For 1,034 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Keith Phipps' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Lowest review score: 0 A Life Less Ordinary
Score distribution:
1,034 movie reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    When it unexpectedly shifts back into its initial thriller mode, Walk On Water loses in human drama what it gains in tidiness, revealing itself as a film that carries more weight in its light scenes than its heavy moments can sustain.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    It's passably gripping and occasionally lively.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Brown probably captures enough to satisfy hardcore enthusiasts, but everyone else might end up wondering why he ignored the glory for the dust.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    By the film's halfway point, the subplots have all started to head in the most obvious directions imaginable, which is too bad, since they all have real potential. Ferrera's story of spending the summer as an out-of-place ethnic element in the milk-white suburbs stays interesting the longest, in large part thanks to her performance.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Director Chris Terrio adapts Amy Fox's play with flashes of wit, moments of insight, and some fine performances. But Heights' characters move along such preordained paths and perform such familiar movie actions that they might as well sport antennae.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Director Thomas Balmès mostly just tags along for the ride, but the incidental details he picks up taint the sense of guarded hopefulness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    The drama loses shape before it really develops, but the sense of place--all wood paneling and animal knick-knacks--and the memorable performances keep it worth watching.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Mackenzie's film could almost use one or two lurid touches in place of its stately distance. Then again, a more stylized approach might have allowed less room for Richardson, whose unsparing performance makes other elements almost irrelevant.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Panayotopoulou's background in photography shows in the way she lets her chiaroscuro lighting mirror her characters' emotions. It also shows in the still-life quality that Hard Goodbyes never quite gets beyond.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    As Ouimet, the always-terrific Shia LeBeouf is an oasis of depth in a film that otherwise can't pass up a sports-film cliché.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Only a truly great director can make a film of high artistic merit, filled with personality and memorable scenes, that's still a borderline disaster. (Think One From The Heart or 1941.) So the heartfelt and woefully miscalculated Elizabethtown may be the film that marks Cameron Crowe's arrival as a truly great director.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Though he (Jordan) directs with admirable skill, his usual touches don't drive the film--which occasionally threatens to lose its shape.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Pretty painless by kiddie movie standards.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    For all its simple politics, clanging dialogue, and underwritten roles—only Damon’s natural, and deepening, ability to suggest unspoken disappointment gives his character dimension—Elysium works, though never as well as it should.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    For much of The Patience Stone, Farahani is the movie, and as she shifts from fear to despair to anger to emotions she’d never previously considered, her magnetic presence goes a long way toward putting a human face on the film, more successfully than the material around her.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Wong’s usual concerns overwhelm the film, and though his pairing of fisticuffs and longing is sometimes awkward, he surrounds the awkwardness with some of the most beautiful images in his career. In Wong’s world, beauty goes a long way.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    While some of the scenes feel contrived, the naturalistic performances never do.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    It’s possible that something’s getting lost in translation, but Demme’s film only occasionally makes it seem like it’s worth the effort for the rest of the world to catch up.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Stallone and Schwarzenegger have all the gravity here, and keep pulling Escape Plan in the direction of an old-fashioned tough-guy action film, one filled with nods to their onscreen pasts and offscreen exploits.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Like its immediate predecessor, Muppets Most Wanted has one tremendous advantage, even when it missteps: Muppets.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Brett Ratner remains a director of no great distinction, but here, he proves himself an adept orchestrator of battle scenes, clearly presenting the forces on both sides, and using clear, coherent editing and dynamic compositions.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    The energy never flags, the film conveys a deep love of Brown’s music (which fills almost every scene), and Boseman remains magnetic whether onstage or in quiet moments.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Abril and Banderas are both terrific as the lovers-to-be... Almodóvar makes it easy to root for them to get together and balance each other out, but that means getting past the situation that brought them together in the first place, and the tension makes the movie queasy even when it’s compelling.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    If nothing else, the sweep of Workman’s cradle-to-grave approach helps place Kane in a broader context, making it one chapter in a long life and a drama-packed career. The only trouble with the film is that Welles’ story has been told many times over, and Workman struggles to find anything new to say.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Big Eyes contains comedy and tragedy, too, but they pair much less agreeably here, in part because each of the film’s two protagonists belongs much more to one world than the other.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Despite the sharp dialogue...and carefully managed dramatic rhythms, Match still can’t help but seem a bit cramped, particularly once the plot starts to take some predictable turns and the shouting starts. It’s a fine line that divides the intimate from the claustrophobic.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    The film refreshingly portrays its kids as part of a diverse group trying to succeed in a country in which they can never find secure footing. That’s the big-picture story here, and one even the occasional underdog cliché can’t obscure.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    The film never entirely figures out what it wants to do with the myth of the superspy, but at least it has fun along the way.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    That love triangle is Coastlines' center. Trouble is, it plays more like canned heat than blazing inferno.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It's well-acted and strikingly shot, and its depiction of contemporary Spanish squalor is hard to forget, but it never quite reconciles its high-drama situations with its low-key approach. It whispers when it really wants to shout.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Its a stupid thrill for a while, but the high wears off, and the anything-goes approach gets headache-inducing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Why do Ewing and Grady feel the need to tip their hand by underscoring it all with creepy ambient music or by using Air America host Mike Papantonio as a Greek Chorus expressing the voice of reason?
    • 44 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    As usual, Thornton remains fully committed to the performance. Viewers could make a game of scanning his face for even the slightest hint of warmth. By the end of the film, that may be the surest source of entertainment.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    A filmed Sunday-school lesson that favors a dry, by-the-Book approach over even a suggestion of dramatic interpretation. It's more Christmas pageant than movie.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Unfortunately, that story isn't particularly well told, and after a while, the strength of the two leads' work and the popping soundtrack can't hide the fact that Lemmons doesn't really have much to say about the material.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Either way, it's too pretentious--or not nearly pretentious enough.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    The Golden Compass does manage the job of bringing Pullman's world to the screen. With luck, any future entries will try harder to get the job done right.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Too bad the story is all over the place. One second, it focuses on a love triangle between students; the next, it's about Washington's efforts to unionize the local farmers.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It's not without laughs--Poehler and Fey, as ever, have strong chemistry, and there's a truly bizarre scene in which Martin offers Fey a strange "reward" for a job well done--but there's a lot of arid space between them.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Video veteran Sanaa Hamri directs with smooth competence, and the leads all go pleasantly through their paces, but there are no surprises.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It's the perfect end-of-summer film, and a sign that summer needs to end soon.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    What does a film called Hotel For Dogs need in order to avoid being a watch-checker for grown-ups? Whatever it is, Hotel For Dogs doesn't have it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    The action scenes don't always get the balance between flash and danger right, but the movie remains agreeably dopey--presenting street-racing culture as a hotbed of colorful stereotypes and lipstick lesbianism--until a climax that just isn't there.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It's an agreeably unambitious comedy that might be called a romp, if that word didn't imply a little too much energy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    The series kept it going for one more entry, but throws its commitment to the era away with movie number three, a ploy sure to anger Ice Age purists everywhere.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Lee’s movie is pleasant enough, but it’s too swept up in the spirit it’s celebrating to ask the relevant questions.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Mann reduces a legendary game of cat-and-mouse to the size of a standard police procedural. His refusal to mythologize Dillinger’s exploits is audacious, but too much of Public Enemies feels disappointingly smaller than life.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    After a while, Daybreakers settles into the lulling rhythms of too many horror movies, as the characters ponder what to do in darkened rooms instead of doing much of anything.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    The best adaptations have found ways to put a personal stamp on the familiar stories. Others have simply reproduced an Alice facsimile in the image of their own era. Surprisingly, Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland belongs to the latter camp. That doesn’t necessarily make it a bad movie, just another frustratingly impersonal one from a director who once had trouble compacting his personality down to movie size.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    The crazies themselves could be a lot more terrifying. Without the rotting ickiness of proper zombies, they just seem like methed-out Iowans looking for a fix. That’s scary, but not scary enough.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It’s a time-waster with brains, but ultimately not enough brains, and one that wastes too much time.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It all goes awry in the end, but for a good stretch, Chloe neatly fixes Egoyan’s career-long obsessions with identity and communication to the familiar framework of the erotic thriller.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Vaughn opts for comic-book bigness—big fights, big laugh lines, big explosions—but without a Spider-Man or Batman at the front of the action, Kick-Ass’s heroes and villains look smaller-than-life in a larger-than-life world.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Image for image and shot for shot, Scott is still one of the most striking directors around, but in Robin Hood, the cohesive particles keeping those images together--frills like a compelling plot and sculpted characters--prove unstable.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    "Happiness" was, in its own dry, muted way, a howl of fatalistic despair discernible to anyone who's ever felt life had run out of cruel tricks to play. Life During Wartime is less a reprise of that howl than its echo.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    The film ultimately feels like a well-trod journey to a familiar destination with not enough wonder along the way.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Make no mistake. In spite of its worthy subject matter and good intentions, Made In Dagenham remains mediocre to the core.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Faster starts to lay on a heavy-handed message about the importance of forgiveness. That isn't what anyone showed up to see.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It's a strange, shapeless, rarely satisfying, but generally amiable movie in which everyone appears to be faking it as they go along, and almost-almost-getting away with it.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Rowan Joffe (son of Roland Joffe) provides busy, if never particularly distinctive direction, but it's the leads that continually threaten to sink the film.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Whatever its basis in fact, there's nothing to Young Goethe In Love's story that dozens of other films haven't done before, and better. But Fehling keeps his Goethe just on the right side of obnoxious, and Stein invests a lot of character and gawky charm into what easily could have been just "the girl."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    This time out, Shelton seems to be playing the part of someone who doesn't know how to finish what she started.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Viewers who dislike movies in which all drama hinges on one character withholding information from another for no reason beyond the need to keep the plot chugging along should stay far away from People Like Us. The film does have its charms, but getting to them means seeing past a Buick-sized contrivance.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    The Odd Life Of Timothy Green attempts to stage a modern fairy tale in Middle America. But in spite of an abundance of earnestness, the pixie dust needed to create magic remains out of the film's reach.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    There really ought to be a lot more movies like Hit & Run, but only if they're just a little bit better.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Company almost seems like the product of a post-Sept. 11 world. Like a cartoon version of a real threat, the villains are terrorists of a non-specific nationality with an ill-defined anti-American agenda and a tendency to spout complaints too clichéd to take seriously.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    In the end, it becomes the cinematic equivalent of one of the songs Tunney adores: enjoyable enough while it lasts, but so thin that its ingratiating charms seem as much a source of frustration as pleasure.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Shaw and Kingsley both create crisp, comic performances, but Sorvino remains a problem throughout. Her physical transformation falls short of the "Boys Don't Cry" standard, to put it mildly.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Hartley's most ambitious film, but it's also among his most uneven, shifting away at moments when its characters should be allowed to connect, underemphasizing some themes, overemphasizing others, and letting a general clash of ideas stand in for momentum.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The characters are funny and the cast's characterizations right on, but the movie repeatedly lets them down.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Ultimately, writer-director Joseph Cedar has created a film that resembles a subtitled very special episode of "JAG."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Tries for that series' breezy matinee atmosphere but the results turn out far too forced.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    A situation of such inherent drama only suffers from the director's attempts to intensify it, and eventually, the scenes of professional and personal rejection begin to suffer from an overabundance of pathos.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It works for a little while, but an Irons-narrated slideshow of the region would have worked just as well.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    If its star were more consistently funny, it might have worked, but the film opens with a string of dreadful Sept. 11 gags and takes a while to recover.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Over in a breeze, padded out by a generous collection of outtakes, and filled with characters who disappear virtually unnoticed, View is an inoffensive comedy that feels like the victim of too much fiddling.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Milos and Rossum are like Iberian "Gilmore Girls," only with an ocean view and without the clever dialogue.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Though haphazardly put together, The Medallion stays fairly entertaining until it kills Chan off and resurrects him as an immortal being.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The film owes as much to Caddyshack as to Capra.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    As a nail-biting thriller, The Siege is too confusing, and as a thought-provoking social drama, too confused.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Skillfully sketches the parameters of its small-town existence but never quite fleshes out the inhabitants of those parameters. Without the well-considered humor and strongly defined characters of "Chuck," only a good cast stands between Girl and some familiar stereotypes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    One of the not-so-nice qualities of Real Women Have Curves is that it occasionally is as preachy as its title suggests.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Director Blair Treu hails from Brigham Young University, and while there's nothing explicitly religious about Little Secrets, his primary influence seems to be those LDS public-service announcements in which nice people learn to become even nicer.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    For a film that depends so much on the interaction between words and passion -- and the drama of how each shapes the other -- the shortage of both leaves Possession looking like nothing more than an "Indiana Jones" in which card catalogs stand in for treasure maps, and footnotes for bullwhips.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The many shots of characters operating devices with remote controls will do little to quiet the complaints that the films have started to resemble video games, and the same can be said of the proliferating digital effects.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Though The Bread, My Sweet is never even a little bit better than this description makes it sound, writer-director Melissa Martin's stagy, unattractive-looking film should at least get credit for going all the way with its manipulation.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The best thing about the movie is its premise: It's a good idea, taken from before Allen's recent losing streak, but it's stretched too thin for its own good.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Fortunately, no one seems to have clued Bardem in on the game plan, and the fierceness and complexity he brings to his role nearly saves Mondays In The Sun.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The film de-emphasizes plot and action in favor of lyricism and outbursts of magic-doing, but the results are more dull than enchanting, no matter how many people fly across the room.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Turns a fond look back at the great Federico Fellini into an occasion for the kind of talky tedium Fellini's own movies would never have allowed.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It's handsomely mounted, and its heart seems in the right place, but that's not reason enough to put on a show.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    An ambitious undertaking, but not a successful one: It unfolds with the studied determination of a grade-school book report.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The film is smart enough to know that verbal humor isn't its strong point, but it doesn't offer much in the way of compensation.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    However much the film may mirror the truth, dramatically it feels like a cheat. It omits the human spark that would make it work as a film, rather than a collection of dramatized issues.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Kids won't mind a bit, but adults accustomed to "Shrek" and Pixar will have no trouble spotting what's missing.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Andrew Davis ("The Fugitive," "Steal Big Steal Little") has made a technically competent thriller that's not only thrill-less, but dull.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Writer-director Audrey Wells never aims higher than postcard filmmaking, and Under The Tuscan Sun at least works on that level, by casting its little operetta of self-realization and remodeling travails against some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Seems to understand its source material, but has no idea how to improve on it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Though star-packed to the point of absurdity--juror Luis Guzmán has little to do but nod his head every once in a while--The Runaway Jury doesn't know what to do with its players.

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