Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,773 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 0.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Fruitvale Station
Lowest review score: 0 The Love Guru
Score distribution:
1773 movie reviews
  1. Wildlife is a confident and compassionate first film. But with its protagonist mostly relegated to waiting and observing, its main raison d’être is Mulligan’s masterful turn as a thirtysomething woman coldly testing her abilities to see what she’s capable of, while terrified that she won’t be able to provide a good life for her son.
  2. The lack of a precipitating factor, the invisible impulses behind addiction, and the episodic nature of recovery don’t exactly lend themselves to a compelling narrative structure.
  3. First Man doesn’t display a lot of interest in Neil’s social world. Chazelle, like his hero, sometimes seems to be just biding time until he can get back into one of those claustrophobic space modules and feel gravity slipping away.
  4. The movie’s most profound performance isn’t Stenberg’s, although their emotional lucidity makes them a good proxy for its intended young adult audience, but Hornsby’s, as a father fighting to prepare his children for a world in which the people who are supposed to protect them can be a profound threat.
  5. Until its resolution, Bad Times is a fun-enough romp through retro genre pleasures. But when it drags in the real world in its final scenes, it reveals itself to be just as fatuous as most such nostalgic pastiches tend to be.
  6. It’s such a welcome sensation to walk out of a movie feeling properly walloped, reminded of the potential power of the big screen to seduce us, entertain us, and break our hearts.
  7. Venom wants to be something different, an off-kilter dark comedy whose protagonist doesn’t need to be cleaned up so he can fight alongside Iron Man someday. But it’s also terrified to step out of line, and the stench of fear overwhelms whatever wisps of fresh air have sneaked through the cracks in the doorway.
  8. Private Life is certainly very good at shivving its characters at close range and gutting these dyspeptic, privileged white people when they deserve it. Save for Sadie’s charmed fate, I can’t fault Private Life for nailing what it sets out to accomplish. But its cultural narrowness, however well-expounded, also left me wondering about the trials and tribulations of all the other couples in that waiting room long after we’d seen the last of them.
  9. You walk out of this uneven but soulful movie with a smile on your face, maybe because that’s the default expression of Forrest Tucker, a man who practices grand theft with the stubborn passion of an aged master painter unwilling to put down his brush.
  10. Al-Mansour is both a natural and highly imperfect pick to adapt Trisha R. Thomas’ novel.
  11. The second hour, though, strides toward its impressively unstinting resolution with magisterial confidence. With the characters finally stripped of the hardness they’d been forced to wear, their raw selves glisten in the sun until it’s time to wearily tie the carapace back on.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result, like much of Radner’s comedy, is entertaining, appealing, and more soft-centered than challenging or acerbic.
  12. Roth and screenwriter Eric Kripke’s adaptation of The House With a Clock in its Walls is a bullseye, perfectly balanced between funny and scary.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The script, co-written by director Wash Westmoreland; his late husband, Richard Glatzer; and Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Disobedience), is fun, delightfully sharp, and at times surprisingly tender.
  13. The commitment of its all-star cast — which includes Oscar Isaac, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Wilde, Olivia Cooke, and Samuel L. Jackson — can’t divert from the fact that its quills droop and sag, where they haven’t fallen off altogether. Behold the other North American flightless turkey.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Weitz, meanwhile, can’t decide whether the movie should be a political thriller, a relationship drama, or something else entirely, as the actors trudge through expository dialogue with the directness of opera lyrics but without any of the emotion behind them.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Through sheer force of weird meta gags and explosive viscera — they might have made the most fun movie in the franchise.
  14. If her films so far have ranged from very good to great, The Land of Steady Habits exists somewhere at the low end of that continuum. But that still makes it a very good movie, full of sharp dialogue and lacerating insight about the haute-suburban milieu that the script both skewers and struggles to understand.
  15. A Simple Favor reintroduces Lively as a character actress—a sexy, funny, award-worthy revelation.
  16. Moore’s overarching points hit home with such force that sweating the details would be like picking fleas off a charging grizzly.
  17. There’s a striking similarity in how American Dharma and "Fahrenheit 11/9" end, with the confident prediction that a revolution is coming, if it is not already here. Moore and Bannon are talking about opposite insurgencies, but they both see a country on the verge of explosion. Moore wants to light a match, and Morris wants to snuff one out.
  18. It’s an enjoyable and intermittently revelatory documentary that does a fine job of celebrating its subject’s accomplishments while never quite achieving the degree of intimacy that it strives for and occasionally pretends to achieve.
  19. Greene lets the contemporary resonances reveal themselves by implication rather than thrusting them upon us.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As cuddly as this may sound, the documentary is unexpectedly suspenseful, even intense.
  20. A joyless, soulless slog, wasting the efforts of co-stars Melissa McCarthy and Elizabeth Banks.
  21. It’s a movie whose minor characters are cleanly etched without resorting to types, so richly detailed that you can imagine them living full lives off-screen, yet it reminds you that one of the virtues of movies is, or at least can be, their conciseness.
  22. If Searching prefers to focus on plot mechanics over emotion, it at least makes up for it with minor but significant developments in Asian American representation. Given the predominance of the cultural and generational gap between parents and children in Asian American narratives, from "The Joy Luck Club" to "Master of None," it’s refreshing to see an example of assimilated families, whose numbers will only continue to increase.
  23. First-time feature writer Sofia Alvarez’s attempt to shrink Han’s lengthy, largely internal, and culturally specific story into a 97-minute movie is, simply put, a botch job. Stilted and scattered and strangely cold in its cinematography, it’s a handsomely shot whole lotta nothin’.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The fact that Jonah is so young means the writers’ hands are partially tied when it comes time to land that final gut-punch, and the effect is to leave the film feeling somewhat unfinished. But maybe that’s part of the point — to depict a young life in which, for better or for worse, it’s unclear what comes next.
  24. BlacKkKlansman may well be the first film to frame the Trump era as one of regression in response to the progress of the Obama years.

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