Jim Slotek Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jim Slotek

Jim Slotek
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
B 79% Greyhound (2020) A lean and tense war film. Maybe Tom Hanks should write more of his own movies.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2020
C-plus 70% Think Like a Dog (2020) A mess, with more unnecessary characters than adults can keep track of, let alone children. But talking dogs, fart jokes and Henry's adversities in school with bullies, and with his crush on a classmate, should play well with younger kids.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2020
B-minus 70% Becky (2020) One-note, but cheesily entertaining... like Home Alone, if Macaulay Culkin had gorily murdered Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern instead of cartoonishly incapacitating them.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2020
B-plus 50% Dreamland (2020) A hoot. The best reason to watch is that it's the most Stephen McHattie money can stream. His dual performances are an island of chill in a movie where everyone else is there to release the hounds, acting wise.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted May 26, 2020
B-minus 100% James VS His Future Self (2020) The time travel aside, it's essentially a rom-com with occasional existential thoughts.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2020
A-minus 72% Vivarium (2020) COVIDly speaking, there's a touch of literally-too-close-to-home in this Twilight Zone-ish tale of a young couple confined to a suburban house, with their food and necessities delivered to them. Taut, weird and claustrophobic with dark humour.‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
B-minus 64% Hope Gap (2020) A sad and finely tuned domestic drama by writer-director Nicholson. The slow pace may not be everyone's cuppa, but it is undeniably faithful to its characters, terrifically played by Nighy and Bening (without whose energy, there would be no movie).‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
B-minus 83% The Way Back (2020) Possibly the most melancholy sports movie ever made. It is a hodgepodge of things it wants to be, and in every case, it starts to do them quite well before starting to do something else‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
B 88% Onward (2020) For a movie with father issues at its core, Onward doesn't quite stick the landing on its emotions, but it has wit, eye-catching anachronisms and imaginative action (think angry biker-fairies in a Fast & Furious-level car chase).‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
C-minus 49% Run This Town (2020) "Rob Ford" (Damian Lewis under a ton of badly applied latex that makes him look like a cross between a burn victim and the Austin Powers villain Fat Bastard) is a raging bit-player in a badly conceived and tedious story. ‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2020
C-minus 8% Fantasy Island (2020) "De-PLANE," "TaTTOO" and "FUNtasy," These references will be lost on the young horror crowd to whom the movie is pitched. All they'll absorb will be that this is an evil island that kills people (not fast enough in some cases).‐ Original Cin
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
B-minus 65% 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 88% 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 75% 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 84% 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 39% 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 94% 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 77% 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 100% 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 80% 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 53% 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 41% 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 96% 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 68% 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 89% 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 89% 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 67% 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
80% 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