Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,914 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 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Fantastic Mr. Fox
Lowest review score: 0 Domino
Score distribution:
1914 movie reviews
  1. She Dies Tomorrow is a movie you could watch several times before you understand it. (After two viewings, I feel like I’ve barely cracked the surface.) But there’s something magnetic at its core that makes you want to return.
  2. Just let Charlize Theron kick some ass, and leave the thornier moral questions for the sequel.
  3. Irresistible might be a movie for the moment before or the moment after, but it feels entirely out of step with the one it’s in.
  4. It has a loping, lowkey charm and doesn’t require too much of your attention, and the plot is predictable enough that you could miss substantial chunks of it and not lose your way. You’re in the passenger seat, and it’s a nice ride as long as you don’t care where you’re going.
  5. It’s largely a showcase for two commanding performances from Moss and Stuhlbarg. Stuhlbarg might just have the edge.
  6. Every scene has been staged and shot with intelligence, intent, inventiveness, and a sense of play. To watch it is to get excited about the billions of different ways you can combine sound and moving images to tell a story.
  7. In typical Jonze fashion, the film is loose and anarchic yet deceptively well-controlled, its fourth wall always in varying states of permeability.
  8. Trolls World Tour was made to play in theaters that can’t open, celebrating a kind of performance that’s on indefinite hold. All I could feel watching its climax was how much I miss that feeling of being together in the dark, and how long it’ll be before it feels safe to do it again.
  9. The biggest problem with The Hunt is its phenomenally lazy script, which is by Damon Lindelof and his frequent collaborator Nick Cuse. (Booting the movie into the next year prevented Lindelof, who created HBO’s Watchmen, from having his name on one of 2019’s smartest entertainments and one of its dumbest.)
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Even in a film so sumptuous, with such tender performances, Eve manages to distinguish herself. It’s the kind of turn in a film that could lead the way to a long-lasting career — if not for Eve, then for others like her. “She is here, ready for her next big project,” Henry says. “I don’t think people consider cows as leading characters, but that may change after this movie.”
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s an inspired and nasty movie about domestic abuse and its aftermath that is also perverse fun, a dynamic sure to raise some eyebrows — but for our purposes here, just know that it’s far from kid stuff.
  10. Wendy recognizably reflects Zeitlin’s vision; it’s less a follow-up to "Beasts" than a kind of echo of it. The mistakes the movie makes, and the ways it fails to fulfill its predecessor’s promise, make me want to say something critics rarely express: I wish that the studio had meddled a little bit more.
  11. Once Were Brothers could have been a peacemaking gesture, a magnanimous work of reflection and tribute that would gather Robertson some belated goodwill, and the film’s first half makes some moves in that direction. But damned if that hatchet just won’t stay buried.
  12. It’s just a deeply misguided mode of franchise-building.
  13. Birds of Prey often leaves you puttering around the edges, being grateful for its modest achievements: fight scenes that are, if not exciting, at least coherently staged, and Robbie’s comic timing, which is so often sharper than the lines she has to deliver.
  14. A documentary about one of the most mediated, image-conscious people on the planet sounds like an oxymoron, and though director Lana Wilson is no hagiographer, Miss Americana is hardly warts-and-all.
  15. It’s 80-year-old Ian McKellen who can best answer that last question, having the most fun of anyone as Gus the Theater Cat, lapping out of saucers and rubbing up against corners like the true thespian he is. And really, for all its flaws, what more could you possibly ask for from Cats?
  16. It’s frenzied, briefly infuriating, and eventually, grudgingly, satisfying, but it’s like being force-fed fandom: Your belly is filled, but there’s no pleasure in the meal.
  17. 1917 doesn’t solve the problem that was posed 100 years ago by the historical convergence of modern warfare and modern image-making technology. No movie can provide a final answer to the question of what it means to film a war. But Mendes’ stunningly crafted entry in the genre will now become a part of a long history of imperfect representations of that unrepresentable conflict.
  18. The needless cruelty of the criminal justice system feels like a world begging for more sense-making, but Just Mercy only sees its characters as heroes, victims, or obstacles, not as rational beings who might have their own reasons to knowingly commit terrible acts. Cretton’s desire to focus tightly on McMillian’s case makes sense, but he accidentally makes the white malefactors in the town more fascinating for their villainy.
  19. There’s something to admire in the pedal-to-the-metal commitment of their project, and certainly Uncut Gems is the product of an uncompromising vision. But I found the result to be claustrophobic and, finally, dull, with scene after scene that hammers home the same point we understood from the very beginning: that Howard is a lost soul, fated to run both his business and personal life into the ground.
  20. More diverting is the increasingly desperate forensics the FBI resorts to in order to build a case against Jewell, though it’s not always clear which tactics are simply thorough, now outdated, or flagrantly illegal. But Richard Jewell has so little to say about its time period or how the culture has shifted that it ends up exposing the relative quaintness of its concerns.
  21. Whatever beliefs they may hold about other people’s humanity, I’m glad these women finally received justice from the network that wronged them. I’m just not sure that translates into wanting to spend two hours in their company.
  22. A big step up in scale for a writer-director who got her start in the freewheeling world of low-budget indies. Seeing her pull off a grand period drama with such confidence, humor, and style leaves you with a sensation not unlike what Jo March must be feeling in the film’s final scene, as she watches while her first book is printed, sewn, and bound, a tiny smile playing on her lips. I can’t believe it’s all finally happening, her face seems to say. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
  23. Just like the short time the lovers have together, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is minimal but perfect, without an image, a glance, or a brushstroke to spare.
  24. As the dress floats above the couple while they sleep at night, fluttering in its indestructible refinement and invincible otherworldliness, one starts to wonder: Doesn’t the dress deserve to kill better people? Reg and Babs aren’t hateful, exactly, but their pathetic drabness make a case that the dress is getting the raw end of the deal.
  25. See The Two Popes for its fine performances, but don’t be tempted by its naïveté.
  26. There’s a particular thrill when all of a film’s many story elements — here, so dense with symbolism — come together with such thematic and emotional vigor. That intensity pairs exquisitely with the tenderness the film never wants to lose sight of.
  27. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is no biopic but a very narrowly cast reimagining of one specific relationship late in the life of a noted person.
  28. Frozen 2 doesn’t have its forebear’s ungainliness; in many ways, it’s more efficiently engineered. But it’s also far less surprising, even taking into account that a sequel’s first task is to give people what they expect.

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