Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,950 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 point lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Goodbye Solo
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
1950 movie reviews
  1. Especially if you’re watching with children, you could spend a perfectly lovely afternoon diving into Luca’s refreshing blue-green waters. But unlike the two fish-kid buddies at the movie’s center, you may not emerge from the experience transformed.
  2. All in all, Cruella is much better than it needs to be, and is hampered primarily by the fact that it’s a Disney movie, both in the sense that it has to heel to its animated and live-action predecessors, and in that making its main character a genuine antihero isn’t an option.
  3. This movie succeeds at the hardest task a movie musical needs to pull off: the musical numbers, with few exceptions, soar in the way an in-story song has to soar to convince us that, given this situation and these characters, “randomly bursting into song” is a perfectly sensible thing to do.
  4. And after Into the Spider-Verse and a handful of Lego Movies, it’s further proof that producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are an animation brand as reliable as Disney or Pixar, and a good deal more likely to provide something that’s not only sturdy but genuinely surprising.
  5. Though the ending makes it clear that this movie’s purpose is largely to set up future Mortal Kombat movies, it still stands well enough on its own, and it benefits from not looking as cheap or as cheesy as its 1990s predecessors.
  6. The film has an uncommon assuredness and eloquence, a keen sense of what makes its subject fascinating, and a grasp of shape and tone that, by Tina’s end, feels almost poetic. The sum result is a quietly revelatory work that achieves remarkable insight and intimacy while never feeling sensationalistic.
  7. Watching Thunder Force, it’s baffling to remember that this is Falcone’s fifth film as a director. There’s a convenience store fight so ineptly staged I had to watch it three times to decipher what was happening, and running gags that aren’t funny the first time and grow worse with every repetition.
  8. Snyder’s Justice League is more, more, more in a way that most films wouldn’t dare, and, after a year of no theaters at all, a movie that makes me long to return to a multiplex—to see more movies that commit so completely to a vision that it’s impossible not to be swept away.
  9. If you’re a Biggie die-hard (I’m one), nothing in I Got a Story to Tell will trouble your conviction that everything you already thought you knew about Biggie Smalls is right. In other words, it’s fan service, a project that sees “what is this movie for” and “who is this movie for” as effectively the same question.
  10. The chance to see the 83-year-old Hopkins in a role that forces him to confront the tragic fact of human mortality, and his own eventual demise, with such rigor, curiosity, and vulnerability would have been reason enough to send audiences to see The Father, even if we weren’t also witnessing the birth of a major film director in Florian Zeller.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    "Why don’t you watch my film before you judge it?” Sia tweeted in November, when outrage about the movie’s casting started to percolate. Well, I have watched the film, I am judging it, and it’s awful.
  11. Always and Forever boasts all of the Instagram-filter-style color grading and absurdly beautiful sets that fans have come to expect, as well as a soundtrack of suitably romantic pop songs—but it’s the last bite of a meal you’re already full from. You’re used to the flavors, and there’s nothing in the dish that surprises you anymore. If comfort is your aim, look no further, but to keep any franchise or genre alive, sometimes you need some fresh ingredients.
  12. It’s not a perfect movie, nor a particularly innovative one, but the science-fiction adventure—touted as the first Korean space blockbuster—is certainly fun, with colorful performances and impressive CGI, and a worthy substitute for a new Star Wars or Marvel movie.
  13. Though it’s early in the year, it doesn’t feel like a stretch to name it one of 2021’s best films.
  14. Gorō is a talented director. The individual shots of Earwig are beautifully composed, the characters are delightful (the tiny demons who wait upon Mandrake seem destined to become merchandise hits), and the film’s flimsy plot isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But the visuals sink the entire enterprise.
  15. Maybe the movie would work better if, like Se7en, it were set in an unnamed noir city instead of a real police department with real abuses, or if the script relied on more than genre shorthand to sell its noxious ending. As things stand, however, the only way to enjoy The Little Things is to ignore the big things.
  16. Supernova is modest in every respect except its emotional impact. In the characters’ internal arcs, the title—the name for a stellar explosion—comes fully into perspective.
  17. Glass has set herself a high bar to clear in one’s first feature: tackling hard-to-film ideas about faith, psychic trauma, and mental illness. Yet rather than seeming abstract or preachy, Saint Maud is visceral, sensuous, and tactile.
  18. Malcolm & Marie is certainly stylish, shot entirely in black and white, with its leads in fancy clothes for a good portion of its runtime, but its aesthetic virtues are suffocated by all of its screenwriter’s hot air.
  19. Hathaway and Ejiofor seem excited to play edgier, less nice people than they often get the chance to, and the early scenes of them locking horns in their claustrophobic (if posh) flat generate enough energy to carry the movie almost all the way over the finish line.
  20. Thoughtfully directed, vividly written, and beautifully acted, it’s a hopeful film, universally appealing despite—or perhaps because of—just how very Korean American it is.
  21. Like every Pixar movie, it’s entertaining, sharp, and visually inventive. But it lacks the thunderbolts of creativity that make the company’s best philosophical inquiries so electrifying. It never quite finds its spark.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a meditation on life and a touching ensemble picture, smuggled in by Streep’s star power and Soderbergh’s constant quest for innovation.
  22. Fern’s need for constant movement, McDormand implies in a performance of extraordinary depth and ambiguity, is both a search for something and an escape from something else, and not even she seems completely sure what either something is.
  23. For all the familiar joys and comforts this holiday movie provides—maximally decorated homes, Christmas carols, a slapstick scene at a skating rink—its commentary on the agony of living in the closet, or loving someone who is, stakes out some entirely new territory.
  24. This isn’t just a hand-drawn animated feature. It’s a movie that wants you to know it was made by hand.
  25. The Borat sequel’s best moments are when it turns from mockumentary to straight-up doc, finding Americans who look past Borat’s bushy mustache and try to connect with the human behind it.
  26. Glossy, handsomely mounted, with ample footage of mist-swathed Cornish cliffs, this adaptation is all still waters and no depth.
  27. It advances no cutting-edge ideas and pushes no cinematic boundaries. But watching it at a moment when the majority of the population is moving leftward while our institutions are held hostage by a far-right minority — and when police violence continues, unchecked and unprosecuted, in the streets — provides the vicarious pleasure of watching a bunch of hyperarticulate progressives speak truth to power, and it feels pretty damn good, even if they do all talk a lot like Aaron Sorkin.
  28. The result is a movie that’s sad, but not at all unbearable — in fact, that’s oddly inspiring.

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