Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,714 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 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 45 Years
Lowest review score: 0 Life Is Beautiful
Score distribution:
1714 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Moonlight is one of those movies that showers its audience with blessings: raw yet accomplished performances from a uniformly fine cast, casually lyrical camerawork, and a frankly romantic soundtrack that runs the gamut from ’70s Jamaican pop to a Mexican folk song crooned by the Brazilian Caetano Veloso. But the film’s greatest gift may be that flood of cleansing tears—which, by the time this spare but affecting film was over, I was also shedding in copious volume.
  3. A beautiful and formally compelling work of art.
  4. It’s the unhappiest happy ending I’ve ever seen, a moment that makes you weep not just for this one man who found his way back to freedom, but for all those men and women who never knew it in the first place.
  5. Each character in this movie — down to the smallest cameo by Lonergan himself — is an individual rather than a type, prone to spontaneous changes of mood and sometimes amusing outbursts of pettiness or ill humor.
  6. Watching the opening of A Hard Day's Night is like getting a direct injection of happiness.
  7. 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.
  8. The director Todd Haynes and the novelist Patricia Highsmith fit together like a hand and glove - a beautifully manicured hand and a sleek gray-green leather glove, two images that figure prominently in Carol.
  9. The Social Network wants to be a social satire, a miniaturist comedy of manners, and a Greek tragedy; it bites off a lot, at times more than it can chew. But even the unmasticated morsels are pretty tasty.
  10. It's only at the very beginning and the very end that Zero Dark Thirty functions (brilliantly) as a ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller. Much of the rest of the time, it's a workplace drama about a woman so good at her job that most of her colleagues think she's crazy.
  11. Asghar Farhadi's A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it's possible for movies to be.
  12. Wall-E is an improbable delight, a G-rated crowd-pleaser.
  13. 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.
  14. The swift-moving, pulse-pounding Dunkirk reveals its filmmaker at his most nimble, supple, and simple.
  15. 45 Years is about the relationship of the present to the past and of our past loves to our present lives—a relationship that, like any good marriage, remains a total mystery.
  16. Seeing Killer of Sheep is an experience as simple and indelible as watching Bresson's "Pickpocket" or De Sica's "Bicycle Thieves" for the first time. Despite its aesthetic debt to European art cinema, Burnett's film is quintessentially American in its tone and subject matter. If there's any modern-day equivalent for the movie's matter-of-fact gaze on the ravages of urban poverty, it's the HBO series "The Wire."
  17. Mr. Turner does resemble "Topsy-Turvy" in its meticulous yet vibrant recreation of the past and its ever-expanding thematic amplitude. This is a movie not only about one particular artist, but about art as both a field of human endeavor and an object of shifting cultural and economic value.
  18. 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.
  19. Only in the medium of animation could a conceit as elaborate as Inside Out’s be dramatized, and only animation this well-designed and executed could bring such a story so vibrantly to life.
  20. A warm, ingratiating, and fitfully hilarious epicurean road movie with a steady ache-an ache like a red-wine hangover.
  21. It’s not clear how autobiographical Lady Bird is — Gerwig is from Sacramento and graduated from high school around the time the film is set — but the little slice of universe she shows us feels deeply and lovingly observed.
  22. 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.
  23. In the quietly devastating Amour, Haneke's cool, dispassionate gaze feels, for the first time, something like love.
  24. 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.
  25. Spotlight provides a wealth of exceptional performances.
  26. This is the kind of movie you live in as much as watch. Some of its images—Hammer’s Oliver dancing with unselfconscious abandon, Chalamet’s face in extended close-up in the stunning final shot—stay with you afterward like memories of your own half-remembered romance.
  27. For all its borrowing and bricolage, La La Land never feels like a backward-looking or unoriginal work. Even when not every one of its risks pays off the way that first song does, this movie is bold, vital, funny, and alive.
  28. Despite its atmosphere of failure and melancholy, Inside Llewyn Davis is ultimately a dark valentine to both its hero and his milieu.
  29. 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.
  30. The Decline of Western Civilization is the finest cinematic distillation of punk ever made, not simply as music but as ethos. Featuring performances by X, the Germs, Black Flag, and the Circle Jerks, the film is frantic, caustic, electric, imbued with all the rage and love of a pogoing teen throwing punches at his friends.

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