Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,479 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 0.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Igby Goes Down
Lowest review score: 0 The Love Guru
Score distribution:
1,479 movie reviews
  1. Holy Motors, a movie that's beyond weird, and beyond beautiful.
  2. In the quietly devastating Amour, Haneke's cool, dispassionate gaze feels, for the first time, something like love.
  3. 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.
  4. A gleefully crummy buddy comedy that uses horror-movie conventions as catapults to hurl the audience down one "whoa, dude!" narrative wormhole after another.
  5. 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."
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. This Much Ado About Nothing — while perhaps not an adaptation for the ages in every respect — is as bracingly effervescent as picnic champagne.
  10. Among the most profound, formally complex, and emotionally overpowering documentaries I’ve ever seen. It’s also, by turns and sometimes at once, luridly seductive and darkly comic and physically revolting — a movie that makes you want to laugh and cry and retch and run out of the theater, both to escape the awful things the film is showing you and to tell everyone you know that they need to see it, too.
  11. This movie’s human scale, its unaffected compassion for every one of its far-from-perfect characters, is what kept me on its side throughout.
  12. A wonderful movie, observant and hilarious and full of sad and beautiful truths.
  13. This is not to say that Gravity is a masterpiece: Unlike Cuarón’s extraordinary "Children of Men", it doesn’t quite pull off its ambitious effort to combine formal inventiveness, heart-pounding action, and intimate human storytelling. But it succeeds thrillingly at the first two of those categories, and only misses the mark on the last because it tries a little too hard — which is certainly a welcome respite from the countless sci-fi thrillers that privilege the human story not at all.
  14. And then comes that transcendent last scene, in which the man whose side we’ve barely left during this incredible ordeal is suddenly revealed as the best kind of hero, not super at all but ordinary and vulnerable and human.
  15. This is a movie that traffics in deep hindbrain emotions: fear and rage and lust and, above all, the pure animal drive to go on living.
  16. Though it’s just slightly over two hours long, The Wind Rises has the historical sweep of a David Lean picture, complete with panoramic shots of migrating populations against a background of disaster and a romantic orchestral score by Miyazaki’s longtime musical collaborator, Joe Hisaishi.
  17. The revelation of Hateship Loveship is the casting of Kristen Wiig, who effortlessly makes the shift from comedian to straight dramatic actress in a role full of potential ego traps that she never falls into.
  18. Blue Ruin is a Clint Eastwood vigilante fantasy with an anti-Clint at its center—small-statured, round-faced, nervous Dwight (Macon Blair), whose burning desire to avenge the long-ago murder of his parents doesn’t make him one whit less terrified of actually doing it.
  19. Byrne, who played a tightly wound control freak to perfection in "Bridesmaids," here gets a chance to bust loose. In a late sequence where she frantically spearheads a multipart mission to bring down Delta Psi from the inside, Byrne makes you wish someone would write a big, broad, raunchy comedy just for her.
  20. Days of Future Past is the kind of extravagant production that sweeps you up in a sense of mythic grandeur even as you struggle to follow what’s going on.
  21. A slow-burning suspense thriller about a trio of eco-terrorists conspiring to blow up a dam, it’s directed by Reichardt with the concision and elegance of a chess master.
  22. There's something old-Hollywood about Slate's dizzy-dame charm, and at the same time, something very modern about her unapologetic ownership of her own sexuality.
  23. Above all else, Venus in Fur is a sharp, sexy comedy (adapted by Ives and Polanski from a translation by Abel Gerschenfeld) performed by two superb and superbly in-tune actors, and directed with a sure hand by a filmmaker who’s clearly not cowed by the challenge of blowing up a two-person chamber piece for the screen.
  24. Lithgow and Molina play Ben and George with such depth, tenderness, and history that their affection for one another’s bodies (there’s no sex, but loads of snuggling) seems like a natural extension of their pleasure in being together.
  25. 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.
  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. Like a film noir siren Gone Girl is beautiful, sexy, and fascinatingly mean — a nasty but estimable piece of work.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.

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