave start off talking about POOR THINGS (1:52), Yorgos Lanthimos' hard-to-describe (except we do) story of Bella (Emma Stone), a doctor (Willem Dafoe) who may be Victor Frankensteinesque, and her quest for knowledge and autonomy. It's a ride! And then everyone discusses FRYBREAD FACE AND ME (24:07), a sweet and bittersweet story of a boy from San Diego being sent to live with his grandmother on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. Over on Patreon, we talk about this month's poll winner, PACIFIC HEIGHTS. 
45:56 11/24/23
Episode #488: "Maestro" and "May December"
To prosthetic nose or not to prosthetic nose, that is the question. If you've read anything about MAESTRO (3:20), Bradley Cooper's biopic of Leonard Bernstein (starring Cooper and Carey Mulligan), you've probably read about the nose. Well, how about the rest of the movie, damn it? That's what Megan and Dave are here to tell you. Then all three of us watched MAY DECEMBER (27:17), Todd Haynes' new drama starring Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman. If you're getting Mary Kay Letourneau vibes, you're not wrong! We got them, too. And over on Patreon, we discuss Edgar Wright's 2010 fantasy action comedy SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, one of Evan's favorites, and a first-time watch for Megan and Dave.
65:46 11/17/23
Episode #487: "The Marvels" and "Rustin"
EVAN RETURNS!!!!! He fills us in on what he's been doing, and then we get down to biz. First, we talk RUSTIN (3:27), George C. Wolfe's by-the-numbers biopic of gay Black activist Bayard Rustin elevated by Colman Domingo's masterful turn in the title role. Then it's THE MARVELS (26:22), Nia DaCosta's superhero film starring Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani, and we answer that age-old question: Does this new Marvel movie make up for the crud that is Phase Four? We have some mixed opinions (one of us found it fun!), as you may expect. Over on Patreon, we talk about the 1944 noir classic LAURA (it's Noirvember, after all), directed by Otto Preminger and starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, and Clifton Webb. We have lots of patron tiers, and for $5 you get access to voting in monthly polls and our exclusive audio content, which has a bajillion (technical number) bonus episodes available for you right now! Thanks for your patronage, and welcome back, Evan!
59:19 11/10/23
Episode #486: "The Marsh King's Daughter" and "Quiz Lady"
There was some excitement in the Spoilerpiece camp this week, as Dave and Megan noticed THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER (2:41) was coming out. A mid-budge thriller with a stacked cast? Yay! Directed by Neil Burger? Um, judgment reserved. Until now. A question Megan asks: Do directors know what to do with Daisy Ridley? And we didn't ask this at the time, but does Neil Burger know what to do with...anything? Such shade cast at the Spoilerpiece HQ! After that, it's QUIZ LADY (27:07), starring Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, and Will Ferrell. It was more fun. And we hope YOU have fun listening! Don't forget to check out Patreon, where we talk about the 1953 classic ROMAN HOLIDAY with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
54:33 11/3/23
Episode #485: "Five Nights at Freddy's" and "Bad Press"
Ever wondered what's it's like to have freedom of the press stripped from a nation? Wonder no more! BAD PRESS (2:42) follows the struggles of Angel Ellis, a no-bullshit reporter for Mvskoke Media, as she contends with the Muscogee Nation's legislative branch stripping away freedom of the press and essentially kneecapping her and her fellow reporters. It's a terrific nailbiter of a documentary. And Megan graciously indulges Dave as he climbs on his pro-reporter soapbox! Then, after much hype and brouhaha, FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S (29:22) is finally upon us, and Megan and Dave saw it! Does FNaF succumb to Curse of the Video Game Adaptation Syndrome (TM)? Or is it worth your time? And on our Patreon, our patrons voted for us to watch GINGER SNAPS, the 2000 horror flick about sisters attached at the hip and the wedge a werewolf bite drives between them. Happy Halloween!
66:18 10/27/23
Episode #484: "Killers of the Flower Moon" and "KillHer"
This week we watched two movies. (Correction: Megan watched two movies and Dave watched one movie and then went to Montreal.) One of those movies is really liked, and one is...not. GUESS WHICH IS WHICH! (No peeking.) We kick things off with KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON (2:33), Martin Scorsese's latest I'm-gonna-make-longer-movies-now-that-I'm-older-fuck-it release, and continue with KILLHER (22:05), a slasher movie that's aware that it's a slasher movie. Please don't forget to check out our Patreon, in which we talk about the 1984 film 2010: The Year We Make Contact. That's available for $5/month Patreons (and above), and it's a great conversation (and there are 400-ish other great conversations to listen to, too!). Take a listen!
45:17 10/20/23
Episode #483: "The Royal Hotel" and "No One Will Save You"
It's a banner of an episode on Spoilerpiece this week. Megan and Dave agree on not one, but TWO movies! Christmas comes twice a year, baby! After a little pre-movie yappin', they get into NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU (2:46), Brian Duffield's sci-fi horror film starring Kaitlyn Dever, about the long-term fallouts of personal trauma masquerading as an alien invasion flick. Then it's THE ROYAL HOTEL (28:43), Kitty Green's latest Julia Garner-led movie. This time around, Garner and co-star Jessica Henwick, American tourists, end up working in Australia's most remote and most misogynist bar (a guess, but seems on-target) in this psychological thriller. If you're a patron, please head over to the  Patreon and listen to this week's bonus episode on WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, the winner of our home invasion poll. G'day!
69:10 10/13/23
Episode #482: "Totally Killer" and "When Evil Lurks"
Megan and Dave are back to talk about two new horror movies. First, we review WHEN EVIL LURKS (4:19), a brutal possession film by Argentinian filmmaker Demián Rugna that showcases children attacked by dogs, bodies festering with unexplained evil, and children who literally eat their parents. It's a big, wide, wonderful world we live in! The second film is TOTALLY KILLER (27:01), Nahnatchkha Khan's delightful sci-fi horror movie rooted in comedy that still has lots of blood. And it's a time travel movie, too! Starring Kiernan Shipka, Olivia Holt, and Julie Bowen, a teen travels back to the 80s to team up with her mom to stop a serial killer. And be sure to check out our Patreon to hear us talk about Spike Jonze's 2013 human/OS romance HER, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson.
59:18 10/6/23
Episode #481: "Fair Play," "Nightmare," and "Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie"
Megan returns! This week she and Dave talk about NIGHTMARE (13:18), Kjersti Helen Rasmussen's Norwegian horror film about a demon that lurks in dreams and tries to get itself birthed into the real world. They also talk about the much ballyhooed FAIR PLAY (30:04), Chloe Domont's sharp and complex erotic thriller about a seemingly happy couple (Phoebe Dynevor, Alden Ehrenreich) working for a hedge fund who get thrown a curveball when one of them becomes the other's boss. But before all that, Dave fills Megan in PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE (4:02). That's right! Dave managed to see another big-screen adaptation of his least favorite animated kids' show ever. And over on Patreon, Megan and Dave talk about David Lynch's first two films, ERASERHEAD and THE ELEPHANT MAN.
64:27 9/29/23

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