Jim Slotek Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jim Slotek

Jim Slotek
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
B-minus 61% Gretel & Hansel (2020) An odd, dark, initially chilling little film that loses its way after it leaves the woods. All that feasting eventually leaves the audience more hungry than scared.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
B-plus 92% And the Birds Rained Down (Il pleuvait des oiseaux) (2019) A moving, languid, often achingly-sad drama about second-chances in life and the primal memory of wildfires, shot amid some of the most beautiful lakes and forests in Quebec.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2020
C-plus 73% The Gentlemen (2020) The Gentlemen could have been written by an AI that uploaded Guy Ritchie's oeuvre and spit it out in a plot salad. ‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2020
C-minus 48% Underwater (2020) A dull piece of off-season horror flotsam, the umpteenth film warning about messing with the ocean bottom, where, apparently, there be dragons rather than blind albino shrimp.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
B-minus 83% Just Mercy (2020) If Just Mercy doesn't aim high as a film, it tells its story effectively, and the story itself is powerful enough to overcome the movie's shortcomings.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2020
B-plus 40% The Song of Names (2019) Powerful music and powerful thoughts about religion, inhumanity, and the inescapability of one's Jewishness, are what raises the film above its prosaic, old-school narrative.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2019
B-plus 100% Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin (2020) As much about Herzog as it is about his subject. You can be a fan of either and enjoy the film and its voice, so seamlessly did they apparently share a vision of the world.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
B-minus 45% Kingsway (2018) Kingsway is a light comedy, despite its underpinnings of depression and anxiety (which I think are required by law to be in Canadian movies). But I would watch Rose and Sullivan play mom-and-daughter in any sitcom they chose.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
B-minus 75% Richard Jewell (2019) What can you say about a film that tells an amazing story about unlikely heroism and lynching-by-media, but also incidentally betrays everything that story is supposed to teach us?‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
B-plus No Score Yet She Never Died (2019) Canada's increasingly self-assured oeuvre queen Cummings gives us a stylish, violent film with comic overtones about an invulnerable "fallen angel" with off-putting habits like eating people's fingers for the marrow.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
B-minus No Score Yet Brotherhood (2019) An entertaining survival adventure, though Bell makes some puzzling choices that literally keeps the viewer in the dark for much of the movie, with night shoots during the canoe tragedy and in flashbacks, by campfires and in tents.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
B-minus 77% Frozen II (2019) Children will take what they what they will out of the message. What they likely won't be is bored. Frozen 2 makes up in pace and on-the-fly distractions what it no longer has in the depth of its story.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
C-plus 51% 21 Bridges (2019) Flawed script writing has a go-to distraction, called non-stop action. That is to say, when your plot is full of holes, just keep things moving and keep shooting. ‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2019
C-plus 63% The Good Liar (2019) There's nothing like actors-with-gravitas slumming, all bemused smiles and droll delivery, even as the material descends clunkily into unintentional comedy.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
B-plus 92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) For all the formulas it rides on, it passes and laps the one key test of any car movie. It fairly puts you inside cars making hairpin turns at 200 mph. And it brings that sense of metal-mangled death being a split-second away.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
C-plus 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) Any argument that mainstream moviemaking has fundamentally changed should include the fact that a sequel to The Shining has come out that is about good guys with super powers repelling an attack by bad guys with super powers.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
B-minus 42% Midway (2019) No aliens or monsters or preposterous disaster scenarios are needed to excuse excess. The story automatically comes with the sinking of aircraft carriers and battleships, blazing aerial dogfights and vertigo-inducing dive-bombing.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
B 70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) It's not exactly clearing a high bar to say that Terminator: Dark Fate is the most effective and entertaining franchise instalment since 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day. ‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
A 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) This is a less purposefully provocative Almodovar film, evocative and understatedly emotional, acted with a mature grace by Banderas.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
B 67% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Plenty of sequels are made for no good reason. Zombieland: Double Tap may be the first I've seen to implicitly (and hilariously) admit it. ‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
A 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Gloriously amoral tale of an unscrupulous poor family that connives its way into the mansion of a rich, gullible clan is very funny and very dark. Sure-handed and sly, with a moral compass that wavers as the tables turn‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
C-plus 44% The Addams Family (2019) There are some chuckles for parents (and grandparents) and the animated visual take is interesting. But it can't overcome the central flaw, which is that it infantilizes something that, at heart, is whimsically grim comedy for adults.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
B-plus 82% Judy (2019) Does the fact that a performance burns so brightly as to reduce the rest of the cast to bystanders, reduce the end result? Judy is as good as it needs to be to stand as a framework for Zellweger's acting.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
B-plus 93% Monos (2019) A kind of Lord of the Flies set amid a Latin American guerilla war with child soldiers, Monos is an immersive, sweaty, almost hallucinatory experience of hormone-driven anarchy.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
A 88% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) It occurs at a certain point that Ronstadt was kind of the Meryl Streep of pop music, capable of taking on any vocal role and making it sound like she was born to it.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
B-plus 62% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Norton checks all the genre-boxes with style and flair and makes a solid statement about things that haven't changed in our society.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
A 95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) This is Lloyd's story, with Fred Rogers' character reflected via his effect on his new friend. But Hanks, who's made a career out of portraying decent men, soulfully fleshes out this Presbyterian minister of unwaveringly positive resolve. ‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
C-plus 63% It Chapter Two (2019) If it teaches no other lesson, It Chapter 2 does suggest that children in peril are more affecting and scary than are adults plotting at (extreme) length to take down a monster. ‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
B-plus 97% Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2019) The child actors are all exceptional in this emotionally moving thriller that smoothly negotiates the supernatural and real world evil.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
B 93% Mine 9 (2019) An indie film about a team of Appalachian coal miners trapped two miles down, trying to crawl their way up with an hour of oxygen, Mine 9 makes maximum use of the dark in all its frightening implications.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
C-plus 43% The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Comparisons to the book aside, The Art of Racing in the Rain won't disappoint anyone with basic expectations of a dog movie. It's full of aww, if not wonder.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
B-minus 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) As empty of purpose and overlong as it is, Hobbs & Shaw is at least a more entertaining machine than the last F&F film. Director David Leitch brings a comic book sensibility to the violence, and endless crude insult humour (that eventually does wear thin)‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
A 100% Killing Patient Zero (2019) An expose of a long ago "fake news" story, and an uncomfortable reminder of an uncomfortable era. AIDS may now be treatable, but the fire of ignorance and moral judgment are still in our social DNA.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
B-minus 59% Astronaut (2019) Despite its title, Astronaut is not a movie I'd recommend to space buffs, never going anywhere fast enough to achieve lift-off. But it has no small amount of genuine sweetness and heart and leaves the viewer at least a little verklempt.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
79% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) In possibly his best work, documentarian Nick Broomfield sympathetically captures the fleeting and wildly intimate but ultimately doomed relationship between a poet and his muse. ‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2019
98% Maiden (2019) Breathtaking (sometimes terrifying) footage buoys this remarkable doc which celebrates the tenacity of female sailors against a tsunami of sexism.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2019
B-minus 91% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) The teen drama, sidekicks, comedy and crushes are great fun. But there's still a CGI- heavy super-hero tale to be told, and an ongoing attempt to shoehorn an Avengers identity on Marvel's most popular hero.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
C-plus 59% 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
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
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
C-plus 42% 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
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
B-plus 91% 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
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
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
C-plus 42% 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
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
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
C-plus 70% ANIARA (2019) For a film that's about decades of interstellar aimlessness, Aniara seems hopelessly rushed and superficial.‐ Original Cin
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
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
C 30% 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
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
C 32% 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
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
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
B 79% 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
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019