For 1,007 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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Keith Phipps' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Lowest review score: 0 The Ten Commandments
Score distribution:
1,007 movie reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    The film uses the cutting edge of technology to take viewers to the far reaches of the human experience, but also to create a sense of empathy, of investing in the life of another person. It’s a remarkably complex film, but an admirably simple one, too.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    Zuckerberg's story ends up feeling bigger than his own life.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    Unchecked goodness has its price, after all, and childhood wonder wouldn't be nearly as sweet if it didn't fade. That may explain the film's appeal. It trapped that feeling, and its sense of possibility, in amber -- then, now, and for any time.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    All in all, it's a fitting conclusion to the series, and yet there are disappointments built in. For one, Jackson has opted not to film Tolkien's downbeat "Scouring Of The Shire" epilogue.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    It's Malick's particular genius to make viewers feel like they're seeing the world, with all its beauty and danger, for the first time. [28 Nov. 2007]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Where Barton Fink sometimes resembled a horror movie, Inside Llewyn Davis plays like an elegy. Its conclusions are more regretful than angry, and while the conflict between art and commerce is no less central, there’s much more emphasis on that conflict’s personal toll.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Director Zacharias Kunuk captures that feeling well, but he never quite develops it into a theme epic enough to fill Atanarjuat's scope. His film is by turns mesmerizing and trying, with enough of the former to make the latter worthwhile.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    Mirren begins the film having her portrait painted, looking every inch the monarch and proud to play the part. By the end, she's let the pressure of one week, and maybe a lifetime, show in her eyes.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    There's not a weak performance in Secrets And Lies, a fact made more notable by the seeming ease with which the cast performs as an ensemble.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    The ultimate vision here is of a hard world in which civilization is the aberration, and the things we fear are always waiting for an excuse to make life normal again.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Finds the right balance between reverence and wit.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    An excellent movie, as effective in battle scenes as it is in that of soldiers ruminating on an Edith Piaf song.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    Granik has no taste for noir archness, opting for a chilly, shot-on-decaying-locations naturalism that feels as lived-in as Lawrence's performance.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    It's all presented in a detached style that's ultimately much more moving and truthful than any heartstring-slashing weeper. This may be Egoyan's best work yet, and it's surely one of the best films of the year.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    What's more impressive, and in the end more important, is the high standard of storytelling that Pixar continues to meet by locating both humor and emotional depth in worlds created out of lines of code.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    The film is unfortunately about little more than its potentially mind-boggling plot and structure.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    An important act of historical preservation, a focused and effective film that brings back a dark, important moment in history with startling clarity.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    As specific as the film is to Italy at the turn of the turbulent 1970s, it’s also a film about how power first corrupts, then makes mad those who possess it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    What makes Towers so staggering is the way it brings the full scope of Jackson's adaptation into focus. Without missing a beat in three hours, the film shifts from epic to lyrical and back.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Delivers the goods, if the goods you're in the market for happen to be a clever romance concerning William Shakespeare that's unlikely to cause anyone to reassess their notions of Shakespeare, romance, or enjoyment.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    An early shot of two turtles crawling through the classroom establishes the film's deliberate pace, and To Be And To Have benefits from the care.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    By turning her attention to an underreported chapter in recent history, Kennedy has found a trove rich with unreal imagery and stories of heroism in the face of defeat.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    It’s a classic tale of survival that draws on how movies, in the right hands, can make viewers see the world through others’ eyes, and to feel what keeps them grasping as it threatens to slip away.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    It allows Lee to draw out a theme that's been present in his films from the start: the notion that repressed passion does no one any good. In Brokeback Mountain, it turns vibrant men ghostly.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Memorable, deeply affecting movie.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Herzog is still the only person who could have made Grizzly Man. His admiration for Treadwell has its limits, but he understands, better than most directors, what it means to follow dreams into the belly of the beast.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    Cholodenko's casually observant style perfectly matches the cast's thoughtful work, though the film ultimately proves more successful at creating messy situations than trying to resolve them.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Ten
    Nobody handles unvarnished interactions quite the way Kiarostami does, and for much of Ten, it's a kind of austere thrill to watch him focus so intently on one aspect of his craft.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    At once a devastating condemnation of war and an exciting action film...The additional running time only adds to Petersen's masterfully bleak, claustrophobic atmosphere. Das Boot is by no means a pleasant experience, but it's an intelligent and emotionally gripping one that you won't forget. [Director's Cut]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    Only the finale threatens to undo all that hard work. Though well-done, the last act leans less on the facts of the case than on Hollywood contrivances, heightening the tension with embellishments that feel at odds with the methodical, deliberate film leading up to them.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    The marvelous new Talk To Her has elements that wouldn't have seemed out of place in an Almodóvar film of 20 years ago
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    While it's very funny, Boogie Nights taps into something much deeper with its on-target depiction of the shifting political and social tides of the '70s and '80s and thoughtful relationships between characters. It's a deeply satisfying movie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Turtles Can Fly creates a haunting reminder that collateral damage can't always be measured in casualty rates, and that it goes on long after the news cameras have left the scene.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    After establishing an atmosphere of nearly unbearable dread, Alfredson keeps thickening and chilling it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    It's hard to film icons like Young as anything BUT icons, but Demme's film gets past the legend, zooming in on Young's aged, heroic face and finding an artist as human as the rest of us.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    A funny, unexpectedly inspiring story of excess, poor choices, and unwavering high-mindedness, all tied to that quintessential bit of rock wisdom: Icarus did fall, but first he flew.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    The generous, sharp performances, especially Garai's, deepen the story's emotional impact, as does Wright's assured, frequently astounding direction.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Works both as a great romance and a great, unconventional crime thriller. But step back from such distinctions, and it just looks like a great movie.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Haynes makes it possible to forget all the layers at work and simply be swept up in the story's emotions. As in Sirk's films, these characters live and breathe within the film's exaggerated reality, thanks to rich performances by Haysbert, Quaid, and especially Moore.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    In his best film since "Unforgiven," Eastwood ultimately lets observations on character, community, and the tidal patterns of tragedy shoulder a burden an ordinary murder mystery never could.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    Almodóvar is still one of the few directors worth watching just for how he uses color on the screen. But the pleasures have always run much deeper, and now they run deeper still.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Evans is a revelation here, delivering a haunted performance that his previous work has only suggested he had in him. He gives the film a solid center, allowing others in the cast to explore the extreme.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    In The Loop floats above its chaotic world on wave after wave of beautifully profane dialogue.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Effective as a drama as it spirals Golbahari deeper into her nightmarish world, Osama is similarly powerful as a fictionalized account of the Taliban's obscene wish for a world where the stringent enforcement of religious laws took the place of instinctual human kindness.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    Gripping action and vulnerable heroes writ large. It boldly goes somewhere different and makes it hard to leave the film not hoping for a return voyage soon.
    • 83 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    It's a film assembled from moments out of time, destined forever to weigh down the boy at their center.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Captain Phillips could have stopped at simply depicting what happened; it’s the steps it takes to examining why it happened that make it extraordinary.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    Gordon's feature directorial debut mostly stops being about video-game obsession and turns into a film about what it takes to make it in America.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Despite years of imitators, sequels (some great, some not so), and edited-for-television broadcasts, Alien has lost none of its power, and the big screen only intensifies its impact.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Were he only trying to remark on that world's creepiness, Cronenberg would still succeed brilliantly, if coldly, but his sympathy makes the film.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    Burton brings his signature visual style, and a pair of stock players for his stars, into this film adaptation, but he wisely follows Sondheim's lead, letting the music and spirit of the original piece show the way.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    It could all be done much more efficiently, but any other approach would lose Tsai's unique mix of stone-faced comedy and dewy-eyed lyricism.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    For a film that clearly required a small army to make, it often feels thrillingly off-the-cuff, which keeps with The Lego Movie’s themes of creativity and weirdness: Nobody’s following an instruction book with this one.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Most importantly, the director, script, and cast (rounded out by Judi Dench and well-placed imports Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone) all recognize that Austen is about much more than pretty costumes and knowing looks.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    While 20,000 Days On Earth never finds the real Nick Cave, it’s because it knows better than to try to look for it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    Though it's dominated by two people walking and talking, after a point it's as difficult to parse what's real and what's constructed in Certified Copy as it is in the home stretch of "Inception" (although "Before Sunset" and Roberto Rossellini's "Journey To Italy" provide closer models).
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    Haneke’s latest is essentially an inquiry into the roots of a certain kind of evil.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Pawlikowski's off-balance compositions and affection for odd close-ups suggest the influence of Wong Kar-Wai, but the film's low-key observational spirit owes as much to Mike Leigh.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    The film's capes and cowls suggest one genre, but it's a metropolis-sized tragedy at heart.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    For as long as director and co-writer Jacques Audiard focuses on the central relationship, his stylish film stays on steady footing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    What it became is essentially one long free-fall from destitution to despair.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Ed Harris and William Hurt deliver inspired turns as the villains.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    McCarthy's characters make for good company even in their story's awkward patches, and in a film so unabashedly about the value of friendship, good company goes a long way.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    It’s a studied movie that gives itself over to bursts of intensity, and between them sometimes threatens to become as spellbound by its subjects as they become with each other.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    Skyfall doesn't forget it has to be an exciting spy film above all, but from its first scene, it ratchets up the drama in ways that have little to do with action.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Thoroughly realized characters and relationships and Solondz's masterful ability to switch the tone from comic to tragic within the same scene help make Happiness a better film than it might have been otherwise. Much better, in fact.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Now an invaluable time capsule, the film has to transcend its own conceptual messiness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    That makes it hard to watch "Billy Elliot" director Stephen Daldry's adaptation without thinking of the one Almodóvar might have made -- which surely would have been warmer, less self-consciously tony, and less relentlessly arid than the one that did get made.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    A truly scary horror film, something akin to a lost art these days.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    After a start heavy on exposition, the film strings one action setpiece after another, each realized with the breathless excitement of an adventure pulp cover. It's as if Jackson set out to bring to life every fantasy of the last moment before earth gave way to space as the site of the final frontier.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    An unassuming wisp of a movie, Midnight In Paris finds Woody Allen penning a love letter to the City Of Lights, albeit one whose sentiments could easily fit on a postcard.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    Klayman captures the earlier parts of that story so compellingly that the finale's "to be continued" quality ends up playing into the film's unspoken goal: raising awareness of one man's ongoing attempts to better the world through art.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    The power to provoke may not always have a smoke-to-fire relationship with greatness but with Scorsese's film, a testament of faith that leaves in the question marks, it undeniably does.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    An unpredictable, often funny, always winning film, Love And Death On Long Island is filled with low-key humor and sharp observations about the state of art at the close of the millennium.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    "I knew the children here had something to say," Goldberg says in voiceover early in the film. That statement may sound slightly maudlin, but the film that follows is anything but.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Bielinsky's debut is a fine con picture, but at its best, it achieves even more, presenting the profession as a lifestyle with almost existential ramifications.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    The Coens direct True Grit with a light touch, but like Portis' stark, funny novel, their adventure tale shaves off none of the rough edges.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Where Noyce could easily have given Branagh a mustache and tilted the film toward old-fashioned melodrama, he leans on tactics that are less obvious and more effective.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    It's a remote location, but Frammartino's canny eye, wry humor, and careful sense of rhythm make it feel like the best possible spot to observe the workings of the world, from ashes to ashes.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    The film finds a surprising amount of tenderness and humor beneath the brutality. The laughs may catch in the throat, but that's only a byproduct of City Of God's power to leave viewers breathless.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    As played by Ralph Fiennes in his own cinematic adaptation of the play, Coriolanus' military genius makes him a figure of awe, but it's his near-absence of empathy that makes him terrifying.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Yet for all the heady ideas at play, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes remains a visceral film, one of movement, action, unexpected developments, and disarming poignance.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    A florid, often lurid, completely enthralling film held in place by a disarming Portman, who rarely leaves the frame.