Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,798 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 Drag Me to Hell
Lowest review score: 0 15 Minutes
Score distribution:
1798 movie reviews
  1. As grim as the above might sound, it’s also a spry, funny, moving film that never heads in the direction in which it looks like it’s about to head, kind of like its protagonist.
  2. This 21st-century installment of the Mary Poppins story depends perhaps a bit too much on our lasting goodwill for the first one. But it also provides enough pleasure on its own to leave us hoping it won’t be 54 years until that familiar prim figure makes her next appearance through an opening in the clouds.
  3. A movie so lifeless you’d have more fun guessing the Netflix niche group that the production is supposed to satisfy.
  4. After a solid decade of Marvel movies modeled on the same template, it’s a thrill to watch one that’s allowed to find its own rhythms, to play with form and content without contorting the plot to fit in a minor character who might become important five movies from now.
  5. The depiction isn’t remotely believable, but with Ronan endowing her character with both a steel spine and a fresh-faced naïveté (in a performance that makes her the film’s sole great asset), it’s fun, even inspiring.
  6. In the movies, love is cheap. It’s everywhere and nowhere, too often reduced to a formula or a reward. Beale Street knows better. It restores to love, romantic and familial, its sanctity—an ambition that makes it one of the most distinctive love stories in recent memory.
  7. For all its gentle groundedness, a quality that suffuses much of Kore-eda’s work, Shoplifters strenuously resists romanticizing its main characters. Its compassion is more convincing for it. So is its brilliance.
  8. Though I found plenty in this film to admire, most notably a towering lead performance from Olivia Colman as the appetite-driven queen, I also confess to finding The Favourite, which runs only one minute over two hours, something of a long sit.
  9. Roma is hypnotic and transporting and sublime, everything a movie seen on the big screen ought to be.
  10. There’s something unseemly about singling out this story, about the seemingly narrow scope of racism and how easily it can be undone. Green Book decries those cultural pockets designed to make white people feel good, often at people of color’s expense. But that’s about all it does, too.
  11. Coogler’s Creed interrogated the Rocky series, including the great-white-hope subtext of the originals, from the ground up, but Creed II just skims along the surface.
  12. Ralph Breaks the Internet is crammed with Easter eggs and fine details.
  13. Cam
    The wonderfully versatile Brewer, who’s in virtually every scene, pulls off essentially three “characters”: Alice, Alice as Lola, and Bizarro Lola. It’s a bravura performance that flits between several realities while keeping the film grounded as the plot twists make narrative leap after narrative leap.
  14. Congratulations to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald for being the first flat-out terrible product of the Harry Potter expanded universe. The first two movies were not good movies, but no matter how sludgy and overlong Chris Columbus made them, they were salvaged by the truly magical origin stories they told.
  15. McQueen has created a tense and satisfying action drama with a decidedly feminist bent.
  16. For Alvarez, Lisbeth Salander is an icon first and last, which is to say she never feels like an actual person. Here, she’s just a Goth version of James Bond, and if this is Alvarez’s audition for the next Bond movie, then give him the job — he’s exactly the kind of director with style to burn and not too many ideas who you wouldn’t mind seeing donate two years of his career to an aging franchise.
  17. In its best scenes, this portmanteau of jauntily morbid fireside tales also offers a streak of something else, like the underground vein of gold that Tom Waits’ prospector patiently seeks: the small human moments of surprise, delight, and connection that lie somewhere between the first page of each life’s story and the last.
  18. The Other Side of the Wind is a mess about messes, pretension about pretension, an exhausted movie about artistic exhaustion. And, eerily, it’s a movie about a director who dies too soon and is survived by his own unfinished work. Whether it’s great is almost beside the point. That it exists is astonishment enough.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Still, to me, Boy Erased feels mostly honorable and fit for its mantle. Whether a great movie about the gravity of gay conversion might ever be made is a trickier, and for now still unanswered, question.
  19. The Nutcracker’s onslaught of wholesomeness also lays waste to anything that might stand in its way, leaving it crushed under the boot heels of its tin soldiers.
  20. What was it trying to do? Did it succeed on its own terms? Why did I find myself admiring nearly every external element of the film — performances, lighting, editing, costuming — and yet find Guadagnino’s extremely aesthetically pleasing assemblage of these same elements into a whole somehow drab?
  21. One of the things I loved about Can You Ever Forgive Me?—aside from the radiantly perfect casting of McCarthy and Grant, a Withnail and I–esque pair of drinking buddies, except this time they’re both asocial, hilarious Withnails—was Heller’s quiet confidence in establishing the milieu where all this typing and lying took place.
  22. As Burning unfolds, it reveals new thematic layers until the film brims with allegorical potential.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    If Bohemian Rhapsody’s superficial gloss on the band’s rise sometimes feels like a useful feature, the hackneyed way it treats Mercury’s life and fall is close to fatal. And after you leave the theater, you may find that first part isn’t such an asset after all.
  23. It certainly doesn’t work in Mid90s’ favor that it is the third movie released in the past two months to focus on an outsider with a turbulent home life seeking out community in the world of skateboarding. Even without the unflinching documentary "Minding the Gap" and the sure-handed docufiction "Skate Kitchen," Mid90s would feel phony, but the former’s understated and thoughtful treatment of its protagonists’ real-life tragedies contrasts sharply with Hill’s attempts to wring pathos from his manufactured ones. Next to them, Mid90s just looks like a poser.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.

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