For 998 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Keith Phipps' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Lowest review score: 0 The Avengers
Score distribution:
998 movie reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Neither Molina nor Lithgow are stranger to big performances, but here, they offer studies in restraint, underplaying dramatic moments in ways that make them all the more powerful.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Ultimately, Why We Fight reveals itself as yet another leftie doc with an anti-war agenda. But the mere fact that it takes time to ask questions and listen to opposing viewpoints sets it apart from the pack.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Mostly, it's content to remain a compelling, visually striking political mystery with some big ideas woven into it--subversive notions about integrity, liberty, and political change.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's hard to shake the sense that there's less here than meets the eye, but what meets the eye burns with a rare intensity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Mol nails it, in a performance that should earn her a comeback on a Heath Ledger-like scale.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    We all lived through this not so long ago; it's an odd thing to make a film whose most striking effect is its ability to bring the feelings of Sept. 11 flooding back, then close on a profoundly disturbing note. A crasser film would have been easier to digest and dismiss. It's hard to do either with United 93, and that's either its genius or its folly.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Director Lian Lunson keeps the tone reverent, making I'm Your Man the cinematic equivalent of a testimonial dinner. But there's a place for that kind of film, particularly for subjects who've earned it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Director Gil Kenan has a feel for dizzying "camera" work, and the screenplay combines witty gags with a sweet, albeit familiar, suggestion that kids shouldn't be in any great hurry to be anything but kids.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Williams delivers a solid, twinkle-free (though closed-off) performance, but the film as a whole can't decide what it wants to be.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    As with her debut feature, "Blue Car," Moncrieff treats sensational material with a disarming matter-of-factness that ultimately makes a deeper impression.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Before reaching a bittersweet finale that doesn't ring as loudly as it should, The Italian starts to look too much like a neo-realist "Home Alone" sequel, as Spiridonov outwits his pursuers in one scene after another.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The film's a bit like a dessert that could have been dinner, particularly with so many winning elements (including songs by Fountains Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger and a brief appearance from a wickedly sleazy Campbell Scott). But dessert isn't a bad thing either, particularly when it's prepared with this much heart.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The film is clearly an act of boosterism, and it makes a pretty good case for the Glastonbury cause.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's well-acted and filled with striking compositions, but director Mira Nair has trouble with a different kind of balance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    In the end, it's all a bit too self-consciously mysterious and Lawrence leans a bit too much on the atmosphere to do the work for him as he builds to a frustrating ending. But his vision of a place haunted by a restlessness it can't define proves unsettlingly infectious.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    An engaging thriller done in the Cronenberg style is still worth anyone's time. And this one boasts memorable turns from Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Vincent Cassel.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Novelist-turned-writer/director Peter Hedges follows up his "Pieces Of April" debut with a comedy that's at once overstuffed and surprisingly subtle.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    As an acting showcase that builds to some unexpectedly moving moments, Elegy has much to recommend it. Had Coixet found better ways to connect those moments, she might have REALLY had something to rival what Roth does on the page.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's more Thompson-for-beginners than an exhaustive inquiry, but as introductions go, it's thorough and thoughtful.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's dark and exciting, but with little breathing room.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Snyder's Watchmen keeps moving so assuredly, it's nearly impossible not to get swept along.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's not like the screens are so flooded with decent movies that we couldn't use another, particularly a timely, clear-eyed thriller about the Middle East and the role of the U.S. therein.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    This feels like a second-shelf Coen comedy, particularly when compared to their no-less-shaggy "The Big Lebowski."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Yet for all Ashes' frustrations, it's still a gorgeous piece of filmmaking.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Eastwood creates a tone that's at once stately and unsettling, allowing a lot of breathing room for Jolie's sad, unyielding performance. She anchors a film that needs an anchor the further it goes along.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Eastwood directs with his usual relaxed pace and bursts of intensity, a style that's pleasing to watch--and which, also as usual, never fully compensates for any shortcomings of the script handed to him.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Both director and cast keep the familiar journey intense, but after capturing the death of love in those opening moments, the rest of the film too often feels like a study in dissection.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The characters are all a little too old for this sort of drama, and they know it, but that makes Two Lovers as much about last chances as new loves.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's refreshingly unformulaic, but a rambling mess. It's also tremendously funny.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It’s a brisk, bright, winning effort, even though it already looks sadly out of touch with the times.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Whenever The Box threatens to crash, Kelly summons up another haunting image or heartfelt, albeit thin, moral inquiry. It’s an unwieldy, ambitious, one-of-a-kind film waiting for a cult to find it.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    This is very much a Sherlock Holmes movie for the blockbuster era.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Thirst never picks up the momentum of Park’s best-known work. But its turgid pace creates a queasy fascination all its own, drawing viewers into an ever-darkening locus of sin and obsession where even the wish for redemption comes at a terrible cost.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The film doesn’t traffic in drollery for its own sake. Between laughs, Lying uses its skewed reality to comment on our own need to create useful fictions to wallpaper over the abyss.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    What Up In The Air lacks in surprises--apart from an elusive final scene--it compensates for by conveying the pleasures of living from landing to landing, and the terror of floating away.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It’s a simplistic, superficial approach to a real-life story that marginalizes most historical details not involving scrums and tackles. It’s also pretty effective, in spite of the gloss.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It’s a trifle, but a trifle that sticks.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Demme’s excitement for Young and his music is evident throughout, and the songs fit comfortably in the unvarnished setting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Garcia shoots Mother And Child with minimal flare, an approach that keeps the focus squarely on the cast, whose moving work helps pave over some of the narrative’s lumpier patches.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Salt's mechanical command of action is what makes it one of the most entertaining films of a summer thin on its once-abundant variety of cheap thrills.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Aided by strong performances from Bell and Fabian, Stamm deftly plays with the boundary of fact and fiction, though his game might have worked better with a little more grounding in verisimilitude.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Ondine looks heavy and it ends up feeling a little slight, but between those two extremes there's a beguiling siren song of a movie about the way the unexpected has a way of intruding on even the most fatalistic lives.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The trouble with the film is that it often feels too respectable for its own good, preserving the facts of yesterday's rebellion while leaving it firmly in the past. Happily, Ginsberg's words still cut recklessly through the years.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The situations sometimes feel contrived, but the characters never do, particularly because Galifianakis remains simultaneously charming and unrelentingly irritating.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's all so uneasily compelling and quietly moving, it might be too much to ask her to sustain it through the conclusion.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Though Levy's film feels shapeless at times, what it loses in structure, it gains in handheld intimacy, letting viewers get to know the mercurial but fundamentally sweet Pleskun.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Mixing social commentary and black humor with copious amounts of blood and cracking bones, We Are What We Are offers a cannibal's-eye view of Mexico City's seamier side.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Any satirical points about contemporary gender roles get lost in a mad rush through the matriarchy's beautifully realized, Death Star-like gray fortress. It's a fun rush, though, and an intense one, too.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    For a while it's the rare film that-in the mold of the first "Matrix" movie and "Inception," although on a more modest scale than either-mixes heady puzzles with gripping suspense.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Its pleasures are borrowed, but durable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The American romantic comedy has grown distressingly moribund lately, but anyone looking to freshen up the genre a bit need look no further than Michel Leclerc's The Names Of Love.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Focusing the film on Gleeson was certainly the right choice. His performance is equal parts funny and unnerving, and he keeps viewers guessing about what drives the man and what he'll do next.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Wyatt brings a light touch to the potentially grim material - too light when it drops in some groan-inducing references to the original film - but he keeps the action compelling whether focusing on apes as they run amok or as they quietly contemplate their next move.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The film's greatest pleasures come from Noxon's script - which puts the sexual chaos created by Farrell's attractive bloodsucker front and center - and from the performances.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Soderbergh creates an unnerving mosaic from the smaller pieces, a vision of a world that's simultaneously tightly knit, delicately balanced, and prone to breakdown, whether due to disease, bad ideas, or unenlightened self-interest.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Rather than trying to overwhelm viewers by overloading the senses, John Carter's effects strive to create something new using as their foundation a book that's fired imaginations for the past century.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    That's a lot for any film to unpack, and "The Last King Of Scotland" director Kevin MacDonald deserves a lot of credit simply for keeping the narrative coherent.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Like "The Girlfriend Experience," Magic Mike doubles as an of-the-moment film about life in a down economy, so much so that it would play like a bait-and-switch if it didn't just as thoroughly deliver as a movie about stripping.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Fortunately, it's funny enough that it doesn't have to be subtle. In fact, subtlety would just get in the way.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    In Trouble With The Curve, Eastwood plays a reminder of an older way of doing things, a professional whose likes the world won't see again once he's gone. The role isn't much of a stretch.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    While Seven Psychopaths sometimes hits the philosophical shallows, its pleasures still run deep.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Measured scene by scene, the film isn't always successful, and its transcendent moments make it easy to wish it could reach that elevated pitch more often. But Cloud Atlas is the sort of work where the big picture matters more than the details. It's an imperfect film of great daring and tremendous humanity, a work of many stories, but a singular achievement.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Lincoln is built around a magnetic Day-Lewis turn, and the film is a memorable, sometimes stirring look at how even the most righteous bill must struggle, and even cheat, to become a law. It demands a bigger stage than the one it's given here.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The fact that Full Frontal comes together so well removes any doubt that anyone other than a master filmmaker is pulling the strings.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Nature lacks a little of Malkovich's freshness, but that's just about all it lacks.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Unlike in similar past efforts, Sayles never finds a way to bring it all together. Individual moments of considerable impact alternate with stretches that go nowhere.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It may boil down to little more than a minor variation on Four Weddings' formula, but it's an interesting and entertaining one.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Occasionally resembling an episode of Seinfeld taken to the big screen, waydowntown shares that show's ability to mine mundane details for humor, and its Tomorrowland-gone-awry setting provides plenty of raw material.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    A lot goes on, and it doesn't always make sense. But the cast embodies Rendell's ability to incorporate shrewd observations on human behavior into the framework of a crime story, and Miller has a great eye for the places on the Paris outskirts where the lives of haves and have-nots intersect.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    As pleasant stimulation for the eye and ear, it's two hours of sumptuousness, but anyone looking for more won't find it here.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Twin Dragons is still a Chan film, albeit not a great one. As fans have figured out by now, that goes a long way.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    While McKellen's sharp performance provides the main attraction, the film wouldn't work without both Fraser, who brings something extra to a character who could easily have been a mere lunk, and director Bill Condon's careful integration of larger themes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    His Secret Life's languid pace and general aimlessness keep getting in the way.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    As disappointing-but-worthwhile films go, you could do a lot worse.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though High Art has more than a few awkward touches--all the male characters take up less than one dimension, for example--it's otherwise a nicely underplayed, memorable, beautifully filmed movie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    While fleeting moments from Pearce and Luis Guzmán (as Caviezel's loyal servant) suggest the film might have been even more fun had they been allowed to loosen up a bit, the finished product still offers little cause for complaint.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Frears has directed a surprisingly sturdy hybrid of thriller and social melodrama, even if the thrills turn ludicrous and the social critique grows a little pat.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Deschanel and Schneider--who both give rich, funny performances--and everyone around them have inner lives that don't always translate into words. When they speak, it's usually in dialogue halfway between poetry and inarticulate fumbling.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The atmosphere makes a deeper impression than the drama, which might represent a failing on Nelson's part, but could it be avoided? His film portrays the pinholes of light in a place of otherwise unrelenting darkness.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Mendes' second effort plays like a familiar song transposed to a minor key, a gangland fable soaked in portent and fatalism until its familiarity ceases to be an issue.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    A low-key charmer that balances half a dozen winning performances, Welcome To Collinwood's momentum occasionally stalls, and it doesn't always produce laughs.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Jordan invests attention in even the most throwaway moments and marginal characters, and his care makes the film a sustained, low-key pleasure.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though indisputably a thriller, Charlie abandons itself to little cinematic rhapsodies, self-reflexive asides, and montages of Paris locations cued to a soundtrack of cool French pop, all of which often seems more vital than the main order of business.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    There's something appealing about an unapologetic love story set in an office that's only a few clicks off from looking like a fetish dungeon, and Spader and Gyllenhaal make sure that the romance, kinks and all, carries the day.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Trashy enough to envelop its sex scenes in aerobicized glamour (a Lyne trademark), so the fact that it takes itself so seriously almost counts as a daring move.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    xXx
    Diesel clearly has fun playing a character so bullish that his skin seems to be made of leather, and he's self-conscious enough to pull it off even after the film surrenders to formula.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    An extraordinary story uniquely suited to Herzog's abilities, it eventually becomes easy to accept Ahola as a nearly mute witness to the obsessives around him, most immediately Tim Roth in a striking performance as Ahola's employer.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    At times, Bani Etemad succeeds only too well at capturing the confusing rush of Adineh's family life--the film presents more subplots than it can follow thoroughly, until its final act snaps all that's come before into sharp focus.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Another actor might not have been able to carry the film, given such a creepily monomaniacal character, but Hoffman lets the humanity soak through, registering split seconds of panic when he's on the verge of getting caught, then just as quickly creating and working a new plan.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer, who co-write, co-direct, and supply much of the voice talent, soft-pedal the proselytizing and explicitly Christian elements in favor of gags and gentle lessons, keeping the pace fast and the scenery colorful.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The film is unfortunately about little more than its potentially mind-boggling plot and structure.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Despite a shaky start and the presence of questionable elements throughout, by the time it arrives at its finale -- which copies Return Of The Jedi's triple-climax structure -- The Phantom Menace has won its place alongside the original Star Wars trilogy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The film's generous spirit, disarming mixture of beauty and brutality, and gentle, insistent sweep make it easy to surrender to it anyway.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though initially off-putting, Chick's distanced direction pays off as XX/XY goes along.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Carion and his gifted leads never take the easy way out. Instead, they let the characters get acquainted against the slow change of the seasons, taking their relationship along unexpected turns.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    What it became is essentially one long free-fall from destitution to despair.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Hoffman and Sarandon work well together, and Gyllenhaal, who's carved out a niche for himself as the new face of internalized conflict, fits nicely into a role Hoffman would have made a meal of 30 years ago.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    In just about every way, Insurrection seems as if everyone involved is still stuck in the weekly grind of turning out the series, but the results don't disappoint too terribly.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Here's a strangely flawed and strangely satisfying movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Hush! takes an excessive, saga-like running time to reach its conclusion, but Hashiguchi frequently makes the trudge worthwhile, particularly when he finds the energy to match his three leads' charming performances.