Jim Slotek

Jim Slotek
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
89% To Dust (2019) With a mix of dark humour, heartbreak, and religious soul-searching, director/co-writer Shawn Snyder submits an unusually thoughtful rumination on death, the significance of our remains and how we should live life. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
B 96% Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2019) Though the quirk and contrivance is ladled on a little thick at times, Woman at War is a surprisingly crowd-pleasing film considering its subject matter. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
100% Ghost Town Anthology (2019) Denis Côté's "walking dead" movie presents a metaphor so literal even squirrels could keep up but it is nevertheless affecting and watchable. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
B-plus No Score Yet Invisible Essence: The Little Prince (2018) The Little Prince is a dark allegory about humans, the ridiculous extent of our selfishness versus our capacity for good. And as Officer discovers when he takes his show on the road, children have no trouble absorbing its message. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
C 54% Greta (2019) Neil Jordan makes a cheesy stalker movie that takes its cue from much better this-person's-crazy predecessors like Single White Female, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and of course, Fatal Attraction. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
A 99% Apollo 11 (2019) As amazing when Earthbound as it is in space. We see crowded motel balconies, a man sipping beer and staring at the Saturn V in the distance. In the Florida heat, we see beads of sweat meander down onlookers' faces. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
C 86% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) The pieces are there from the original, but somehow the finished project seems less fun, like a corporate obligation fulfilled. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
B 45% The Prodigy (2019) The "demon child" plot is familiar, but credit director Nicholas McCarthy for understanding the "beats" of horror, relying more on suspense and anticipation than violence. The Prodigy is a scary story, effectively told. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
C-plus 70% Cold Pursuit (2019) There's a kind of wannabe-hip quality to it all, but by the end, we've been so hammered by quirk (and numbed by bloody deaths) that we've forgotten what motivated this glib daisy-chain of revenge in the first place. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
B-plus 90% The Last Resort (2018) Both a modern cultural history of the confounding should-be-paradise that is Miami Beach, and a loving bio of a young, short-lived photographer who froze one of its moments in time. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
C 37% Glass (2019) Shyamalan has lots to say about superheroes and has waited a long time to say it... an unfocused film with so much expositional dialogue in place of action, it's sometimes more of a lecture than a thriller. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
B-plus 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) Those expecting Laurel & Hardy style laughs will be disappointed, obviously, given the movie's comedy-lions-in-winter theme. But this thoughtful portrait of a showbiz "marriage" rings touchingly true. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
B 89% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) A contemporary Arabic-language Oliver Twist, Capernaum is a movie with a surfeit of tragedy and plot-points, worthy of a miniseries, squeezed into a two-hour sausage of misery. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
B-minus 94% Lifechanger (2018) McConnell's story gives us a constant sense of danger - either to potential victims or to the skin-walker itself, making Lifechanger a tense experience with minimal effects and maximum mood. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
B 93% Bumblebee (2018) Lighter, tighter, and as much a Mean Girls/Iron Giant mashup as it is a Transformers movie. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
B 65% Aquaman (2018) A big dumb acid-trip of a super-hero movie - relentless, noisy, entertaining nonsense, with trippy sight gags like a drum-playing octopus and a wedding dress made of jellyfish. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
C-plus 71% SuperGrid (2018) A lower-key Road Warrior. While no one would confuse the many highway fire-fights and head-shot kills with the big-budget carnage in a tent-pole action feature, director Dean moves it along with the requisite urgency and noise. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
A 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) I may be at a point with super-hero movies where I only enjoy the ones that ridicule the genre. Into the Spider-Verse has a lot of fun deflating, "the canon." - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
C-plus 95% Blaze (2018) People who knew him said he gave off so much menace, he scared bikers. This is a film about a big drunk lovable, doomed song-writing Teddy bear who happens to be named Blaze Foley. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
B-minus 67% The Go-Getters (2018) Determined as it is to offend, there's every reason to hate The Go-Getters and everybody in it. And yet, once you've absorbed their collective horribleness, the characters start to grow on you. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
B-plus 100% Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz (2018) Avrich basically points the camera and listens to a hero from an era when we still had heroes. Hanging over the entire film, but barely addressed, is that these aren't the best days to be asking the best of humanity. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
A 99% Tea With the Dames (Nothing Like a Dame) (2018) Hard to imagine a lovelier fly-on-the-wall experience, a wickedly-hilarious piece of oral stage history with a glimpse of the chemistry that bonds these four women, friends since they were barely more than precocious schoolgirls. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
B 50% Clara (2018) Kind of what you'd get if you crossed Carl Sagan's Contact with Erich Segal's Love Story. A sophisticated story that wears its heart on its sleeve. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
B 79% At Eternity's Gate (2018) A languid film, At Eternity's Gate doesn't take us anywhere we don't already know we're going. It's more a contemplation, although often an achingly beautiful one. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
B-plus 88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Ralph Breaks the Internet is everything that made Wreck-It Ralph enjoyable, painted on a canvas as big as the Internet itself. The satire is sharp and the pace is relentless. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
C 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Remember how George Lucas wrote a Star Wars movie about trade disputes? Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is mostly about genealogy. Because kids love genealogy. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
A-minus 78% Green Book (2018) Not the deepest dive into the subject of racism, but a funny and touching depiction of an unlikely friendship, forged in a car. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
D 36% Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) Live and let this thing die already. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
A-minus 100% Sharkwater Extinction (2019) Sharkwater Extinction takes the shark slaughter beyond Chinese soup and into outrageous 60 Minutes or Vice territory, with human and pet food and even cosmetics found to have undeclared, and toxic, shark ingredients. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
C-plus 61% The Oath (2018) The Oath is (at first) a scarily realistic and darkly funny depiction of the political argument feedback loop that rips some families apart. But the violent last act allows Barinholtz to slip away without an idea for leaving that loop. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
79% Halloween (2018) This mighty reboot steered by Blumhouse Productions captures everything that made the original great while adding multiple winning contemporary layers. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
B 89% Studio 54 (2018) If there's a weakness to the doc, it's that it has a documentary budget, and must make do with a second-tier disco soundtrack, which does a poorer job of capturing the aural atmosphere of the Me Decade's ultimate shrine. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2018
B 85% Knuckleball (2018) "Director Michael Peterson hop-scotches genres nicely following his 2011 LARPing comedy Lloyd The Conqueror, constructing a set-piece as reminiscent of The Shining as of Macaulay Culkin stopping bad guys with marbles." - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
C 20% Bigger (2018) After an hour of being a film you endure rather than enjoy, the character of Arnold enters Bigger, played by Australian body-builder/actor Calum Von Moger, and he is a revelation. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
C 29% Venom (2018) The scariest thing about Venom, the new screen iteration of Marvel's alien mostly-villainous symbiote character of Spider-Man fame - is that the movie would be 40 minutes longer if Tom Hardy had his way. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
B 71% Hold the Dark (2018) Considering the (pardon the expression) glacial pace of much of the lead-up, Hold the Dark's eruption into massacre-level violence is jarring. Once it takes hold, it is relentless and grueling. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
B-minus 73% Assassination Nation (2018) As social satire, it's empty calories. But this over-the-top "slut-shaming"-revenge movie is stylish exploitation, like an expertly done YouTube video whose choppiness is its charm. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
B-minus 32% The Predator (2018) Shane Black brings a glib, often outright comic touch that turns the latest interaction between humans and dreads-wearing alien big-game hunters, into a bloody romp - as inappropriate as that sounds (and often is). - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
B-plus 88% Colette (2018) Knightley winningly portrays the arc of a fighter. Colette is ultimately a feminist tale, but never one that wallows in self-pity or seriousness. It is also carried along lightly by a script with a streak of wit . - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
100% Skin (2019) The real scene-stealer in this violent, well-paced movie is Vera Farmiga as "Mom," the matriarch of the racist-skinhead family, who wields soft-power maternal love and affection for her "lost boys" almost diabolically. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
82% Ever After (Endzeit) (2018) A fresh, beautifully filmed take on the zombie genre from director Hellsgård, adapted from the comic by Olivia Vieweg (who also wrote the script), with women in every key role, both in front of and behind the camera. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
86% Let Me Fall (2018) Baldvin Z abandons all quirk with this straight-ahead tragedy about a teen girl who lets go of conventional life with both hands. Her drug-fueled arc from person to societal object is gritty and believable. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
A 90% ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch (2018) Stunningly, even hypnotically shot - from the world's largest landfill in Kenya, to the most polluted city in Russia (Norilsk, Siberia) to tons of tusks representing 10,000 dead elephants. A hard doc to walk away from unaffected. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
C-minus 26% The Nun (2018) Inadvertently the funniest nun movie since Sister Act. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
B-minus 50% Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle (2017) Believable or subtle, Tulipani is not. But even with its narrative contortions, it is good-hearted and unembarrassed to wield ridiculousness (an explosive fart joke), clichés and anything else it can muster to win over an audience - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
B-minus 65% The Little Stranger (2018) A kind of gothic, ghostly mash-up of Downton Abbey and Grey Gardens, The Little Stranger is as mannered, tattered and morose as that marriage of premises suggests. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
B 90% Trench 11 (2017) It's a zombie film, it's a WWI film, it's a science-run-amok film. But mostly it's a claustrophobic thriller about Allied soldiers fleeing a bunker with the ravenous infected below and kill-happy Germans above - 90 gripping minutes of literal escapism. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
B 83% Cardinals (2017) McCarthy's performance literally IS the film. In a script that clues the audience in on a need-to-know basis, she communicates waves of quiet dignity, pain, love, self-sacrifice and resignation. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2018
A 97% 1945 (2017) As powerful a fable about the relentless thrall of guilt as has ever been put to the screen. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2018
B-minus 52% Papillon (2018) There is no way a competent director could tell this story without its compelling events shining through. It's no slight to Hunnam and Malek to say they don't carry the wattage of McQueen and Hoffman, but they carry the story. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018