Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,969 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 Wolfwalkers
Lowest review score: 0 Domino
Score distribution:
1969 movie reviews
  1. The French Dispatch is a movie made with such deliberate, patient skill, and such brio, that its meandering structure and oddly low emotional temperature come off as intentional choices rather than errors of artistic judgment. Even if it’s not my favorite flavor of Wes Anderson licorice, nothing is there by accident.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even viewed on a small screen at home, I found it rapturous. I can only imagine what it’s like in a theater. All of which makes it exactly the kind of documentary that fulfills Eno’s dictum, the sort that after you encounter it, makes you want to go out and create art yourself.
  2. If Affleck and Driver at times appear to be on loan from a different, dopier movie, possibly one involving Monty Python, they both have such a cape-swooshing, mustache-twirling good time that it’s hard to blame them for going all in on their characters’ villainy.
  3. Once you can get past this movie’s reliance on the audience bringing in a prior store of knowledge about, and queasy affection for, its troubled characters, The Many Saints of Newark is a worthy companion to the series and a fascinating watch in itself.
  4. The movie can’t compete with the Missions: Impossible and Fast and Furiouses for visual spectacle, so what it offers by way of compensatory heft is a tangled plot full of double-crosses and hidden identities, combined with a ponderous gait that suggests that more than the mere world is at stake.
  5. The movie seems to love its main character without bothering to understand her.
  6. If you’ve ever watched a slasher movie and rooted for the killer, you’re ready for Dashcam, a found-footage horror movie whose COVID-denying protagonist is the scariest thing about it.
  7. Kate gestures at being different, something fresh and subversive, but at the end of the day, it’s just reheating old clichés.
  8. The first hour of Candyman does a bang-up job of mixing such audience-teasing popcorn thrills with trenchant, if sometimes too flatly stated, social critique. But by the last half-hour, there are so many themes, plotlines, and flashbacks in play that the movie’s message becomes muddled, and the forward momentum slows.
  9. If you sometimes go to the movies to feel unsettled, perplexed, and amused—not to mention get a peek at an often-shirtless and always-brooding Adam Driver—Annette might be the weird one you’ve been waiting for.
  10. In other words, while it might not return with previously unseen treasures, what it does rummage up pairs perfectly with a large bucket of popcorn and a slushy drink.
  11. A New Legacy is much slicker and more appealing than the original Space Jam, in no small part because James is approximately 50 times the actor Jordan is. But it’s also because corporations handing a bag of unrelated IP and ordering screenwriters to come up with a story around them is the template for most studio filmmaking now, if not all of contemporary existence.
  12. Pig
    Pig is a small film with a few big surprises executed very well, and well worth going into as blind as possible.
  13. Roadrunner is never less than fascinating to watch, but it is far from perfect.
  14. One of the best things about Summer of Soul is its reminder that the joy of musical community is one of the great human experiences, a unifying truth in more ways than one.
  15. The whole thing vanishes pretty quickly from memory once it’s over. But for that hour and a half of fluid, kinetic filmmaking, you are putty in the hands of Steven Soderbergh, a reliably pleasurable place to be.
  16. The movie is at its best when it can revel in inventiveness, scrappiness, and camaraderie, and you feel the “We’re coming together! We’re beating the Big Bad!” vibes run through you.
  17. Black Widow is too long, too loud, preposterously overplotted, and slightly headache-inducing—all arguably features and not bugs when it comes to big tentpole blockbusters. But walking out of it I felt like summer had finally—finally!—begun
  18. Like the thread it’s based on, it’s easy to rush through, even if does visit some darker places. It’s only if you pause for a moment, and linger on it, that you might wish there were more.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.

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