Unspooled

4,076

Each week actor & comedian Paul Scheer (Black Friday, The League) and film critic Amy Nicholson (New York Times, Washington Post) break down the greatest films of all time. From the classics, to new releases and every indie film in-between. Along the way, they’ll dissect iconic scenes, spotlight their favorite characters, and talk to some of the actors and directors who worked on these classics. Join Paul and Amy every Thursday as they “Unspool” a new film and decide if it still stands the test of time.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • tranceaddict1
    Not good
    First episode and last episode I listen to was the goonies and hearing Amy talk about the goonies and not understand it and make dumb comments. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I would never listen to another episode. Not good move on podcast.
  • Jill Lloyd Flanagan
    It’s good
    I like unspooled even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Paul scheer when he joined. The problem with the podcast though is that they are kind of both these contrarians in different directions and so often it doesn’t feel like they get into what’s actually good or flawed about a lot of the movies they cover
  • Dirk The Dragon Slayer
    Paul Is a Joy, Amy a Drag
    Paul Scheer brings a great love of cinema and films with his witty and fun perspective. I enjoy what he brings. But Amy Nicholson is a massive dead weight to what could be an incredible podcast under any other circumstance. I’m not sure she likes movies actually. She doesn’t offer very much in the way of critiques (I’m not sure how she’s able write for prestigious organizations), and seems to genuinely have a problem understanding even simple and basic concepts about really popular movies. She often breaks off into worthless tangents which takes up larger portions time trying to explain even basic plot points. (In one of the later episodes, Paul has to spend five minutes, trying to help her understand why they are called “goonies”; are you kidding me? She seems to be, and I mean this with no disrespect, but possibly on the spectrum.) It makes the whole thing mediocre.
  • Esteban_PodcastReview
    Excited New Listener
    I have been looking for a new movie podcast and binged four episodes today. Both hosts have interesting ideas, but I’ve been particularly impressed by the female host’s observations. The only critique I have is they sometimes talk over and interrupt one another, but that’s tolerable. I’m looking forward to getting deeper into the archives.
  • 1sftfhu754rty
    My Enthusiasm is Waning
    It’s increasingly difficult to get through episodes when one of the hosts is a smug, joyless contrarian.
  • MaddieEllis2000
    Late to the party
    I wish I would have found this fun podcast. Im listening in order and I so want to reach out weekly to discuss, but I’d like to go back in time to do so. I’m listening as fast as I can…please slow down so I can participate!!!
  • Kodexx
    BEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!
    So you saw Gary Busey having relations with a thing? Cool story. And thanks for sharing.
  • Ranger T.Gomez
    A must listen for movie fans
    I get excited every time a new episode comes out. I prefer to see the movie before hearing about it, but there’s a few movies I’ve seen only because they released an episode and wanted to see what they’re discussing. For sure check out an episode, you love it. But most importantly; where is the Risky Business episode?! Please, please, PLEASE
  • HMS_MIKESTRIKE
    Early Episodes Are Great, Losing Its Touch
    When the whole show was based around reviewing and critiquing the AFI Top 100 Greatest Films, Unspooled had its strongest voice. I was optimistic with the change in premise to, “Let’s not just criticize, let’s workshop our own list”. But ultimately, that’s fallen short. It feels like they’re chasing clicks, covering high profile movies that have no chance for consideration, while leaving more important movies on the shelf for an undetermined point they may never reach. It also feels like it’s become as old and white as they criticized the AFI list for being. Instead of a program filled with movies relevant to white guys that came of age in the 60s and 70s, it’s limited to movies relevant to white people that came of age in the 80s and 90s. They make about as much effort to diversify as the Oscars. Paul and Amy have great perspectives on the films they cover, it just feels like the content they cover has fallen off in the last year or so. Highly recommend the first 150ish episodes. After that, returns diminish.
  • Rickt4du
    It’s just too bad!
    I really love the premise of this show and some of the episodes have been great, but Amy is so irritating! And you lost me on the legally blonde episode where four poor Amy is for the podcast not being in a safe space. For who? Poor Amy is so scared of Donald Trump that she has to throw a little passive aggressive remark because she’s weak. I may try another episode in the future.
  • ac84rams
    Eh
    This podcast is good when it’s a movie I like, but they also cover some…yawn…boring movies that no one cares about. It’s like listening to two girlfriends obsess over the thing they have in common. Their analysis is obvious for the most part, and they offer little that hasn’t been endlessly covered online. Personally I’d rather read about movies than listen to these two blather on about dates movies as if they really matter. For my money, I’ll take The Rewatchables every time. These two goofballs (and countless other goons) are trying to mimic the genius of the OG pod father, Bill Simmons. Keep it in your subscriptions and occasionally check it out for movies you’re obsessed with too; it has a 1/8 hit rate for me. 3 stars for production quality and two people clearly trying their hardest (albeit in a medium they’re not really good at). This comes off as their attempt to stay Hollywood adjacent/relevant, and it gives try hard.
  • bicketybam10
    Call me by your name
    You can dance around it as much as you want but Call me by your name is definitely a movie about teen seducing a grown up. If it was a straight relationship people would be outraged. Love the pod lol.
  • CC_Mar86
    Ehh
    The podcast is so good and the male host is excellent, but the female who I know is a critic, is soooo pretentious.
  • LTA12287
    Jesus Christ Superstar
    Thank you for your insightful review of Jesus Christ Superstar! I saw this movie when I was 7 years old. Maybe I was a bit young to see it, but JCS made a huge impact on me! I memorized every word to every song of this brilliant rock opera! Love you Amy and Paul! Keep up the great work!
  • Fan Since '69
    Paul …
    LET AMY SPEAK. Thanks. P.S. - New drinking game: “And I think, like …”
  • wesley thomas johnson
    Umm
    Based on the Amedeus episode, most of their research is looking at IMDB trivia.
  • Xoxo79
    It’s not very enjoyable
    I love movies, movie podcasts, Paul and HDTGM, and I have tried to love this but it’s just not consistent. I cringe frequently when Amy speaks because she inevitably has a personal issue with a filmmaker that often has very little to do with the film itself. Or it dredges up some memory for her or an ex-boyfriend, etc… She’s often too precious and overwrought and the artificial-sounding laugh gets under my skin after a while. Sometimes her moralizing can also feel puritanical and severe. Paul seems eager to find agreement, so they tend to go down these overly saccharine or hyper-critical groupthink roads where all objectivity is lost. I’ve listened to dozens of episodes and some are far better than others, but overall, I just don’t enjoy listening to this podcast.
  • Burchp
    Paul, stop.
    Please let the film critic speak.
  • Jenivc
    Wrong Mozart pronunciation
    Why didn’t you do a bit of research on how to pronounce Mozart? It was so distracting that I couldn’t finish the episode. You seriously don’t know that it’s Mots-art?
  • kla212
    Superficial insights and fake laughter
    I enjoyed this when they were doing the AFI list, but now that they’ve moved on it’s impossible to get past the feeling you’re listening to an audiobook of a middle-schooler’s Tumblr page.
  • Clairalamode
    Long time listener..
    and usually enjoy these reviews which make me want to rewatch the classics. The latest episode on Amadeus though, was ridiculous. They mispronounced Mozart the entire time! HOW HOW HOW. Was so distracting I had to turn it off. You can’t just mispronounce the name of the most famous composer ever.
  • kimbell7
    Always fun
    One of my favorites!
  • JC1969
    Forgot how bad Amy is for a second
    Used to listen to this pod bc I like movies and am interested in the breakdown and behind the scenes stuff. I stopped bc I can’t stand Amy’s takes as they are all so much about her personal issues and past. Was bored and listen to the Ferris episode and yet again she is back at it ripping on the Sloan character and said she would be the gummy bear girl. This is how she decides to be critical , bc she was a loser growing up. Makes sense and hopefully I remember to never listen to her pods again. Paul you are very good and could do much better without her.
  • mister beck
    Painful, but this is based on a very small sample of one episode.
    I, somehow, just made it through the entirety of the Goodfellas episode and, for as long as the episode was, I didn’t get too much out of this. I think Paul Scheer is a funny, intelligent person and this was my first exposure to Amy. What I can say is that these two are on a collision course and only one can survive. This was the most combative ‘critical’ take I’ve heard where one party, Amy, was absolutely unwilling to budge on her viewpoints and, in some part, held me hostage to listen to her opine about her perception of bad casting for, what, 45 minutes?! Insanity - but I’ll probably listen to some other episodes because I do like a companion! Exhausting!
  • kittycorbu
    Fantastic but…
    fantastic in-depth adult discussion of film. Really enjoy the hosts different backgrounds. They both seem like people I would love to hang out and watch movies with just to have the discussion afterwards. Some of the hot takes can seem clunky but I know they are coming from a good place
  • Bo Chilla
    Great selection of reviews but Amy ruins many
    Both of them are way too woke to analyze movies in a non-biased way. I love the selections, but if there’s anything even remotely demeaning to women in a movie, or women don’t get enough lines, or WHATEVER they feel somehow cheats women, it’s going to get discussed throughout the review. If Amy doesn’t agree with the overall feel of the movie, I.e. if it’s too male-centric, she will hold that over the entire movie. Her review of Goodfellas is probably the best example of this, & it’s utterly ridiculous. No one wants to have politics with their movie reviews; movies are part of our ESCAPE from that crap. I understand sometimes it’s un-avoidable not to bring up certain issues involving certain people, like Weinstein for example. But we really don’t need your take on equal rights when we’re just trying to be entertained. We’re not trying to be educated with your values. Sometimes you just get tired of people trying to preach to you; it’s so hard to avoid nowadays.
  • confusedmeal
    Slightly unbalanced
    All in all, I love this podcast. I’ll listen to an episode about a movie that I’ve seen dozens of times, and without fail, Amy and Paul will present a fact or perspective or message from the film that I’ve never considered. I appreciate how the podcast has evolved over time; the original premise is great, but I like how Unspooled has expanded the conversation over time. The only reason it’s not a 5 out of 5 for me is that I feel that the discussion can be unbalanced. I love that both hosts bring a lifelong love of films, with Paul’s insight on the industry side and Amy’s background research and critic’s eye. I also feel that we are really listening to two longtime friends having these talks. Maybe that’s why it seems like Paul tends to co-opt the conversation a bit. I recently listened to the Midsommar episode, and there were whole sections that I fast-forwarded because Paul was talking in circles about grief and community. Those things are important, but it felt more like a rambling train of thought rather than a relevant movie discussion. Whenever Amy had the chance to speak, I appreciated that she brought it back to the meat of the movie, discussing the characters and production rather than just general emotions. It’s a trend I’ve noticed on quite a few episodes, and it feels like Amy generally lets Paul go on while Paul is more likely to interrupt Amy’s sections. It sounds like a lot of folks enjoy Paul’s style (and for good reason), so this might be a less popular opinion. And again, I know that friends have their own conversation flows that might not appeal to everyone. However for me, I’d prefer if the long trains of thought were edited a bit and that there was less interrupting each other over all.
  • CleverestCat
    Let Amy have her opinions!
    I like this podcast, but Paul runs over her opinions on things that are clearly subjective, which makes it so cringey it’s hard to listen to sometimes.
  • Bukowski 1
    Greatness!!
    Long time listener and I absolutely love this show. Both hosts are incredibly intelligent, well versed, and a pleasure to listen to. The negative reviews on this page are pretty laughable, and the one criticizing Amy’s voice has me scratching my heard. Amy, you’ve got a perfect voice. And please go ahead and stay woke, for those of us listening with a functioning brain. That being said, please do Straw Dogs soon.
  • Avengers93
    I want to love this show but, ugh the film choices. I can’t 😞
    I want to love this show but, ugh the film choices. I can’t 😞 I love both these two people, even if it’s a bit of an echo chamber when they’re discussing a film’s cultural significance. I’ve also never heard before any of the songs she chooses for the “what was happening in the charts the year this film came out” 😂 for real not one song. And I’m a pretty normal dude lol
  • vagabonddreams
    5 stars but …..
    Amy is all over the place. Is that the critic in her? She’s off the wall w some of the things she says. Love Paul. Love movies so happy I found this podcast. Stay away from talking politics please. I want to get away for the hours I listen. Will continue to listen to this podcast! Also- is this still movies going to space? Or it doesn’t matter anymore? Don’t end this podcast! Xo
  • Stepfordwives2020
    Long time fan, disappointed in Paul’s treatment of fans speaking up about genocide
    I’m so heartbroken because I have listened to this show so much, love it so much, but I can no longer listen after witnessing the ways Paul has treated fans who’ve spoken out about genocide. Absolutely heartbreaking. Shame on him. Thousands of deaths. Fans who are trying to engage with you — who believe in you, even if you’re confused about how to address apartheid — should not be treated that way. It’s very disappointing. I’ll miss this show.
  • Mike Disney
    Research Your Movies
    On the Rocky Horror Picture Show: “I have seen this movie SO many times! At the beginning when Brad and Janet are getting married…” Brad and Janet are at someone else’s wedding. They aren’t getting married. That’s a huge part of the movie’s plot. Sloppy. Stopped listening at this point.
  • devaneyfan
    My favorite podcast!
    A great podcast. I've learned so much about many of the movies I really love. Paul and Amy are the best!
  • marked for life
    Really?
    Fine enough podcast but in every episode, they have to have a “woke” moment, we get it, cant we just enjoy the movie for what it is and not your hidden agenda.
  • Gray-mane
    Excellent all around
    From content, to pace, to humor, this how hits all the marks.
  • krrslc
    She’s Unlistenable. Truly.
    HDTGM is a fun podcast, the 3 hosts have a great dynamic and their guests are almost always an enjoyable listen. But this. I was so excited for the premise and the fills up for conversation and review. So I hit play on the Fargo episode, as that is one of my favorite films. I immediately find Amy’s voice hard to listen to. Some of us (myself included) simply do not have a voice for radio. That’s ok, not a make or break. They start the episode discussing Christmas Vacation, and she delivers maybe the worst take on a movie I have ever heard, and does so with a level of smug pretension that is borderline baffling. It’s a silly, classic Christmas movie. And at this point, I’m thinking of walking out on this podcast - mind you I’m driving and listening in my car, so I’m basically considering a duck-and-roll type of move. It’s like anti-entertainment with no value. But I keep going. Let’s give this a real chance, I have to literally eat out loud to myself. The moment they move on to Fargo and her immediate reaction was essentially “meh,” I knew all I needed to know. I’mma stick with HDTGM.
  • stubeef1789
    Better movies please
    I like the hosts fine, but the podcast has really abandoned its premise of finding the best 100 American Movies. Most of the movies they discuss now are from the late 80’s and early 90’s. They are just doing the same thing they criticized the AFI for doing by picking only a certain type of movie from a certain time. Can we get some movies from the 1940’s or maybe the 2010’s? More films by women? More documentaries? Animated movies? I think I would like the podcast more true to its premise and more varied in the movies they discussed. Last comment: Listening to the Porco Rosso pod now and choosing Porco Rosso over every other Miyatzaki film is ridiculous. I am listening to them talk about pig dicks for 5 minutes instead of hearing about any of the other half dozen masterpieces Miyatzaki has made.
  • cmdlvd
    New movie review addiction
    I thoroughly enjoy this podcast. I like how they have both a female and male perspective and allow each other to express their interpretations openly without bringing each other down. Only reason it has 4 stars is bc the editing could use some work. Some episodes (specifically Blade) literally has cut back and forth to what I just heard them say 5 min ago. I had to skip it bc I was getting so confused. Besides that, I love it!
  • magna199
    Could be 5 stars
    Could be five stars if they keep their lazy political views out of it. Both hosts are fun, but sometimes I think Amy is just trying to be contrarian to everything that Paul says
  • ndndjudi United
    She was in a meeting at a hotel and a few
    The only thing I could say was I would say I was in a very long day at my hotel in my neighborhood but it
  • Billybill1984
    Blue Velvet
    Excellent episode!
  • Sjane11
    All my favorite childhood movies
    I’ve been a fan of this podcast for a while and recently listened to pee wee’s big adventure (one of my favorites). It was such an amazing deep dive. Amy and Paul also did a fantastic job with Willy wonka, the little mermaid, and the Labyrinth (more favorites from my childhood.) Amy is clearly fantastic at her job. Even if I don’t agree with every word she says, I always learn so much from her and Paul. I hope Amy doesn’t read the negative reviews here, and if she does, I hope she knows they are all ridiculous.
  • ugh Reds
    DJ and the mail and mail it out to mail and it
    I can get you to see if I could do that to my little bit of the girls to see the girls in a few seconds of a day or so
  • Ouray Lives
    Mr. Malapropism vs Ms Insight
    Honestly shocked to come here and find people heaping praise and Paul, Mr. Malapropism himself, and tearing down Amy. Really, you take issue with her use of the word ‘like?’ Meanwhile, Paul has just stepped on her original take to fill two minutes with searching for the right word, only to come with some off the wall idiom that he misuses. This show feels like Amy is a babysitter for an 18 year old who has taken mushrooms for the first time, just helping him along, comforting him, supporting his banal revelations. I love it.
  • H2Oman Runner
    Amy does her homework…A
    Never a dull moment…as I go through past episodes they were throwing at 95 mph from day 1 …highly entertaining and thoughtful. Thx for the P.Rubens episode.
  • Visha33
    Amy Nicholson is a terrible person
    She is the definition of white neoliberal oppressor who pretends to be woke while utterly spitting in the face of a women-led, racially intersectional working grassroots movement. She makes rich white feminism into an art form. She’s annoying, uninformed, and smug.
  • Steve de los Guantes
    This pod is great. Never mind the woke-spotters. Telling it like it is just rankles some people.
    Paul is great, he’s our ‘everyman’, and I love his takes on movies. While Amy is our real movie historian/reviewer and deserves respect despite what some hateful (anti-American) trolls claim her political ideas are driving her opinions, but since everything is politics... whatever. When the new breed of not-so closeted fascist/conservatives start pointing to SJW’s & wokeness I have to wonder if they recognize their tolerance for fascism as the thoroughly un-American activity it is. This really is the majority opinion. If it weren’t for all the trolls in the reviews this would have the ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️’s it definitely deserves. Trolls can go listen to OAN/Fox “News” and leave these American treasures alone. Great Movies and great analysis.
  • Shawn Skvarna
    I dig it
    I just started listening to this show and I do enjoy the choices of movies they talk about. Paul really has an enjoyable insight into movies I’ve love. Amy has her moments but I can definitely see why a lot of reviews point at her as the reason they can’t keep listening. Amy talking about what a kids movie is on the Conan the Barbarian episode is utterly dumbfounding. Her saying the 89 Batman movie was made for kids has to be one of the most tone deaf comments I’ve ever heard. There’s a lot about her comments that confuse me and baffle me at times. But I will give her props for being as passionate as she is about movies she loves like Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein. After listening to the Back to the Future episode I’m definitely lost on Amy’s perspective. Her taking the show on a huge tangent of “what would our world be like without the influence of Spielberg” was exhausting. I understand the concept she’s trying to go with but it just feels like she’s just against something to be against it. Even without his influence I still believe that there was something going on during the 80s where a lot of the movies we got would get made just on the talent and creativity in those movies. The longer I listen Amy is a personality I’m more and more frustrated listening to. But I will say her dour perspective can really help Paul shine. Still a podcast I plan to listen to based on the movies they talk about, but I will be cringing the more her perspective seeps in.
  • Virgil's Jukebox
    Great show, poor QA engineering
    Love Amy and Paul and the work they do. But my downloads via iTunes have several glitches every episode. There are repeated sections sprinkled throughout. Does Earwolf have quality assurance staff? I would give the podcast 5 stars if someone could maintain playback quality.
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