Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,440 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 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Milk
Lowest review score: 0 The Wings of the Dove
Score distribution:
1,440 movie reviews
  1. Whereas the original was a work of speculative science fiction - a chin-stroking fable about evolution in the nuclear age - this revisiting of the Planet of the Apes myth is an animal-rights manifesto disguised as a prison-break movie.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If Contagion is a "horror movie," as Soderbergh has described it, then you can think of it as the most believable zombie movie ever made.
  2. Though both highly stylized and highly stylish, Drive isn't hurting for substance. It has rich, complex characters and a storyline that's both emotionally engaging and almost sickeningly suspenseful.
  3. It's to the director's credit, and Pitt's, that Moneyball is anything but bloodless - in its own quiet, unspectacular way, this movie courses with life.
  4. With its restricted one-night timeframe and a setting that rarely expands beyond the walls of the firm, Margin Call can feel like a dramatized version of those ubiquitous 2008 news photos of white men staring in horror at numbers on a screen. But in its best moments, this film reminds us that every one of those pictures contained its own story of compromise, corruption, and ruin.
  5. Certainly the most genteel film Cronenberg has ever made, with period costumes worthy of Merchant/Ivory, no gore, and very little physical violence. But A Dangerous Method doesn't feel like a wimp-out or a sell-out at all. It's a fiercely thoughtful film, a movie of ideas that understands how powerful ideas can be.
  6. Like Statler and Waldorf, older viewers may kvetch and cavil about the details, but when that red velvet curtain goes up, we wouldn't give up our balcony seats for the world.
  7. Young Adult doesn't fully work, but it's still one of the year's most memorable movies.
  8. The film's best moments are the quiet ones in which Oldman's ironically named Smiley provides the story with its wise, unsmiling soul.
  9. Should you see Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol? By all means, and in the big, big, biggest theater you can find.
  10. It finds a way to make the play's rich, dense literary language (just before the climactic battle, one character accuses another of "breaking his oath and resolution like/A twist of rotten silk") sound as terse and urgent as the dialogue in a tightly plotted action thriller.
  11. I pretty much loved this movie from start to finish - risible implausibilities, insufficiently explained premise and all. An admirably spare survival thriller, The Grey (nice title!) abounds in qualities that are rare in movies of its type. It's quiet, contemplative, and almost haiku-like in its simplicity.
  12. The ultimate praise given to sports movies is always, "Even if you don't care about sport X, you'll care about these characters," and that's certainly true of Undefeated (I don't, and I did).
  13. It's particularly exciting to get to see an inventive underground work like This Is Not a Film in the wake of Iran's first-ever Oscar win for Asghar Farhadi's great film "A Separation." It's becoming clear that the blossoming of Iranian cinema, which has been going on now for at least 20 years, is too strong a force for the government censors to contain.
  14. Though its story may sound formulaic on paper, please take my word for it: Monsieur Lazhar, written and directed by Philippe Falardeau, is a sharply intelligent, deeply sad, and not remotely sappy film about both teaching and collective grief.
  15. The thoughtful and leisurely paced Marley is an exemplary music documentary in almost every way - but the area in which it falls short is an important one. Like a surprisingly large number of films about musicians (whether biopic or documentary), this one is curiously resistant to letting the audience hear its subject's songs in their entirety.
  16. Moonrise Kingdom is fun: a gorgeously shot, ingeniously crafted, über-Andersonian bonbon that, even in its most irritatingly whimsical moments, remains an effective deliverer of cinematic pleasure.
  17. This elegantly hand-drawn caper doesn't have a lot to it - a little girl and her cat help break up a Parisian crime ring, un point c'est tout. But it moves to a different rhythm than the animated spectacles we're used to - it's sparer, less hectic, less cute - and the difference feels welcome and refreshing.
  18. It's a rollicking children's entertainment, gorgeously animated and wittily cast, and also an unusually astute exploration of the complex bond between mothers and daughters, a relationship that's often either elided or sentimentalized in children's literature and film.
  19. Compliance examines, among other things, how misplaced faith in authority can lead to abuse on a systemic scale. It's a deeply moral movie about the failure of morality, as grueling to watch as it is necessary.
  20. The Master is above all a love story between Joaquin Phoenix's damaged WWII vet, Freddie Quell, and Philip Seymour Hoffmann's charismatic charlatan, Lancaster Dodd. And that relationship is powerful and funny and twisted and strange enough that maybe that's all the movie needs to be about.
  21. This frank, funny, tender film both asks and receives more from its sex scenes than any movie I've seen in a long time.
  22. Holy Motors, a movie that's beyond weird, and beyond beautiful.
  23. In the quietly devastating Amour, Haneke's cool, dispassionate gaze feels, for the first time, something like love.
  24. Lincoln does sometimes get a little sappy around the edges. Though his project here is clearly one of conscious self-restraint, Spielberg can't resist the occasional opportunity for patriotic tear-jerking, usually signaled by a swell of John Williams' symphonic score. But in between, there are long stretches that are as quiet, contemplative, and austere as anything Spielberg has ever done.
  25. A gleefully crummy buddy comedy that uses horror-movie conventions as catapults to hurl the audience down one "whoa, dude!" narrative wormhole after another.
  26. Happy People's images of the Taiga, while often breathtaking, come from the standard visual language of nature documentary: in between interviews with villagers, cutaways to icicles hanging from branches or dawn breaking over an expanse of snow. It's Herzog's inventive use of voice-over that elevates the film above an extremely well-researched episode of "Nature."
  27. Like Someone in Love is a movie that never quite lets you through to the other side of the glass, but it’s dazzling to watch whatever drifts by on the surface.
  28. Based on a horrifying real-life case that took place in the Moldavia region of Romania in 2005, Beyond the Hills can be seen as both a critique of patriarchal religious systems and an allegory about the tension between secularism and faith (as well as a precisely and painfully observed portrait of one particular friendship).
  29. Linklater may not have set out to make a decade-spanning triptych of poetic meditations on youth, young adulthood, and middle age, but he, Hawke, and Delpy have accomplished exactly that. The Before series has steadily gotten better as it goes along, which is more than any but the most optimistic among us dare to hope for from love.

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