For 1,099 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 4.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Keith Phipps' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 War Horse
Lowest review score: 0 The Ten Commandments
Score distribution:
1099 movie reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Gaghan brings in many more players, but edits the film into the lean, propulsive shape of a thriller. That ends up being something of a problem; some sub-plots never fully untangle and characters get lost as Gaghan rushes toward a conclusion that, taken on its own, is the stuff of a slightly hysterical leftie pamphlet.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 Keith Phipps
    Purists will balk at a pointless--and boring--revamp of a major villain, but that's the least of the film's worries. Only a few isolated shots of the group striding together as a team make Surfer feel like a Fantastic Four movie.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Though "extremely mediocre" may seem like an oxymoron, no phrase better defines Picture Perfect. Aside from wearing, with visual discomfort, a series of absurdly revealing dresses, Aniston does little to distance herself from her "Friends" persona with this slightly less likable character.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    A few stray livers and severed heads aside, this is a monster too polite for its own good.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The action, while busy, never produces much excitement, particularly since Thanit never gives the audience any reason to care about the characters, beyond their underdog status.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    To concentrate on the minor faults of a fable as beautiful and unusual as Pleasantville would be missing the point.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    Unfortunately, Brother Bear doesn't offer much to marvel at beyond its animation.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    The film's attempts at meaning do it in. The longer it goes on and the darker it grows, the further it drifts from any kind of human experience, outside of its protagonists' particular flavor of madness.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Mann takes all the instincts he learned as a Miami Vice producer and trims them of their excesses, and the result is an unsettling thriller whose detached style perfectly complements its psychological intensity.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    Sadly, Taking Lives, adapted from a novel by Michael Pye, proves to be one long wallow in elements that have long since had their effectiveness dulled flat.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    The film is at its best when it isn't afraid to be earnest.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Ultimately, it's an absence of personality that does the film in. The creatures remain beautifully designed and Narnia still looks like a colorful, inviting place, but it feels as lifeless as the fantastical anyworlds found on glittery unicorn posters.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    A joyless trudge, particularly when compared to Fellini’s vibrant original?
    • 9 Metascore
    • 10 Keith Phipps
    Dirty Love offers a series of desperate would-be comic moments.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The best parts come in the rare moments when the film decides to break from formula, as when old Zucker-team warhorse Leslie Nielsen returns as the U.S. President.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    Played with black humor that never gets in the way of the horror, Natali’s film cleverly exploits Dren’s uncanny semi-humanity.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    Though the episodic, low-key action bears a resemblance to Kurosawa's Madadayo -- his little-seen, underrated final film -- neither the characters nor the plot lend it even a hint of dynamism.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 33 Keith Phipps
    Maher's too smart to make a movie this dumb.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Zombie fills The Devil's Rejects with thrilling setpieces, pays homage to his inspirations without outright ripping them off (most of the time), brings back some cult-movie icons (hello, Mary Woronov and E.G. Daily), and works in some profanely clever dialogue.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Keith Phipps
    RV
    Apart from a funny turn by "Arrested Development's" Will Arnett as Williams' evil boss, nobody appears to be having a good time. And the feeling is infectious.
    • 80 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.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    The plot's profound implausibility wouldn't matter if the ideas and emotions behind it had any power.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Tries for that series' breezy matinee atmosphere but the results turn out far too forced.
    • 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.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    Perhaps Lee took a look at the script -- saw all the jokes about diarrhea, pubic lice, drunk old ladies, and drugged gravy, and thought, "Why bother?" Looking at the final results, it's hard to feel any other way.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    Given nothing to do, Carrie-Anne Moss looks on from the sidelines as the film halfheartedly toys with the tired old notion that only a thin line separates the dogged investigator and the compulsive killer. She looks bored, and she should.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    The pleasure here, as before, comes from watching skilled professionals team up for a job well done.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Keith Phipps
    Fans of the genre might appreciate the decidedly R-rated violence and nudity, but that's really all the film has to offer.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Keith Phipps
    Until Timeline reaches its flaming-trebuchet-siege finale -- which should impress anyone who's never seen "The Two Towers" -- it has the stirring production values of an episode of the Tia Carrere action series "Relic Hunter," but with only a fraction of the acting talent and intellectual heft.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Eastwood didn’t overreach with Play Misty For Me. It’s a tense thriller that’s inside his comfort zone in more ways than one. But he does overdeliver in the best way. Co-star Jessica Walter plays an obsessed fan, and Eastwood wrings every ounce of tension from a scenario in which a casual affair turns into a life-threatening mistake, and the film executes a potentially trashy scenario with respect for its audience.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Smart in a rare way that matters greatly to good contemporary comedy: Like last year's "Flirting With Disaster," its script and direction underplay absurd situations, letting its characters amuse without showing the strains of forced wackiness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 33 Keith Phipps
    So instead of history and drama, we get images, many of them striking but none of them memorable, and noise that deafens until no sense can escape. The events beg for Shakespearean gravity, but the only tragedy here is that so little could be made of so much.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's dark and exciting, but with little breathing room.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Nature lacks a little of Malkovich's freshness, but that's just about all it lacks.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Though it occasionally wears its metaphors on its sleeve, Ulee's Gold should, if there's any justice, find the same thoughtful-drama-hungry audience that made "Sling Blade" a hit.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    All the principals -- except, significantly, screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan -- reprised their roles for the sequel, and all seem confused as to why they returned.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    What a shame that The Hunting Of The President feels like part of the problem.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    The film could have turned out worse, but only via the addition of a Tom Green cameo, or an accident in which the actors caught on fire.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    Never good, Crush takes a turn for the worse when it takes a turn for the serious. Its attempt to drop cartoon comedy for cartoon tragedy essentially thrusts the characters from Cathy into the panels of Mary Worth.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Pinhead barely appears in Hellraiser, a film that, with its intense and uncomfortable family drama, might have even worked without him. With him, however, it becomes one of the most innovative and memorable horror films of the '80s.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Though initially off-putting, Chick's distanced direction pays off as XX/XY goes along.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Stahl quietly plays the straight man, giving the usually skillful Farmiga plenty of room to overact with abandon; she plays her character as one part Rosanna Arquette in David Cronenberg's "Crash" to two parts Natalie Portman's magical life-saving pixie in "Garden State."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    Hoffman and Travolta are both good, but this toothless satire does little to justify their performances.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    Neither condemning nor forgiving, the film is a model of documentary evenhandedness, even though James makes no claims of objectivity.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It's okay to be manipulated, so long as you don't feel the strings being pulled. Here the tug is constant, and constantly distracting.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The film contains so many plugs for Warner Bros. movies like the "Harry Potter" series and "300" that it could almost double as an infomercial.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    It's the material that stinks, failing to give even an old pro like White more than a couple of modest laughs.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    John Travolta should realize that people appreciate him, maybe more than ever, but that he should start making movies people won't feel ashamed for having seen if he wants to avoid co-starring with a talking lemur in the future.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    This is teen product at its most generic.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Director Jacques Sarasin lazily relies on a talking-heads/archival-footage approach to tell Traoré's story, doing little to put it in context and assuming a lot more knowledge of Malian history than most viewers possess.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 Keith Phipps
    Adults should steer clear. Kids should be sent to it only if they’ve been extraordinarily naughty.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    It’s a great-looking film--and an impressive use of 3D--but ultimately, the story makes it memorable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    This sort of film lives or dies by its promise of bullet-dodging, stylishly clad women throwing themselves into impossible feats of daring, and when the time comes for action, Yuen displays a rare gift.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    Red Riding’s depiction of the avarice and corruption possible when regions become kingdoms unto themselves feels simultaneously cynical and true.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The result: some intriguing moments, even more intriguing performances, and a film that doesn't quite work.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Sin City draws on the cumulative history of both mediums, creating a pastiche that would have been technologically impossible even three years ago. Its creators invent a queasily intoxicating new world.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    As it goes with the TV show, so it goes with the movie, which benefits from being shot largely in Rome and suffers from trying to stretch its sitcom antics to feature length.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The overstuffed film lumbers across clichés of the heart and of history until it reaches a big, tune-filled climax that isn't worth the wait.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Keith Phipps
    Proven comic talents like Judah Friedlander and Ed Helms make up much of Murphy's crew, but apart from speaking in contraction-free spaceman-ese, the film doesn't give them anything funny to do.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    It essentially uses the setup of an early Dick short story as a bookend to one long, dull chase scene.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    For his first feature, Canadian director Vincenzo Natali has, like the setting of his film, created a complex piece of work around an essentially simple foundation.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Two movies in one. That’s one more movie than it needs to be.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    As a nail-biting thriller, The Siege is too confusing, and as a thought-provoking social drama, too confused.
    • 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.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    Fascinating in the way only a wrongheaded film by a great filmmaker can be, Legend lends beauty to such imagery, but the story keeps dragging it back to the mystical land of kitsch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Doesn't shy away from the social or psychological explanations of the Le Mans murders, but never comes down on one side or another.
    • 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.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 33 Keith Phipps
    It's seldom a good sign when a Rob Schneider cameo elevates a comedy, but Little Man aims so low and fires so often that it can't miss all the time.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    Yet for all Ashes' frustrations, it's still a gorgeous piece of filmmaking.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 42 Keith Phipps
    Here's a great way to start savoring life: Don't waste it on pat manipulations like this.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    It's a winning comedy, though some of Pecker's jokes inspire silence and some scenes are awkwardly staged.
    • 49 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    Beloved has an almost gut-wrenching quality to it. But the same can't be said for the movie overall--it's a noble, ambitious failure, but a failure nonetheless.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    This vanity project belongs to an audience of one.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    Much poorly choreographed gunplay, many lovingly rendered head explosions, and some half-assed exposition about centuries-old, immortality-seeking pirates follow, with nothing to recommend House Of The Dead to anyone but the most undiscriminating zombie-movie fans.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    What Von Trier arrives at is a complex, contemporary, and deeply moving exploration of faith.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Though the film suffers from Sidney's point-and-shoot approach to the Robert Alton-staged musical numbers, it's buoyed nicely by the songs themselves, a clever script, crisp Technicolor cinematography, and Hutton's spirited performance.
    • 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.
    • 52 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Ed Harris and William Hurt deliver inspired turns as the villains.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Well matched both to the material and each other, Cage and Beach capture Windtalkers' true struggle, the fight to hold on to values like honor, friendship, and tenderness in an environment that demands otherwise. This is as much a Woo trademark as the carefully orchestrated gunplay.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    The film too often gets bogged down by a rhythmless pace and an overabundance of the kind of wacky physical business better left to experts in a dumber brand of comedy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Big
    It’s a funny, bittersweet film that opens as a cautionary tale about growing up too fast, but deepens into a movie about the unplumbable gulf between childhood and adulthood, and what it feels like to stand on either side, wishing for a way over.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    One long tease, not just because it keeps promising sex it doesn't deliver. It teases at deeper themes and cultural commentary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    It’s a film of odd moments, dry humor, and restless characters, each of whom end the film by departing from Memphis, weighed down by what they’ve taken away from it, even if they can’t exactly define what that is.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    Though it soon devolves into a laughable mess, The Forgotten at least spends its first 10 minutes or so raising provocative questions.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Keith Phipps
    Yes, it's fundamentally business as usual, but it's the best kind of business as usual, and it finds everyone working in top form. Abrams imports and enlarges "Alias'" smooth, stylish, yet remarkably visceral approach to action, and the actors pack a satisfying amount of drama into the moments between action scenes.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    For a while, it's a dark, insubstantial treat.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    It’s an endearingly odd, consistently creepy film that hearkens back to the director’s previous work.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 42 Keith Phipps
    No Reservations is pretty much the dramatic equivalent of a burger and fries, however pretty the presentation.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    The Last Party's scattershot approach doesn't linger on any single topic long enough to make a convincing case for any side.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    It’s more a misguided, though occasionally retch-worthy, mediocrity elevated by its cast—Bening, as always, is particularly strong—and Nichols’ fluid camerawork. Those elements at times make it seem like a better movie than it really is, but it doesn’t benefit from scrutiny or thought.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Contains enough exciting surf scenes that it could almost get by on visceral thrills alone.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    But the parts of Foer's lively novel that didn't get cut in the script stage have died on the way to the screen. To be fair, it's not an easy novel to adapt.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    Through it all, Muccino piles on one shrill confrontation after another. At times, he seems headed for the melodramatic turf owned and operated by Pedro Almodóvar, but where the young Almodóvar would have deployed a prankish wit and the older Almodóvar scraped toward the humanity beneath.
    • 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.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Predictably, the best moments belong to Buscemi, whose performance is a model of understatement in a field of grotesques.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    A sight worth seeing.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    In spite of its cast and seemingly can't-miss premise, Wedding Crashers is at its best a succession of mild chuckles.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    Once the dust clears, it's hard to think of a film saga that's wound down with such a profound anticlimax. It's a whimper in bang's clothing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Keith Phipps
    Garden State coasts on this considerable charm until it hits a brick wall in its final segments.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Realized through old-fashioned camera mastery and newfangled special effects, it’s a stunning technical accomplishment, but one seemingly designed only to broadcast banal sentiments, when it says anything at all.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    It accumulates weight as it goes along, ultimately becoming as thoughtful and emotionally involving as it is beautiful to behold.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 Keith Phipps
    Opting for car chases instead of the thought-provoking ideas of its predecessors, the film looks like the work of, if not pod people, folks who gave up any kind of passion for the material long before the cameras started to roll.
    • 87 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    A sweet, inoffensive, achingly laughless comedy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 58 Keith Phipps
    That love triangle is Coastlines' center. Trouble is, it plays more like canned heat than blazing inferno.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    Either a thoroughly incomprehensible movie or a daring exercise in the cinema of disorientation, and a painful viewing experience either way.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    In happier times, director Stuart Rosenberg confidently helmed Cool Hand Luke. Here, he resorts to one spookhouse cliché after another, and even the original touches are more puzzling than startling.
    • 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.
    • 80 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    It should be a personal triumph or a personal tragedy, but it's neither: just another moment between curtain-rise and curtain-fall in the glorious business of creating beauty.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Keith Phipps
    Teghil is a winning lead.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 42 Keith Phipps
    Apart from Considine, the actors all deliver superficial performances beneath several layers of slathered-on Summer Of Love drag, and Woolley's use of multiple film stocks and flash-cut editing jumbles together a bunch of '60s filmmaking clichés without putting them to any particular use.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    Director Shawn Levy brings a yeoman-like joylessness to the project, spoiling whatever fun might have been had. Kutcher and Murphy seem game enough, and it's a testament to their charisma that they're the hardest element of the film to hate.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    Too pretty to dismiss, but too dull to recommend.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    Ultimately, the film is the kind of neither-fish-nor-fowl work unlikely to satisfy anyone: There's not enough hot-and-heavy action for thrill-seekers, and not enough substance for those looking for above-the-waistline kicks.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    At least Christensen seems to have the right idea: She gives her character a look that's part lust, part thousand-yard stare, and part Machiavelli in tight sweaters and form-fitting skirts. It's not exactly acting, but it's not predictable, either, which makes it stand out all the more.
    • 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.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    That points to the problem at Sleepover's heart: It buys into the caste system it ostensibly flouts.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Just as memorable and emotionally intense as any of Wong's films. It's a mood as much as a movie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Keith Phipps
    The film at its simplest serves as a cautionary tale, but it also functions as a meditation on how little it takes to redirect a life by choice or by chance.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    A grimy mess set among L.A.'s speed-abusing "tweakers," Salton has neither the substance to justify first-time feature director D.J. Caruso's pretentious flourishes, nor the skill to make those flourishes work on their own terms.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Keith Phipps
    Rudnick is a wit, and his script allows everyone a decent one-liner or two. But the problem with one-liners is that they only last one line, leaving a whole movie around them that needs filling in.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    Girotti has no magical powers, but his dementia has a way of coming and going at just the right time to move the story and themes wherever director Ferzan Ozpetek and co-writer Gianni Romoli want them to go.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    Annaud has given Seven Years In Tibet an epic scope, packed with beautiful scenery, lush costumes, and elaborate sets. Which would all be well and good if they didn't often seem like the reason the movie exists.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    Ramis is at his best when dealing with men facing a soul-defining crisis, and he finds plenty to work with in Russo and Benton's script, which offers Russo's trademark blend of colorful characters and slow-building dilemmas. The Ice Harvest finds them all operating in top form in as dark a territory as they've ever explored.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 20 Keith Phipps
    Extreme Ops seems to have only the slightest grasp of its own absurdity (or its own horribleness), which makes it almost charming.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    The film is clearly an act of boosterism, and it makes a pretty good case for the Glastonbury cause.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Keith Phipps
    You have to give She's All That points for unironically staying true to its genre in its purest form, one Kevin Williamson-like bit of dialogue aside.
    • 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.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The role needs a steely, inhuman reserve, and Garner's innate likeability works against her.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    A garish mediocrity.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    The issues Decena raises rarely get treated on any but the most superficial of levels, and the flatly realized characters make it difficult to care what becomes of them.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Keith Phipps
    In The Loop floats above its chaotic world on wave after wave of beautifully profane dialogue.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 33 Keith Phipps
    About Piven: When did it go wrong? When did the caustic character actor guaranteed to liven up even the dullest movie turn into a walking black hole of smarm from which no joy can escape?
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The film owes as much to Caddyshack as to Capra.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 Keith Phipps
    League begins as a smart variation on the summer blockbuster, then loses its nerve in a second half sure to satisfy neither cheap-thrill-seekers nor fans of neglected literary oddities.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Keith Phipps
    Haneke’s latest is essentially an inquiry into the roots of a certain kind of evil.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 Keith Phipps
    Director Samuel Bayer, a veteran commercial and music video director responsible for Nirvana’s “Smell Like Teen Spirit Video” back when the original Nightmare series was still a going concern, brings a slick visual sense but not a hint of vision.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Keith Phipps
    A winning mix of humor and poignant character examination, and a satisfying film.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Keith Phipps
    The characters are funny and the cast's characterizations right on, but the movie repeatedly lets them down.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Keith Phipps
    It's refreshingly unformulaic, but a rambling mess. It's also tremendously funny.
    • 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.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 0 Keith Phipps
    The Last Airbender isn't that much different from the rest of this summer's generally dire multiplex fare-from "The A-Team" to "Jonah Hex"... But it is remarkable in one respect: It's the worst of them.

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