Michael Phillips
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For 1,547 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Greenberg
Lowest review score: 0 Chappie
Score distribution:
1,547 movie reviews
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The music's the best thing ... But it isn't enough to lift this middlebrow, middleweight and middling project ... above its misjudgments and limitations.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Veber's early stage training serves him well both as an adapter (he wrote the "La Cage aux Folles" screenplay) and as a maker of originals though, truth be told, The Valet isn't especially original.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When you see and hear so many fans of so many backgrounds expounding on what "Firework" means to them, you realize that while a song may or may not be for you, it most certainly is for others.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie shoves McCarthy and Sarandon in a car together quickly, without much in the way of expository set-up.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Even though the film shows very little of the rough stuff, it's still fairly traumatizing. By the end you may feel like seeing a documentary about a more fair-minded and evenhanded treatment of a society's citizens.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Jersey Boys the movie is a different, more sedate animal than "Jersey Boys" the Broadway musical.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie doesn't really work, but it's fascinating in the ways it doesn't. Then again, I enjoyed the spacey insanity of the Wachowskis' "Speed Racer," which they didn't even like in Asia.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I love Pete Postlethwaite as a rule, but here - as a murderous florist who pulls all the strings - he overacts his key scene so badly it's as if he did it on a dare. Also, Jon Hamm may rule on "Mad Men," but here he's stuck as a rather dimwitted FBI agent who's two beats behind the action, always.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Elegy is a curious example of misplaced good taste.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wobbles between its comic and dramatic concerns; even those who buy the film more wholeheartedly than I might consider the overall tone uncertain.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Much of this wordplay is clever, though there’s something off with the plotting.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Even when the film's cheating, Firth refuses to tidy up the fictionalized Lomax's emotional state. The actor, so good at playing stalwart men contending with inner demons, can utter a simple line — "I don't think I can be put back together" — and break your heart, legitimately, without histrionics.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A movie like this can handle a large character roster, but it helps if the story retains clean lines and a sense of propulsion. Iron Man 2 sags and wanders in its midsection
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A handful of revisions, tweaks and adjustments, along with a musical score less bombastically grandiose, might've made this a film to remember.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The tunes are so good, you can’t believe the film itself doesn’t amount to more, especially with the rightness of the casting. Still, a few laughs are better than none.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Someday, if we’re all good little boys and girls, the world will hand us a Dr. Seuss film half as wonderful as one of the books. Meantime we have the competent, clinical computer animation and relative inoffensiveness of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! to pass the time.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There's a delayed-secret hitch in the narrative that hijacks the movie, for better or worse. You don't have to believe any of it to enjoy a lot of it, however.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Outlandish weddings aren't much of a satiric target, but Confetti isn't really going for satire; mild-mannered japes are more its style.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This is the story of a complicated and fraught friendship, and I'm not sure Wright and his collaborators figured out how much Hollywood baloney and how much naturalistic grunge to apply to it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Bird has serious promise outside the animation realm; in "Ghost Protocol" he errs, I think, by shoving the camera too close to the bodies in the frame, so that the momentum and spatial relationships become awfully hard to parse.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If you have any curiosity at all about how a fellow like George Hamilton became a fellow like George Hamilton, My One and Only answers the question by looking, fondly, at his primary caregiver.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Director Jodie Foster's film reasserts the feverish, defiant, often gripping talent of actor Mel Gibson.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I just wish Cronenberg hadn't adapted the book on his own. Behind the camera, he does remarkable things, turning Packer's limo into what Cronenberg himself has described as an upscale version of "Das Boot." But the playlets constituting the whole are thick, stubbornly undramatic affairs; the verbiage is lumpy, self-conscious.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a scramble, marked by the unruly variety of visual strategies Lee prefers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The acting is its chief strength. Russell Crowe brings a cocky charisma to Ben Wade.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    His (Schwimmer) film deserves some attention for the remarkable performance from Liana Liberato as Annie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Uber-raunchy but pretty interesting as sex comedies go.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Moliere transforms into a fuller piece whenever Morante takes center stage.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Gets by for many of the same reasons "Date Night" got by, all of them performance-related.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wildly uneven.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    While its globe-trotting itinerary recalls the mad whirl of a "Bourne" picture, nothing about this film's style resembles the second or third "Bourne" outings (which I loved).
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    300
    This is a mixed blessing. For a story replete with open-air combat 300 is strangely claustrophobic. And for a film with lotsa flesh and even more blood, it's light on flesh-and-blood characters.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    See the movie, flaws and all, simply to see where you stand in this digital river that runs through all our lives, connecting and isolating us in ways we're barely able to comprehend.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It’s uneven and, in many instances, avoidably cheesy.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's more or less a grown-up picture, and not bad at that, though its muted and patient style has both its merits and its drawbacks. Still, as I say: not bad.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Such stalwarts as Judi Dench, Julia Ormond, Toby Jones and Dominic Cooper spice things up as characters of various degrees of familiarity.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a fairly entertaining bash, with a travelogue vibe established by director Larry Charles ("Borat"). It’s also smug as all hell.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Crushingly realistic one minute and melodramatically hokey the next.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Doesn't quite work but is worth seeing anyway.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    42
    Treats its now-mythic Brooklyn Dodger with respect, reverence and love. But who's in there, underneath the mythology?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For a while, Trance had me guessing, and more or less hooked. Then the violence, motivations, double-crosses and fantasy/reality tangles became tedious.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Vera, as written and as acted, remains a sympathetic and watchful conduit, a peg, rather than a vividly realized engine. We see everything she endures, and all she sacrifices. Yet we are not left with lingering impressions beyond the facts of a fascinating life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Though stylistically all over the place, it's not without interest.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film works best when widening its focus to include the Federal Communications Commission's often baffling and hypocritical stances regarding what's OK to say, or show, on TV and radio, and what isn't.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    You want big wows with this sort of entertainment, and the wows here are medium.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Once it gets going and commits to its time-worn inspirational formula, it's not half-bad.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie struggles to turn the story into a paradoxical easygoing thriller, befitting the age bracket of its key ensemble members.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    All four stories are worthwhile, though together they’re an awful lot for one modest doc to cover. Yu’s integration of cinematic and theatrical elements is uneven, and a bit stiff.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There is a good movie to be made about someone like Brandon, especially with someone like Fassbender, a performer of exceptional technical facility and a fascinating sense of reserve. McQueen's isn't quite it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The way it's shot and cut, it plays like a parody of a car commercial shot in the style of a Bond film.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is slick, predictable and, thanks mainly to Washington's canny underplaying, fairly diverting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Nice. The film itself is more nice than good, but nice isn't the worst trait.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is shot and edited like a two-hour trailer for itself. As such, it's not hard to take, but you do tend to wonder when the film itself is going to start.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors make up for the relative thinness of the material. Smith navigates the emotional terrain with great skill. The script is often funny but just as often cutesy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Moderately funny though immoderately derivative.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The CGI is relentless and what you might call reverse-magical: The more we're hit with stuff, the less wondrous it becomes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Every time you start resisting, somehow the film makes the sale, again.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A scenic, well-behaved account of Potter's life and times.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    With this script, Allen isn't working in farce mode. It's more an easygoing nod to W. Somerset Maugham or, in the plot's "Pygmalion"-like relationship between a cynical older man and his desired younger female charge, George Bernard Shaw.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film wages an internal battle between its ripely sensual atmosphere and its often stilted pacing and plotting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The best of Dolphin Tale takes it easy. Led by Connick and Judd, plus the crucially empathetic Gamble and Zuehlsdorff, the cast includes Kris Kristofferson as the seafaring old salt of a grandpa. The acting has a nice, low-pressure vibe, in contrast to the film's high-pressure peril.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wahlberg has the presence, the glower and the laconic line readings to guide us through a mess of pain, painlessly.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie begins with a tragedy and eases into a more interesting blend of drama and comedy than we've gotten in this genre lately.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Overstuffed, formulaic but very easy to take.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film's pretty good about saying why so much in the culture encourages a political life in the closet, either tacitly or directly. But even The Advocate had a problem with calling it a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    But by not "saying" ANYTHING about the lives behind all the lovely, easygoing footage of infants making their way to their first steps and beyond, Babies feels a tad dodgy (and repetitive) by the hour mark.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Since I sort of liked “Step Up 2: The Streets,” I’m not surprised I sort of liked the remake of Fame.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Rescue Dawn is Herzog's first English-language screenplay, and this is part of its problem: The hushed conversations between prisoners sound only fitfully idiomatic. Also--crucially--Herzog can't find a way to make his own big finish feel authentic, even if things did happen roughly this way.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The surprise, if there is a surprise here, is that the film has found a slyly humorous tone for much of the running time.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Last Chance Harvey is what it is: a pleasant put-up job, held up by world-class pros.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Date Night is a product substantially inferior to the material routinely finessed by Carell and Fey, on their respective hit shows, into comic gold.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The comedy works some of the time; the pathos, more so. There's an undertow of grief in 2 Days in New York relating to the passing of Marion's (and Delpy's) mother, who died in 2009.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film is easy to take, though it must be said: It's almost 100 percent blather.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    As a series of sights, which movies like these are, Oz the Great and Powerful is more like "Oz the Digital and Relentless." Certainly this is true in its final half-hour, which seemed to me to be all explosions.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A thickly plotted disappointment, yet it has three or four big sequences proving that director Michael Mann, who gave us "Thief," "Heat," "Collateral" and others, has lost none of his instincts for how to choreograph, photograph and edit screen violence.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The most interesting thing about this slick but frustrating picture is the way it puts Crowe’s Hoffman at the center of our mixed feelings.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's gut-grinding, to be sure. But a misjudged degree of cinematic dazzle obscures the outrages at the core of Standard Operating Procedure.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    In a rom-com, there's no rom without the com. Hart and Hall give it their all.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The best material in the film is the loosest, capturing the perpetually insecure and overcompensating Pineda in his early concerts, leaping, bouncing, careening around as if every moment in every song were an audition for the next moment in the next song.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There's a tremendous amount of material here, and the script covers too much of it, often confusingly.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The results are pretty, and sometimes beautiful. They're also a tad stiff, and the dialogue and voice-over narration sometimes has the ring of a scrupulously faithful adaptation.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's sort of fun, certainly more so than the "National Treasure" pictures, as well as less manic (a little less) than the recent "Mummy" films.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When the story’s twist arrives, you half-expect Twohy to throw in a couple of reels from "Dead Again," plus outtakes from "The Usual Suspects." It’s a lulu; I'm just not sure if it's the sort of lulu that will lead to great word-of-mouth.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Maybe if I liked the first "Anchorman" a little less, I'd like Anchorman 2 a little more. Still, I laughed.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The action beats are so relentless, no sooner does one chase end than another begins.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The first-person remembrances hit you where you live, while everything else (including a bland musical score by John Piscitello) often creates the opposite of the intended effect: It keeps you at arm's length from an extraordinary story.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's too bad Spurlock settles for so little here, beyond the surface gag.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cohen at his best is both brazen and sly. As is The Dictator.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Larsson's leading characters have less to do in this wrap-up chapter. As Larsson wrote it and screenwriter and exposition-condenser Ulf Rydberg adapted it, it's a rather wobbly blend of courtroom drama and loose ends tied, albeit rather leisurely.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Are the results funny? In the margins, yes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Just cute enough for some tastes, too cute by half for others.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Some actors are dinner. Kevin Kline is dessert, and his comic brio saves the film version of The Extra Man from its limitations.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Around the halfway point it starts getting interesting and the people who put it together are at least working in a realm of reasonable intelligence and wit and respect for the audience.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Of the 141 minutes in The Judge, roughly 70 work well, hold the screen and allow a ripe ensemble cast the chance to do its thing, i.e., act. The other 71 are dominated by narrative machinery going ka-THUNKITA-thunkita-thunkita.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I’m flummoxed as to why the movie left me feeling up in the air, as opposed to over the moon. Partly, I think, it’s a matter of how Anderson’s sense of humor rubs up against that of the book’s author, Roald Dahl.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If the key performances in Beautiful Boy were any less honest, the film's half-formed suppositions would undo it utterly.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The kids are magnetic.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I like its devotion to the drab outskirts of Sin City, and Buscemi's performance is right up his alley without being entirely predictable.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The funniest bit in the crude but diverting Soul Men really makes you miss Bernie Mac, who died in August, a few months after completing the picture.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If her movie cannot fully resolve the demands of the love story with the horrifying particulars of the context, she's smart and honest enough as a first-time filmmaker to make "Blood and Honey" off-limits for those who prefer easy viewing. Even with a subject such as this.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie marches in predictable formations as well. But when Biel's rebel pulls over in her hover car and asks Farrell if he'd like a ride, your heart may sing as mine did.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The entire project is carefully wrought in visual terms and more than a little familiar. Sometimes even a well-applied pair of jumper cables can't do the trick.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film should've aimed higher, given all that these people endured to have their story told.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A genial "Hangover" for the AARP set, Last Vegas is roughly what you'd expect, or fear, but a little better.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The mordant wit and paradoxical melancholic bounce you find in a great many Eastern European filmmakers informs every joke and rosy sexual encounter in the work of Czech writer-director Jiri Menzel.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Not bad, not great, a little less pushy and grating than the usual.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A bit of a tweener, neither triumph nor disaster, a war-games fantasy with a use-by date of Nov. 22, when the new "Hunger Games" movie comes out.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The play itself, some felt, was static. The charge I'm afraid will stick to the film version as well. But the acting is considerable compensation.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Partly real and partly, increasingly, fantastic and outlandish in its wishful thinking.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Written by newcomer Melissa K. Stack, The Other Woman offers roughly equal parts wit and witlessness, casual smarts and jokes, lingering and detailed, regarding explosive bowel movements. Based on that ratio, I'd say the screenwriter's future in Hollywood looks pretty good.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The acting's strong; in addition to Moretz and Moore, Judy Greer is a welcome presence in the Betty Buckley role of the sympathetic gym instructor. But something's missing from this well-made venture. What's there is more than respectable, while staying this side of surprising.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Too much of the film is a muddle, and it feels like work, not play.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's fitting that a drama trading in classified information would turn out to be such a cryptic bugger.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie's smooth to the point of blandness, but its faces really do tell a story. And having Gere's silverly mane share the same film with Strathairn's is almost too much fabulous hair for one diversion.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Drive begins extremely well and ends in a muddle of ultraviolence, hypocrisy and stylistic preening, which won't be any sort of deterrent for those who like its looks.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite the actors, who at least get some swell clothes to wear, Winter's Tale is a bit of a soul-crusher itself.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Doesn't know how to do what I think it's trying to do.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Sidelined by a script that plays like an imitation of another era’s artifacts. It’s an oxymoron: a mild screwball romance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Wine may be sunlight held together by water, as Galileo said, but Bottle Shock is held together only by Alan Rickman.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Most of the clues in Veronica Mars pertain either to Internet sex tapes or the various surveillance uses of the latest tablets. Anybody who works in tech support will probably enjoy the film a tad more than I did.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I enjoyed these characters more when they were rich, rather than obscenely rich, when their self-involvement and life crises had one foot on planet Earth -- and when they weren't all gussied up like Mae West in "Sextette."
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The supporting players in Man on a Ledge bring more to the party than the leads, and my suspension of disbelief seems to have gotten hung up in traffic while attempting to cross the suspension-of-disbelief bridge from the Brooklyn side.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Dwayne Johnson leaves his lovable self behind in the violent but bland Faster.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Director Madden vacillates between treating the issues and historical context of The Debt seriously, and as the story demands, as pure, heavy-handed pulp. The cast does what it can in the service of this assignment. But some jobs simply resist satisfying completion.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite the proficient technique, after a while you may feel you're watching a particularly scenic snuff film.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    She tackled "The Tempest" on stage, years ago. On screen I wish she'd (Taymor) adapted it with a freer hand, and then directed it with a more considered one.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Settles for being simple, familiar and ineffective, though I suspect it'll warm a few hearts.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Too often the film itself simply shuffles the postcards of Tibetan scenery, Buddhist rituals and the Tibetan people (many amazing faces on view, to be sure).
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The directive behind this sequel, clearly, was non-stop action. Let's think about that phrase a second. Do we really want our action movies to deliver action that does not stop? Ever? I get a little tired of action sequences that won't stop.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I didn't laugh much, nor did my 10-year-old companions, but nobody had their soul crushed by the experience. This is the film industry's Hippocratic oath: First, crush no souls.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The sequel's themes of friendship and interdependency fail to generate much momentum.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film's tone is utterly indistinct, beyond fatuous adoration of its subject.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Beowulf is all right as far as it goes, and it goes pretty far for a PG-13 rating: Dismemberment, “300”-style blood globules comin’ atcha, and a digitally futzed and, for all practical purposes, completely naked!!!
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The harder this assault weapon went at my tear ducts, the more duct tape I wrapped around them as a defensive measure.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is half rutting goat, half preacher.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I truly wish Dear John were a better, less shamelessly manipulative movie, but a couple of the actors got me through it alive. One is Amanda Seyfried.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Like Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," Stonehearst Asylum starts with the hysteria knob set at 11 and goes up from there.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Keanes' story is one of eventual triumph over adversity for Margaret, but Big Eyes struggles on the page to make much of her as a character. Adams struggles as well; she's acting in one movie, a sincere, often anguished one, while Waltz (mugging up a storm) works in an entirely different key.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is not badly made. It is, however, weirdly flat, given the stakes and the wild screaming matches.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I enjoyed parts of Street Kings but I didn’t believe one thing about it, and I couldn’t get past Reeves’ unsuitability to his role. He may someday play a cop on the edge convincingly, but the edge needs to be sharper than this.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    John Carter isn't much - or rather, it's too much and not enough in weird, clumpy combinations - but it is a curious sort of blur.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I suspect a lot of what I found synthetic and sort of galling in Real Steel will work just fine with the target audience.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A smooth but frustrating third feature with an extremely good ensemble cast.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Does not know when to quit. Nor does it extract much fun from a cockamamie story provided by George Lucas.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Folks, I confess: I'm coping with a mild case of arachno-apatha-phobia, defined as the fear of another so-so "Spider-Man" sequel.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite a blue-chip cast, Aloha is just frustrating. It can barely tell its story straight, and Crowe's attempt to get back to the days of "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous" is bittersweet in ways unrelated to the narrative's seriocomic vein.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Who would have believed a film with this much skin and reckless, life-threatening excess could end up a rather dull muddle?
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The script of Shrink, written by Thomas Moffett, plays like "Crash" without the angst or the perpetual racial conflagrations.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    More happens in Eclipse than in the previous "Twilight" zone, "New Moon," and yet it's duller
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Most of this doc is content to wander through Franken's recent show-biz resume, to no particular end.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    My favorite thing in the movie is the way co-star and Korean action icon Byung Hun Lee uses his feet of fury to hoist a paint can and send it flying.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Making her feature-film directorial debut, Grant is going for an everyday conversational texture and a sense of life's curveballs. But the results wander and you never really believe them.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    By the time Perfume arrives at its ridiculous mass orgy, staged at the gallows where Grenouille is supposed to meet his end, you really would rather see him meet his end than endure a ridiculous mass orgy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Rio
    The movie isn't dull, exactly; the problem lies in the other, antsy direction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Clooney remains as game as ever, but the way he and McDormand push the energy here, you feel the strain. Pitt, just floating through, comes off best. He doesn't judge the moron he's playing; he just is.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Girl Most Likely goes a little bit wrong in nearly every scene, its stridently quirky characters never quite making sense together in the same universe, let alone the same movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    After the fourth electrocution gag, the 10th smack in the face and the 12th assault on a wee rodent crotch, we could all use something quiet.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The sharpest five minutes in Alex Cross, by a considerable margin, belong to Giancarlo Esposito.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Those looking for some human interest in their human interest may be equally frustrated.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Veers perilously close to the concept of poverty tourism.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Heartbreakingly average, director Robert Redford's The Conspirator errs in the way so many films do, especially films about unsung pieces of American history. It focuses on the wrong character.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie bumps along from low-grade scare to scare, and it's not lousy, mainly because Virginia Madsen prevents it from being so.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It has a rich premise and no lack of amazements. What it lacks in any sort of dramatic shape.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Dark Shadows illustrates the fine line in a pop reboot between "relaxed" and "lazy."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The chief argument regarding his (Smith) "Human Centipede" riff is pretty basic: good trash or stupid trash? I'd say roughly half and half.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Toward the end, G-Force starts making no sense at all, neither tonally or narratively. It may not matter to the target audience, though the look on my son's face when it was over was pure Buster Keaton. He says he liked it well enough. Me, a little less.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Last Song is primarily for teenagers looking for something disposable to cry about for a couple of hours, though I did find it a tad easier to take than "Dear John."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    For me Chastain's unerring honesty is the only element keeping The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby above the realm of pure affectation.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Nothing is harder and more elusive than successful slapstick onscreen. Nothing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A fine and moving film could be made from this story, which was inspired, loosely, by events and situations in the lives of Kurtzman and Orci. But the script sets an awfully low bar for Sam's redemption.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It lacks the rutting nuttiness of "Basic Instinct," even as it recycles much of that film's kiss-or-kill premise.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    They put the "obvious" in "obvious."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie strolls through its paces, sometimes amusingly, though by the end you've heard "Volare" and "Arrivederci Roma" reprised often enough to make you wish "Volare" and "Arrivederci Roma" had never been written.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Isn’t eye candy; it’s a drool-worthy slice of eye pie.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What proved tasty in book form comes across a little more like work in the movie.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Many of the original film's booby-trap scenarios are repeated here, but without Milius' grandiosity and nihilism. There's less of both in the new Red Dawn. It's not a disaster. It's just drab.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    21
    21 isn’t pretentious, exactly, but it’s damn close, and in trying to whip up a melodramatic morality tale the film becomes an increasingly flabby slog.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's mostly noise and splurch and, as I mentioned, aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh!
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    More an argument than a fully fleshed-out drama ... The script is unconvincing; two key narrative twists, one related to the other, are deeply hokey.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Full of interesting little grace notes, and the cast is excellent, yet it grows more and more frustrating.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Eastwood's foursquare directorial aesthetic tends to heighten, rather than camouflage, a screenplay's shortcomings.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Padding disguised as a feature-length screenplay, adapted from Belber's one-act.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Here and there, the actor invests the kind of feeling that makes The Way come alive in human terms.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    An Israeli-on-Arab version of "Shampoo," You Don’t Mess With the Zohan is terrible in many ways, and shoddy in every way that has to do with filmmaking. But politically it's sort of interesting.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    You've seen worse. The film industry is capable of better.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie, full of talented performers in search of a more propulsive vehicle, settles for workmanlike cover-band status, which makes this a cover-band tribute to a jukebox musical - a long way from true, trashy exhilaration.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    As Premonition zigzags toward its solution it loses its head completely, packing a risible final reel with left-field religious disquisitions and heartfelt warnings against infidelity.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Agora has everything except real drama.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Absurdly brutal slapstick is a tough thing to sustain across a feature. I spent a lot of The Three Stooges staring, not laughing. For me this was a stare-out-loud affair.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Whitman's a wily cross between Janeane Garofalo and Ellen Page and in her scenes with her motivational-speaker single mother (Allison Janney), you sense a better movie lurking in the shadows.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite a few good ideas and the uniformly splendid production and costume designs by Luhrmann's mate and partner, Catherine Martin, this frenzied adaptation of The Great Gatsby is all look and no feel.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The gentle erotic undertow in the friendship of Snow Flower and Lily has been toned down, and replaced by … niceness.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Just about everything in the video-gamey World War I picture Flyboys rings false, although the planes certainly are terrific.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I did like seeing the (fakey-looking) sheep take flying neck-high leaps at various human throats, in scenes recalling the killer rabbit in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." And I enjoyed the Kiwi dialects. And I suspect King's next film will be better.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It sounds fun. It's a little fun. For a while. But Bekmanbetov shoots every killing spree like an addled gamer, working that slow-down-speed-up kill-shot cliche like a maniac.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Planes has practically no visual distinction, it's a complete knockoff, but I think it'll get by with the kids.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The dialogue comes straight out of "The Benny Goodman Story." That look, someone says to a staring, pausing Kutcher, "tells me you're on to something big." Nobody talks in this movie; everyone speechifies or take turns sloganing one another to death.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Woodley is an ace at handling laughter through tears — "my favorite emotion," as a character in "Steel Magnolias" once said. She improves with each new film, even when the films themselves aren't much.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Predators, plural, starts well and ends poorly, and in the middle it's in the middle.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Levy surely knew that the script at hand didn't warrant a full two-hour running time; even if you enjoy The Internship, as my son did, it feels 20 minutes over-full at least. Cut out half of the "Flashdance" and "X-Men" references, and you're halfway there.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    There's nothing wrong with Paranoia that a stronger director, livelier leading actors and several hundred fewer narrative conveniences wouldn't cure.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's not much to hijack. But playing a lovelorn version of himself, in love with Adam Sandler in a dress, a lisp and breasts, Al Pacino holds a gun to the head of the comedy Jack and Jill and says: I now pronounce you mine.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Nearly two hours long, 30 Days of Night makes you feel the cold (though it was shot in New Zealand) and feel the fangs, but it also makes you feel like 30 days is a pretty long time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What are Jolie and Freeman and McAvoy doing here, besides acting cooler than Clive Owen in "Shoot ’Em Up"? Cashing a check, that's what. Bekmametov may have talent, but the arrested-adolescent "escapism" of this picture emits a pretty bad odor.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Cinematographer Zhao Xiaoding manages some lovely images, and some of Spottiswoode’s compositions remind you he's capable of fine work. But Hogg never comes to life, on the page or on the screen.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Unexpectedly sour, The Dilemma barely qualifies as a comedy.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Too much. Too numbing. Too coy. And ultimately too violent.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Canyons may not work, and the sex (as well as the synthesized glop on the soundtrack) may be tragically unhip, but it was made by a director who still cares.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film works a bit better than the 2004 "Punisher" installment, the one starring surly, dislikable Thomas Jane as Frank Castle.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The results feel a little harried, as if the focus issues were never really solved.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I like the end-credits sequence best, which has nothing to do with hoary complications or the miseries of stardom or the magical spellbinding powers of a cheap wig.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Unfortunately it’s all a bit dull.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Gray’s writing lacks the punch and zing that might take your mind off such rickety plotting.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The story should have made for charming results on screen. Instead - and I truly don't enjoy saying so - co-adapter and director Rob Reiner's picture lands somewhere between synthetic nostalgia and the texture of real life.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This is the sort of film where a character says “Here we are, having a high-minded debate ...” and you wonder if countless moviegoers will be rolling their eyes in unison.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A facsimile of a masquerade of a gloss on "Charade," and on all the lesser cinematic charades that followed in the wake of director Stanley Donen's 1963 picture.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    "Superbad” got a deserved R rating for its unmitigated and gleeful raunch. Drillbit Taylor is cleaner in mouth but far uglier in spirit. Wilson and Mann do what they can to tone it up, but their scenes belong to a different film, and a fresher one.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's funny what you buy completely onstage and resist completely, or nearly, on-screen. Case in point: Mamma Mia!
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie lacks wit.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    All of it is plausible, if one were to break the narrative into its component parts; together, though, those parts resemble "Babel" or "Crash" or other determinedly topical mosaics that end up falsifying their own concerns.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Some comedies have the knack for affrontery and shock value; The Change-Up, written by the "Hangover" team of Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, merely has the will to offend.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A large amount of dope is smoked in The Pick of Destiny, perhaps the most since the salad days of Cheech & Chong. This may be the problem. Pot rarely helped anybody's comic timing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Rio 2 offers roughly the same approach to story and to story clutter as did the first movie.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Newell has done some fine work in all sorts of genres, from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” to “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” but in “Cholera” he seems to be chronicling a half-century of events, passions and desires as a tourist, not a native.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's worth seeing, on balance, simply for what Mark Ruffalo does in a hundred different, discrete, telling ways as he creates a character who was a capital-A Character, outlandish one minute, scarily unpredictable the next.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This film was not based on a video game, but that's the vibe and the aesthetic at work here: YEAH! KILL!, followed by a few muttered expressions of the horror, the horror.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It is well made as far as it goes. I wish it went beyond its own carefully prescribed limits of the commercially acceptable.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Midway through I started wondering why I wasn't laughing more. "Baby Mama" was not written by Fey and/or Poehler, which may be the reason.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Part of the problem here is one of proportion: The movie throws a misjudged majority of the material to the villains and lets the unfashionably sincere and sweet-natured Muppets fend for themselves.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    You couldn't accuse the film of practicing what it preaches: careful stewardship of a precious resource.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The action beats come straight out of the video game "Call of Duty." And when you have real SEALs placed in a picture that lives and dies on the same old first-person-shooter aesthetic, you have a film divided against itself.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What it doesn't have is a way of making sense of its comic and dramatic strains, together, in the same movie.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film itself, which has everything from erection jokes to a computer-generated tornado, comes down to a battle between the interpreters and a screenplay riddled with convenience, cliche and well-meaning contrivance.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    As skillful and charismatic as Gere is, I never get the sense he's really in there, conversing with his fellow actor.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A genial, sloppy, minor affair, offering a smidgen of inside baseball, which includes a gag at the expense of the forgotten, late '80s Lucas-produced epic "Willow."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    After an intriguing start, Transcendence — aka "The Computer Wore Johnny Depp's Tennis Shoes" — offers roughly the same level of excitement as listening to hold music during a call to tech support.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is responsible, earnest, well-intentioned and, as it was in Sundance, maddeningly inconsistent.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Director Morel brings some style and speed to the proceedings, though I found The Gunman increasingly numbing in the carnage department. Compared with someone like Neeson, Penn's avenging angel is a less relatable fellow.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I laughed three or four times, mostly at verbal byplay since director MacFarlane struggles when it comes to timing, filming and cutting sight gags.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Kasdan has inherited much of his father's surface skills; he knows how to round out a scene and keep things on story point. But In the Land of Women doesn't for a moment feel messy and chaotic where it counts.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It relays an uplifting story that, ill-advisedly, is not so much Holocaust-era as Holocaust-adjacent, determined to steer clear of too much discomfort.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The eerily precise Heigl, who provided confident back-court support as the exile in Guyville also known as “Knocked Up,” has no trouble filling a leading lady’s shoes. She’s just snarky enough to be interesting, and she knows how to take a fall.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This film is very different: chilly, methodical, a slave to 10-ton metaphor as opposed to metaphoric provocation.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Imagine a Judy Blume rewrite of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," and you'll end up somewhere in the ashen yet uplifting vicinity of How I Live Now.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film disappoints particularly in relation to "Young Adam," an earlier picture about sexual obsession from writer-director David Mackenzie; this one's more in line with the creamy tones and surface readings of "Asylum."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    At times the film appears on the verge of morphing into a singing-cowboy musical.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Holiday is a 131-minute romantic comedy for those who, if they had their way, would still be watching "Love Actually."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Too often The Express sidelines its own main character in favor of the lemon-sucking, jaw-jutting glower patented by Quaid.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Jackson has not cast himself well, though. He has slathered the imagery in the wrong kind of wonderment and hyperbole, both on Earth and in heaven.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is ruled by sound and fury signifying an attempt to launch a new franchise.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Keener alone finds the truth between the lines of this routine affair. She can't do much about the lines she has to say out loud, but as all first-rate screen performers realize, words are only part of the story.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The glibness of Wiesen's freshman effort wouldn't be a problem if the wit was there.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Morgan and Eastwood are scrupulous in keeping their notions of the afterlife as general and inoffensive as possible. They have no religious or spiritual worldview to sell. As I say: Many admire this film to no end. I found its use of recent tragic events, including the London underground bombing, to be more than a little cheap.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I wish the film version of Astro Boy provided a stronger antidote to mediocrity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's outlandishly gory and bluntly political, the latter being more interesting than the former. It wears out its welcome, though, long before la revolucion and sequels are promised.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Here and there an image of spectral beauty, assisted by the 3-D technology, floats into view and captures our imagination. But the script, which really should've been called "Sanctimonium," has a serious case of the bends.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Green just isn't the superhero color this year.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The nuttiest hunk of junk in many months.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Robinson is undone partly by his own workmanlike touch as a writer, and partly by matters of casting. I like Harris, and he's quite moving here, but every time Duchovny reappears the overall energy level sinks to crush depth.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What If brings up the distinctions among wit, jokes and robotic banter, and this new romantic comedy has a bit of the first and a few of the second, but it's largely a case of the third.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    There's about 10 good minutes out of 85.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    If you want a relationship comedy that feels like last year's stuff, doesn't go far enough in any direction and is made watchable only by an overqualified ensemble, there's The Ex.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I doubt even rabid fans of the first two will consider Shrek the Third a worthy addition to the franchise.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    My God is this script predictable. Each relapse and betrayal shows up announced, and then announced again, a little louder, by the dialogue equivalent of an aggravating doorman.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This one's just OK, but at midnight, after who knows what, OK might be enough.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    If more of the picture had the inventively grotesque payoff of the scene set at the gymnastics tryout, capped by a female character's inarguably poor dismount, we might have something to puke home about.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The skillful quartet at the center of Drinking Buddies reveals the weaknesses in the material.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Keanu Reeves plays Klaatu, confining his usual two-and-a-half-note vocal range to half that.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Assuming your psycho-pigtailed-killer memories extend back as far as "The Bad Seed," Maxwell Anderson's play filmed by director Mervyn LeRoy in 1956, Orphan may remind you of the icon made famous by Patty McCormack.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    More than anything Minkoff's project feels like a protracted episode of "Jimmy Neutron," a show with characters for whom I don't have the same affection.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Half the time I wasn't sure what Lee was going for in terms of tone, or style, or focus. It was a tricky assignment to begin with, because McBride's novel, and his screenplay, is part socio-historical corrective, part magical-realist folklore, part wartime procedural.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I like Duhamel, and in her first straight-up dramatic role Hough does well enough, though her singing and/dancing career thus far has trained her to oversell, as opposed to sell, as opposed to act naturally.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Kids may love the movie, and even kids who love the books may like it. For me, though, an astonishing percentage of the books' appeal has vanished.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    With her arresting, off-kilter look of bruised desire, Michelle Williams ends up being the most interesting aspect of this somber corn.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    All that — and yet, dull. Why?
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    To my taste there's too much of everything. The soundtrack never shuts up with the wind, the murmurings, the shudderings. And while director Nixey has talent, his indiscriminately roving camera tends to diffuse the tension, not heighten it.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    So it’s one of those Hip, Now updates, albeit with jokes riffing on pop-cult artifacts that are already Then. I mean: “Jerry Maguire”? Moratorium!
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Clooney's attempt to honor unsung real-life heroes while recapturing the ensemble pleasures of some well-remembered Hollywood war pictures, notably "The Great Escape" and "The Guns of Navarone," comes off as a modestly accomplished forgery at best.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Good actors and a talented director doing what they can to bring the truth to a script that's mostly bogus.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    True Story is a case of a well-crafted film, made by a first-time feature director with an impressive theatrical pedigree, that nonetheless struggles to locate the reasons for telling its story.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    When classy, pedigreed British actors go hog-wild under the flowering dogwood trees of a Southern Gothic setting, often the results are good. Just as often they're so bad they're good. And sometimes, as is the case with Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson in Beautiful Creatures, they're simply doing the best they can under the circumstances.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Not bad, not good, Ice Age 3 may be OK enough to do what it was engineered to do, i.e., baby-sit your kid for a while and rake in the dough.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I fear Spielberg and Jackson hitched their wagon to the wrong technological star here.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It is less a film than a puny trampoline -- an occasion, though a grim one, for this most fervently movie-mad of American directors to show off his love for the various pulp genres mooshed together by the 2003 Dennis Lehane novel.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's secondhand, vaguely resigned material. And while Sudeikis has some talent, he's not yet ready to co-anchor a feature comedy. He's no Ed Helms, in other words.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's not very funny, but your kids might like it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Still Life is a very different story, small and quiet and, unfortunately, airless.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Although Joffe appears to be making a Brighton version of the seductively natty evil we find stateside in "Boardwalk Empire," this Brighton Rock remains muffled, half-formed pulp fiction.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film has a persistent and careful sheen. It looks good. It is, in fact, preoccupied with looking good. If this sounds like faint praise, I'm afraid it is.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Funny Games is fundamentally a bourgeois exercise in authorial sadism. As the methodical games grind on, the suffocatingly beige and white surroundings start to look like a mausoleum.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie's benumbed by its own parade of bad behavior. Like some of Scorsese's other second-tier works — "Casino," "Bringing Out the Dead" — the gulf between virtuoso technical facility and impoverished material cannot be bridged. It's diverting, sort of, to see DiCaprio doing lines off a stripper's posterior, but after the 90th time it's like, enough already with heinous capitalistic extremes.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Now and then the movie rouses itself to deliver. If you go to American Reunion - and many will, if they harbor fond memories of the first one, and if they can find a sitter - you should stay through the end credits.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Robert Benton’s recent films have been vexing combinations of gentility and stiffness, and despite a fair bit of nudity "Feast of Love" behaves itself all too well. It’s as neat as a pin; it ties up every loose end in careful "Playhouse 90" style. Despite some awfully smart actors, Benton’s movie made me long for a few interrupted sentences and the occasionally conflicted character.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I found the mythology of I Am Number Four vague and sloppy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Suggests that this could be the start of something adequate. Something big would've been nicer, though the movie's limitations are less a matter of scale than of imagination.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The leads' chemistry in The Lucky One is more theoretical than actual. Still, the sunsets and sunrises and sunbeams through the windowpanes fall easily on the eyes.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Distressingly ordinary for such an extraordinary subject.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    For many, this central performance will be more than enough. For others, the film will simply be too much.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The result is a placid tale of impulses running wild. Farino is a smooth operator, but he puts little on screen that feels like life, as opposed to a middle-of-the-road indie.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Here's how you know Josh Brolin has become a movie star: Jonah Hex may not be much with him, but without him? Perish the thought. Perish it, throw an ax in its heart, then burn it to a crisp.

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