For 992 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
Highest review score: 100 Batman Begins
Lowest review score: 0 The Ten Commandments
Score distribution:
992 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though sloppily structured and sometimes dangerously flimsy (not to mention truncated at a mere 78 minutes), Tadpole has an unforced charm that compensates for the absence of more traditional cinematic virtues.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though there's a formula at the film's core, Whale Rider still has the good taste to make that formula go down easy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Moss offers few startling revelations, but gently gets at the truth of his subjects' lives by playing the past against the present.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Writer-director Tim McCanlies works in broad, kid-friendly strokes, and he's not afraid to lay on the sentiment, but his cast makes sure it's well-earned.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Has a message, which it effectively conveys by succeeding first as an affecting film. Winterbottom's actors give a human face to current events as they proceed along their grim road-movie toward a destination that may not even want them. They may be statistics, too, but their stories stick in the mind.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    As a morality play, it's a one-sided contest, because the question of whether power corrupts is never a question at all. As a queasily thrilling tour of a dirty little corner of the world, however, Trapero's film offers a memorable ride.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Adapting a novel by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, François Dupeyron uses handheld cameras and some jarring edits, but, prostitutes and all, this is storybook material: heartfelt, pleasant, cuddly, and a little too insubstantial to stick in the mind for long.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Mostly, it's just a pleasure to watch Keaton and Nicholson learning new steps in an old dance, stumbling to grab at happiness before it's too late.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It's tacky and beautiful, sometimes both at the same time. Occasionally flatfooted even as it sparkles, the film suffers when Hogan lets the scenery do the directing for him, but he's chosen a cast capable of shouldering the film's weight.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The Dreamers is a universal story, one that captures the thrill of discovering culture, sex, and politics, and the painful twinge of learning that those worlds aren't enough.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The story is well-told, but so familiar that it renders the surrounding film a bright, shiny, dispensible bauble, an amusing diversion but not much more.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Sauret's approach isn't the most artful, but it doesn't have to be. Hearing his subjects speak for themselves is good enough.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The mostly wordless film simply presents Ground Zero, the dust-covered surrounding areas, and the city's immediate rescue efforts. As a document, it's invaluable, and as a viewing experience, it's somewhat shocking.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Perfectly in keeping with a series that began by simply putting a monster on a spaceship, then gave itself the creative freedom to explore what that monster and that spaceship really meant. [Quadrilogy]
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though Smith loses many of his past efforts' familiar trappings--Jay and Silent Bob are now confined to the production-company logo--Jersey Girl plays to Smith's strengths like no film since "Clerks."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Pretty much impossible not to like a little, but it's also hard to like a lot. There's a fantastic film to be made from this material, but now, the burden of making it falls to a sequel.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    In this long, slow fall from grace, unceremonious nudity and half-hearted sex begin to look like a mockery of a paradise lost.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The film is a bit of a slog, but in the end, it's a slog worth taking, thanks to a strange, moving ending that reduces the samurai era's codes of warfare, class, and honor down to two men meeting face to face.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Julie Bertucelli spends part of the film letting her characters worry whether they've made the right choice, but mostly contents herself with capturing a place where hard choices have become unavoidable. Though her decision to pace the film to Gorintin's old-lady rhythms sometimes kills the dramatic momentum, in the end it's time well spent.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The Newton Boys is Linklater's most conventional film and, despite its numerous flaws, it's not bad.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Like Ang Lee's "Hulk," it's a fusion of arthouse and multiplex instincts, and though it seems unlikely to satisfy anyone, it's just as unlikely that anyone who sees it will forget it soon.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    In the latest of a long string of memorable performances, Hanks balances wide-eyed confusion with innate shrewdness, finding a character who's both unfailingly sweet and nobody's fool.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    In one of the film's most persuasive bits, Farley Granger talks about chucking a lucrative film career in order to tread the boards in New York. Maybe it's that kind of magnetic draw that makes an age golden.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Bridges turns in another remarkable performance, and he's well-matched by Foster.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    In McKay, Ferrell has found an unusually simpatico collaborator for the type of humor that's made him a comedy force: outsized, unexpectedly sweet, and unrelenting.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It's a film whose virtues--particularly its rare, intelligent portrayal of the relationship between two generations of women--outweigh its faults.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It's a smart, exciting, involving film that's true to its source, which is all it really needs to be.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Rendering in high drama the story of Moses one moment and then underscoring that drama with songs filled with banal "you-can-make-it-if-you-really-try" cliches moves from the sublime to the ridiculous so quickly, you could get the bends.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Never quite finds the rhythm of a great film, and it scores no points for subtlety by including a subplot about a horse breaking free of its master, but Shahriar displays a real gift for conveying Taghani's plight in all its grimness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Essentially, the film stays at the party too long. But for a good stretch, its combination of twirling excitement and dry absurdity captures the spirit of characters too intoxicated to realize they're dancing over a chasm.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    As for the unfortunates who aren't already in love with The Ramones, End Of The Century should give them a better understanding of what they've been missing, and leave them wondering why they've missed out on it for so long.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The film works by putting the accelerator to the floor and never looking in the rear-view mirror.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Handsomely shot by Brazilian director Walter Salles and beautifully played by the two leads, The Motorcycle Diaries would amount to little more than a minor, softly politically conscious coming-of-age story, if not for its historical context.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    When Friday Night Lights gets to the big games, the time it's spent creates an atmosphere thick with tension, one akin to the real-world experience of watching a favorite team play for its life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Years from now, Team America will better convey the political character of 2004 than a stack of Time magazines. Staying funny helps even more.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    A dark-humored film about devastation, which makes Vodka Lemon's final rush into comedy in the truest sense all the more refreshing. Even in the wasteland, there might be humor other than the gallows kind.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though Moolaadé doesn't shy away from the task of educating its viewers about the brutality of "purification," it works equally well as a tribute to righteous defiance wherever it surfaces.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Huo never quite finds the filmic vocabulary to tilt the film toward greatness-and the mawkish synth score does little to help-but Postmen In The Mountains ultimately succeeds.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Choreographed to the last beat, the action scenes have a depth that the film's thinly sketched characters never quite develop.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    What it retains is a playful sense of style, that combines with an anything-goes spirit.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It's a hard-won comfort, found here over a bleak stretch of days, but All Or Nothing makes it look like the best life has to offer.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though Machuca ultimately doesn't shy away from taking sides, it wisely keeps the focus on the human element. The politics take place in the background until they demand the foreground.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Without coming out and saying it, The Nomi Song creates the sense that its subject might simply have been a few hundred years ahead of his time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    As absurd as the situation gets--and the film occasionally launches into surreal asides that only heighten the absurdity--director and star both keep it grounded in the situation's emotions.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    On its own terms, Dear Frankie works much better than it really has any right to. Auerbach tells a small, contrived story, but gives it the weight of life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The amiable but thin comedy Robots does have a little more going on, but not quite enough to make a difference, although it looks good enough to distract viewers from that fact for a while.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Not every moment works, particularly in the draggy middle section, but the spirit of the thing still carries it along.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Massoud plays Saladin magnetically, and his arrival only illustrates how many opportunities Kingdom misses. Another, better movie would have made him the focus.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though Sith finally finds some life in the old saga, was it worth it in the end? Did we have to go through all that to get back where we began?
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Or
    For long stretches, Or is a dialogue-heavy kitchen-sink drama, but its naturalistic style and unselfconscious performances give it an intensity that only builds as it progresses.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Teghil is a winning lead.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Lord Of War charges bravely and relentlessly into volatile territory, and it's hard to leave unscarred by the experience.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It's a familiar story, but Mills and Pucci treat it as if it were the first time anyone had thought to tell it.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Behind the camera, Lee shows a steady hand and saves his best tricks for the big finale, which generates a lot of excitement out of the collision of disco music and some truly impressive skating.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Black's sadistic streak remains as uncomfortable as it ever was, and his direction is very much in the house style of producer Joel Silver. But both elements perfectly suit the material, which sneaks in a lot of sly stuff beneath the slick surface.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Brown's respectful film offers the usual music-doc mix of archival footage, song clips, and talking heads, but with a figure as enigmatic and underreported as Van Zandt, the safe course works well.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Fast-paced and ambitious, it never bores, and Soderbergh proves himself interesting to watch in addition to being gifted behind the camera.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Freeway is full of nice touches—such as making the villain a psychologist— that play off the expectations of a familiar story. While also working as a conventional thriller, its many twists on the fairy tale make it work on an almost subliminal level.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It’s light and loose in ways that Almodóvar hasn’t let himself be in decades. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a lot of fun, a relentlessly entertaining lark that, like its setting, soars into the clouds, then discovers it doesn’t really have a way to get down.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    With The Conjuring, [Wan] once more turns the familiar terrifying, making it easy to fear what’s behind that closed door, or under the bed, or just around the corner, making a creaking noise that doesn’t sound quite right.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Kormákur lets his stars balance the buddy-movie levity with just enough dramatic weight to keep it grounded, and his directing style seems like a conscious corrective to the disorienting cutting and obvious CGI effects that have come to dominate Hollywood action films.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though essentially a straight-faced horror film, You’re Next also taps into a rich vein of black comedy.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though Wan is stepping away from horror, at least for now, to direct the next The Fast And The Furious sequel, the latest Insidious entry suggests he’s a long way from running out of new tricks, or at least finding infinite variations on old ones.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It’s an endearingly odd, consistently creepy film that hearkens back to the director’s previous work.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Muscle Shoals’ story has needed telling, and Camalier packs that telling with memorable stories and music—though the film sometimes substitutes admiration for investigation, paving over conflicts and moving on to the next amazing piece of music to get recorded in town.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The film retains much of what worked about the first film, and it brings a similarly smart, patient, visually striking approach to the gags.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    At its best, The Broken Circle Breakdown has the feel of life as it’s remembered—moments out of time tethered together by the feelings of those living them.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It looks like no other movie, Marvel or otherwise, and it’s populated by characters compelling enough to support a more complex, richer story than this one.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    What makes it effective isn’t the facts of the case, so much as the way Philomena lets viewers spend time with its characters and get to know exactly who’s getting hurt.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It’s both unfailingly exciting and overly familiar, a restless but risk-averse film that’s a little too content to borrow from what’s worked before.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Jones delivers a quietly wrenching performance as a woman who comes to recognize too late how much of herself she’s lost. It’s subtle work in a film that is sometimes content to be a little too subtle.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    While the Veronica Mars film feels a bit small and closed-off by big-screen standards, it will no doubt be big and welcoming enough to those who love the series.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Mistaken For Strangers, which covers Tom’s time with the band and his subsequent attempts to piece together a movie about that time, is a sweet, funny, and sad film, but also an exceedingly odd one.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It’s an unwieldy, sometimes overreaching effort, but the laudable ambition makes it easy to forgive some rough patches.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Alan J. Pakula’s 1982 adaptation of William Styron’s 1979 novel Sophie’s Choice is one of those films whose great qualities put its lesser elements in sharp relief.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Edwards’ film doesn’t care much about metaphorical resonance, and cares even less about its human characters, many of which get forgotten for long stretches of the film. But Godzilla has a way with a disaster setpiece, and it cares a lot about providing awesome monster-on-monster action on a mammoth scale.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Edge Of Tomorrow’s finale can’t live up to what’s come before, though that’s mostly because what comes before is so rich and unusual, particularly in the middle of a summer blockbuster season that doesn’t always value richness or novelty.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    The film is much more intriguing in its dread-inducing opening half, when Moll's assured direction keeps suggesting that something horrible will be happening soon, then, when it does, that something even more horrifying may follow.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    Which makes it all the more frustrating that the film doesn't quite work, and that it drags from episode to episode--some are brilliant, most merely intriguing--with little momentum.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    One of the film's oddest aspects is the way the 2002 footage appears more dated than the scenes from 1978.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    It's as subtle as a spinning kick, but some films aren't built for subtlety.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    It's more haunting than it has any right to be, thanks to its love of long, lonesome highways and the way the violence of the past bleeds into the present.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    There are formulaic moments aplenty in Pride, the "inspired by a true story" tale of Philadelphia swimming coach Jim Ellis, but in its first scenes, at least, it deserves some credit for doing the unexpected.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    It's an imperfect film, but it's the kind of imperfect film of which it would be nice to have seen Shelly make more.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    Hot Rod keeps a sweet tone that's filled with affection for its characters, and enough laughs to become this summer's most mildly recommendable comedy.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    A better film would have matched Arnett's seemingly effortless intensity throughout. This okay film does merely okay by it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    It's a heartbreaking tale, a sliver of a tragic history still unfolding, but one that Braun largely leaves others to document.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    Adams' winning performance and the light touch director Kevin Lima (a veteran of animation and live action) brings to scenes not tasked with advancing the plot all suggest that, silly as they may look once you take it apart, irony-free, romantic fantasy--animated and otherwise--still has a place on the big screen.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    Anyone looking for handsomely presented, kid-friendly thrills need look no further.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    Too much of Leatherheads feels like studied motions, and its charms never plaster over a story that takes forever to get going, and doesn't go too far once it does.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    The Hulk himself looks more steroidal than superheroic, as if the expressive beast from the first film had been replaced by a WWE star.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    Wanted is a queasily unapologetic power fantasy about becoming a better person through violence.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    The way-too-familiar climax feels less like a comment on destiny than like watching a finely crafted but soulless product roll off an assembly line.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    It's the journey that matters, however, and sometimes the film doesn't seem to know where it's going.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    Johnson sets viewers up for greatness, but ultimately offers much milder pleasures. The film isn’t an outright con, but it’s easy to feel a little misled by the end.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    its moments of greatness--and there are more than a couple--feel weirdly disconnected, stuck in a movie that doesn’t know how to put them together, or find a good way to move from one to the next.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    After a compelling opening act and some shocking late-film developments, the film feels disengaged from the action at hand and the issues raised.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    The film lays on its politics-as-chess-game metaphor a little thick, however, and its refusal to leave the corridors of power to see the impact of its developments on the country at large makes it feel stuffy after a while.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    Ramona And Beezus has the undeniably nice, pleasantly uninspired feel of film designed to kill time with the kids on a rainy weekend.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    It's a postcard-lovely movie that, in spite of its best intentions, ends up feeling a little touristy.