Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,655 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Tarnation
Lowest review score: 0 15 Minutes
Score distribution:
1655 movie reviews
  1. Throughout The Imitation Game, there’s a sense the filmmaker is trying to shield viewers from the story’s most difficult parts — whether it’s the horrors of war, the technical complexity of the Enigma code and its solution, or the bleakness of Alan Turing’s final fate. I wish Tyldum had trusted the audience enough to let us in on the worst. It would have made his movie so much better.
  2. The 19-year-old actress Summer Bishil captures the terrifying combination of lubricity and innocence that is being 13. Her performance is the truest thing in a movie that, for all its good intentions, feels thoroughly phony and mildly embarrassing.
  3. I'm not sure it would be possible, or desirable, for a documentary to reveal any more about Stephin Merritt than this one does. But I would have loved to see one that revealed more about his music.
  4. The Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight) struggles to open out from the beautiful, stifling world inside Anderson's head. But like in his last movie, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, Anderson makes the mistake of keeping its protagonists trapped for too long aboard a means of conveyance.
  5. "The Silence of the Lambs," was morbid but also a rich and satisfying serial-killer thriller—a cunning weave of the fairy tale, the forensic, and the fetishistic. Hannibal, on the other hand, is simply a fat slab of sadism.
  6. The picture has some fun slapstick set pieces and an inventively manic turn by Gibson.
  7. The sheer novelty of the enterprise is probably why Once Upon a Time in the Midlands has gotten so many rave reviews when it's actually sort of … middling.
  8. Frances Ha feels like a collaboration between two people in love, and not always in the best way. There are too many scenes in a row that make the same point.
  9. Misanthropy can be incredibly entertaining, so long as that hatred draws blood. But that extra percentage point of venom has skewed Clowes and Zwigoff's aim.
  10. The humor of Brüno is arguably crueler and more misanthropic than "Borat's."
  11. The problem with Because I Said So isn't that it's formulaic and predictable; fans of romantic comedy can get around those qualities, and even appreciate them. It's that the film keeps missing out on its own opportunities for comic gold.
  12. A good summer movie isn't just an uninterrupted crescendo of cacophony. You need stuff IN BETWEEN the fireballs and the cyborgs.
  13. More entertaining than it needs to be.
  14. The director's knee-jerk anti-capitalism often sticks in my (white, well-fed) craw.
  15. The combined efforts of this fine ensemble cast make Tower Heist go down easier than it otherwise might, but the film's potential as a buddy comedy is sadly wasted.
  16. We're all familiar with the experience of seeing movies that cram ideas and themes down our throats. Les Misérables may represent the first movie to do so while also cramming us down the throats of its actors.
  17. Black Snake Moan morphs into a wacky intergenerational bonding movie, something closer to "Harold and Maude" or "The Karate Kid" with a dusting of Southern grit.
  18. What's a shock is the crudeness with which Spielberg fills the scenario in -- how he neuters his protagonist and short-circuits the inner workings of his human characters.
  19. It's hard not to feel that Penn is stacking the deck heavily in his favor and losing out on the chance for a more sober meditation on the ambiguity of McCandless' quest.
  20. Stiff, talky, and airless, a textbook example of that not-always-true cliché about the unfilmability of theater.
  21. Portman toils slavishly to realize Aronofsky's mad vision. It isn't her fault that, despite Black Swan's visual splendor and bursts of grand guignol excess, this emotionally inert movie never does grow wings.
  22. In spite of my general distaste for Friends With Kids, let me cast my vote on the side of those who liked the ending. I wish more of the film had had that scene's fresh mixture of casual banter and breathless intimacy, instead of sounding like half-remembered dialogue from a movie we've all seen too many times before.
  23. Pitt's great in character roles, as a comic grotesque or an unrepentant scoundrel. (See Burn After Reading or, for that matter, Fight Club.) But as a passive, introspective leading man like Benjamin, he's just dull.
  24. It's about unruly passion, but it's icy and cerebral, and Robbins has become a disappointingly tentative actor, playing emotionally straitjacketed men in a self-imposed straitjacket.
  25. If this version of Superman is to have a future — as Warner Brothers seems convinced he will, having already green-lit the sequel — I hope Snyder will dial back both the casualty count and the Krypton mythmaking and instead focus on establishing a fictional Earth that’s rich enough to be worth saving.
  26. There's something curiously off about The Time Traveler's Wife.
  27. Underwhelming.
  28. It walks and talks and moves very fast, but it never lives.
  29. Looking for Eric is easily the most commercially accessible of the Loach films I've seen, one of the lightest and least somber. It's also wildly structureless and uneven.
  30. Whether unintentionally or by design, the movie never really makes a case either for or against the troubled figure at its center.

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