Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,623 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 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Bourne Ultimatum
Lowest review score: 0 15 Minutes
Score distribution:
1623 movie reviews
  1. The action is never topsy-turvy enough for 13 Hours to be mistaken for a Paul Greengrass film, but it’s also not so operatic that it feels like Bay is turning a tragedy into Bad Boys III.
  2. The movie is a collision between inspiration and tastelessness, between the defiantly quirky and the wholesomely homogenized. I hated it in principle--I hate most modern Disney cartoons--but adored a good deal of it in practice.
  3. So why did I feel such affection for this scruffy, hokey little movie? Maybe it's the same logic that applies to wine-drinking itself: Sure, a great claret would be ideal, but an OK rosé is better than washing down your dinner with water.
  4. The heat [Chow] conjures between his leads never rises above a low boil. That’s because Chow never bothers to pretend as if the romance really matters —it’s merely an excuse for a parade of blisteringly clever comic set pieces.
  5. Apatow answers to no one. His worst enemy as a director is his unwillingness to linger in the dark places from which his comedy springs.
  6. It's totally implausible, and yet it gets at something unnervingly real: the way that people can blow a budding relationship by being too honest with each other.
  7. All its themes are laid out like index cards on a screenwriter's bulletin board, and each plot turn seems so inevitable that you'll think you saw this movie in a previous life. (You did.)
  8. Wanderlust is about two or three script passes away from being a consistently funny, dramatically coherent romantic comedy.
  9. A most curious movie, one with nearly all the elements of a classic crime-family saga and yet somehow lacking the moral complexity and emotional heft of the films to which it pays fastidious aesthetic homage: the New York–set urban thrillers of Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Prince of the City) and Coppola’s Godfather series.
  10. As tough as Lawrence is to like, Smart People is even harder to hate, mainly because of the sharply observed script by novelist Mark Jude Poirier. Just when you're losing patience with the movie, it sneaks up on you with a poignant detail or a character-defining turn of phrase.
  11. Frustratingly anemic, the filmmakers hiding behind their good taste and sensitivity. They might as well have gone for broke, since Plath and Hughes' daughter accused them of monstrous exploitation anyway.
  12. Apart from a few choice flashbacks, the action is crawlingly linear--and opaque.
  13. The screenplay doesn't lack for memorable zingers, and thanks to Cody's script and Streep's performance, Ricki emerges as a complex, self-contradictory person (even if most of the supporting characters don't).
  14. Though the subject matter sounds depressing, Crazy Love has an infectious, even bouncy tone.
  15. Too long, too sexist, and too--shall we say--flaccid. But it has its moments.
  16. It’s offbeat and refreshing nonetheless.
  17. 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The enthralling dance numbers-flashy spectacles with feathers and bras made out of pearls and netting-and the combined sass levels of Cher and Christina Aguilera gloss over the movie's weaknesses.
  18. Scene by scene, 50/50 can be both amusing and moving, with the tightly wound Gordon-Levitt and the boundaryless Rogen forming an oddly complementary pair. But as a whole the movie never quite coheres, seeming to skitter away at the last minute from both full-body laughter and full-body sobs.
  19. I half-admire its exquisite balancing act, squeezing laughs out of its leading lady's wardrobe, vocabulary, gestures, and cretinously oblivious Beverly Hills sense of entitlement, while simultaneously demonstrating her brilliance, sturdy ethics, and unflappable egalitarianism.
  20. With its featherweight premise, casually amoral heroes, and exotic locales, it conjures up an era (the '60s and '70s) when twisty, romantic heist pictures were routinely ground out as tax shelters.
  21. Despite a first reel entirely devoted to establishing characters, Cloverfield is basically a line-'em-up, pick-'em-off horror movie that's effective without being either viscerally frightening or emotionally moving. Watching it is like going through a car wash: You come out of it thoroughly Cloverfield-ized, but essentially unchanged.
  22. Unfortunately, Simien’s many smart, relevant thoughts on race are more often wrapped up in an impassioned, didactic bow that rarely feels fresh—or, more damagingly, funny.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    I found Dead Men Tell No Tales to be passably fun and certainly no harder to watch than any of the better-pedigreed blockbusters this year.
  23. Mining the incest prohibition for laughs in what's essentially a light romantic comedy is a bold move, and for the first two-thirds of the movie, it works surprisingly well. But as long as the Duplasses are willing to go there, I can't help but wish they'd gone a little further.
  24. I wish it were as much fun as its prospectus. The truth is that The Truth About Charlie gets increasingly tiresome.
  25. Rambo combines an unapologetic return to the grand action-movie tradition of blowing shit up (one explosion is so big, it leaves behind its own miniature mushroom cloud) with a "Saw"-era interest in close-ups of human viscera.
  26. Aeon Flux is not that terrible. It's certainly more fun than a lot of films that get lovingly showcased.
  27. Cianfrance’s gift for allowing his actors to create relationships — with one another, with the camera, and with the stark landscape that surrounds them — makes The Light Between Oceans an unusually captivating romantic drama, at least until that last-act slide into self-sabotaging bathos.
  28. If Boiler Room isn't an especially challenging movie, it's still a damn good melodrama -- a boilermaker.
  29. Charming self-made vehicle.
  30. If I had a child near Dre's age, I'd drag him or her out of "Marmaduke" and into The Karate Kid--but not before requiring an at-home screening of the still unsurpassed original.
  31. Amounts to a pantheistic love-in: "A Fish Called Wanda" for vegetarians.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    When I was 7 and saw "Over The Top," I saw no irony in its moniker, even during a slow-motion close-up of two battling hands. While Real Steel is similarly ludicrous, I predict it will play like a masterpiece with 7-year-olds.
  32. As I've implied, this is a great midnight movie: I enjoyed every patchily edited, ham-fisted scene. But I don't like seeing the wonderful Kate Winslet look stupid, or the wonderful Laura Linney abase herself.
  33. I'm not sure what Kontroll adds up to, but if you're looking for a rackety journey into the bowels of urban life, this is your movie.
  34. Skyfall leaves you wondering whether this incarnation of the character has anywhere left to go. It's the portrait of a spy at the end of his rope by an actor who seems close to his.
  35. The result feels like a sketchbook, both in a good and bad sense; it's alive and spontaneous and surprising in some parts, underdeveloped and shapeless in others.
  36. A minor but satisfying entry in the "what if" historical-fantasy genre.
  37. The trouble is that the movie in which Poppy does, in fact, exist never quite rises to her level.
  38. No project involving Ferrell is going to be entirely unfunny, and Blades of Glory does have its moments of loopy ingenuity, even if none of them goes quite far enough.
  39. A wee, breezy thing with painterly cinematography (by Jean Yves Escoffier) and with actors who are mostly fun to watch. It sails by in 103 minutes and the clunky stuff isn't painful, which makes a change from LaBute's usual grueling studies in human callousness and depravity.
  40. The movie also has some embarrassing laugh-free stretches, but Faris holds everything together with bubbly intelligence, unexpected line readings, and a few deft pratfalls.
  41. Even the most enthusiastic future Indy scholar would have to concede that the movie's habit of quoting from venerable Hollywood antiquities sometimes has the unfortunate effect of reminding the viewer that those movies were better.
  42. The kind of middling-but-watchable heist thriller that, days after seeing it, already feels like something you caught half of on a plane two years ago.
  43. It would be imprecise to say that the thrill is gone, because The Lost World recovers from its turgid opening and comes to life, or does so in spasms.
  44. For all The Blind Side's flaws, it's impossible not to get caught up in Michael Oher's life.
  45. There's too much miserable reality and not a lot of transcendent dance, and the director, Stephen Daldry, doesn't cover the action from enough angles.
  46. I don't know what Pollock is supposed to be about, but as it stands—by default—it's the most blood-freezing Jewish-mother nightmare ever filmed. Pollock would give Woody Allen the willies.
  47. As a portrait of a subculture few non-Hasidim ever get to glimpse, it's funny, deft, and sharp. The movie's first half goes to great trouble to establish the texture of life in Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn; the second half is a rushed and unfocused tour of the Amsterdam rave scene.
  48. A ferocious yet lyrical piece of filmmaking--an enchanted bloodbath.
  49. A slick, not-too-thoughtful love story.
  50. Even if you find the satire in Josie and the Pussycats self-serving, you might still love the movie, buy the soundtrack, and surrender to the hype. That's what happened to me.
  51. For a movie whose story hinges almost entirely on sex, The Other Boleyn Girl is disappointingly demure.
  52. Levinson must think he's on safe ground morally by keeping Bandits bloodless, as if the absence of carnage somehow makes kidnapping and armed robbery wholesome.
  53. It doesn't entirely gel, but few directors could explore the collision of the ego and the outside world with such sympathy or purpose. It's possible that the NC-17 has never been used to such PG-13 ends.
  54. Careening from bathos to bromance to naked sexytime, the movie is like a mashup of three or four different movies, at least two of them fairly unpleasant. And yet Love and Other Drugs is so sincere and unjaded about its mystifying purpose that it keeps our gaze fixed on the screen for the full two hours.
  55. The movie is meant to get into you like a virus, and it does.
  56. Watching Jackass 3-D was like being plunged into a Hieronymous Bosch painting of hell, yet this very reaction attests to the franchise's primal, diabolical power.
  57. Something appalling about the way he turns to the camera with a look of sorrow: Michael Moore as a suffering Christ. It's an insult to his own movie, which at its considerable best transcends his thuggish personality.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Wahlberg may have succeeded in singlehandedly cracking the case and bringing the perpetrators to justice but — like the film itself—he fails to find meaning in the wreckage.
  58. This isn't an objectionable movie, just a mild, obvious, and rather limp one, with plenty of little jolts but no ejaculatory payoff.
  59. To paraphrase the novel's famous last lines, it's not often a story comes along that can make for both a great book and a wonderful movie. Charlotte's Web isn't both.
  60. Closer is in the same arena as Labute, and I found it sour and airless, with the feel of a mathematical proof. The acting is superb, though, with one key exception. Jude Law.
  61. Like all abstract art, At World's End is best approached non-narratively, as an experience rather than a story.
  62. Mr. 3000 is refreshing because it ends on a slightly sour, dissonant note: Stan wins, but not in the way he imagines. It's a nice change from the sports films that end with fists pumping and crowds going nuts.
  63. Directorially, Dedication is a bit of a mess, unable to settle on a tone or visual style. But it leaves you wishing the oddball couple well.
  64. The movie isn't unwatchable. It's clumsily good-natured, the actors are appealing, and there are worse ways to spend two hours than looking at pretty young girls in shorts kicking balls. But the movie is way, way too pleased with itself.
  65. When Stone's movie is at its best, it simply ignores the temptation to say everything about 9/11, instead keeping its focus tightly trained on the two domestic dramas at its center.
  66. Anyone who can credibly threaten to steal a movie from Anthony Hopkins has seriously got it going on. Fracture may be remembered as the movie that brought Ryan Gosling into the mainstream.
  67. Brooks has given us the rare contemporary rom-com that's by turns (if intermittently) thoughtful and funny, and that doesn't feel focus-grouped, cynical, misogynist, or mean. It seems ungenerous not to cut such a generous movie a break.
  68. When those talking heads metamorphose into familiar ranting heads, it becomes another mesmerizing right-wing horror show.
  69. This rough-edged parody feels both distinctive and handmade, and for those reasons alone it’s a hard movie to hate, even when it temporarily loses its comic footing. Anyway, as romantic comedies down the ages have taught us, hatred is just a latent form of love.
  70. The movie gets funnier and less obvious as it goes along, and Zooey Deschanel is a hoot as a disdainfully bored co-worker who ritually insults the zombie chain-store shoppers -- but what is The Good Girl saying, exactly?
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    For the first half of Looking for Comedy, Brooks' hangdog demeanor performs reliably, and there are plenty of solid laughs.
  71. If only the results weren't so respectably dull.
  72. An appropriately generic title for a droning, high-toned little heist picture with no dash and no raison d'être.
  73. It's too florid, too calculated, too too. Here's my emotional declaration: I love Richard Curtis' work. But I can't help feeling that the Bard of Embarrassment could use a touch more shame.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As in the novel, the story is gripping, as pleasurable as a good recreational drug. As with the drug, the high wears off pretty fast.
  74. The film's most striking repeated effect, in which the caped hero dangles dejectedly in space as the Earth turns below him, emphasizes the passivity and loneliness of the character: This Superman's version of flight seems almost indistinguishable from a helpless freefall. Fair enough, but what's he got to be so existentially glum about?
  75. Pirates is OK, in patches even better.
  76. A feminist sitcom tricked up with garish violence and garrulous hit men.
  77. Ozon devises tantalizing scenarios and immerses himself completely--then seems happy to tread water.
  78. Con-artist caper comedies are almost always piffle, but there's a fierce, cruel competition at the heart of Heartbreakers that gives it some bite.
  79. Age of Ultron, then, shows what happens when an unstoppable force (Joss Whedon’s imagination) meets an immovable object (the Disney/Marvel behemoth). And the result is, indeed, paradoxical: a crashy, overlong, FX-driven blockbuster that’s capable of morphing, Hulk-to-Banner style, into a loose-limbed ensemble comedy about collaboration, flirtation, and friendship.
  80. Pretty much ill-conceived from the ground up but saved by a couple of strong performances and a wealth of well-researched period detail.
  81. Araki is trying to work from the inside out; and he captures feelings about sexual exploitation that I've never seen onscreen--not all of them negative.
  82. A decent-enough rambunctious Southern-drive-in sort of time-waster, missing only the bare boobs that would make it the perfect socially irresponsible sexist entertainment for rednecks and uptight liberal elites who'd like to live the country-boy dream for a few hours. (Howdy, y'all!)
  83. The movie says that the rebellious spirit that generates art can also consume and destroy -- that there's no undangerous way to ride the tiger.
  84. Payne's movie is flat, depressed, and at times -- given this director's talent -- disappointingly curdled; it needs every quivering molecule of Nicholson's repressed rage to keep it alive and humming.
  85. Even in the film's weaker stretches, the fierce presence of Tilda Swinton made it impossible to tear my eyes away.
  86. The movie isn’t perfect. I’m not even sure if it’s good. For one thing, it can feel reductively boilerplate in its treatment of it-girl Megan.
  87. The playful energy between McCarthy and her completely game co-star, Susan Sarandon is more than enough to keep the movie humming along.
  88. Super 8 is at its best when it dwells in this secret childhood empire, and at its worst when it juices up its essentially simple story with increasingly senseless action set pieces.
  89. While it’s a decent table-setter and a welcome return to a magical world that many of us love dearly, it’s no Force Awakens, bogged down as it is by exposition, dull characters, and sludgy pacing.
  90. By the time the great vampire showdown finally got started, I was good and done with Breaking Dawn, Part 2. But the big action scene is so campily over the top - with one twist so unforeseeable - that it sent me out on a burst of grudging goodwill.
  91. I also thrilled to identify with a male lead (Jon Favreau) who's as brilliant and crazy and self-absorbed as Woody Allen or Albert Brooks but whose self-absorption doesn't shape and color everything else in the movie.
  92. Exhausting, depressing, slightly nauseating, and unfortunately necessary.
  93. iIt's far less sickly than plenty of yuletide offerings, last year's "The Family Stone" being one shudder-worthy example.
  94. All of Eastwood's rigorous craftsmanship seems wasted on a movie whose message never rises above the bumper-sticker admonition that "mean people suck."

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