For 1,366 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Waltz with Bashir
Lowest review score: 0 That's My Boy
Score distribution:
1,366 movie reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Some films aren't revelations, exactly, but they burrow so deeply into old truths about love and loss and the mess and thrill of life, they seem new anyway. A Single Man is one such film, one of the best of 2009
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    A tart, brilliantly acted fable of life’s little cosmic difficulties, a Coen brothers comedy with a darker philosophical outlook than “No Country for Old Men” but with a script rich in verbal wit.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The result is a mixture of unified atmosphere and lived-in character study, and while Vasiliu’s role is not as indelible as that of her co-stars, Marinca’s Otilia and Ivanov’s steely abortionist are just about perfect.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Not since Robert Altman took on “Popeye” a generation ago, and lost, has a major director addressed such a well-loved, all-ages title. This time everything works, from tip to tail.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Burnett's documentarian empathy, coupled with his easygoing skill as a dramatic essayist, result in a film that doesn't look, feel or breathe like any American work of its generation.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Up
    Some of the comic inventions are inspired: Muntz has a pack of dogs equipped with electronic voice boxes, which means they're talking dogs, only they speak as if they've learned English from a poorly translated Berlitz guide.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Day-Lewis... the role of a lifetime.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Sensational, grandly sinister and not for the kids, The Dark Knight elevates pulp to a very high level.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It's not for all tastes; it requires some patience. The more your own job involves absurd, time-consuming bits of minutiae, the more familiar (and amusing) it'll seem.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    This is one of the screen's most rewarding explorations of the teacher/student relationship in any language.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It all comes together as formidably detailed and easy-breathing craftsmanship.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    A sweet, sharp coming-of-age romance, Adventureland is a little warmer, a little funnier and a lot more truthful than the last 20 or 30 of its ilk. Especially its Hollywood ilk.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The characters in Gomorrah may lack an extra dramatic dimension: Garrone errs, if anything, on the side of detachment. Yet that detachment is also the key to the film's success. There's so little hooey and melodramatic head-banging here.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    May be the best and saddest film of the year so far.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    This is one of the real finds of 2008.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It is wonderful: a rhapsodic adaptation of a memoir, a visual marvel that wraps its subject in screen romanticism without romanticizing his affliction. It left me feeling euphoric.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    While I may argue with the little guy's taste in musicals, it's remarkable to see any film, in any genre, blend honest sentiment with genuine wit and a visual landscape unlike any other.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It is personal filmmaking of the highest order, recognized with an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Its sense of humor is more sly, more sophisticated and more interesting than most PG-13 or R-rated comedies at the moment. The film may be animated, and largely taken up with rats, but its pulse is gratifyingly human.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The film itself is perfectly poised between artistry and audacity. It's beautiful.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It's a very small piece, working in a deceptively casual storytelling style. But it's my favorite music film since "Stop Making Sense," and it's more emotionally satisfying than any of the Broadway-to-Hollywood adaptations made in the last 20 years.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The word masterpiece costs nothing to write and means less than nothing in an age when every third picture and each new Clint Eastwood project is proclaimed as such. After two viewings, however, Letters From Iwo Jima strikes me as the peak achievement in Eastwood's hallowed career.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Ballast strikes me as one of the few American pictures of 2008 to say what it wants to say, visually and narratively, about a specific situation and part of the country, in a way that transcends regional specifics.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    This one slice of the American experience amounts to one of the best films of the year.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The self-taught man behind the griddle, his wife, Eve, and their five seen-it-all kids emerge as the ensemble of the year.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Unnervingly good, Little Children is one of the rare American films about adultery that feels right--dangerous, hushed, immediate.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Borat is a rarity: a comedy whose middle name is danger, or as the Kazakhs say, kauwip-kater.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The beauty of the Turkish film Climates, a small but indelible masterpiece, is more than skin-deep. No 2006 film meant more to me. It's as sharp and lovely as the best Chekhov short stories.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The style is brash, and it works. Tucker and Epperlein illustrate Yunis' account of his eight-month imprisonment, much of that time spent at the notorious Abu Ghraib compound, with literal illustrations--pages seemingly torn out of a Frank Miller graphic novel.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Arnold reminds us that the best thrillers don't settle for taking the audience away from their everyday experience; rather, they burrow inward and, by sheer power of cinematic observation, make it hard for us to look away lest we miss something--on a screen or off.