Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,689 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 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 La La Land
Lowest review score: 0 Men in Black II
Score distribution:
1689 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    I love that Godard wants to fiddle with the 3-D image, but at least a portion of his effort feels redundant. At its best moments, Goodbye to Language stops shadowboxing with convention long enough to draw a striking contrast.
  1. Especially when Baymax is onscreen doing his adorable-puffy-robot thing, Big Hero 6 qualifies as a better-than-average kids’ movie with enough cross-generational appeal to make it a fine choice for a family weekend matinee. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that this film was designed to function as a starter kit for future Marvel aficionados.
  2. Even when Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball) tries to pack too much around the edges (including critiques of record-industry sexism and the mechanisms of black political fundraising), the romance at the movie’s center remains credible and vibrant.
  3. Glatzer and Westmoreland don’t need to stack the emotional deck on Alice’s behalf or wring tears from the irony of a brilliant linguist’s cognitive decline. They just leave the camera on Moore’s beautiful but increasingly faraway face, and our tears come on their own.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The mundane becomes absurd, and the hilarious turns to hilariously gruesome. Sometimes that humor underlines the characters’ struggles.
  4. Snowpiercer is its own strange, special thing, a movie that seems to have been sent back to us from some distant alternate future where grandiose summer action movies can also be lovingly crafted, thematically ambitious works of art.
  5. Rarely has Jarmusch’s style been so inherently suited to his content. Stillness and silence, the cardinal virtues of his method, have never been so pertinent as in the lives of the undead.
  6. The heart of Life Itself, and the part of the film that’s most instructive even for those familiar with Ebert’s story, is the long middle section dealing with his stormy, never-resolved relationship with Gene Siskel.
  7. It’s well worth seeing, both for its merciless anatomization of the country’s post-Ceausescu social order and for Gheorghiu’s stupendous central performance as a mother so monstrous she makes Medea look like a pushover.
  8. The movie is at its best when Moodysson... lets his three rebellious heroines simply exist and interact as the overgrown children the actresses still are, collapsing in laughter during a cafeteria food fight or negotiating their first stiff flirtations with a like-minded group of punk-rock-loving boys.
  9. A clever, vividly imagined, consistently funny, eye-poppingly pretty and oddly profound movie … about Legos.
  10. As the couple’s widening rift exposes the gender and class assumptions that underlie their marriage... Force Majeure morphs into a biting critique of modern masculinity, of traditional parenting roles, and possibly of the institution of marriage itself.
  11. The Babadook creates tension not with jump scares or chase sequences but with judicious editing and slow-burn suspense—that is, until it descends into a final half-hour of harrowing emotional and physical intensity, an extended climax that made me gasp aloud, hide my eyes, and weep at least twice.
  12. Top Five is not an op-ed. The movie probably makes its loudest statement about race simply by existing: an ambitious and personal film full of black stars, backed in part by black producers, written, directed by, and starring a hugely popular black artist.
  13. Inherent Vice’s spiraling, wordplay-happy script never quite resolves the difficulty of adapting this particularly confounding philosophical whodunit, but the film’s groovy sprawl is a fine place to hang out for 2½ hours, as long as, like Doc and his weed-toking cohort, you don’t mind spending a day in a pleasantly disoriented daze.
  14. For most of Wild, we’re alone with Cheryl’s stark aloneness with herself. That’s a fine place to be.
  15. 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.
  16. If Mockingjay’s placeholder status is a little too evident in its choppy, shapeless structure, this dark third chapter does have stretches of somber beauty.
  17. As powerful as Foxcatcher can be scene to scene, there’s something maddeningly indistinct about it at times, as if the details that would make it all make sense remain somehow inaccessible to us.
  18. Though at times Rosewater is clearly the work of a first-timer still finding his voice, Stewart is indisputably a real filmmaker.
  19. Jones and Redmayne are both superb as a devoted but imperfect pair of headstrong people trying, and sometimes failing, to treat each other with care and respect.
  20. Nightcrawler, like its entrepreneurial-to-a-fault protagonist, is ambitious but ultimately hollow, eager to dazzle and shock us but reluctant to let us inside.
  21. A movie I snickered at more than once but never stopped staring at in wonder. This isn’t Nolan’s best film by any stretch, but it abounds in the qualities that are among his strengths.
  22. While it’s a character portrait of a morally small man, Listen Up Philip doesn’t feel like a morally small movie.
  23. This is no tale told by an idiot — on the contrary, it’s a funny, fast-moving parable about fame and ambition, laid out for us with care and craft by a gifted filmmaker, a long-missed actor, and a world-class cinematographer. But I’m left with the suspicion the whole thing may signify — well, if not nothing, at least a good deal less than the filmmakers would have us believe.
  24. Even if you couldn’t care less about jazz drumming, though, Whiplash is a thrill to watch. Underneath that taut, stylish surface, it’s really a movie about the perils of pedagogy, about the relationship between a passionate (perhaps too passionate) student and a demanding (perhaps too demanding) teacher. Which is to say, a movie about a uniquely powerful and potentially destructive form of love.
  25. Like a film noir siren Gone Girl is beautiful, sexy, and fascinatingly mean — a nasty but estimable piece of work.
  26. Maggie’s agonizing zero-sum struggle to balance a life of military service and a steady relationship with her son feels fresh, raw, and real — even if the conflict it enacts is as old as the transition between The Iliad and The Odyssey, between the horrors of the battlefield and the difficult journey home.
  27. The Guest isn’t here to deliver an earnest social message about the state of veterans’ affairs. Instead, the way good horror movies do, it channels our collective fear, guilt, and rage by creating a monster.
  28. I found The Skeleton Twins merely entertaining, but I’d love to see these two actors team up again, Tracy-and-Hepburn style, and make a string of movies together — maybe some that would venture further into the post–rom-com territory this one begins to explore.

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