Slant Magazine's Scores

For 2,204 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 9.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Level Five
Lowest review score: 0 Rites of Spring
Score distribution:
2,204 movie reviews
    • 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.
  1. Richard Linklater's film is an experiment in time, and one that's attentive to the audience's sense of empathy.
  2. Compared to "Breathless," Le Petit Soldat's images suggest a stronger sense of place, as characters seem inextricably linked to their environment. Overall, the film lacks the artifice of Hollywood cinema, which Godard admired but was looking to move past after catching flack from the French left wing.
  3. Steve McQueen's film practically treats Solomon Norhtup as passive observer to a litany of horrors that exist primarily for our own education.
    • 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.
  4. Alfonso Cuarón's triumph is an invigoratingly clean, elegant display of action choreography, a La Région Centrale you can still take grandma to see.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Doubtless, Kathryn Bigelow's greatest strengths emerge when she can more freely flex her muscles as an action filmmaker.
  5. Barriers both transparent and persistently present encase the characters of A Separation, constricting them in ways social, cultural, religious, familial, and emotional.
  6. These films have always been about the power of words, their ability to bridge gulfs of time and space, the thrill of ideas and opinions taking definitive shape.
  7. Simply and devastatingly letting five residents of San Francisco share their reminiscences of that city's nightmarish "war zone" in the early, horrific years of AIDS, We Were Here creates a harrowing, streamlined oral history.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This isn't the work of a newly moral or humanistic filmmaker, but another ruse by the same unscrupulous showman whose funny games have been beguiling us for years.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    There are more than a few striking images and intriguing ideas to be extracted from Tristana. [10 Oct. 2012]
  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]
  9. As played by an eloquently beleaguered Oscar Isaac, Llewyn Davis is arguably the most vivid and complex character the Coens have dreamed up since Marge Gunderson.
  10. Fervently passionate and formally meticulous, the latest stunning coup for a director who's made a career of repurposing archetypal storylines.
  11. By de-emphasizing politics in favor of humanitarianism, Danielle Gardner's work also suggests how Americans might yet unify even as the world around them threatens to tear itself apart.
  12. A Summer's Tale's linear structure and sense of observation is simple yet inspired.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The earthiest of Japanese New Wave directors, Shohei Imamura goes fascinatingly meta in this 1967 hybrid of investigative tract and ruminative experiment.
  13. Sarah Polley is much more interested in the malleability of memory and the consequential refractions felt throughout her kin rather than telling a linear narrative.
  14. Level Five pictorializes the cruel moment when curiosity encounters tragedy, and the all-too-human abandonment of interest that can follows.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Even when the so-called Gatekeepers offer up damning testimony against their organization, there's no real threat that they'll ever be held accountable for it.
  15. The film's beguiling visual poetry and smatterings of sociological subtext function less than coherently as transitional markers between cinematic epochs, or even as the nascent burblings of any imminent DIY revolution; instead, they're redolent of a modernist apotheosis.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The film is a testament to the power of video to document resistance to corrupt and abusive regimes, but it's also a witness to the limits of that power.
  16. 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.
    • 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.
  17. No one corporation or person plans to trample over the wellbeing of the Ghanaian people, but as the story of the development progress, the breadth of Rachel Boynton's research shows how it will occur regardless.
  18. Formally ostentatious and unrepentantly messy, the film manages to implicitly convey the overdriven, coked-up confusion that many '70s period pieces make painfully overt.
  19. In Joshua Oppenheimer's extraordinary The Act of Killing, film becomes the medium for a bold historical reckoning--and in more ways than one.
  20. Ida
    Pawel Pawlikowski shows great empathy toward the idea of illusions as a way of attaining emotional stability in even the most brutal terrain.
  21. Tsai isn't making a social-problem film here, and his critique of patriarchal control is secondary to his portrait of unbearable psychic conditions.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The Artist neatly sidesteps this unsolvable dilemma by ignoring everything that's fascinating and memorable about the era, focusing instead on a patchwork of general knowledge, so eroded of inconvenient facts that it doesn't even qualify as a roman à clef.
  22. Its horrors go beyond any single raggedy phantom, reaching back to the primordial fear of death and loss: of a child, of a loved one, of one's own sense of self.
  23. Abdellatif Kechiche reveals through his sense of composition, and collaboration with his remarkable actresses, a sensitivity to emotional nuance that's striking.
  24. As always, Wes Anderson places his trademark precision in direct confrontation with the chaos and confusion menacing his beloved characters.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It can't be overstated just how Nothing But a Man is militantly tone-deaf to the Hollywood muzak of race relations.
  25. Paramount to molding a narrative of war and totalitarianism, however, is the inventive aesthetic in which Panh frames his memoir: a hypnotic hybrid of bleak archival footage, thoughtful voiceover, tone-dictating music, and—most significantly—homemade clay-figurine dioramas.
  26. The film is a conversation between two disadvantaged artists with indelible personalities, both of whom are unabashedly manipulating their way into at least the esoteric side of the everlasting.
  27. There's a sense throughout of Steve James rushing and dutifully covering all his bases to evade accusations of creating a puff piece.
  28. Elena is a film deeply concerned with class resentment, but the filmmakers' attitude toward their titular character is disconcerting and even shocking.
  29. J.C. Chandor creates an austere snapshot of human struggle, ingenuity, and perseverance, one that's predicated on Robert Redford's fantastic performance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  30. Lukas Moodysson's film allows its trio of girls to express themselves through gender, certainly, but not undermine their desire to be heard as artists first.
  31. The film may not put itself above the uninitiated, but director Mark Levinson oftentimes appears almost too eager to present his material with affectation.
  32. 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.
  33. True to Hollywood's tireless efforts to fit square-peg material into roundish genre niches, this wavering, intermittently smart story of daring to think differently flattens its narrative into formula.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Brief Encounters is great entertainment.
  34. Steven Spielberg's film may further the heroism so associated with its subject, and favor a liberal viewpoint that leers down at the Confederates, but it's no bleeding-heart glamorization.
  35. Filmmakers Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez insist that altered spectatorship, particularly patience and duration, is the foundation of cinematic edification.
  36. In the film, Alexander Payne's overview of America is extraordinarily, multifariously profound.
  37. We're simply presented a person in trouble, and we're allowed to recognize his problems as extreme embodiments of universal issues of terror, confusion, and loneliness.
  38. 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Most compelling in Christian Petzold's latest is the way the filmmaker adeptly conducts his tides of Cold War paranoia.
  39. Paolo Sorrentino's film is really just a huge turn-on that has the bad manners to go sour, succumbing to its own self-delusions of moral/political grandeur.
  40. 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.
  41. Undeniably rousing, but deeply irresponsible, Argo fans the flames surrounding historical events likely to still remain raw in the memory of many viewers.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Master is Paul Thomas Anderson with the edges sanded off, the best bits shorn down to nubs.
  42. The film exudes a sense of fleetingness; however static these lives may be, Tian's narrative perfectly evokes a changing season.
    • 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.
  43. It's in the way the film refuses to characterize its central friendship solely on the grounds of common isolation that becomes its most endearing quality.
  44. An unnerving, all-archival account of Philadelphia citizens suddenly terrorized by the unchecked violence of rogue "law and order."
  45. Benh Zeitlin's lived-in, almost abstract sense of social realism is partly what makes the film so refreshing and uniquely affecting.
  46. Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal's film is a tasteful, well-orchestrated drama that never reaches beyond its humble means.
  47. In the Mood For Love is ravishing beyond mortal words.
  48. 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.
  49. It's not easy to give a character study concerning mental illness the aspect of a psychological thriller without some notes of exploitation or trivialization creeping in, and Take Shelter makes a few missteps.
  50. Farhadi navigates his complicated narrative thicket with an apparent ease that confirms yet again that he's an amazing talent, but here he isn't able to blend the brushstrokes as he has in prior films.
  51. 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.
    • 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.
  52. Sensitively performed and laced with some forceful quotidian grit, the film evades the larger questions behind a scandalous shooting death.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Documents emotionally charged interactions between patients and hospital staff without any signs that the subjects are being made to feel self-conscious or that they're behavior is being affected.
  53. Léos Carax's maddening, self-satisfied, though never smug, game of spot-the-reference seems intended only for a particular type of cinephile.
  54. 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.
  55. Ira Sachs's push for heartrending poetry makes it clear that the film is putting too fine a gloss on the acute pains of one small tragedy.
  56. Though ostensibly a character study, it's nevertheless characterized by the vaguely moralizing tone of an issue film, one whose candor in the face of brutality seems calculated for maximum liberal appeal.
    • 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.
  57. 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.
  58. A blistering portrait of rebellion against social discord, marginalization and oppression, and a call to arms for true democratic ideals of dignity, justice, and fairness.
    • 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.
  59. Conventional but never sanctimonious, it balances out its familiar recovery angle with a healthy measure of sardonic wit.
  60. The film preaches resolutely to the choir, and cinephiles in sync with the film's politics may still blanch at how snugly their interests are courted.
  61. The film has an atmosphere of endless experimentation, which compliments the constant revision the subjects apply to their lives in the wake of their economic insecurity.
  62. Although far from the worst offender in Disney's canon, The Lion King is nevertheless host to many of the less savory qualities common to the studio's output.
  63. Jem Cohen's film finds its most salient tension in the fraught relationship between known and unknown objects.
  64. The Frankensteinian rebellion of orcas against their corporate captors turns this doc into a sort of showbiz horror film.
  65. There's great potential for the kind of issues that are taken on, but nothing is resolved, and the biggest questions, of guilt and shame, the gulf of understanding between the first world and the third, remain unengaged.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The decentralized narrative benefits from the film's original conception as a miniseries, with plenty of time to draw us into the morass that was the communist state.
  66. The documentary is committed not to some pseudo-factual documentary tradition, but to a more engaging realist poesis.
  67. To drive home the pathos of Nim's mistreatment, James Marsh frequently makes questionable use of the creature's apparent similarity to human beings, trading complex analysis for easy sentiment.
  68. I Killed My Mother is a film best heard than seen, as the earnest, nimble scrubbiness of Dolan's screenplay is ill-served by his conceited visuals, an aesthetic mode that feels insecurely borrowed from perfume commercials and the work of Jean-Luc Godard and Wong Kar-Wai.
  69. 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.
  70. This joyous documentary leaves us wanting to immediately seek out the incredible, sometimes unfamiliar music we've just heard.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Go after Pina and you're going to have to go through a mob of modern-dance zealots first.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Scorsese's affection for cinema is, of course, no surprise, and Hugo doesn't shy away from stumping for the cause of his Film Foundation; which isn't to say it's a vanity project, at least not any more than any film with a budget in the nine figures is.
  71. It works too hard to keep matters on an even, we're-all-more-alike-than-different keel, which is just one part of its chief problem of forcefully conveying information and intent.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    With its compelling and original approach to its romance narrative, coupled with Paulina García's nuanced and intuitive performance, the film delicately balances an entire octave of emotions.
  72. The geometry of human relationships is the main theme of Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives.
  73. The ear for language is paired with an eye for the landscape, and the film finds beauty even in such a seemingly dreary, economically depressed community.
  74. What first feels like a neurotic avoidance of Sol LeWitt the man instead becomes a kind of mirage of his life, as though he managed to evaporate into his body of work.

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