Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,595 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 0.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Trainspotting
Lowest review score: 0 Freddy Got Fingered
Score distribution:
1595 movie reviews
  1. Bizarrely depressing.
  2. Tron: Legacy is the kind of sensory-onslaught blockbuster that tends to put me to sleep, the way babies will nap to block out overwhelming stimuli. I confess I may have snoozed through one or two climactic battles only to be startled awake by an incoming neon Frisbee.
  3. 9 Songs could have been "Last Rock Show in London." Unfortunately, it's stupefyingly dull, even with good music and at the short but resonant length of 69 minutes.
  4. With its low-stakes chase scenes, obvious-from-the-get-go villains and nonsensical plotting, this feels more like a 96-minute-long episode of Scooby-Doo that's been laboriously translated into another language and then back into English.
  5. This is an extraordinary -- and unfathomable -- piece of whitewashing: a true snow job.
  6. A depressing comeback for Jane Fonda, but it's still nice to see her in movies again, and in something that isn't dripping with self-actualizing virtue like her last projects.
  7. This script - a collaboration between Hanks and Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" - would need multiple punch-up sessions to attain mediocrity. Roberts and Hanks aren't just prevented from playing their A games; they're never even taken off the bench.
  8. Emminently skippable.
  9. The final illuminations (people have demons, a mind is a terrible thing to lose) are a poor return on nearly two hours of ear-buckling, eye-stabbing incoherence.
  10. And you wait--and wait--for the magic of movies.
  11. The realities that Crowe creates all seem like pleasant enough places to be, but you'd never mistake them for real life. The fuzzy, squishy world of We Bought a Zoo may be the Cameron Crowe-iest of them all.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Impressively sets a new standard for time travel gone awry.
  12. This movie leaves us with the stale whiff of fake nostalgia and something even more odoriferous: the smell of money.
  13. My real problem with Matchstick Men is that it didn't con me well enough: I saw every trick up its sleeve in the first 20 minutes. If everything had been what it seemed--now, that would have been a stunning twist.
  14. Snow White and the Huntsman, the first feature from British commercial director Rupert Sanders, has its work cut out for it if it wants to be a truly dull piece of junk - but it manages.
  15. Lost Highway, David Lynch's first movie in five years, is a virtuoso symphony of bad vibes.
  16. Like licorice, Marie Antoinette is a confection you either love or hate, and both affects seem tied to your feeling about the director herself and her apparent identification with Louis XVI's bride. For my part, I can definitely say that I love licorice and hate Marie Antoinette. But I'm still wrestling with the enigma of Sofia Coppola.
  17. It underscores the gruesome legacy of Saturday Night Live in American movies...They haven't liberated screen comedy, they've left it neutered--or, should I say, Spade.
  18. Inexpressiveness is what separates the film from its models (chiefly Antonioni) and what makes it so exasperating.
  19. Even when engineering a howler like this, De Palma does it in such high style, with such a confident swagger, that the movie is half over before you realize how little is there.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    2 Fast 2 Furious is just 2 lame, 2 tame, and 2 much like a video game.
  20. The premise is admittedly a killer--fun to think about, fun to see realized, not so fun to see screwed up in the last half-hour.
  21. As messy and flat-footed as its predecessor is nimble and shapely. It's an ugly, bloated, repetitive movie that builds to a punch line that should have come an hour earlier (at least).
  22. The whole movie is like that: showy stunts, explosions, over-the-top acting, fiesta colors, lurid angles, and a sense of nothing--nada--at stake.
  23. A film adaptation should, of course, treat its source material as inspiration rather than dogma. But did Burton have to get the books so ENTIRELY wrong?
  24. Sadly, these small bursts of beauty seemed so at odds with the movie's general crushing mediocrity that they were like quickly squelched protests against it.
  25. At least Kudrow won't get the blame for Marci X: What really sinks the movie is Wayans.
  26. The SNL skits get laughs from combining the grandiose scope of an action movie with the cramped, bare-bones stage of a live late-night comedy show. It's funny because it looks dinky, cheap, and fake. By showing real buildings really exploding, and real throats—or a believable simulacrum thereof--ripped open by real bare hands, MacGruber commits the deeply MacGruber-esque mistake of shooting itself in the foot.
  27. In its eagerness to drag us through the lower depths of human experience, Precious leaves no space for the audience to breathe or to draw our own conclusions. For a film about empowerment and self-actualization, it wields an awfully large cudgel.
  28. This mad prophet says it will die in a week.
  29. I didn’t like the movie at all — found it boring, unintentionally comical, at times even (a word I seldom use) pretentious — but I admire the rest of your work so much that I nonetheless feel the need to defend To the Wonder.
  30. When a movie wrenches you with the deaths of children then leaves you with nothing to take home but your confusion, it can make you thirsty for the blood of directors.
  31. The reductio ad absurdum of a summer blockbuster. It is loud (boom!), long (two and a half hours!), incoherent (poorly explained intergalactic warfare!), leering (Megan Fox in short shorts!), racist (jive-talkin' robot twins!), and rife with product tie-ins (Chevy! Hasbro!).
  32. Much of K-Pax consists of Spacey grinning like Stevie Wonder behind sunglasses, -- taking dippy steps, and bobbing his head as if attached to an invisible Walkman.
  33. It's a mystery how such a hodgepodge, at once incoherent and overfamiliar, could have come together on screen.
  34. So sniggeringly one-sided that the picture has no tension.
  35. It's another dumb vengeance picture -- "In the Bedroom" for meatheads.
  36. The Hong Kong vet director, Ronny Yu, did a bang-up job in 1998 with "Bride of Chucky," but he can't do much for this one except keep it moving, light it scarily, and pump that plasma.
  37. Isn't terrible. OK, it's kind of terrible, but it's a talking-dog movie, and anyone who goes to a talking-dog movie without being prepared to step in poop deserves to ruin his shoes.
  38. I'm not sure if the movie's lack of momentum is the fault of the director, the screenwriter, or the star, Romano. But most likely, it represents the luckless convergence of three dismayingly low-watt talents.
  39. It's deeply committed to its own weird conceit, diminishing returns and all.
  40. Smokin' Aces is awash in ammo and carnage, but it chugs to the finish line with a tank full of sludge.
  41. Ought to have been called "Slugs for Snails," so leisurely does it creep toward its predictably bombastic conclusion.
  42. At times the movie's crudeness has an eerie beauty, but the musical fantasies are a bewildering hash, and the protracted climax on death row is nearly unendurable.
  43. Psychologically thin, artistically flabby, and symbolically opaque.
  44. As usual with Penn, I don't completely buy the character, but I completely buy that he has brilliantly internalized SOMETHING. He goes to some weird psychological places, our Sean.
  45. The absence of a single noteworthy villain is perhaps this movie’s most salient flaw (along with the jumbled, barely coherent editing of a seemingly endless chase through a Moscow traffic jam).
  46. This is a rhythmless, stupefying work. A person with no discernible pulse ought not to be directing a movie about disco.
  47. It would be easier to forgive Identity Thief its overfamiliar comic setups and shameless gag-recycling if the movie’s second half didn’t make such an abrupt about-face from soliciting our revulsion to begging for our pity.
  48. When it comes to weaving personal stories in and out of the special-effects set pieces, the director has the most colossal antitalent since Ed Wood Jr.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Remember that scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark," when a swastika-stamped Nazi crate explodes for no good reason (beyond the fact that the Ark hates Nazis)? Red Tails is like that, only less awesome, and considerably longer.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Volcano is just another $100 million genre movie, and a pretty lousy one, to boot.
  49. Ends up leaving you starved for a single moment of unhyped emotion. You can barely see the characters for Luhrmann screaming.
  50. If you spin out the unintended analogy of Confessions of a Shopaholic to the current financial crisis, the film starts to mutate from a not-that-funny comedy into a tragic allegory.
  51. Perhaps the saddest thing about Manderlay is how poorly von Trier treats his actors, who are so bludgeoned by the concept and the format they can scarcely breathe.
  52. Lousy remake.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It has none of the minor virtues of Schumacher's other films. It looks bad: cluttered surfaces, production design reminiscent of overblown Broadway musicals, editing too fast for the eye to catch up, poor staging of fast action.
  53. The Iron Lady is, to put it kindly, a shambles.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The Lightning Thief is loud, scary, oversexed, and really unfun. All that would have been fine if my daughter liked it, but instead it left her and her friend stunned.
  54. What's disappointing about Anonymous is that it isn't dumb enough.
  55. Borderline incoherent, theologically unsatisfying, and short to the point of dwarfism on suspense.
  56. For a series so steeped in supernatural mumbo-jumbo, Pirates of the Caribbean displays remarkably little sense of wonder.
  57. In the hierarchy of things that creep into your house, the tooth fairy ranks somewhere beneath Santa Claus and above the Formosan termite.
  58. Any irregularity in tone becomes a part of the movie’s intentionally rough, imperfect surface — a formal strategy I might find interesting if I could make head or tail of what the movie that’s using it is trying to say.
  59. Excruciatingly bad...Probably if Redux hadn't been acclaimed as a newly minted masterpiece, I wouldn't have felt so compelled to blow raspberries.
  60. 125 minutes is a long time to stare at a movie that's basically in bleached blue-and-white with occasional splotches of brick red. The palette reinforces the monotony of the storyline.
  61. The photography is excellent! the music is striking! the movie is a stinker!
  62. The first 45 minutes or so is stupefying--flat, disjointed, missing all human connective tissue.
  63. An affectless piece of moviemaking.
  64. It's a schlock melodrama dolled up in arty frontier vestments.
  65. That What's Your Number? is a bad movie is the least of the reasons to walk out of it feeling awful. Competing for the top spot are these two: the criminal misuse of Faris; and the casual endorsement of courtship practices as arcane and sadistic as Chinese foot-binding.
  66. The acting in this movie is unusually bad--atrocious, even.
  67. A thesis movie, almost a manifesto for despair, and certainly worthy of the aforementioned NR-DS rating. Except that its bad vibes don't linger. Have dinner and smart conversation with friends, hug a child, pick up a good book--and poof, life returns with a happy vengeance.
  68. The film that Nicholas Hytner has directed (from a screenplay by the playwright Wendy Wasserstein) is slick, sweet, and disastrously unmoving -- even people who live to cry at the movies will find themselves depressingly dry-eyed.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Jokes from Scary Movie 3 are recycled ad nauseam.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The remarkable feat of churning out a whole new set of clichés and setting a new level of degradation. That’s Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s biopic about Miles Davis.
  69. What it lacks in charm, humor, and intelligence, it makes up for in sheer volume.
  70. There's no dramatic trajectory here at all.
  71. I wonder if anything could have made this misfire work.
  72. His (Lee) Oldboy is relentlessly unpleasant and difficult to watch, without offering audiences much moral or aesthetic payoff for its hour and 40 minutes of graphic violence and abject degradation. Oldboy is both original and uncompromising, I’ll give it that—it just doesn’t happen to be any good.
  73. One of many burdensome tasks required of the viewer of this fish-out-of-water love story. The toughest of all: caring about any of the characters in this smug, check-off-the-boxes comedy.
  74. I walked out of Choke feeling hustled, which is appropriate enough, I guess, for a movie that's a portrait of a compulsive hustler.
  75. Fatuous, sappy, and dull.
  76. I'm genuinely of two minds about the picture. I want to say it's subtle, but I also want to say it's heavy-handed. I want to say it's incisive, but I have too many problems with its psychological elisions to let it off the hook.
  77. Monumentally unimaginative. Thumbs down!
  78. The laborious title of an even more laborious Cockney action movie that some people think is the cat's pajamas crossbred with the bee's knees.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Suicide Squad’s only triumph may be that it manages to make Batman v Superman look better by comparison. Bloated and baffling as that film was, it at least had a coherent aesthetic—a morose aesthetic, to be sure, but an aesthetic all the same. Suicide Squad, by contrast, is little more than a drab patchwork, its stitching the only thing uglier than the cloth.
  79. It's no wonder that Crowe can't generate any real feeling. The narrative is alien to him on every level. The ear-grating dialogue is a good indication that he didn't know what he was doing; he's usually pitch-perfect.
  80. At its worst, This Is 40 feels like being condemned to watch two hours of someone else's home movies - overly long, self-indulgent, and bone-crushingly banal.
  81. Michael Caton-Jones' pompous and coarsely stupid inflation of what remains a superior thriller, Fred Zinnemann's The Day of the Jackal (1973).
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    RV is another disturbing entry in the dark cycle of movies that began for Robin Williams with "One Hour Photo" and "Insomnia" and has continued with "The Night Listener." I look forward with queasy dread to what he'll do in "Mrs. Doubtfire 2."
  82. It's like a memorial service with killer special effects.
  83. Schrader is like a reformed addict who isn't even honest enough to show what once gave him pleasure. He's the most dangerous kind of crusader. In Auto Focus, he makes you hate sex and movies equally.
  84. This is a movie that sends you out shuddering, chuckling nervously, wanting to tell the people in line for the next show, "It's the feel-bad movie of the year!"
  85. The performances are so terrible that it's hard to know whether Cronenberg wants to signal that much of what we're seeing isn't "real" or he has just forgotten how to write for hemoglobular flesh vessels--i.e., human beings.
  86. The filmmakers have separated themselves from all the emotions of filmmaking except anger.
  87. A sour little psychodrama.
  88. This forced march through a chamber of personal and sociological horrors is difficult to endure but easy to forget.
  89. King Arthur is profoundly stupid and inept, but it's an endless source of giggles once you realize that its historical revisionism has nothing to do with archeological discoveries and everything to do with the fact that no one at Disney would green-light an old-fashioned talky love triangle with a hero who dies and an adulterous heroine who ends up in a nunnery.
  90. An overinflated B-movie with no grace, no subtext, no wit, and featuring beefcake/cheesecake actors who look like they've been plucked from the soaps.

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