Slant Magazine's Scores

For 2,526 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 9.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Hard to Be a God
Lowest review score: 0 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Score distribution:
2,526 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. 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.
    • 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.
  2. Alfonso Cuarón's triumph is an invigoratingly clean, elegant display of action choreography, a La Région Centrale you can still take grandma to see.
  3. Barriers both transparent and persistently present encase the characters of A Separation, constricting them in ways social, cultural, religious, familial, and emotional.
  4. 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.
  5. An astute summation of Mike Leigh's glum view of humanity, but also a challenge to this disposition and his own pessimistic perspective.
  6. 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]
  7. 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.
  8. Fervently passionate and formally meticulous, the latest stunning coup for a director who's made a career of repurposing archetypal storylines.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Andrey Zvyagintsev never loses sight of the humans, who're allowed to display improvisatory behavior that deepens the majesty of the rigorously orchestrated tableaus.
  12. A Summer's Tale's linear structure and sense of observation is simple yet inspired.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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.
  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. In Joshua Oppenheimer's extraordinary The Act of Killing, film becomes the medium for a bold historical reckoning--and in more ways than one.
  19. 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    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.
  20. 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.
  21. The thrill of watching Fletcher and Neyman's fray unfold is intensified by Damien Chazelle's attention to the craft and challenge of musicianship.
  22. As always, Wes Anderson places his trademark precision in direct confrontation with the chaos and confusion menacing his beloved characters.
  23. Laura Poitras teaches by example, providing a privileged insight into Edward Snowden's personality and motivation while keeping the focus on government spying.
  24. 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.
    • 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.
  25. 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.
    • 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.
  26. Level Five pictorializes the cruel moment when curiosity encounters tragedy, and the all-too-human abandonment of interest that can follows.
  27. 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.
  28. Elena is a film deeply concerned with class resentment, but the filmmakers' attitude toward their titular character is disconcerting and even shocking.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    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.
  29. It comes down on the essential hollowness of traditional gender roles like the avalanche that proves to be its inciting event.
  30. Peter Strickland charges full-tilt into the objectifying whims of his fantasies in order to somehow reach the other end of perception, which acknowledges the ultimate empathetic limitations of said fantasies.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    If the film were to propose a mandate for animation, it would be what the medium's etymology has longed suggested: to make the inanimate full of life.
  31. 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Brief Encounters is great entertainment.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
    • 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.
  37. An unnerving, all-archival account of Philadelphia citizens suddenly terrorized by the unchecked violence of rogue "law and order."
  38. Benh Zeitlin's lived-in, almost abstract sense of social realism is partly what makes the film so refreshing and uniquely affecting.
  39. In the Mood For Love is ravishing beyond mortal words.
  40. Broomfield isn't so much dedicated to journalistic truth or social ethnography as he is displaying bodies and mindsets of individuals that complicate any sense of Manichean polemics, where good and evil must be reckoned with at a purely secular and corporeal level, particularly along the lines of class and gender.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. Jem Cohen's film finds its most salient tension in the fraught relationship between known and unknown objects.
    • 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.
  46. Tsai isn't making a social-problem film here, and his critique of patriarchal control is secondary to his portrait of unbearable psychic conditions.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. The geometry of human relationships is the main theme of Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives.
  50. The filmmakers use a wide range of cinematic techniques to convey the tenuous environment in which their subjects find themselves.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In essentially offering up The Twelfth Night as a hazy Shakespearean mash-up, Viola isn't so much deeply disrespecting notions of ownership, authorship, etc., as charitably redefining them.
  51. El Velador doesn't pass judgment or manipulate emotionally, instead choosing simply to consider the arduousness of survival in a land wracked by slaughter.
  52. An acutely felt, altogether devastating family drama as intimate and affecting as it is sprawling and untamed.
  53. The endless scenes of burning buildings and macho posturing merely provide an action-driven context for the filmmakers to deal with more personal topics like loneliness and resiliency.
    • 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!
    • 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.
  54. It's as if Carlos Saura were calling the bluff of spectacle-oriented narrative cinema that necessitates excusing its excesses with characters and plotting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The film's 90 minutes are a disorienting cyclone of destructive incidents and propulsive energy.
  55. Alain Guiraudie's film portrays cruising as a danger-seeking and astoundingly repetitive affair, intimately linked to death itself.
  56. Frederick Wiseman's At Berkeley isn't only a study of the contemporary American university, but, like all of the filmmaker's best documentaries, a wide-ranging inquiry into the larger institutions and contradictions that define life in the United States.
  57. Of Bennett Miller's many directorial feats, his canniest is his depiction of the precariousness of bonds, and how those bonds can shift, drastically yet almost imperceptibly.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Leviathan is a titanic achievement, a visceral overload whose impact registers immediately and with great force.
    • 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.
  60. The next step in Jafar Panahi's personal cinema of captivity, a fully fictionalized, wildly bewildering work which imagines a man at war with his own creative impulse.
  61. It's a bit reductive in terms of a personal portrait, but this is a film that's not concerned with telling the story of a man, instead making him a representative symbol of a mostly bygone way of life, a reminder of both the fleeting nature of individual experience and the steady patterns of a broader human existence.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Not only a monstrous visual achievement, but one of the most uniquely humanistic animated features of all time.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Upstream Color is lush, rhythmic, and deeply sensual, a film of exceptional beauty.
  62. 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.
  63. The cautious optimism with which it answers questions about rehabilitation and forgiveness is credible because the characters and setting feel so thoroughly authentic.
  64. 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An ordinary drama embellished and in some sense infringed on by genre elements rather than the other way around.
  65. Humor and sorrow are equally immediate emotions throughout, whether in the writer-director's traditionally structured setup-punchline scenes or his strange non sequiturs
  66. Cruising for Alain Guiraudie seems to be the way of nature, a drive that doesn't discriminate.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
    • 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.
  69. On the surface, Peter Strickland's film is an amusing black comedy that parodies the horror movie's continual status as the cultural black sheep of the cinematic landscape, but the filmmaker is most prominently concerned with painting a sonic portrait of alienation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's Cristian Mungiu's staging and compositional skill that lends the material its true sense of dawning dread.
  70. Ross McElwee is less anxious of death itself than of finally comprehending the vast faultiness of the life he's lived.
  71. Israel's fractured psyche is plumbed via narrative splintering in Policeman, Nadav Lapid's compelling drama about his homeland's burgeoning social unrest.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As is so often the case in Jim Jarmusch's films, simply spending time in the company of his creations proves engrossing.
  72. Like the movie itself, every character is a beautiful swirl of contradictions.
  73. A film for those who, whether here or in Israel, believe the law is the beginning, and not the end, of rights discourse.

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