Brow Beat

Here’s What Black Panthers Are Saying About Critics

A black panther.
Guillaume Souvant/Getty Images

The embargo on Black Panther reviews ended Tuesday, and the entire world is hustling to learn what critics are saying about Black Panther. In the interests of equal time, and also because it gave us the opportunity to settle a few scores, Slate decided to find out what black panthers were saying about critics. We conducted a critical round-up: We told film critics they’d won a boat, then when they arrived to pick it up, invited them at gunpoint on a no-expenses-paid trip to Isla Panthera. The island, a long-abandoned private hunting reserve and research facility that Bill Gates unloaded to forestall a criminal investigation when Microsoft sold Slate, is low on amenities and escape routes, but is very high on black panthers (technically, melanistic jaguars and leopards) making it the ideal location for our critics’ roundtable (technically, a critics’ round clearing deep in the implacable jungle). Here’s what black panthers are saying about critics! (This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Ominous Silence!

Black Panther 1 (Technically a Leopard): …

Black Panther 2 (Technically a Jaguar): …

Black Panther 3 (Maybe Somebody Else Should See If This Guy’s a Leopard or Jaguar Because the Last Guy Got Mauled): …

BP1 (TaL): …

BP2 (TaJ): *twig snaps, ominously*


BP2 (TaJ): …

Thumbs Down!

BP1 (TaL): Rwar-rweaaaar!

BP3 (MSESSiTGaLoJBtLGGM): Arrrrrr! Rearrrr! Aeeeearrr! Arrr!

BP2 (TaP): Reargh!

BP1 (TaL): Rwar-rweaaaar!

BP2 (TaP): Rrrrrwaaaaow! Reaoweaough!

BP3 (MSESSiTGaLoJBtLGGM): Grrrrrrrrreargh! Aaaaarearrrrrgh!

Thumbs Off!

BP3 (MSESSiTGaLoJBtLGGM): Rweeeearoogargh, schmack, cheeeeoooomp.

BP1 (TaL): Schlllllleeeeearp! Schnarp, schmarp! Schlurp!

BP2 (TaP): *horrible bone crunching noises*

BP1 (TaL): Rwearghish ishishish, schlearp, gulp.


Wow! It’s clear that critics are starting a lot of interesting and important conversations among black panthers. We’ll see if the early consensus holds on Feb. 16, when black panthers are finally released on the general public.

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Matthew Dessem

Matthew Dessem is Brow Beat’s nights and weekends editor and the author of a biography of screenwriter and director Clyde Bruckman.