Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,002 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 1.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Wolfwalkers
Lowest review score: 0 I'm Still Here
Score distribution:
2002 movie reviews
  1. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On struck me as an animated film like no other I can recall. It’s a story about the difficulty and necessity of making yourself vulnerable that is itself the product of an unusually intimate artistic collaboration, literally a couple’s shared in-joke that took on a life of its—or his—own.
  2. There’s a rueful irony to the fact that it’s this supposedly human inspiration for the beloved toy who feels more like a plastic action figure.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    RRR
    Obviously, one film cannot encompass everything, and as the filmmakers have themselves noted, RRR is sheer fantasy. I cannot fault viewers for enjoying RRR so much, whether they ironically lap up the superhuman stunts or get swept up in the thrilling anti-imperial action. I’m concerned more about the timing of it all, the global presence, the recipe for viral success that other filmmakers will be eyeing. It’s an ingenious form of soft-power propaganda, one that can be interpreted as positively asserting an otherwise-marginalized ideology.
  3. Now, nearly 50 years later, Americans’ reproductive choice is again in jeopardy, making The Janes not only a crucial part of the historical record but a searingly contemporary film about the power of mutual aid and collective action.
  4. At any rate, this movie’s insistent and unapologetic commitment to its own weirdness is evidence that the 79-year-old writer-director, like the ever-mutating human specimens he loves to imagine, is nowhere near done evolving.
  5. Even if you don’t harbor fond feelings for the 1986 Top Gun, a movie that upon its release was seen by many as a glamorized recruitment commercial for the Reagan-era military buildup, it’s hard not to appreciate the care that went into this lovingly tooled sequel—a far better film on the sheer level of craft than the original.
  6. It’s all a lot of poppycock, and yet! Despite all this carping, Downton Abbey: A New Era was as satisfying a filmgoing experience as I can remember. Perhaps the nonsensical narrative lowers viewers’ defenses so the emotional anvil can land all the harder.
  7. This film’s honesty and urgency feel both providential and grimly prophetic.
  8. For me the biggest disappointment of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent—a likeable if lightweight comedy that’s more than worth seeing for Cage’s and Pascal’s touching bromance and its Nick-confronts-Nicky fantasy sequences—was that it didn’t go even further with its central doppelgänger conceit.
  9. At 137 minutes, The Northman can feel ponderously crammed with both mystic visions (however hauntingly rendered) and Mel Gibson–grade sadistic gore. Somewhere around the two-hour point, the endless bone-crunching battle scenes—while impeccably choreographed and breathtakingly shot in fluid long takes—start to become existentially wearying and even morally suspect.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It’s not that I wish Aline took more advantage of its fictional liberties to mock or undermine Céline Dion. I just wish it had much more to say about something—such as child stardom, what it’s like to move from working-class margins to opulence, or the simultaneously reverent and condescending relationship that pop culture had with Dion at her 1990s peak
  10. Whether you find Deep Water deliciously preposterous or just … preposterous may depend on how much you miss that kind of movie. In my case, the answer is “a lot.”
  11. That the studio gave a first-time director the freedom to explore these potentially sensitive themes, and to do so in a tone that is boisterous and playful rather than handwringing or self-serious, is a promising sign for Pixar’s future.
  12. Reeves’ and Pattinson’s vision of the Batman as a Hamlet-like heir unable to move past the primal shock of his parents’ murder has a certain emotional power.
  13. The movie’s best surprise in the end isn’t so much that lifelong fans got the chance to see such an unprecedented crossover take place: It’s that it managed to give not just a character, but an actor another chance to make a great mark on one of the best roles in superhero stories.
  14. The fact that Marry Me contains anything so formulaic as a third-act separation montage should spell out clearly what you’re getting in for.
  15. I Want You Back is a sometimes underwhelming vehicle for Day and Slate’s considerable comic talents, but it’s a pleasure to spend two hours in their company.
  16. As a lifelong aficionado of sprawling, dopey disaster movies with plenty of character back story—your Poseidon Adventures, your Twisters, your Titanics—and as maybe the world’s biggest fan of Emmerich’s 2012 (2009), I was naturally inclined to enjoy Moonfall, and I did, though maybe with not quite as much glee as I vibed with the fevered conspiracy theories and lovingly preserved world treasures of 2012.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Fallout doesn’t need fanfare or gore to make its point: In its starkness, the film is undeniably striking and reveals no matter how much healing takes place after a tragedy like a school shooting, its devastating impact will persist.
  17. What lingers in the mind after this version of The Tragedy of Macbeth is not specific line deliveries or bravura acting moments—although the cast all acquit themselves well—but images and sounds.
  18. Matrix Resurrections is a movie interested in collapsing binaries: the ones between man and machine, between digital and “real” life, between past and present, and of course, between genders.
  19. It is filmed, perhaps fittingly for the subject matter, like a TV show. But on the heels of a Sorkin movie, The Trial of the Chicago 7, whose women were essentially hippie-styled set dressing, it’s a pleasure to see him putting some of his signature quips in the mouths of female characters, especially one as spiky, complicated, and powerful as Lucille Ball.
  20. The most surprising thing about West Side Story, Spielberg’s most dynamic movie in years, is how at home the director seems in a genre he has never before worked in. The balance between realism and stylization necessitated by the show is so confidently handled you wonder why he waited until age 74 to start making musicals.
  21. In a late scene in House of Gucci, one character labels another “a triumph of mediocrity.” That paradox and others like it might be applied to the movie itself: It is a glamorous slog, a fabulous bore, a pointlessly bespoke bit of silliness.
  22. In large part thanks to its fresh-faced stars, the charming Hoffman and the wildly charismatic Haim, I’m hard pressed to think of a recent movie whose world I would have liked to stay in longer.
  23. King Richard is a Will Smith vehicle, through and through.
  24. The Power of the Dog is one of those films that, on first viewing, seems to have a story too thin to support the epic sweep of its setting. But watch it a second time through, and the tightly coiled thriller plot comes into focus, with no detail wasted as the movie hurtles toward a violent, psychically shattering, but narratively satisfying ending.
  25. It’s a humanist crowd-pleaser with just enough historical heft to count as something more than a small family drama, and it’s also a deeply personal labor of love that, even if it never quite knocks your socks off, seems too sincere and too beautifully crafted to hate.
  26. That over-the-top style, with its pulsating colors and generous sloshings of bright-red fake blood, is well-suited to this movie’s story, which folds crime, sex work, mental illness, and elements of the supernatural into a psychological thriller that, at its best, can be mind-bendingly intense.
  27. The film, scripted by Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, and Ryan and Kaz Firpo, weaves plenty of jokes in with long stretches of intergalactic hocus pocus and equally long action set pieces. But the parts only sporadically cohere into anything like a whole.

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