For 1,040 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 4% 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:
1,040 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Offers a strange mix of sentimentality and social criticism, sometimes mixing the two to awkward effect.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    After spending so much time letting the characters' deeds do the talking, the film veers into overkill, which comes as a letdown. But the actions linger longer than the words.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    With much more success than last summer's formula-bound "Atlantis," Treasure Planet finds the common ground between classic Disney animation and newfangled action-adventure films.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Never finds any forward momentum, but Vysotskaya's sweet performance and the unsubtle but effective use of the war-torn asylum as a stand-in for the former USSR keep it compelling.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    It sputters whenever it has to move the story along, and it too often forgets to pay attention to Cuthbert; it makes a point about the mistake of treating women as sex objects, but it's perfectly content to use her as a plot device for the second and third acts.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    It's a bit more than the film can handle without leaving loose ends dangling, and though it's never preachy, Sayles' political message-sending sometimes comes across too clearly for its own good. He makes valid points, though, particularly when he lets his storytelling do the work for him.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Once it reaches the meat of the story, it seems to lose its confidence.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    It looks good. It seems to work. It occasionally coheres into a priceless moment. But in the end, the pieces don't all fit together as they should.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Even if it weren't a remake, The Italian Job would still look startlingly unoriginal, but in a summer that promises plenty of sold-out showings, it could be the season's breakout pretty-okay-second-choice film.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Becomes precisely the sort of film its elements demand. As tearful goodbyes and joyful montage sequences set to lite-jazz saxophoning take over, "neatly winsome" trumps "messy drama" yet again.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    The second Pierce Brosnan-fronted James Bond movie settles into the groove of unspectacular convention-adhering that has marked the series for the last couple of decades.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Its gloomy speculations on the ephemeral nature of art are paradoxically not easily forgotten, and Godard's daring again pays off, or at least comes close enough to get credit for trying.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    For a while, it's a dark, insubstantial treat.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Contains enough exciting surf scenes that it could almost get by on visceral thrills alone.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    The unimposing Fiennes may not suggest the burly Luther's plain-talking peasant background, but he at least captures the charisma.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Cinematographer Italo Petriccione gives the film a dramatic look, but that never compensates for the lack of actual drama; when so much of the conflict concerns Cristiano's reluctance to betray his father, it might have helped to spend more time on exploring that relationship than on capturing what light looks like when it pours in from a cellar door.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Sure, it quickly turns into a one-note exercise in laughing at the yokels, but at least it has a vision.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Conceptually compelling, but the interest ends there, in part because the humans get squeezed to the margins in favor of pseudo-history and clashing battleaxes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Garden State coasts on this considerable charm until it hits a brick wall in its final segments.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    At times, this makes the film easier to appreciate than it is to watch: The story is perfectly clear, but the film's style takes its cues from the characters' oblique emotions in a way designed to freeze viewers out.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    CQ
    It looks great -- thanks in large part to production designer Dean Tavoularis and Wes Anderson cinematographer Robert Yeoman -- but just as importantly, it looks like it's interesting. Ultimately, it's not, but that almost doesn't matter.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    The same willingness to plunge into luridness and melodrama allows The Gatekeeper to work as a taut suspense film on its shoestring budget.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    But much of it, like its subject, is so cryptic, distractingly stylish, and impenetrably posed that it's rough going most of the way.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    The main problem with Tarzan is its story, which, after a strong start, finds a steady groove and stays with it, offering no particular highs or lows.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It's the perfect end-of-summer film, and a sign that summer needs to end soon.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It’s a time-waster with brains, but ultimately not enough brains, and one that wastes too much time.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    Either way, it's too pretentious--or not nearly pretentious enough.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    That love triangle is Coastlines' center. Trouble is, it plays more like canned heat than blazing inferno.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It's a film about teen angst that's too caught up in its characters' state of mind to see its way through to the other side.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The trick to staging Wilde is to hint at the gravity beneath the witticisms. A Good Woman barely even gets the witticisms out, though it does contain Wilde's line about people being either tedious or charming.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    There's real triumph to Obree's story, and real adversity, too, but the film contents itself with the pretend versions of both.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Fire is designed to provoke questions and spark debate. Mission accomplished, but, despite a heartfelt tone that pervades its every moment, it doesn't do much else.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    If only any of it were funny.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    At least Dennis Franz, as a former angel, livens up his scenes, and Ryan is less intolerable than usual. Meanwhile, the always-interesting Cage does a good job pretending he's in a better movie. But he's not.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Much of the film feels like watching "Home Alone" and "Mr. Mom" on 12 different TVs at once.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    De Niro made the right choice in making this a film of cold, gray Leiters rather than dynamic Bonds. But he never makes us feel the chill.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Modestly entertaining by the low standards of spring blockbusters. As with "Transporter 2" and "The Incredible Hulk," Leterrier aims no higher than competence and achieves just that.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Moore's scenes with a miscast-but-game Harrelson offer a study in how spouses learn to handle even their partners' most destructive impulses, but in most other moments, Anderson fails to get beyond the surface of her characters' lives.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Rourke's hammy, eyeliner-enhanced acting alone almost makes Alex Rider worth a look.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    There aren't a lot of laughs in Happy Endings, and those that sneak in are pretty wry. There's no comedic snap either, and while that seems not to be the point, humor might have helped with the film's often-sluggish pacing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It looks handsome but seems infected by the idea of playing different roles; a comedy in one scene, it adopts a mood of a high seriousness the next and clutters the stage with minor characters that contribute little. In the end, this inability to make up its mind does the film in.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The film alternates sloppily executed sex gags with sentiment, as did its predecessors. And it's all just slightly more endearing and amusing than it has any right to be.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    In spite of the unavoidable disappointment that comes from raised expectations (and lowered elevations), it's clumsy storytelling that ultimately keeps Warriors grounded.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Ice Princess will probably connect most strongly with kids who have yet to develop an awareness of sports- and family-film clichés.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    When the halves of the film collide in the courtroom climax, it looks like a misbegotten pilot for Law & Order: Usury Victims Unit.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Ultimately, writer-director Joseph Cedar has created a film that resembles a subtitled very special episode of "JAG."
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    There’s real craftsmanship to the film, but it’s in service of a story that can’t quite support it.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It's taken a while for Kane to make it to the big screen, maybe because fantasy barbarians and long-ago kings have more immediate appeal than pious, slouch-hat-wearing men with poor senses of humor, but Solomon Kane gives it a go anyway. The results suggest a compelling movie could be made from the material, even if it isn't this one.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Without Radcliffe at the center looking scared out of his wits, The Woman In Black would seem even slighter than it already does.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The ideal viewer of Accepted probably won't have seen any college comedies before. Or any slobs-vs.-snobs movies like "Caddyshack." For those who have, it's kind of a snore.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    As historical speculation, it's clever enough. As a film, it glows with flop-sweat.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It’s nice to see a film unafraid to be quiet and sensitive, but one good gust of coastal breeze would blow this one away.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    There’s promising raw material here, particularly in the early scenes. But the film’s second half seems determined to snuff out the promise of its first, making it hard to wish for this incarnation of the character, or any, to have more big-screen adventures.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    While watching Gazzara, Huston, Kevin Corrigan, Rosanna Arquette, and others take things two steps beyond over-the-top is inherently compelling, it becomes embarrassing before long.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    A Time to Kill embodies all that is wrong with Hollywood attempts to address important issues, raising questions of race and justice but refusing to deal with them on anything but the most simplified, manipulative moral terms.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It's unashamedly escapist, but a turn for the serious as The Vow nears the finish line only underscores its essential silliness and what a poor job the film has done making it seem like its characters need each other for reasons beyond looking good together.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    After a sentimental opening sequence, he (Kang) scarcely lets the film pause to breathe, which dulls its effectiveness.

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