Slant Magazine's Scores

For 3,684 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 The Color Wheel
Lowest review score: 0 Girl Most Likely
Score distribution:
3684 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. The biblical root of the [Dekalog] may suggest didacticism on its face, but whatever morals are advanced are decidedly ambivalent.
  2. Richard Linklater's film is an experiment in time, and one that's attentive to the audience's sense of empathy.
  3. What tends to right Moonlight, even when Barry Jenkins's filmmaking drifts into indulgence, is the strength of its actors.
  4. 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.
  5. Steve McQueen's film practically treats Solomon Norhtup as passive observer to a litany of horrors that exist primarily for our own education.
  6. Kenneth Lonergan's film gradually comes to its sense of exquisitely calibrated, hardened intimacy.
  7. The film makes no concessions about its dissatisfaction with the whole rotten lot of so-called western democracy.
    • 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.
  8. Alfonso Cuarón's triumph is an invigoratingly clean, elegant display of action choreography, a La Région Centrale you can still take grandma to see.
  9. The film dares its viewers to consider that--for a couple of hours, at least--even when a thing seems too good to be true, it might not be.
  10. 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.
  11. Robert Bresson's film hits with the effect not so much reflecting a cleansing of the soul, but rather a ransacking.
  12. This is muckraking journalism that moves confidently with the brio of an action thriller.
  13. Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers is a political tract that understands itself also as a cinematic exercise.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Doubtless, Kathryn Bigelow's greatest strengths emerge when she can more freely flex her muscles as an action filmmaker.
  14. Barriers both transparent and persistently present encase the characters of A Separation, constricting them in ways social, cultural, religious, familial, and emotional.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. An astute summation of Mike Leigh's glum view of humanity, but also a challenge to this disposition and his own pessimistic perspective.
  18. 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.
  19. By its end, Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann is a work of laser-guided social critique and a comedy.
  20. Both wonderfully complex and weirdly reductive at the same time—a formula, though, that seems as sound an embodiment of the human brain as any other.
    • 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.
  21. By modeling its structure so closely after "All the President's Men," Spotlight only draws closer attention to its lack of scope and ambition.
  22. Every element of La La Land is bound up in a referentiality that largely precludes the outpourings of emotion we come to musicals for.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    There are more than a few striking images and intriguing ideas to be extracted from Tristana. [10 Oct. 2012]
  23. 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]
  24. 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.
  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. Fervently passionate and formally meticulous, the latest stunning coup for a director who's made a career of repurposing archetypal storylines.
  27. 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.
  28. Andrey Zvyagintsev never loses sight of the humans, who're allowed to display improvisatory behavior that deepens the majesty of the rigorously orchestrated tableaus.
    • 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.
  29. If The Look of Silence still remains a gripping, vital, consequential documentary, it's in spite of its approach rather than because of it.
  30. Broadly, filmmaker Keith Maitland's treatment of the UT Tower shooting is both taut and humane.
  31. A Summer's Tale's linear structure and sense of observation is simple yet inspired.
  32. 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.
  33. This singular mix of character study and mysterious mood piece might not have come off quite so successfully if not for Royalty Hightower's internal performance.
  34. Jafar Panahi spotlights the act of filmmaking as an act of resistance as well as a possible source of propaganda and manipulation.
    • 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Guzmán creates an interesting dialectic between the different searchers profiles, uniting them under an umbrella of humanism and cautious hopefulness.
  37. Ida
    Pawel Pawlikowski shows great empathy toward the idea of illusions as a way of attaining emotional stability in even the most brutal terrain.
  38. It uses the trappings of the family melodrama to reveal the subtle social constraints that inhibit people, particularly women, from attaining full self-realization.
  39. As with Selma, filmmaker Ava DuVernay has fashioned a work of pummeling and clear-eyed intelligence.
  40. The courtroom's cramped, near-featureless air of bureaucratic stagnation becomes oppressive even for the audience, making it easy to identify with Viviane's growing hunger for freedom.
  41. 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.
  42. Despite all this macabre torment, It's Such a Beautiful Day involves a lot of sweet, plucky humor that represents a discreet softening of the angry sarcasm for which Hertzfeldt has become known.
  43. Zhang Yang achieves an astonishing immediacy by simply allowing the prostration process to play out over and over with minimal aesthetic interference.
    • 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.
  44. 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.
    • 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.
  45. 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.
  46. George Miller orchestrates the rubber-burning pandemonium with the illicit smirk of someone who knows he's giving us exactly what we want.
  47. Formally ostentatious and unrepentantly messy, the film manages to implicitly convey the overdriven, coked-up confusion that many '70s period pieces make painfully overt.
  48. Paterson's sunny aesthetic and disposition marks a stylistic departure for writer-director Jim Jarmusch.
  49. In Joshua Oppenheimer's extraordinary The Act of Killing, film becomes the medium for a bold historical reckoning--and in more ways than one.
  50. If it ultimately can't reconcile all that's presented in its too-brief runtime, that's largely because its situation, much like the dissonance between those involved, is comprehensibly irresolvable.
  51. 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.
  52. The soft colors, graceful movements, and clean lines together embody the ineffable beauty of life on Earth that is one of the film's main themes.
  53. The film's meticulousness orchestration only calls attention to its dubious sense of purpose, which lies beyond human subjectivity.
  54. The Dardennes believe in human value and social order being rooted in a sense of solidarity, a staggering consciousness of community that brims with a sensitivity to place, movement, and emotion.
  55. In the style of an ambling, yet entirely focused visitor, the film continually circles back to pictures, protagonists, and situations to furnish them with new meanings, alter their perception, or even directly challenge their previous presentation.
  56. Christian Petzold never luxuriates in all this film history, but rather channels the artifice and affect it embodies into new insights.
  57. After the film's early optimism and speculative midsection, Western struggles to manage all the rich dramatic irony of its final half hour, perched uneasily between plot and stasis.
  58. What will make the film essential for future generations isn't mere flashpoint topicality, but the way it aligns an old struggle with a current one.
  59. This is a film that isn’t afraid to inhabit the maddening ambivalence of pleasure, recognizing that desire simply doesn’t recognize good manners.
  60. 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.
  61. According to the film, individual misdeeds aren't the final enemy, but the byproduct of an unregulated regime.
  62. The thrill of watching Fletcher and Neyman's fray unfold is intensified by Damien Chazelle's attention to the craft and challenge of musicianship.
  63. The film is further confirmation of Mia Hansen-Løve’s delicately devastating ear and touch as a filmmaker.
  64. As always, Wes Anderson places his trademark precision in direct confrontation with the chaos and confusion menacing his beloved characters.
  65. Staring deep into the darkness of an apparently static character, Nuri Bilge Ceylan again exhibits his gift for making interesting stories out of predetermined plots, locating small eddies of change in the midst of eternally fixed dynamics.
  66. Abdellatif Kechiche reveals through his sense of composition, and collaboration with his remarkable actresses, a sensitivity to emotional nuance that's striking.
  67. Laura Poitras teaches by example, providing a privileged insight into Edward Snowden's personality and motivation while keeping the focus on government spying.
  68. As with Sicario, the broad strokes of the film's Southwestern stereotypes gradually sharpen into focus as the story pivots to a look at the systemic forces that shape the 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.
  69. The film's highpoint is one of the most remarkably moving sex scenes in all of American cinema, and the irony of it involving bland puppets is hardly lost on Kaufman and Johnson.
  70. It places regurgitated ideas into the mouths of gifted actors, then drops them amid a kooky story that plays like an elaborate distraction from what little the film actually has to say.
  71. Its enervated address of both mental-health treatment and gun laws receives few constructive articulations beyond a single scene.
  72. Out 1 is largely a film of conversation, as its prolonged rehearsal vignettes regularly give way to even lengthier scenes of verbal self-analysis.
    • 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.
  73. Hamaguchi arranges most sequences around a handful of static, roomy medium shots that subtly suggest emotional dynamics through camera and actor positioning.
  74. 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.
  75. Aquarius is a critique of a daydream that has the imaginative daring to live that very dream anyway.
  76. A work of astounding sensitivity and precision, it argues for emotional honesty as a moral and psychic imperative.
  77. The allure of the road not taken and Saoirse Ronan's performance exert a powerful pull.
  78. Fire at Sea initiates a narrative that probes the fundamental gap between wanting to help and actually being able to do so.
  79. Asghar Farhadi's sensibility embodies a combination of empathy and paranoia that's striking considering that the latter is normally driven by self-absorption.
  80. Level Five pictorializes the cruel moment when curiosity encounters tragedy, and the all-too-human abandonment of interest that can follows.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. True to its title, Marielle Heller's adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner's semi-autobiographical novel has the loosely structured, unfiltered feel of a young person's diary.
  84. Elena is a film deeply concerned with class resentment, but the filmmakers' attitude toward their titular character is disconcerting and even shocking.
  85. J.C. Chandor creates an austere snapshot of human struggle, ingenuity, and perseverance, one that's predicated on Robert Redford's fantastic performance.
  86. Among the film's many revelations is the level of self-aware humility Brando exudes while talking about his life and creative process.
  87. It rams home the main character's relentless downward spiral though an incessant parade of grandstanding stylistic flourishes.
  88. It gently and often imperceptibly shifts between past and present, legend and modernity, wakefulness and reverie.
    • 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.

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