Blog Profile / Slate: Movies

Filed Under:Entertainment / Film
Posts on Regator:389
Posts / Week:0.9
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

The Babadook

The Babadook, the first feature film written and directed by the Australian actress Jennifer Kent, is an example of my favorite kind of monster movie: one in which at every moment the monster is both internally and externally real. An...Show More Summary

Code Unbroken

The true life story of Alan Turing is much stranger, sadder and more troubling than the version of it on view in The Imitation Game, Morton Tyldum’s handsome but overlaundered biopic. Turing was the British mathematician and cryptanalyst...Show More Summary

Love Among the Ruins

The contradiction at the heart of the Hunger Games stories is on full display in Mockingjay Part I, the third chapter of the movie tetralogy based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novels. The series chronicles a horribly destructiveShow More Summary

The Ballad of Kaz and Noni

Beyond the Lights, writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s show-business romance about the slowly blossoming affair between an ascendant pop star and a down-to-earth L.A. cop, is as shamelessly soapy as movies come—but I challenge you not to slip on the soap bubbles and fall right in to this movie’s invigorating bath. Show More Summary

Ornithologist, Philatelist, Philanthropist, Creep

Ever since Charles Foster Kane dropped his snow globe, movies about rich men isolated, warped, and sometimes driven mad by their own wealth and power have served as a way for American filmmakers to tell larger stories about the ideology that creates such monsters. Show More Summary

The Jon Stewart Movie

In some pristine utopia of critical evenhandedness, I suppose it would be possible to write about Rosewater without first writing about Jon Stewart. But we live in the grubby, unjust real world, where the first-time writer/director of...Show More Summary

Marvel’s Coming for Your Kids

It’s been a good year at the movies for large, benevolent, goofy nonhuman sidekicks. There was Guardians of the Galaxy’s lovable plant-man Groot, Interstellar’s selfless space robot TARS, and now Baymax, the marshmallowlike inflatable...Show More Summary

Cosmic Relief

The Theory of Everything is the perfect title for James Marsh’s winning biopic of the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking—and not only because it’s also the title of one of Hawking’s many best-selling books, a collection of Cambridge...Show More Summary

The Self-Made Monster

Louis Bloom, the L.A. thief-turned-news-videographer played by a gaunt Jake Gyllenhaal in writer-director Dan Gilroy’s debut feature Nightcrawler, is one of those characters who’s somehow the wrong size for the movie that surrounds him. Show More Summary

Visionary Hokum

Anyone bemoaning the dearth of original scripts in a movie marketplace dominated by adaptations, remakes, and sequels should in theory be thrilled by Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a sprawling metaphysical science-fiction epic that’s nothing if not original. Show More Summary

Broken Glasses

In my brief career as Slate’s 3-D-movie correspondent, I’ve endured all manner of pop-up flotsam: shark’s teeth and human eyeballs, Grace Kelly’s outstretched hand and Jerry O’Connell’s severed penis. But I’ve just seen the most effective 3-D gimmick ever made, and it isn’t exploitation schlock, or not exactly that. Show More Summary

Force Majeure

Disaster movies usually adhere to a strictly prescribed formula: Introduce a large cast of sympathetic characters up front, then, after three acts of buildup and foreshadowing, kill the majority of them off in a grandly staged climactic catastrophe, while a few hardy souls struggle heroically to survive. Show More Summary

John Wick

Ever since the end of the Matrix trilogy, there’s been something vaguely morose about Keanu Reeves. The actor has always seemed a little lost—something his best movies have capitalized on—but now there’s an aura of melancholy about him,...Show More Summary

Philip, Stark

Listen Up Philip, the third feature from writer/director Alex Ross Perry (The Color Wheel), may be this year’s most unpleasant movie I’ve nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed. The film’s antihero, a self-absorbed schmuck of a novelist named...Show More Summary

Dear Dear White People

Dear White People: It’s rare for a film’s title to announce so plainly both its targeted audience and modus operandi, and in such few words. Then again, it’s not often that a debut feature that isn’t a documentary has such an unmistakable...Show More Summary


Alejandro González Iñárritu’s pitch-dark backstage comedy Birdman opens on an arresting image: a man in a dressing room, seated in the lotus position in his underwear, appearing to hover in midair. Is this a magic being capable of defying...Show More Summary


At first sight, Damien Chazelle’s second feature, Whiplash, appears to be a movie about jazz drumming. Beginning with the kinetic opening shot—in which the camera travels down a dark conservatory hallway to home in on a lone young man...Show More Summary

Gone Girl

David Fincher’s Gone Girl presents a succession of shimmering surfaces, each more seductive and opaque than the last. That’s not the only way in which this film (adapted by Gillian Flynn from her own best-selling novel) could be said to resemble its title character, the mysteriously missing Amy Elliott Dunne (Rosamund Pike). Show More Summary

The Boxtrolls

I wanted with every fiber of my being to love The Boxtrolls. The animation studio that made it, Portland’s Laika, stands for everything I value in contemporary animation: smart, subversive stories that neither condescend to children nor winkingly pander to adults. Show More Summary

The Guest and Fort Bliss

The figure of the returning veteran has been a constant in human storytelling since Odysseus took the long way home from Troy. When someone comes back from fighting in a war, what does he (or, as is more likely to be true now than at...Show More Summary

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