Slant Magazine's Scores

For 3,784 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 33% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 65% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Li'l Quinquin
Lowest review score: 0 King Cobra
Score distribution:
3784 movie reviews
  1. Aleksei German's final film is choreographed with a Felliniesque social grandeur, but tethered to a neorealist's eye for detail and quotidian matters of social justice.
  2. Béla Tarr is the cinema's greatest crafter of total environments and in The Turin Horse, working in his most restricted physical setting since 1984's Almanac of Fall, he (along with co-director Ágnes Hranitzky) dials up one of his most vividly immersive milieus.
  3. Jem Cohen's film finds its most salient tension in the fraught relationship between known and unknown objects.
  4. Christian Petzold never luxuriates in all this film history, but rather channels the artifice and affect it embodies into new insights.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Scarecrow embraces sprawl of both the narrative and geographical variety with freewheeling abandon.
  5. With the invocation of national allegiance as an inherent contradiction, the documentary blooms its larger, allegorical inklings.
  6. Every beautiful, resonant image in writer-director Alex Ross Perry's film is fraught with neurotic, diaphanous riddles.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The pangs of romance, eroticism, anguish, and longing (both for the stolen moments of private passion and for the sense-making schematics of Empire) transcend any period of cinema Tabu may evoke.
  7. It resembles a satirical treatise of self-reflection, functioning simultaneously as a summation of Bruno Dumont's thematic interests over the previous two decades and as a bonkers remake of Humanité.
  8. In the Mood For Love is ravishing beyond mortal words.
  9. Adam Wingard's You're Next brazenly merges the home-invasion thriller with the dysfunctional family dramedy.
  10. This is a film that isn’t afraid to inhabit the maddening ambivalence of pleasure, recognizing that desire simply doesn’t recognize good manners.
  11. Her
    A screwball surrealist comedy that asks us to laugh at an unconventional romance while also disarming us with the realization that its fantasy scenario isn't too far from our present reality.
  12. Fire at Sea initiates a narrative that probes the fundamental gap between wanting to help and actually being able to do so.
  13. Much like the work of generational cohort Michael Robinson, Alex Ross Perry's films are steeped in a viscous cultural past.
  14. It takes cojones for a filmmaker to chase Fassbinder's ghost, but it takes heart and talent to damn near catch up with it.
  15. Even if Hayao Miyazaki's career is complete, a work like this serves to remind us of the shining beacons he's left behind him, the testaments to pursuing beauty in the face of so much ugliness, themselves lasting reminders of the quiet rewards of determination.
  16. The film is a singularly huge, relentless, all-encompassing set piece that mutates and spasms with terrifying lack of foresight. It's all business, business, business.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Long Day Closes posits its pubescent protagonist as a tiny camera absorbing and transforming the reality all around him.
  17. One of the most distinct pleasures of Beginners is the way it puts together fragments of someone's life-presumably the filmmaker's, although little does it matter-with humility, and without vying for some complete whole.
  18. The film is virtually perfect: Nary a frame goes to waste in the establishment and development of plot and character, with the occasionally deviant touch serving to neutralize a sense of overly manufactured calculation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The doc positions The Shining as a comparably coiled, thematically overflowing microcosm--standing in for cinema, for history, for obsession, for postmodern theory buckling under the film's heft.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Even when the band plays away from private eyes or songs simply play over disconnected footage of them having fun, the strength of their songcraft is stirring.
  19. The dangers of filmmakers trying to replicate a golden era rather than embrace the present are part and parcel of Inherent Vice, but the ramifications are political as well.
  20. Dead Man is likely Jim Jarmusch’s most stunning achievement.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Not only a monstrous visual achievement, but one of the most uniquely humanistic animated features of all time.
  21. The other reason why Hawks's film can't be approached as a pure sociological interrogation is that it's, quite visibly, a Hollywood production with certain inescapable commitments to entertainment convention. This isn't to downgrade the movie, though, as there's a reason why Hawks and other Old Hollywood filmmakers have become so revered.
  22. One of the Ryan Coogler film's greatest traits is its reticence, its refusal to say 10 words when two will do, or to say one word when silence says it all.
  23. Throughout, what truly matters to director Jonathan Glazer is articulating through visual and aural enticement the unconscious power of our death drive.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The film's vision of masculine self-sufficiency is built around--and on, via Australia's own bloody colonial history--an elemental violence.
  24. This insane masterpiece shows the self-destructive properties of myth making and how they overlap with the downfall of a community damned from the beginning of time.
  25. Robert Bresson's film hits with the effect not so much reflecting a cleansing of the soul, but rather a ransacking.
  26. A movie which sits at the nexus between spoken and written language, the latter mostly of the programming variety.
  27. As depicted by Jia Zhang-ke, the balance between the spoils and moral rot of murder are far preferable to the debasing rigors of tradition and hollow nationalism.
  28. To hell with equivocation or beating around the bush: Terrence Malick's 1978 Days of Heaven is the greatest film ever made. And let the word film be emphasized, since Malick's sophomore masterpiece earns this exalted designation from its position as a work of pure cinema. [22 Oct. 2007]
  29. The Nine Muses is the kind of nonfiction film I actively hope for: a picture of intuitive, free-associational power that cuts far deeper emotionally than a dry recitation of dates and facts could ever hope to.
  30. An acutely felt, altogether devastating family drama as intimate and affecting as it is sprawling and untamed.
  31. Level Five pictorializes the cruel moment when curiosity encounters tragedy, and the all-too-human abandonment of interest that can follows.
  32. Rob Zombie understands horror as an aural-visual experience that should gnaw at the nerves, seep into the subconscious, and beget unshakeable nightmares.
  33. Those who find Rohmer heroines difficult - that is, demanding because they are three-dimensional, non-formulaic creations with an intricate set of foibles and needs - might even be won over by the depth and poignancy of Delphine, one of its maker's most generously etched characters.
  34. What makes Phantasm special is the way it captures a boy's life in 1978. [Remastered]
  35. Deep End is as soaked in pheromones and nervous electricity as Mike, but he's as much a product of the world of desire that surrounds him as one of its participants, and when the end finally comes, there's only a reprise of earlier dream imagery to suggest that there was anything other than a spasmodic, hormonal twitch involved in bringing about its conclusion.
  36. It's the summative effect of the story's modest exchanges, unspooling one after another in long, tranquil shots, that lends the film its profound sense of loss.
  37. Cinema is a vernacular of domination, and quaking with revelations both formal and personal, the film attests that Godard has spent his career apologizing for it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Leviathan is a titanic achievement, a visceral overload whose impact registers immediately and with great force.
  38. Paterson's sunny aesthetic and disposition marks a stylistic departure for writer-director Jim Jarmusch.
  39. The lightning in the film’s bottle isn’t some generic feel-good humanism, but a complicated one, fighting for its own existence, sometimes angry, sometimes despondent.
  40. It movingly posits acting as a metaphor for the search for connection, through visceral texture rather than platitude.
  41. Asghar Farhadi's film yields a tonal and emotional friction that's simultaneously tragic, transcendent, and comic.
  42. Like the movie itself, every character is a beautiful swirl of contradictions.
  43. Tsai isn't making a social-problem film here, and his critique of patriarchal control is secondary to his portrait of unbearable psychic conditions.
  44. It gently and often imperceptibly shifts between past and present, legend and modernity, wakefulness and reverie.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It captures a kind of essential form of self-expression (and pleasure) that exceeds categorization, creating a shared experience between the musicians, the filmmakers, and the viewer that feels sublime.
  45. Don't let the women's smirks and wordplay fool you: The fact that art is eternal often makes it more horrifying than life itself.
  46. Tomboy is one of those little big films whose simplicity and concision suggest the excess of meaning that language (cinematic or otherwise) could never account for.
  47. Its utter indulgence in esoterica paradoxically leaves it most vulnerable to the beating heart of this great artist of self-therapy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    While screenwriter Tom Stoppard supplies a literate script, it’s Spielberg’s peerless command of film technique that drives the film, with the director crafting a number of sequences that function as impressive examples of pure visual storytelling.
  48. Fervently passionate and formally meticulous, the latest stunning coup for a director who's made a career of repurposing archetypal storylines.
  49. The biblical root of the [Dekalog] may suggest didacticism on its face, but whatever morals are advanced are decidedly ambivalent.
  50. It is boldly NC-17, but unlike most exploitation cinema, Ferrara can’t seem to help himself from making the film a personal, frightened psychic diary, a pitiful shriek for help, and a powerful statement about how even the damned can achieve a moment of fleeting grace.
  51. Jafar Panahi spotlights the act of filmmaking as an act of resistance as well as a possible source of propaganda and manipulation.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A brief history of time and space, according to Bertrand Bonello.
  52. Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers is a political tract that understands itself also as a cinematic exercise.
  53. We know nothing of this woman’s inner-traumas, the repressed memories or hidden pains of her youth, yet Moore, in an extraordinary milestone performance, gives us a glimpse inside Carol’s frail and lonely soul.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An ordinary drama embellished and in some sense infringed on by genre elements rather than the other way around.
  54. Alain Guiraudie's film portrays cruising as a danger-seeking and astoundingly repetitive affair, intimately linked to death itself.
  55. Like most great essay films, Paraguay Remembered is driven by associations not just with art works with which it shares a kinship, but a stream-of-conscious relationship between word and image.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's in his generous, objective use of long shots and spare but startling close-ups that we see once again the influence of Robert Altman in Yang's aesthetic and the struggle of the Taiwanese people to accept their history. In essence, Yang uses his aesthetic to bring into the light that which is dark.
  56. The film's criticism isn't primarily rooted in satire, but rather in fury and condemnation for those who seek to be gods while shamefully feigning to follow and praise one god.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As befits a filmmaker who defined as well as challenged the definition of Italian neorealism, Voyage to Italy unfolds as a thorny narrative and a profoundly personal documentary.
  57. True to its title, the film approaches death as both narrative endpoint and formal focus, its initial vivacious mischief giving way to a Manichean fable about the waning of the light.
  58. The film is further confirmation of Mia Hansen-Løve’s delicately devastating ear and touch as a filmmaker.
  59. The film is about floating along on currents of uncertain desire and excitement, overthinking your own indulgence in these whims, and then sometime later on down the road, through no clear constellation of reasons, recognizing that a real human connection was squandered in the haze of all that self-exploration.
  60. Demon offers a tidal wave of unrelieved longing and regret, with a devilish streak of absurdism.
  61. A Spike Lee joint in the urgent sociopolitical register of Radio Raheem's boombox—a call to arms that's also a call to disarm.
  62. Love it or hate it, it's doubtful you'll ever forget it, and it may just force you to redefine your definition of what constitutes "good" cinema.
  63. Costa's storytelling is illusory at best, but Horse Money's self-contradictions are communicated not via plot half as much as in scenography, even in the costuming.
  64. The film uses its male-on-male boundary-leaping to give the shopworn man-boy narrative a refresh.
  65. The Lost City of Z links every weathered look that Percy Fawcett throws to the heart of his spiritual yearning.
  66. The film, never sensational or saccharine, is a tough but tender tribute to the creative power of maternal love.
  67. The film's 90 minutes are a disorienting cyclone of destructive incidents and propulsive energy.
  68. The plot is pure pulp, inspired in equal parts by the tropes and imagery of film noir, grand opera, and silent melodrama.
  69. Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's documentary raises important questions about the limits of pedagogy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The film becomes akin to variations on a theme, executed with visual finesse, and enhanced by its many rich textures.
  70. Wang Bing intends to give back to the inmates the opportunity for individual expression that society has robbed them of.
  71. A ferocious plea for character salvation within a milieu where money and bodily affect are the raison d'être for human existence.
  72. Na Hong-jin's The Wailing is a work of thriller maximal-ism, a rare case of more actually being more rather than less.
  73. Cinema hasn't been this close to the dusty cogs of desire's machinery and unapologetic about pleasure since Pasolini.
  74. A madly creative, darkly comical, and fiendishly self-aware actioner with muscle to spare.
  75. Alain Resnais's overpoweringly beautiful final film dares to push through the ghosts that inhabit the present, standing between the pessimism of an ill-spent past and the optimism of an undefined future.
  76. A scintillating sci-fi throwback, Vanishing Waves draws inspiration from Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky, among others, but without feeling plagiaristic.
  77. Private Property abounds in inventive low-budget filmmaking while stress-testing a pulpy, dime-store premise.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Bond's latest is a remarkable high watermark for the series: at once solemn and deeply funny, sexy and sad, self-conscious without all the rib-bruising elbowing.
  78. One of its most refreshing aspects is its acceptance of both western and action-film conventions on their own terms, refusing to regard itself as operating outside of or superior to the genre.
  79. No Austen adaptation, even the most revisionist ones, have ever felt as vicious as Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship.
  80. The film buzzes with hand-drawn creativity that's precious in both the pop-cultural and material senses.
  81. An unnerving, all-archival account of Philadelphia citizens suddenly terrorized by the unchecked violence of rogue "law and order."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Both a companion piece to and in many ways a reversal of "Dogtooth," it builds on that film's surreally terse style and notions of communication and identity without diluting its singularity or concentration.
  82. Manages to be intimate and impersonal at the same time, a trait constantly reinforced by his portrayal of not only Ceausescu but the populace he led, represented, and controlled for nearly three decades.
  83. Control is the operative element in Benoît Jacquot's work, with the main caveat being that when someone has it, someone else does not.

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