Slant Magazine's Scores

For 2,394 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 66% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Tomboy
Lowest review score: 0 Laredoans Speak: Voices on Immigration
Score distribution:
2,394 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A brief history of time and space, according to Bertrand Bonello.
  4. An acutely felt, altogether devastating family drama as intimate and affecting as it is sprawling and untamed.
  5. 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.
    • 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.
  6. Much like the work of generational cohort Michael Robinson, Alex Ross Perry's films are steeped in a viscous cultural past.
  7. Fervently passionate and formally meticulous, the latest stunning coup for a director who's made a career of repurposing archetypal storylines.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Not only a monstrous visual achievement, but one of the most uniquely humanistic animated features of all time.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Leviathan is a titanic achievement, a visceral overload whose impact registers immediately and with great force.
  8. 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]
    • 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.
  9. Rob Zombie understands horror as an aural-visual experience that should gnaw at the nerves, seep into the subconscious, and beget unshakeable nightmares.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Scarecrow embraces sprawl of both the narrative and geographical variety with freewheeling abandon.
  10. In the Mood For Love is ravishing beyond mortal words.
  11. It takes cojones for a filmmaker to chase Fassbinder's ghost, but it takes heart and talent to damn near catch up with it.
  12. Jem Cohen's film finds its most salient tension in the fraught relationship between known and unknown objects.
  13. A movie which sits at the nexus between spoken and written language, the latter mostly of the programming variety.
  14. 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An ordinary drama embellished and in some sense infringed on by genre elements rather than the other way around.
  15. Adam Wingard's You're Next brazenly merges the home-invasion thriller with the dysfunctional family dramedy.
  16. Alain Guiraudie's film portrays cruising as a danger-seeking and astoundingly repetitive affair, intimately linked to death itself.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Throughout, what truly matters to director Jonathan Glazer is articulating through visual and aural enticement the unconscious power of our death drive.
  21. Like the movie itself, every character is a beautiful swirl of contradictions.
    • 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.
  22. Level Five pictorializes the cruel moment when curiosity encounters tragedy, and the all-too-human abandonment of interest that can follows.
  23. Tsai isn't making a social-problem film here, and his critique of patriarchal control is secondary to his portrait of unbearable psychic conditions.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. The Tree of Life's fetching images are like glowing shards of glass, and together they form a grandiose mirror that reflects Malick's impassioned philosophical outlook. It's unquestionably this great filmmaker's most personal work, a revelation of how he came to be, why he creates, and where he feels he's going.
  29. At first glance, Tuesday, After Christmas seems, in both form and content, only a modestly ambitious endeavor. Yet the singular attention with which it carries out its aims-and the rigorous success it ultimately attains-is nonetheless unsparing, and bracing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The documentary enables its viewers to confront poverty on a human level by presenting its subjects, for the most part, like anyone else, living lives, despite their socioeconomic difference, relatable to our own.
  30. Though it's as schematic in construction as "Incendies," the film doesn't grind along to a ponderous plot; it's unnerving abstraction of its subject matter more daringly relays Villeneuve's view of the human cost of gender warfare.
  31. It lulls us into its reckless passivity to the point that even the comedic duds possess a languid hint of funny.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The fact that Yates marshals a mile-long grocery list of business with the grace and poise of an orchestra conductor, and makes it look easy, isn't just flattery, it's an indication of his method.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    An inspirational and heartbreaking nail-biter, The Interrupters was more difficult for me to watch than any battle documentary I've seen in years.
  32. Evan Glodell's debut has the sweetness of a lullaby reverie and the blazing ferocity of a monster-car nightmare, a first-comes-elation, then-comes-madness structure that resembles that of "Blue Valentine," another tale focused on the commencement, and then collapse, of an affair.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A marvelously elastic storyteller, a dry wit, and a Rivettean anti-determinist, the Chilean auteur Raúl Ruiz is fascinated by narratives that dilate from within, images seemingly full of secret passageways, and fabulists who collect tales like toys.
  33. We experience the delay of the fantasy of the happy old couple in their country home in cinematic time as, for most of the film, the only body these lovers have is the spellbinding combination of visual fragments serving as apparitions to their voices.
  34. If Rebirth's subjects are active guides documenting a fluid psychological landscape, Jim Whitaker constructs a specific cinematic geography around them with stunning time-lapse photography of Ground Zero.
  35. Japanese poet and cult filmmaker Shion Sono defines himself as an anti-establishment artist partly out of cynicism and partly thanks to his romantic concept of libertarianism.
  36. 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.
  37. A ticking stopwatch hangs over Weekend that amplifies the intensity of every conversation, every fight, every drink, every copulation. In other words, it's a device.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In a development that seemed to begin in earnest with "Sideways," a large part of The Descendents seems to operate on a non-narrative level.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For Carl Dreyer, to film a miracle took a single shot; for Bruno Dumont, a whole film. In Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki needs four shots to capture his - and what an ordinary event it is!
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Joe Swanberg's idea of making audiences "happy" is by acknowledging what his supporters and detractors have been saying about him for a number of years, but presenting these things within the same game of elliptical story-unraveling and confession that's governed most of his other films.
  38. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is pure pedagogic bliss.
  39. Underlying the occasionally harrowing, consistently mournful tone is a philosophy that, more than being explicitly anti-capital punishment, puts both family ties and the social contract at the center of people's self-worth.
  40. Dashing across the screen in all its bloody, gilded glory, the awesome and beautiful Immortals marks an all-win scenario.
  41. It's a brilliant reversal that, while seemingly far less inspired than most of the director's efforts, leaves us with a film that's just as iconoclastic.
  42. Order may be restored to the Circus, the "bad" elements weeded out, but in the jaundiced world the film has spent the last two hours so effectively delineating, the barriers between good and evil have been shown to be essentially meaningless.
  43. A lot of evil is laid on the table in El Sicario, and the film makes a big, if exquisitely subtle show, of theorizing that there's no way to explain how it got there.
  44. Barriers both transparent and persistently present encase the characters of A Separation, constricting them in ways social, cultural, religious, familial, and emotional.
  45. Robinson's very name ties him to explorers like Crusoe and Walden, but he is also something like JLG's whispering leftist prankster who butted into 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her to intermittently spout rhetoric over images of freeways and construction sites.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The ultimate drama of Domain becomes how long he can be a witness to her self-destruction.
  46. Winding up the tension to an almost stubborn degree, Ti West forestalls the inevitable disappointment of its release, a blow that's further softened by how immaculately the whole movie is shot.
  47. Visually glassy and smooth, Perfect Sense values the dynamic mood of each scene without being overly stylized.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In its way, this effort is both a forceful assertion of the most stifling brand of auteurism and a radical reconfiguration of its political potential.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    If The Kid with a Bike is a fairy tale, it's the unsentimental kind that locates the dark enchantment in characters discovering themselves during their most despairing moments. Still, it's certainly the Dardennes' fleetest, warmest film to date.
  48. A boldly conceived assemblage of diverse and seemingly random fictional materials, Athina Rachel Tsangari's Attenberg is concerned with nothing less than those hardy perennials: sex, death, and modernity. And coming of age a little too late.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The clash of styles in Damsels in Distress is bewildering and then disarming.
  49. Marc H. Simon's documentary has the thrust of a great American noir or black comedy.
  50. The geometry of human relationships is the main theme of Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives.
  51. Filmmakers Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas have crafted a beautiful tale of alienation, solitude, and existential anxiety.
  52. A wide-ranging piece of literary criticism brought to vivid cinematic life, bursting with ideas and inspired visual translations of them.
  53. The conclusion is a testament to the fact that authentic justice is probably only attainable by accident.
  54. After a few turns in the modest narrative, an unlikely sense of structural resilience begins to emerge.
  55. Cristián Jiménez's film knows how entangled the will to know is with the will to make love.
  56. Something like a trippy grindhouse homage whose familiar images are refracted through a prism of blacklight posters, Jodorowsky films, and even Rob Zombie's grungy psychotropic sensibility.
  57. Elena is a film deeply concerned with class resentment, but the filmmakers' attitude toward their titular character is disconcerting and even shocking.
  58. Although the film remains continually fanciful, it always reminds us of the stakes in which precocious childhood rubs up against the possibility of a childhood denied altogether.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The evocation of things ending suffuses the film with melancholy, as Anders increasingly becomes an observant rather than a participant in his own life.
  59. The exquisite live-action Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog may be the family film of the year.
  60. El Velador doesn't pass judgment or manipulate emotionally, instead choosing simply to consider the arduousness of survival in a land wracked by slaughter.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In almost every respect, Extraterrestrial is an exceptional and traditional romantic comedy. It just happens to be set during an alien invasion.
  61. Benh Zeitlin's lived-in, almost abstract sense of social realism is partly what makes the film so refreshing and uniquely affecting.
    • 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.
  62. Control is the operative element in Benoît Jacquot's work, with the main caveat being that when someone has it, someone else does not.
  63. Few recent studies of commercialized sex have been character profiles, so Rob Schröder and Gabrielle Provaas's documentary is an unusual and welcome polemic.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Diamond-hard and dazzlingly brilliant, David Cronenberg's film plays like a deeply perverse, darkly comic successor to Videodrome.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Neil Berkeley's documentary is as puckish as its subject, so steeped in artist Wayne White's creative juices that it makes you want to go straight home and start making things.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The documentary makes you wonder about every beautiful woman who's ever stared out from a publication, poster, or billboard, looking sophisticated and self-assured.
  64. This lovely film is ultimately an articulation of something at once simple and universal: the discontent of traveling through life with sad resignation.
  65. At this point in the franchise, Anderson is content to alight the saga on a perpetual rewind loop, ever-ending, ever-rebooting, all subsidized by his nonpareil compositional sense.
  66. Presents a cast of characters who must continue fighting, for what's at stake is the very real, very imminent threat of their own deaths.
  67. The film captures Vreeland's perhaps unwitting philosophical integrity just as much as it drowns us in the exuberance of her work.
  68. As in the very best Anthony Mann and John Ford westerns, Looper at once understands the visual power of violence and is deeply critical of it.
  69. Ross McElwee is less anxious of death itself than of finally comprehending the vast faultiness of the life he's lived.
  70. While Jonathan Lisecki is well in tune with his film's niche market, his knack for comedy, both visual and verbal, is universally hilarious.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Bestiaire argues persuasively without words, making a case without explicating one at all.
  71. A unique, audacious studio movie, kicking off as a star-driven spectacle before whittling itself down to a raw and riveting character study.

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