Jim Slotek

Jim Slotek
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
C-plus 60% The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir (2019) A French, Indian, Belgian co-production, a French-Canadian director, with random elements of Bollywood, Western musicals and unlikely episodic plot contrivances, it's made to please everybody with inoffensive results. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
C-minus 23% Men in Black International (2019) A creativity vacuum, contracts fulfilled, nearly two hours, part of which can be filled by debating in one's head whether this or Hellboy was the bigger waste-of-time narcoleptic reboot in an underwhelming summer. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
C-plus 44% The Tomorrow Man (2019) The film labours under the double task of presenting a believable seniors' romance and humanizing a species of online hominid many of us encounter and dislike in our daily lives. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
B-plus 89% Framing John DeLorean (2019) Effectively a 110-minute plea for someone to make a movie about John DeLorean. Somehow this odd doc works, and tells a story others have tried to tell and failed. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
B-minus No Score Yet Sorry for Your Loss (2018) No surprise that director Friesen is a sometime story editor on Schitt's Creek (a show I love), with characters who are basically the sum of their neuroses. But a series has time to develop characters. Ninety minutes here seems rushed. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
C-plus 40% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) When a movie has you squinting at a dark IMAX screen for two hours-plus like a Battle of Winterfell with behemoths, I'm thinking, "It's 2019, folks. Can we lighten up?" And I mean that in more ways than one. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
C+ No Score Yet Ordinary Days (2017) ...it seems like a Seven Stages of Concern movie for parents of missing offspring...the three segments (from three directors), though quite watchable on their own, are stylistically and narratively incompatible. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
C-plus 61% ANIARA (2019) For a film that's about decades of interstellar aimlessness, Aniara seems hopelessly rushed and superficial. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
B-plus 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Stahelski and Reeves have taken the fluid action of the series to a point of "how are they going to top that last insane thing they did?" And there's an imagination at work that's straight out of Looney Tunes. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
C 31% Red Joan (2019) Where will Joan's heart lead her? The future of the free world and global existential fear of being incinerated hang in the balance (though this dull soapy drama never finds a way to underline this reality). - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
C 31% The Intruder (2019) The sort of thriller where the audience is in on pretty much everything from the beginning, as the non-psycho central characters take at least an hour to piece it all together - a recipe for eye-rolling and face-palms. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
B- 60% Acquainted (2018) Zavitz's situations and dialogue ring true, and he seems to understand the destructive power being "in love" (as opposed to just "love") can exert on people's better judgment. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
B 82% The Grizzlies (2019) Yes, the premise is a trope, but its cast of local Indigenous kids seem incapable of inauthentic moments, and it's so unflinching in its handling of Native teen suicides that it breaks its narrative strait-jacket. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
C-plus 72% Teen Spirit (2019) Minghella's directorial debut is awash with mean girls, pretty boys, seizure-inducing club scenes, headache-inducing auto-tune, and a thin plot that unfolds (and ends) dizzyingly quickly. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
B 89% Missing Link (2019) It has the feel of a light-hearted old movie telling an even older story as a series of antic episodes... a display of how fluid stop-motion physicality has become, with its slapstick and physical comedy in bar brawls, gunfights, etc. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
C 17% Hellboy (2019) Whenever the audience starts to remember just how bad a movie this is, they throw another monster at us, start another fight, or gross us out with entrails. It seldom takes a breath. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
C 53% The Best of Enemies (2019) How you get a Klan leader's heart to grow three sizes one day is a pretty tall order that The Best of Enemies does in the most expedient and predictable ways possible. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
C-minus 57% Pet Sematary (2019) There was a grace to the simplicity of Stephen King's story. As per the famous tagline, "Sometimes dead is better," sometimes less is better too. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
B-minus 77% Lost & Found (2019) The movie's meandering walk through people's lives makes for a feel-good visit to a fictional destination, a "silent tourist" experience, - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2019
C-plus 55% The Beach Bum (2019) There are things to recommend, including an addictive soundtrack that makes yacht rock sound less heinous, and a parade of colourful, charismatic characters. Unfortunately, the lead character isn't among them. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
B-minus 60% The Quietude (La quietud) (2018) A soap opera on the surface, it takes a while for The Quietude to rise above its plot of rich, unfaithful couples, random sex and sullen, unspoken grudges. When it does, it becomes a story of big lies that metastasize. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
A 94% Us (2019) Ambitious, ambiguous and chilling in ways most of us probably never even imagined. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
88% 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 97% 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 100% 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 60% 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 98% 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 85% 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 44% 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 69% 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 90% 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 89% 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 45% Clara (2019) 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 80% 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 37% Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) Live and let this thing die already. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018