Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,481 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 I'm the One That I Want
Lowest review score: 0 Just Go with It
Score distribution:
1,481 movie reviews
  1. Penélope Cruz, who's been so painful to watch in English-language roles over the past few years, reminds us that she really can act; she just can't act speaking phonetic dialogue. In her native language she's witty, wry, and elegant.
  2. For all its flaws, Dreamgirls is what this holiday season needs. It's a big, fat, luscious movie in which no one is tortured, murdered, or mutilated (honestly, how many recent films can you say that about?).
  3. The movie pops up out of nowhere, grabs you in its big, messy tentacles, and drags you down into murky depths, where social satire coexists with slapstick, and B-movie clichés mutate into complex metaphors.
  4. Seeing Killer of Sheep is an experience as simple and indelible as watching Bresson's "Pickpocket" or De Sica's "Bicycle Thieves" for the first time. Despite its aesthetic debt to European art cinema, Burnett's film is quintessentially American in its tone and subject matter. If there's any modern-day equivalent for the movie's matter-of-fact gaze on the ravages of urban poverty, it's the HBO series "The Wire."
  5. You don't need to be an exploitation fanboy to appreciate the energy, imagination, and spirit with which Rodriguez and Tarantino pay homage to the cheapo cinema they love.
  6. Though the movie's at least 20 minutes too long, it's deeply satisfying, full of old-school buddy banter and the kind of action sequences that make you burst out laughing at their sheer audacity.
  7. David Cronenberg's elegant treatise on the metaphysics of violence.
  8. Lust, Caution is both a cannily constructed spy thriller and a grim kind of love story, but it harbors no illusions about the transformative potential of either revolutionary violence or sexual passion.
  9. With the help of brilliant French actor Mathieu Amalric, Spielberg's longtime cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, and screenwriter Ronald Harwood (The Pianist), Schnabel has made a marvelous film that uses images with as much grace and flair as Bauby used words.
  10. With a charismatic lead performance from Page and a plaintive score of indie-rock songs, many of them by Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches, Juno seems poised to be the season's youth-culture hit.
  11. A beautiful and formally compelling work of art.
  12. Perlman's Red is hilarious, combining the gritty delivery of a film noir cop with the physiognomy of a horned behemoth. And the script, by del Toro and Mignola, alternates action smackdowns with sweet, goofy moments, like a scene in which Red and the lovelorn Abe drink beer and croon along with a Barry Manilow record.
  13. If you go see Tropic Thunder this weekend, don't be late. The four fake ads that open the movie are perhaps the apex of its considerable comic invention.
  14. The Ram is sometimes--often, even--a manipulative, self-pitying man, but Rourke and Aronofsky paint his portrait with a rigorous dignity.
  15. Has the note-perfect melancholy of a classic young adult novel.
  16. May not be the single best movie I've seen so far this year--though it's certainly a contender for the title--but it's without doubt the most surprising.
  17. Britain's diplomatic corps may be as clueless and impotent as In the Loop suggests, but British comedians are fully capable of taking over the world.
  18. Is it or is it not stupendously friggin' rad? And the answer is yes. For most of the first hour, a good portion of the second, and even many of the 40 minutes left after that, Avatar is stupendously friggin' rad.
  19. A near-perfect piece of popular entertainment, a children's classic.
  20. A Hitchcock-ian murder mystery that unfolds into a maternal melodrama worthy of Joan Crawford, shot through with bursts of black humor. Bong's ability to sustain three or four different tones in one movie without betraying the emotional truth of the story is nothing short of amazing: He can pat his head, rub his stomach, and break our hearts all at the same time.
  21. One of the best documents of live performance that I've ever seen, a rehearsal diary that's more intimate and immediate than a traditional concert film.
  22. It's not hard to forgive this series its lack of innovation, because it manages, for long stretches at least, to be something few serial-killer dramas ever are: really, really good.
  23. The Ghost Writer is a triumph: elegant, accomplished, and (this is the hardest part to admit) occasionally even wise.
  24. If nothing else, it's an eye-boggling two hours at the movies and a must for Swinton completists fascinated by her recent turn toward operatic roles in odd, unmarketable films like this one and last year's Julia. She's becoming the Maria Callas of international cinema.
  25. Retains the original Star Trek's spirit of optimism, curiosity, and humor.
  26. Russell has always excelled at finding new ways to use familiar actors, and every performance in The Fighter is noteworthy if not outstanding.
  27. The first hour and half or so of True Grit is as good as anything the Coens have ever done-a sweeping Western that, like John Ford's best films, exposes the cracks in American myths of frontier justice and self-reliance.
  28. Williams plays this tired, disillusioned, chronically angry woman without a trace of actorly vanity. It's a performance noteworthy not just for its intensity but for Williams' ability to communicate inner experience at a micro-level of detail.
  29. The middle section of the film, in which we follow Jack's childhood in a series of fragmented memories from birth until about the age of 12, is as astonishingly precise a rendering of the way the world looks to a child as I've seen on film.
  30. I'll be forever grateful to this movie for introducing me to Nim's story, a tale so powerful and suggestive that it functions as a myth about the ever-mysterious relationship between human beings and animals.

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