Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,443 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 Fruitvale Station
Lowest review score: 0 I'm Still Here
Score distribution:
1,443 movie reviews
  1. This is an amazing movie.
  2. The best American movie of the year. Has a subtext so powerful that it reaches out and pulls you under. Even when the surface is tranquil, you know in your guts what's at stake.
  3. Isn't just the most explosively entertaining movie musical in a couple of decades. It's going to be the most influential: the one that inspires the rebirth of the Hollywood musical.
  4. An unassuming gem: an impishly funny, melancholy, absolutely delightful English ensemble drama.
  5. American satire rarely comes more winning than Election, an exuberantly caustic comedy that shows the symbiotic relationship between political go-get-'em-ism and moral backsliding.
  6. Watching the opening of A Hard Day's Night is like getting a direct injection of happiness.
  7. The best film of 2002.
  8. Igby Goes Down got a reaction from me: I think it's the movie of the year. I squirmed, I laughed a lot.
  9. The best movie of the last several years: the most evocative, the most mysterious, the most inconsolably devastating.
  10. It's hard to think of another American film with this range of moods: satirical, sometimes hilarious, yet suffused with a sense of loss and riddled with the kind of violence that makes you recoil and lean forward simultaneously.
  11. The exhilaration is slow to build. It doesn't come from any one thing but from countless crosscurrents, tiny bits of color that fill out the portrait.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A desolate, fast, funny, scary film, and it takes more risks than any recent film.
  12. Fashioned by a buff, The Lord of the Rings is a banquet for the buff in us all. I left exhausted, happy, intoxicated.
  13. By the climax, we can hardly breathe -- The outcome is less important than our utter and complete empathy with this man. As we await what he does, we breathe with him, in and out. This is an astonishing movie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The scariest movie in history is actually a bit shy. The subtle, romantic score by Jerry Goldsmith is what keeps the tension at a simmer.
  14. It might be the cinema's most astonishing holy war film. The Lord of the Rings took seven years and an army of gifted artists to execute, and the striving of its makers is in every splendid frame. It's more than a movie--it's a gift.
  15. This is the best movie I've seen in a decade. For once it's no hyperbole to say, "Unforgettable!"
  16. The fact that Duvall gives such a glorious performance in The Apostle is likely to distract people from the fact that he has also written and directed a glorious movie--the most vivid and radiantly made of 1997.
  17. The band's implosion and reassembly makes for one of the most marvelous rock documentaries of all time.
  18. A collage of pain that breaks over you like a wave. Every second you can feel the cost to Caouette of what he's showing: The sounds and the images are like a pipeline from his unconscious to the screen.
  19. This is the most intoxicatingly beautiful martial arts picture I've ever seen.
  20. I loved it. Or, to put it another way, I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. I loved every gorgeous sick disgusting ravishing overbaked blood-spurting artificial frame of it.
  21. An absolutely magical fusion of deadpan Ealing comedy and Gothic horror.
  22. No, I couldn't be more pleased with what the screenwriter, Steven Kloves, and the director, Mike Newell, have wrought this time.
  23. Munich is the most potent, the most vital, the best movie of the year.
  24. Wildly funny. Its best jokes approach some savage, atavistic core of cultural taboo and make the viewer wonder: Is it really possible to laugh at this? But by the time you formulate that question, it's too late: You're already laughing.
  25. It's an intricate, ambiguous and deeply satisfying movie, a tautly plotted tale of state surveillance and personal betrayal that ultimately becomes an ode to the transformative power of art.
  26. I don't just mean it's one of the best movies of the past six years. Children of Men, based on the 1992 novel by P.D. James, is the movie of the millennium because it's about our millennium, with its fractured, fearful politics and random bursts of violence and terror.
  27. Feels fresher, leaner, and faster than any action movie in years.
  28. Offers the rare pleasure of watching a major director return to his own material and rework it 30 years later. This story of a pitiful jewel heist gone so profoundly wrong that it approaches the scope of Greek tragedy isn't quite a remake of "Dog Day Afternoon."
  29. A completely different kind of animated movie that, even more than "Ratatouille," reimagines what the medium can do.
  30. For a story that's all about the harnessing of fateful chthonic forces, Paul Thomas Anderson has dug deeper than ever before, and struck black gold.
  31. Nolan turns the Manichean morality of comic books--pure good vs. pure evil--into a bleak post-9/11 allegory about how terror (and, make no mistake, Heath Ledger's Joker is a terrorist) breaks down those reassuring moral categories.
  32. Gus Van Sant and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black pull off something very close to magic. They make a film that's both historically precise and as graceful, unpredictable, and moving as a good fiction film--that is to say, a work of art.
    • Slate
  33. This unassuming movie will nail you to your seat.
  34. Up
    Up is Pixar's most ambitious attempt yet to take animation to higher (and deeper) places than it's been before, and Giacchino's sprightly music keeps the whole thing, impossibly, aloft.
  35. A film of great intelligence and quiet assurance, Goodbye Solo exhilarates without ever trafficking in easy uplift.
  36. After The Hurt Locker (which is without question the most exciting and least ideological movie yet made about the war in Iraq), everyone will remember Renner's name.
  37. Brilliantly nasty little horror film.
  38. You don't want to watch this movie, you want to climb inside it and play.
  39. A Serious Man is an exquisitely realized work; the filmmakers' technical mastery of their craft, always impressive, has become absolute. The script reads like a novel, densely allusive, funny, and terse.
  40. The rare film about the life of an artist that is itself a work of art.
  41. It's funny--bleakly, blackly so at times, but also tenderly funny with flashes of genuine compassion. The Maid is among the best films I've seen this year.
  42. On first viewing, Crazy Heart seemed like a pretty good movie with one great performance. After a second time through, it's sneaking up on the title of my favorite film of the year.
  43. Qualifies as one of my favorite movies of all time. This 1932 masterpiece, now digitally restored with retranslated subtitles and a newly recorded score, is a silent film that doesn't feel silent at all.
  44. The movie we've been waiting for all year: a comedy that doesn't take cheap shots, a drama that doesn't manipulate, a movie of ideas that doesn't preach. It's a rich, layered, juicy film, with quiet revelations punctuated by big laughs.
  45. If you're interested in the history of the human race-if you're a member of the human race-you owe it to yourself to see this movie.
  46. See it because it's f---ing hilarious.
  47. Asghar Farhadi's A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it's possible for movies to be.
  48. Fruitvale Station’s wrenching power lies in the specificity of its storytelling and the ordinary human warmth of the world it conjures. You walk out of it, not shaking your head over an abstract social problem, but grieving the senseless death of one flawed, complex, tragically young man.
  49. The World’s End not only makes a more than worthy conclusion to the Cornetto trilogy — it stands on its own as one of the sharpest, saddest and wisest comedies of the year.
  50. The way that Redford’s character — who for all his namelessness and near-wordlessness emerges as a distinct character, a calm, pragmatic, curious man with a dry sense of humor — struggles with that ultimate question is the beating heart of All is Lost, which somewhere in its second hour goes from being a good movie to being a great one.
  51. Boyhood reimagines the coming-of-age film as family album, longitudinal character study, and collaborative artistic experiment — a mad risk that paid off in a movie that’s as transcendent as it is ordinary, just like life.
  52. A grave screwball comedy. Its gags aren't just hilarious -- they have a weighty, plaintive soul.
  53. A monument to process -- to the minutiae of making art -- Topsy-Turvy leaves you upside down and breathless.
  54. Went down like a slice of warm pecan pie topped with two scoops of Ben and Jerry's Bovinity Divinity.
  55. A hilarious, poignant, lovingly ironic celebration of (Tammy Faye Bakker's) rise and fall and her refusal to be broken.
  56. Beat by beat, scene by scene, gorgeous...at times emotionally devastating.
  57. The world didn't need a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. We didn't need it, but we got it anyway -- and it's pretty terrific.
  58. Gorgeously silly.
  59. Not enough happens in it. And yet everything happens in it.
  60. The elements in A Walk on the Moon, which is directed by the actor Tony Goldwyn (the bad guy in "Ghost") and written by Pamela Gray, feel miraculously right.
  61. Shows the dying tremors of a generation, and you might feel as if you can see every molecule, every atom give up the ghost.
  62. One of the most enthralling three hours you'll ever spend at the theater.
  63. If I didn't believe that the experience of watching Domestic Violence would change the world for the better, I wouldn't believe in the power of movies. And I wouldn't do what I do.
  64. The most enthralling movie of the year.
  65. It's like an Ingmar Bergman film with the loss of religious faith replaced with a sort of socioeconomic nebulousness.
  66. Both a masterpiece and a holy hell: Watching it, you feel you're being punished for a crime you didn't commit. Which puts you, come to think of it, in the same frame of mind as those poor Magdalene girls.
  67. A disgusting piece of work; I still can't believe how much I loved it.
  68. A breezy hoot, and it's gorgeous to look at.
  69. Even when you're able to guess the next calamity, it's still a shock in its ejaculatory intensity. The Farrellys never throw in the towel. Pretentious Sundance independents could learn a lot from such pistols.
  70. One of the most inspired cases of the medium embodying the message ever captured on celluloid.
  71. Best in Show has an uproarious wild card in Fred Willard, who plays a hack commentator convinced that he's the most amusing fellow on television
  72. A big, overlong, and rather unwieldy piece of storytelling, but the story it has to tell is so vital that it cuts through all the dramaturgical muddiness. It's a terrific muckraking melodrama--it will get people fuming.
  73. During the ghastly, surreal climax, I had fun closing one eye and with the other watching various ashen older men stumble toward the exit.
  74. Poetry in motion: It's eggsquisite.
  75. Most love stories are bland and generalized. This one takes you deep inside the dance.
  76. Crowe's world is an open ecosystem --transcendentally open. This movie is his boombox held aloft.
  77. It's the way Cuarón demonstrates how a simple teen comedy can suddenly blossom into a study of sexual mores, a Mexican political allegory, a song of lamentation -- and still be breezy and funny and sexy as hell.
  78. The movie is riotously entertaining, and with a big heart, too.
  79. It's a rich, impressive comic-book fantasy -- easily the summer's best "blockbuster."
  80. A rollicking, comic-book Robin Hood plot and more furiously entertaining fight scenes than the ones in Ang Lee's solemn martial-arts art movie.
  81. It's irresistible, damn it. Mainstream comedies should all be this funny and tender and deftly performed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The acting of this central trio is brilliant, in part because the crisscrossing of these and other stories and the gorgeous backdrops take some of the weight off: The characters are free to be flawed without losing our interest.
  82. I confess I don't fully understand Danny's (or the movie's) zigs and zags, but I was glued to the thing anyway -- it has an inexplicable inner logic -- and I admire Bean for refusing to settle into any easy groove.
  83. Riveting and so suggestive that you can't consume it passively: You have to brood on it.
  84. Rich, finely judged, gorgeously acted movie.
  85. Caine makes Hampton's too-literary narration work by playing it as an inner dialogue: It's the best performance of narration I've ever heard. It makes you want to hear Caine read the whole book--or read anything.
  86. Anderson must have needed that bonkers third-hour climax because there was nowhere to go short of spontaneous combustion.
  87. The revered Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki has hit on a way to give you grim social realism and movie-ish sentimentality in one fell swoop.
  88. What Steven Spielberg has accomplished in Saving Private Ryan is to make violence terrible again.
  89. This isn't just the most riotously inventive movie of the year, it's the raunch anthem of the age.
  90. The movie becomes a nail-biter, the audience hanging on every letter. Who could have anticipated that a spelling competition would yield such a heartbreaking thriller?
  91. My first viewing left me dazzled but slightly confused; a second deeply impressed; a third rhapsodic. I wish I hadn't needed to rediagram it in my head to turn it into the masterpiece it so obviously wants to be.
  92. I found it exquisite. In part I responded out of sheer amazement: I've never seen anything like the sequences in which Sandler, in his boxy, sea-blue suit, charges around his warehouse to the rhythm of Brion's harsh drums.
  93. This is finally the zombie flick as cautionary political tale, and as humanist parable. It's not the flesh-gouging zombie we have to worry about, the filmmakers suggest, but the soul-gouging zombie within.
  94. Mike Myers is like a rich 12-year-old who rents out F.A.O. Schwartz, upends every toy in under two hours, and brings in strippers. He can get away with this privileged romp because he grooves on what he does in a way that none of his contemporaries -- can comprehend.
  95. It's a magnificent achievement—holes, tatters, crudities, screw-ups, and all.
  96. Pitch-perfect -- not just the most enjoyable movie of the year but the first (after Crumb) to get the tone of a certain strain of "underground" comic right.
  97. Of all the great vocal characterizations...the showstopper is Brooks, who hasn't had a part this good since "Lost in America" (1985). His Marlin is tender, cranky, hysterical, yet somehow lucid.

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